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Why Arrogant People Are Actually Mentally Unhealthy

Why Arrogant People Are Actually Mentally Unhealthy

Don’t you just hate it when someone acts like they are far superior to you?

I’m sure you know what I mean. You may have just met them casually at a party, and within minutes they’re telling you how successful they are, why they are so important, and why they know everything about everything!

People like this can make you feel small and worthless.

But wait. Why should you suffer at the hands of a megalomaniac?[1] As we’ll see, they are the ones with a problem – not you.

Look how important I am!

A person suffering from delusions of grandeur will believe they possess superior qualities to the average person.[2] In many cases, they will falsely claim that they are famous, wealthy or even geniuses. Because they have convinced themselves that they do indeed possess these qualities or traits, they can be extremely persuasive when speaking with other people.

It’s estimated that 1% of the population suffers from megalomania[3] (also known as Narcissistic Personality Disorder), so it’s inevitable that you’ll regularly meet such people.

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If you don’t know how to deal with arrogant individuals, you may find your self-esteem takes a knock each time you interact with them. It may be something as simple as queuing for a train ticket…. Mr. Arrogant deliberately pushes into the queue, and dares you to challenge his actions. Not wanting to cause a scene, you let him get away with treating you as someone unimportant and inferior.

You feel weak. Yet, they instantly boost their already exaggerated sense of self-worth.

Of course, I’m not overestimating my status in life.

Delusions of grandeur is associated with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). This is a mental health diagnosis listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.[4]

As we’ve already seen, people suffering from NPD are likely to massively overestimate their importance and uniqueness. This can lead to them becoming aloof and almost impossible to deal with. They always think they know best, and they expect to get their way every time.

Were megalomaniacs born this way? According to John M. Grohol, Psy.D., individuals typically experience NPD as a symptom of other mental health illnesses, such as: bipolar disorder, dementia, psychotic disorder and schizophrenia.[5] Grohol also states that drug use or abuse can trigger NPD, or may intensify or bring on more episodes of delusions of grandeur.

How dare you accuse me of being a fraud?!

I’ve revealed some of the reasons why arrogant people act like they do.

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Now, let’s go a step further and look at ways to identify arrogant people who are clearly suffering from NPD.

Delusional individuals believe what they say, so on the surface, they are supremely convincing. However, if you analyze their claims in a logical and scientific way, you’ll have a good chance of exposing their falsities and lies.

Any of the below claims should set alarm bells ringing in your mind:

  • “I’m a famous celebrity.”
  • “I’m the CEO of a multinational corporation.”
  • “I’m a famous inventor.”
  • “I’m a professional athlete.”
  • “I’m a member of a royal family.”
  • “I’m in direct communication with God.”
  • “I’m blessed with superpowers.”

To be fair, any of the above could be true of the person you have just met. But what’s the likelihood? Statistically, there’s much more chance of meeting a NPD sufferer who claims to be one of the above, than meeting someone who actually is one of the above.

To find the truth, probe the person with questions. For example: Tell me more about your company? Where can I read more about your inventions? Can you demonstrate your superpowers?

If you ask the right questions, you’ll have a strong chance of determining if the person is really who they say they are.

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If you’re still unsure, see whether any of these five traits are demonstrated by the person:

  1. Identity. “Surely, you know who I am?”
  2. Knowledge. “I definitely know more about this subject than you do.”
  3. Power. “You need to do as I say.”
  4. Self-worth. “Don’t waste my time. I have much more important things to do.”
  5. Relationship. “It’s hard dealing with all the attention that comes with being George Clooney’s brother.”

Why are you getting in my way?

If you’ve successfully identified a megalomaniac, then you’ll need to call upon some proven techniques for dealing with this person.

Here are seven ways for you to effectively deal with people suffering from delusions of grandeur:

1. Avoid at all possible.

Once you’re aware that you’re dealing with a NPD sufferer, then the best advice is to stay clear of them. The alternative is to be dragged into their make-believe world, where they reign supreme over others – including you!

2. Remain positive.

When subject to demeaning comments from an arrogant individual, you must stay positive. They thrive on your pain and stress, so by staying positive, you’ll defeat their aims.

3. Keep on track.

Don’t let an arrogant person knock your confidence and shatter your dreams. Be above their remarks, and stay firmly on track towards your personal goals.

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4. Retain your sense of humor.

Condescending and negative behavior towards you can make you feel miserable. Don’t let this happen. Remember they are the ones with a problem. Keep your sense of humor, and keep on winning!

5. Know yourself.

One of your best defences against an arrogant and patronizing person is to develop a strong sense of self. By doing this, belittling and degrading comments will bounce of you. Your inner core will be more than a match for even the most arrogant and insulting individuals whom you may come across.

6. Ask them this question: “What will people think?”

NPD sufferers don’t feel guilty, but they do feel shame. At all times, they want to maintain their appearance of authority and importance. If you ask them: “What will people think?” they may change their behavior to protect their reputation.

7. Seek help for the person.

Depending on the circumstances, it may be appropriate for you to seek professional help for a person suffering from delusions of grandeur. You may be able to introduce them to a psychotherapist, who is trained to help people suffering from mental illnesses. Your introduction could be done anonymously, by leaving a therapist’s card on their desk (for example).

Once you realize that arrogant people are mentally unhealthy, you’ll immediately feel more confident about dealing with them. Often their hurtful remarks are simply a sign of their own lack of self-esteem.

It’s critically important to prevent these individuals from negatively impacting your life and well-being. Stay above their level, and stay free and happy!

Reference

[1] Right Diagnosis: Megalomania
[2] Psy Central: Delusion of Grandeur
[3] Financial Times: When Narcissism Becomes Pathological
[4] Wikipedia: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
[5] PsychCentral: Delusion of Grandeur

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Craig J Todd

Freelance Writer helping businesses and people to thrive.

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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