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janpyl

How to deal with arrogant succesful people ?

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According to Ayn Rand, being succesful is one the greatest virtues man should pursue.

It happens very often that succesful people are arrogant towards you. Lots (not all) succesful people think : I am more succesful then you are, hence I feel myself more valuable then you are.

It is very annoying when somebody treats you arrogantly. Although, I am fully aware that succesful people are valuable to everybody on this planet, I do not feel very well when they sort of "boast" with their succes.

 

Hence, my question : How to deal with arrogant succesful people ?

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What are the specifics of this arrogance?

BTW... Did Rand say one should try to be "successful"? A quote would be useful to understand the context. The word carries little moral direction: successful at stealing? successful at becoming rich, no matter what it takes? Is Trump successful, since he has a lot of money and is President of the U.S.?

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I'll take a stab at answering this.

The architectural firm I first worked at right after I graduated had people attend a seminar about how best to work with others. I was suspicious at first, but it turned out to be a very valuable experience that has served me well for 25 years.

The seminar taught that people can be classed into four basic behavioral types:  Driver, Analytical, Expressive, Amiable.  (They pretty much mean what they sound like they mean).  You can find stuff online about this.

People generally have Primary and Secondary Behavioral Styles:  When things are going well, and when there is conflict.

Some people are Driver Drivers, some Analytical Driver, etc.  When an Analytical Driver (me) has things going his way and everything is fine, I am calm, analytical, deliberative (sometimes too deliberative) and like to look at things from all angles before making decisions, etc.  But when confronted about something that I think should be done, but isn't being done, I'll dig my heels in (Driver).

Some years later, at a different firm, I worked on a large, 30-ish person team.  The team leader (and firm Principal) was a Driver Analytical (he didn't know this, lol!).  I handled remodels and another Analytical Driver handled new stores for a corporate client.  We worked well as a team for about 11 years because we balanced each other.

At another firm I worked for almost 2 years, on an almost daily basis, with a Driver Driver Developer.  If I went into "Driver Mode" because of conflict, it wasn't very productive because we would both just butt heads.  And a large part of my job involved telling this very wealthy person why he couldn't do something that he wanted to do.  My solution was to provide him options instead of just saying no.  I'd come to a meeting and say, "You can't do 'A', but you can do 'B', 'C', or 'D'.

Learning to work with others takes respect, intelligence, and creativity.  It also takes an appreciation of your own weaknesses (I'm not a big risk taker and I tend to over-analyze things).  I actually benefit when I am pushed to make decisions.

I've worked with hundreds over the years.  Some who I initially thought were jerks ended up being very good professional relationships.

Edited by New Buddha

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I cannot really find a quote about "succesful"  by AR, but in Atlas shrugged, it is clear that AR portraits the entrepreneurs that are succesfull in selling goods/services (like Rearden)  as heroes. 
Hence, I conclude that being succesful (in the Rearden way) is one of the virtues that AR wants us to pursue. If you think I make the wrong conclusion here, then I will be very happy to hear what the members of this forum have to say about that.

In daily life I often see succesful people ( in stealing, become rich no matter what, in short, the Jim Taggart-type of entrepreneurs) behave arrogantly.  Thanks to AR I can put their arrogancy into perspective and dont get frustrated by them.


But in daily life , I also  often see  succesful Rearden-type of enterpreneurs behave arrogantly. Examples are friends I know from college, that have setup very succesful busines, and sort of look down on me, bcs they perform better then I do.

 I do understand that if you setup a good business, you can be proud of that, but when it is accompanied with looking down to other people, I cannot put that in perspective as I can do with Jim Taggarts-type of entrepreneurs.


Do you have some advice ?
 

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3 hours ago, janpyl said:

I do understand that if you setup a good business, you can be proud of that, but when it is accompanied with looking down to other people, I cannot put that in perspective as I can do with Jim Taggarts-type of entrepreneurs.


Do you have some advice ?
 

My tips is to just ignore it. This problem is internal to you, it's not their problem. Don't worry about what they think of you. You're not in competition with them, you're on your own journey.
 

I think too many people care what others think of them. It's next to impossible to have long term success if you care too much about what people think of you. See difference between Roark and Keating. Roark doesn't care much, Keating cares all the time.

 

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3 hours ago, janpyl said:

But in daily life , I also  often see  succesful Rearden-type of enterpreneurs behave arrogantly. Examples are friends I know from college, that have setup very succesful busines, and sort of look down on me, bcs they perform better then I do.

 I do understand that if you setup a good business, you can be proud of that, but when it is accompanied with looking down to other people, I cannot put that in perspective as I can do with Jim Taggarts-type of entrepreneurs.


Do you have some advice ?
 

