a thoughtful web.
Share good ideas and conversation.   Login or Take a Tour!
comment by tacocat

You might be surprised by how often an AA meeting becomes a bunch of armchair etymologists dissecting words like humiliation. Unless you realize it's based on a religion that says pride is a four letter word in part because a fictional old man got water out of a rock by hitting it with a stick and took full credit for it.

I'll chime in more when I get to a real keyboard. Assemble a posse if I don't come back

tacocat  ·  761 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I agree with kb for the most part. Arrogance can be exceeding your limits. It can also be reminding everyone around you that you are in fact hot shit and they're inferior. I had a conversation with someone recently about the use of "big words" in casual conversation and she said it can be considered rude. lolwut? Nope. She had a good point that you need to tailor your speech to your audience and it's off-putting for some people to hear words that aren't from the 8th grade-reading-level AP dictionary. So pomposity and arrogance are linked.

I don't fight back that hard against accusations that I'm a pompous ass depending on the context of the situation of when the pompous action I took took place. I got a BFA in studio art. Hipsters were hipstering in the art school before hipster became common derogatory parlance. And art school hipsters are some of the most insufferable you'll ever meet. So there's some overlap between how I act and how those people do, even though I was down the hill playing with fire, wearing steel-toed boots and not making conceptual art that had like a snake in a plexiglas cage next to a turntable playing Yoko One or whatever the fuck the digital media kids were doing.

Even if you are hot shit you gotta demonstrate some humility to ease back the arrogance. I know people hate me because they think I'm an arrogant asshole. I definitely can be. Arrogant, an asshole, and some combination thereof. But I'm not categorically a douchebag and if I like you for some reason and you can put up with me being prickly pretty often, you'll find out I'm an OK guy. Some people hear words like 'facetious' or 'pedantic' come out of my mouth and just tune out. I've done a lot of public or semi public speaking recently and I'm pretty fucking over dumbing down my vocabulary for the benefit of people I probably don't like to begin with.

(I think this is coming off pretty arrogant at this point. Don't know. But if you agree, I'm aware of the irony.)

I guess I'm trying to say (verbosely) that you can't control something that's entirely subjective and based on the perception of other people.

I think linking pride and dignity as a little separate pairing doesn't do much to relate pride to arrogance and confidence. Dignity is a pretty universal good. Pride gets a bum wrap from Judeo Christian traditions. I'm proud of plenty of shit I've done. Why is that bad? I'm 100% entitled to be proud of my objectively impressive achievements. Few and far between as they are. But pride can lead to arrogance and over confidence if the pride isn't squared with the reality of whatever you're proud of.

It's entirely up to an individual to decide what self-aware level of these qualities you want to put off. Like you could potentially carry yourself with too much dignity and put people off because you seem snotty or even weak maybe. It's a subjective thing that you can't control because the subjectivity is based on the perceptions of others. You can try to balance how you present yourself by being aware of when you seem arrogant or demonstrate false pride. But there will always be people who just plain don't like you. Fuck 'em. Do you as best you can, get feedback from people who's opinions you care about about how you're projecting. Just be confident that you're doing the best you can and that whatever you're doing is worth doing.

user-inactivated  ·  760 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Pride gets a bum wrap from Judeo Christian traditions.

If we're willing to look at Humility as the opposite of Pride, then take a look at a lot of religions and their approach to Humility, almost universally pride gets a bum wrap.

tacocat  ·  760 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Humility is an ever present topic in AA, which I'll note is a Christian organization despite what anyone in it wants to argue.

Yes, humility is great and necessary. But this whole discussion is about a balancing act between how you want to act and how you want to be perceived and what amount of compromise you're willing to accept because you can't control the perception of everyone. If you always defer potential conflict to seem humble because of your conception of God then you can end up rendering to Caesar the right to be a tyrant. Or accepting bad behavior by your fellowship because God's plan, free will, we're all sinners

I'm indirectly describing a medical treatment that insurance pays for. And Jeff Sessions at the same time

user-inactivated  ·  760 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    If you always defer potential conflict to seem humble

It sounds like you're saying a person can't be assertive and confident if they're humble. I don't really think that's the case.

I didn't want to give my perspective on the question I asked, because I want to see how other people interpret the question and the answers they give without my influencing them. But between you and me (and obviously anyone else reading this), I think if I were to give an answer to my own question the what defines distinguishes one type of person from the other is whether or not they're self centered and whether or not they exercise complimentary virtues such as compassion and wisdom.

If a person is dignified and compassionate, their compassion helps them to interact with others without looking down on them or otherwise mistreating them. If a person is confident and wise, they're able to recognize and compensate for their own short comings as well realize they don't always have the ability to handle every situation that comes their way.

I don't think any of these four attributes, dignity, confidence, compassion, and wisdom, when exercised, means a person can't be assertive nor does it prevent them from helping those in need or trying to rectify the injustices of the world. They may behave differently than you would expect someone to behave in certain situations, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're capitulating at the first sign of resistance or hardship.

tacocat  ·  760 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm not saying that. I'm saying that's the interpretation some people choose when they try to be humble. You can be humble but assertive and that involves picking your battles, not constantly saying live and let live. The last part is some shit I've had rammed down my throat for almost two years by an army of hypocrites. If that helps explain my responses here.

user-inactivated  ·  760 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Ah. Gotcha. Thank you for the clarification.

In that particular situation, I agree with you. It's probably easy for some of us to backslide from humility to self deprecation if we're not careful.

tacocat  ·  760 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I see it more as complete fecklessness of morals if you want to ignore the actions of a rapist because "he's sick too."

katakowsj  ·  760 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Pride gets a bum wrap from Judeo Christian traditions. I'm proud of plenty of shit I've done. Why is that bad? I'm 100% entitled to be proud of my objectively impressive achievements.
I agree here.

You also got me thinking that pride is a great thing if a person recognizes pride in accomplishment is relative. You may not care about my accomplishments, and that’s okay.

Arrogance sneaks in when one assumes that everyone else is also impressed at my accomplishments. You all want to hear me drone on about them, right?

tacocat  ·  760 days ago  ·  link  ·  

My working model of arrogance in writing that was Steve Jobs. I don't think he was a braggart. But he definitely took credit for things he didn't do. And was a huge asshole. But he was responsible in part for some great things. Not to the degree that he'd have wanted you to believe. He believed his own hype and helped generate it to begin with. He assumed people were impressed with him. I'm not sure he reminded anyone of it. He seemed to have preferred yelling at people for no good reason because he was Steve fucking Jobs