Friday, 9 December 2011

INVERSE ARROGANCE

It's a strange thing to say but there is actually such a thing as "Inverse Arrogance", it's an arrogance whereby one feigns vast swathes of ignorance or lack of knowledge in order to admonish responsibility or blame or anything else that could implicate the self. The usual saying is "Of course I know nothing of this" perhaps accompanied with gesticulations the waving of the hand and facial inflections stating that you have never heard or know of or about the subject in question, and whether one has or not it makes no difference it's a statement about yourself, and it's not a good one. It's so vitally important that we understand not only what we say but how we say it and the subliminal implications of how it's delivered or perhaps how we present what our knowledge or intentions are with regards how we want people to understand us. It matters not whether we do or don't know the subject in question but it does matter in the way we say we don't know or understand, because based upon a 'mini drama' or feigned ignorance can have quite lasting effects upon what others think of you. And whilst you may not be too bothered at what others think about what you've said if they have any influence either now or in the future over what they can impart upon you, invitations, goods, social entry into organisations, parties, etc, they may just want to overlook you in favour of someone else. After all your showcase has been delivered.

Sometimes the use of "Inverse Arrogance" is a lack of self confidence other times it's a real lack of knowledge and grace and humility, other times it's an arrogance to try and raise ones own prestige, yet it's far from all of those. It can even be used as a muse or a fun effect just saying as if you hadn't a clue what was being said yet deep down you are fully aware and everyone knows it, so it's said 'tongue in cheek'. However what we say in different company can in most circumstances dictate how we move forward and how we are accepted. We have to present ourselves outside of our friends and family as if we are honest and truthful, for if we feign anything else we will bit by bit let ourselves down and it's far easier to say you don't know even if appearing embarrassed than to say yes then end up looking a fool, that's even harder to get over, and you've lost both respect and trust. At times we all try to blag something, try to ride through a scenario that we know little or nothing about hoping to reach the other end unscathed so quietly trying to join in at appropriate times to look engaged, even though deep down we are far from it, almost game playing. It's usually when the bottom line doesn't really matter so our cause and engagement is more or less a matter of course, it's when what we are trying to feign is of importance and can have significant effects that things need deep attention.

Sometimes in life we have but one chance, be it in a business meeting, personal contact or interview, chance meetings with people who could be good to know for our own advancement, meetings or organised events either socially or otherwise with like minded others such as in clubs or societies. If we feel threatened not physically but emotionally because others have a greater knowledge or understanding then it's in most cases far better to be open about your status then expectations will not be higher for you and the chances of falling below same then won't emerge.  One of course can be coy about the whole thing and just listen and learn and pick up what you don't already know only letting known your degree of knowledge if challenged which is an option, but if challenged don't go into realms of apologies, just state where you are and that's it.Apologising, or stating your true knowledge must be kept to a minimum, yet so many people start waffling and excusing at this stage that they start talking endlessly or why they didn't, can't, hadn't, etc, none of which is important as it doesn't change the current situation nor facts. Speak only on a need to know or state your case and leave off, veering towards what you do know when appropriate and that way you will regain your confidence and others will see a better side of you. Everyone has been in this position even the arrogant who at times like to prey on those of lesser knowledge, don't let that happen, it's a weakness in their character not about your lack of knowledge.

Being open in company about the degree of knowledge you have or haven't go often sparks off the "warmer" side of others in that they appreciate you not knowing and are more than happy to explain, fill you in, translate meanings etc to include you in their overall conversation. People by and large like to help people. It's how you project yourself that makes the difference as to be included or excluded.

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©John Rushton / The Life Alchemist 2011