My advice is to question yourself as to whether or not these people are actually your friends. You may measure your success by a different meter.
There certainly are arrogant people in the world. But arrogance is, by itself, not evil. If these were people attempting to somehow manipulate you, I would say they are evil, or to the least, people you should avoid.

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On 6/19/2017 at 11:47 PM, janpyl said:

I cannot really find a quote about "succesful"  by AR, but in Atlas shrugged, it is clear that AR portraits the entrepreneurs that are succesfull in selling goods/services (like Rearden)  as heroes. 
Hence, I conclude that being succesful (in the Rearden way) is one of the virtues that AR wants us to pursue. If you think I make the wrong conclusion here, then I will be very happy to hear what the members of this forum have to say about that.

In daily life I often see succesful people ( in stealing, become rich no matter what, in short, the Jim Taggart-type of entrepreneurs) behave arrogantly.  Thanks to AR I can put their arrogancy into perspective and dont get frustrated by them.


But in daily life , I also  often see  succesful Rearden-type of enterpreneurs behave arrogantly. Examples are friends I know from college, that have setup very succesful busines, and sort of look down on me, bcs they perform better then I do.

 I do understand that if you setup a good business, you can be proud of that, but when it is accompanied with looking down to other people, I cannot put that in perspective as I can do with Jim Taggarts-type of entrepreneurs.


Do you have some advice ?
 

I can't say definitively if this is a Randian position, but at a guess Rand probably meant that people worked hard and were a creative force in society and, in the act of creation, realised their individuality should be valued. They should necessarily be successful and valued for realising their individuality and making a life-affirming contribution to the world with their lives (based on the intrinsic rewards of creation rather than an "altruist" obligation). arrogance is in its way a form of psychological parasitism, because people believe themselves to be "entitled" to praise and self-affirmation (when in fact its often a cover for deep seats insecurities). So they turn their being "rewarded" with praise into an obligation and a duty, rather than a voluntary and sincere expression of worth. its a symptom of a bigger problem.

That is namely that we live in a corporate capitalist society which distorts rewards in the market so that they go to people who are "good" at manipulating money flows in finance or lobbying the government to get subsidies rather than those who, by ingenuity and hard work create new products, improve old ones or find new uses for old ones (and by doing so out of their own self-interest, unintentionally make the world better for all of us). So "successful" is not the same as "valuable". 

In all probability- your freinds from college are loaded with debt, utterly dependent on their jobs to pay it off and take on parasitic attitudes as a result. they haven't developed into true individuals capable of creation or production but have aborted it in favour of "quick gains" and using that as a symbol of success to cover up just how shaky the financial and psychological foundations of their "success" is. lording it over you, just means they have no real achievement to their name. they just have status symbols for agreeing to live in a golden cage by blindly conforming to authority that dolls out the spoils. 

First off, respect yourself. use an hour or so when you have time off to write down what really annoys you and gets under your skin about this person/these people. decide what are the things they do that you cannot deal with under any circumstances, and focus on those. people are different and we can find ways to manage our differences, but if someone is really going for you and bullying you- then you have to admit its a problem (and it is not an obligation on you to "change" to accommodate their BS). Then it becomes a practical question of finding ways to work with them, around them, or- if they are complete a-holes- cutting them out of the equation. only use the last option if there is no alternative that does not involve so level of humiliation, harassment, bullying etc- which is bad no matter who it comes from. 

Edited by Laika

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On 6/19/2017 at 6:47 PM, janpyl said:

... Examples are friends I know from college, that have setup very succesful busines, and sort of look down on me, bcs they perform better then I do.

 I do understand that if you setup a good business, you can be proud of that, but when it is accompanied with looking down to other people, I cannot put that in perspective as I can do with Jim Taggarts-type of entrepreneurs.

For these specific friends, making your best guess, how would they express this arrogance in words, privately in their own minds? When they "look down", they're thinking some thought. What are the words that express that thought? 

As for being Jim Taggarts: in real life, people are typically mixtures. So, they're both Dagny and James Taggart, in different contexts. 

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On 6/24/2017 at 10:21 PM, happiness said:

Strike back by comparing them to people who are yet more successful. 

I don't agree there, I think it's better to build people up than try to tear them down.

How about praising them for their success. I've done this several times, and it have worked extremely well for me. If you're not envious, but instead praise them for what they've done, it can be the start of a friendship and even a business relationship.

If you want success for yourself, you want to surround yourself with people who are smarter and more successful.

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If the goal is just to improve your mood in the short term and take your mind off of it, try changing your point of reference by thinking about things you're glad haven't happened to you instead of things you wish you had. You can probably find a lot of ways that you've been fortunate in the big picture if you think about it.

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