How Arrogant Can You Get?

Today was the first official day back for students in New York City. My students looked wonderful in their crisp uniforms with their new bookbags and sharpened pencils. Every year, in September, new students emerge from the ashes of the previous year. They are just like their new notebooks, full of clean blank pages that are meant for starting over. All of the mischief and behavior from their last grade is forgotten and they get a second chance.
Unfortunately, some adults don’t take the opportunity to reflect on their character and behavior and usually end up being the same arrogant cads that they have always been. I’m sure we all know someone who fits the bill. They are usually very easy to spot because they love the sound of their own voices and will talk just about all the time about nothing really so they could hear themselves. You know the type, fishing for compliments regularly and endlessly singing their own praises. It brings to mind an anecdote that my Grandmother, may she rest in peace, used to say all the time, “Self praise is no praise.”
I know someone just like that. Over the years, I have really tried to understand what could drive someone to such an extreme level of narcissism and I have come up with nothing. It is quite probable that this person is secretly insecure and has to put up this facade to mask these insecurities. I’ve tried to be patient but I have had enough! No, you are not that humble if you have to remind everyone how humble you are. No, you are not that benevolent if everything that you do for others comes with strings attached or benefits you in some way. No, you are not omnipotent, immortal, irresistible, enlightening, or even a genius.
As individuals, we really have to check ourselves and self reflect our interpersonal relationships with others. I think being a mother has really made me more aware of how I conduct myself around others and, especially, around my children. There was a PSA on one of the cartoon channels on cable about how parents should be careful how they act and react to things around their children because “little eyes are always watching you.” As I observe this megalomaniac, who just happens to work with me, I become keenly aware of the values that I want to continue to instill in my sons such as humility, empathy, selflessness, kindness, and integrity. Maybe you can get something positive from every situation. I will continue to keep in mind, as I observe this individual in action, that this is exactly what I never want to become or have my children become.

© 2009 – 2013, Tough Cookie Mommy. All rights reserved.


  1. This relates well to the story I told today as well and I wholeheartedly agree! Nice post!

  2. Thank you, Charlene. This individual is so infuriating but I had to take a step back and realize that this is this person's issue and I just need to separate myself from it. It is just so difficult to have to deal with this kind of negativity in the workplace.

  3. One can learn a lot from people who behave like your colleague. They teach us how not to be.

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