Friday Counseling Issues: Arrogant People

We all know them.  We all have to deal with them sometimes, and none of us enjoy them. They don’t mind.  They enjoy themselves.

 

Arrogant people really aren’t too concerned about how you feel or what you think. They tend not to be aware of hurting or offending others, and if they do realize they’ve done so, they shrug and figure  you had it coming.

One of the best ways to cope with this “Me First, All The Time”  character is to understand that he really is no better or no worse than you or anyone else.  Fact is, we all have to use deoderant, take baths, and blow our noses.  No one is above the neccessities of the human experience. Yes, there are those who have a higher intelligence than others.  That’s a gift, if they use that intelligence wisely and with kindness.  Otherwise, it’s just a pain in the neck.

I met an arrogant man who was a resident in the nursing home where I was doing a year of practicum.  Everyone dreaded going into his room because he was loud, demanding, angry, and overbearing. He literally had the staff jumping, trying to keep him happy.

I was there in the capacity of a case worker. That meant that I went and talked with people, made sure they were comfortable, heard about needs they had, kept an eye on their mood and general well-being.

When my supervisor assigned me to this man, she warned me that he was difficult and that if I didn’t think I could handle him, she’d give him to someone more experienced.

I’ve never been more thankful that I wasn’t a kid fresh out of college when I did my master’s work. I was 52 by this time, and I’d been teaching school for a lot of years, reared my own brood, and dealt with a lot of orneriness.  Experience really is a wonderful thing.

He yelled at me the first time I stepped into his room and introduced myself. I turned around and walked right back out.  I gave it 15 minutes, and tried again.  He yelled again. I left again. We did this little game five times over the course of the day, and the last time I walked out it was time for me to go home. I did have him at a disadvantage. He couldn’t get out of bed without help, so he couldn’t be the one to walk out 🙂

The next morning, I had a message that Mr. Arrogant wanted to see me RIGHT AWAY!!

So I went into his room, and he didn’t yell. He wasn’t happy, but he didn’t yell. Over time, we actually became friends, and I began to enjoy listening to his stories about his life. One time, he asked me why I had walked out on him at first.  I said, “You know why,”  And he grinned, and said he guessed I was just as hard-headed as he was.

Yes.  I am.

And that’s part of the answer for dealing with arrogant people. You have to be just as determined as they are to make things work, only without the haughty arrogance they exhibit.

More next week.  Stay tuned.

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