Friday Counseling Issues: Arrogant People, part 4

More and more, I hear myself telling my clients, “You have to learn to let it go. Don’t rent space in your head to junk.  You can’t change the other person, but you can change the way you react to him. Know who you are, understand your own value and worth, and learn to let Miss Arrogant’s rude and self-centered attitude and comments slide off of you. She will only bug you if you allow yourself to be annoyed.

Say you’re at a party, and an arrogant person is introduced to you. He’s going to go through the usual niceties, and you’re probably going to ask him a question about himself. After that, you won’t have to say much. Instead of allowing his arrogance to annoy you, just listen patiently.  It’s surprising how often these people really do have interesting things to say. When you reach the point of “had it!”  it’s easy to simply tell him how much you’ve enjoyed meeting him, but that you just saw someone you really need to chat with, and graciously move on. Don’t worry about hurting his feelings.  He’ll soon be boasting to someone else.

But what if you work with Miss Big Shot?  What if you have to spend time listening to her bloviate about her own merits?

Get really busy. “I’m sorry, I’m going to have to interrupt.  I need to see several other members of the team today.  You take care!”  And off you go, looking extremely pressed for time. If all else fails, get on your phone with someone and make it clear that you can’t be interrupted. You really don’t have to be held captive by someone who understands no one else’s worth but her own.

Do you ever have to simply be rude? Probably.  But when that happens, I try to be as politely rude as possible.  Smile. Say, “Well, much as I hate to end this conversation, I have a long to-do list today.  ‘Bye now!”  And then walk away. One thing you don’t have to worry about is offending that person, or hurting his feelings.  He gets over it pretty fast.

Does it ever work to tell a person that he has no friends because he is arrogant, boring, annoying, and full of himself?

Probably not.  He’ll just figure you’re too much of a cretin to understand how wonderful he is.

The bottom line here is to never allow these people to ruin your day. Smile.  Be polite. Excuse yourself when you’ve had enough.  And don’t waste time and energy thinking or talking about how aggravating they are. When you do that, you’re allowing them to control your thoughts and emotions, and giving them way more time than they deserve.

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