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The Translucent Cocoon of Arrogance

There is extraordinary rudeness afoot in North America.

Yesterday I was in a meeting at which a young colleague asked about a logo on a fleece I was wearing. I started to explain about the professional development program my company organizes to help junior consultants learn more about managing client relationships (at which participants and facilitators -- me -- are given cool fleeces). I moderated a client panel for this session, which I was also in the midst of describing to the young man. In walked a woman from the young man's company, who hadn't heard the first part of the conversation, but immediately jumped in by saying how much she hated these types of sessions, how useless she felt they were, and how she had told a facilitator to fuck off the last time she had been forced to be involved.

I was stunned not just by the insensitivity to her own colleague, and me as a senior member of the joint team, but also by the utter rudenesss of her method of shifting attention to herself. I may be misjudging her, but she seems to live in what you could call a translucent cocoon of arrogance, a preoccupation with self in which you establish a sense of self-worth through seeking mastery over others rather than through a positive, reflective and largely private self-assessment . You will know people like this, people who don't use their car's turn signal, who don't say thank you when you hold a door open, who are boorish about everything but when challenged give you the finger. It is "translucent" because whether these people realize it or not, many of us can see through their superciliousness.

Nevertheless, there are consequences to others when they act out their self-importance (which they nearly always do because mastery of others is from where they get some perverse self-satisfaction). Self-importance prevents one from hearing and listening; arrogance means you are living out loud as if your noise is all that matters.

To be frank, I don't really care what kind of deep-rooted insecurity or sense of inadequacy drives this self-absorbed arrogance. That logic blames others for something these people should just get under control. I suggest those who live in this conceited space just stop . . . we know what you are and aren't fooled.

It Ain't Over Yet

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