For those of you old enough to remember the TV show Seinfeld, you may remember an episode where a woman that Jerry was dating told him that she didn’t respect him because of what he did for a living – which was standup comedy. Jerry immediately scoffed at her because he thought she was being ironic. The irony was that she worked as a cashier. He was quick to point this out to her, but it didn’t seem to matter. She thought his profession was not honorable, so she no longer wanted to date him.
While this decision was well within her rights to make, I know someone just like this. I have a male friend who tends to look down on people & their accomplishments because they never quite seem to measure up to his own. The problem is that he’s not all that accomplished himself.
My friend, let’s call him “Eddie”, often talks about others as if they are beneath him. People who don’t possess the educational background or professional experience that he does are not considered to be “good enough”. The ironic part of it all is that although he may have had a successful career in the past, he certainly doesn’t have one anymore.
As a matter of fact, not only is he down & out right now, he has been for a while. He currently rents a room from a little old lady, has no car (which is a bad sign living in Los Angeles), and is even behind on his child support. Yes, he went to college & has a degree, and yes he has worked for a Fortune 100 company in the past making millions of dollars on behalf of his clients, but he is no longer in that position. No longer does he have the prestige of driving a Benz or dropping the corporate credit card to make purchases whenever he feels like it. Those days are long gone.
Even though others may not be fully aware of his personal circumstances, I am. He does put on a good front, though. Shoot, when I met him I thought he was more successful than he actually was. But his arrogance towards others is extremely unattractive. I’ve pointed this out to him on several occasions but he still thinks that he’s better than the average because of where he’s been, not because of where he is now. To have met celebrities & have dined at some of the finest restaurants in town means that, to him, he’s more accomplished than the average.
While I do see his point, I don’t agree with it. You can’t expect people to show you deference when you aren’t “worthy” of it. Very few adults can rely solely upon the success they had in their youth. I think Eddie’s attitude needs an adjustment. The fact that he has the phone numbers of a few CEO’s in his Rolodex & owns a couple of designer suits doesn’t mean that he is a big deal, it just means that he was a big deal.
Do you have any friends who think they’re better than they actually are? If so, how do you deal with them?