Do you remember the famous fable of the tortoise and the hare? They were having a race and the hare was obviously everybody’s favorite for champion. But because of silly arrogance, the hare ended up losing to the tortoise and became the laughing stock for everybody, including you.
Also, have you ever seen someone who is charming, likeable, and always surrounded by people as if he or she has a gravity that pulls people around him? Have you ever wondered what makes him or her so special? Let me tell you, one of the secrets is humility.
Humility is a trait that will be advantageous to you. People like being around humble people because they make them feel comfortable – they don’t need to worry about someone attempting to humiliate them or stealing their spotlight. They also make people feel good – because they don’t focus on themselves but on the people around them.
So do you possess this admirable quality or are you actually trapped in arrogance like the hare instead? Perform a personality check on yourself with the list below:
1. You Secretly Feel Better than Anyone Else
Even though you never outright say that you’re far more superior to everybody else, you constantly feel like that on the inside. You think you’re smarter, prettier, more competent, basically better than anybody else. No, not saying it doesn’t make you humble. It is the thought that counts (because, who are you kidding? You may think secretly but your attitude and behavior will give you away anyway).
To avoid this superiority complex, think about this: no matter how much better you are than everybody else right now, in the end there will always be someone that will be better than you. Think about everybody’s good points and accomplishments. They maybe aren’t as grand as yours, but still, it’s impossible for you to have all of everybody’s good point and accomplishment. Everybody has advantages as everybody has flaw, including you.
2. You Never Greet First
When you’re being arrogant, you want to make everything a competition, because you’re hungry for glory. Even something as warm and as mundane as greeting, you treat it like a competition. You think you’re better than everyone else, so they should greet you first and not the other way around. You feel like if you greet them first, you’re acknowledging that you’re inferior to them. So, you never acknowledge your colleagues except when they do it first
Well, surprise, you have it backward! In social interaction, the better person is always the one who greet first. It is because greeting other first makes the other feel respected and valued. In turn, they will reciprocate the respect. It also improves the likeability of someone.
Now, to get rid of this mindset, shift the direction of your competition. If before it was all about power play with the other, now it’s all about who can greet others first.
3. You Ignore Others
Of course, sometimes there are times when we feel like we’re surrounded by idiots all around and we need to ignore them to stay sane. The keyword in that sentence is “sometimes”. People don’t act idiot all the time although sometimes they look like they do. For example when they keep pestering you with question like “is it true the killer boss is actually afraid of his wife?” when said boss is waiting for you to finish your report in 15 minutes.
But, most of the time people are talking about small thing like the weather, their favorite food, or their children. It is normal and it is not stupid. Arrogant people think these kinds of conversation are beneath them and always ignore other people’s attempt to include them in the conversation.
4. You Interrupt Others
Ask yourself: when did the last time you listen to people? You may say “oh, just several minutes ago”. But did you really listen to what the other person said? Did you wait until the other finish and then respond accordingly? Arrogant people tend to dismiss the importance of listening to other people until he or she finish their sentence. They think they’re so clever they can deduce the rest of the sentence themselves. That or they think the other person is unimportant so the less they talk the better.
Now every time you have a need to interrupt, hold yourself. Bite your tongue if you need, but train yourself to listen before you respond. People will feel like they were respected and in turn will trust you.
5. Your favorite subject is none other than you
Ah, this is such a humanly trait. Everybody likes to talk about themselves, but if you like it a tad bit too much than other person, then you’re probably being arrogant. Try to notice how many times you mention the word “I”, “my”, and “me” in a conversation. Notice whether you automatically respond every story told by your conversation partner with a story about yourself like “oh so you went to Spain last summer? I went to Italy. Let me tell you what I’ve done there!”
Now, imagine you’re the other people conversing with yourself. Would you like to talk with yourself? Imagine how annoyed you’d be when you’re trying to talk about an important subject but your conversation partner keep talking about himself? Remember his story and start responding the story with inquiry about your partner, not with another story about yourself.
6. Every word you speak is the truth
You think you are truth and therefore all the things coming out from your mouth are truth. When it is proven otherwise, you will go out of the way to prove that you are right, or at least partly right. You can never, never ever live in the reality where you’re proven wrong.
This kind of mindset is surely not good for your ego. Learn to admit that people make mistake and it’s completely normal. Understand that people won’t look down on you just because of a small mistake. The root of arrogance is actually your fear of not being the right one. You’re afraid people will shun you and humiliate you. But remember, making mistake is human and admitting mistake is what makes you a better human being.
7. You Take Criticism the Bad Way
What is criticism? You never hear that. All you ever hear is blame instead. Every single criticism, even the most constructive one, sounds like an attempt to destroy you instead of fix you because you’re perfect and you don’t think you’re in a need of any fixing.
So your reaction to criticism every time is either ignoring it or get angry with it, sometimes both. Think again, when your friends say you should consult an interior designer before you renovate your store instead of using your own design, did you ignore them? When your colleagues told you to use a translator instead of translating that document alone, did you told them to “go mind your own business!” instead?
If you do, start to accept that criticism is people’s way to show you that they care about you, or at least your work. Learn to distinguish constructive criticism from the junk one, and you’ll be surprised at how stupid you were all of this time!
8. You Don’t Do Self Reflection
Why would you? You’re perfect anyway. It is unthinkable to you to take a moment and look objectively on yourself because what can be wrong with you? Even when you were having an argument with someone and you’re told to reflect, did you actually do it? In fact, I’m sure you think about self reflection only just now because you’re reading this.
Everybody, not just you, should reflect once in a while. Take some time to be alone and look back at your attitude. Did you do something to other people that may hurt them? Did you do something you would never want other people to do to you? When you look back, you’ll notice your mistake and you can avoid the same thing to happen in the future.
9. You Can’t Share the Spotlight
Imagine yourself winning an award with your team. Do you see yourself receiving the award alone representing your team? Do you see you and your team go to the stage together to receive the award? Do you see yourself letting other team member receive the award? When you’re being arrogant you’ll find much difficulty imagining that you have to receive the glory with other people. You think they don’t deserve the award because the success is purely because of your existence in the team, right?
But actually, people don’t become arrogant because they think they’re superior to others. In fact, they’re only afraid people’s attention won’t be focused on them but on their other mates. That’s why they want to hog all the spotlight themselves.
If you’re feeling exactly like this, then you need to learn to be confident. Understand that when you’re working in a team, everybody has their strength amd weakness. You’re not superior or inferior to your mates, and then understand that people can recognize brilliance. Even if you’re not the one giving the speech, if you really contribute yourself in your project, people will recognize you signature in the project. And remember that the spotlight on the stage does not get shinier or dimmer depending on the number of people on the stage.
So, do you think you have either one of those signs? Or do you recognize someone with those signs? Carry on the conversation on Facebook!
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.