I have two subjects to approach here today, but they are quasi related I suppose and they both have to do with people and personality traits. Not only am I a great observer of personalities, but I am often boggled by the way people can act!
Trying myself to be a fairly kind respectful person whenever possible, it never ceases to amaze me when people find these attributes beyond their grasp. Mind you, these are not people who are back-woods, uneducated, illiterate people who have never been given the opportunity to learn how to act within group situations. No, rather, they are often pretty normal (by any familiar standards) folks who apparently just never learned any manners.
I often wonder if maybe it just does come down to this, or if it runs deeper? Why is it that someone can walk into a room, walk by one person and ignore them as though they are invisible, and then greet the next person as though they are their long-lost wealthy Uncle! It baffles me!
This rudeness prevails where I work from the management down the pee-ons. Many of these people would see themselves as very self-important, sporting high paying (but uninteresting) careers. They swirl around with arrogance possibly not caring that anyone is hurt or bothered by their holier-than-thou attitudes.
But for me, while I am chided that it shouldn’t bother me, it does for the very reason that I feel that we are all on this earth together and equal. It’s a matter of justice for me and that’s the crux of the matter. None of these people are better than me or anyone else for that matter. Whatever they believe and the fact that they teach their children to feel the same way is why superiority, prejudice, hate crimes and other equally negative human seeds breed within us. And I can never just ‘not let it bother me’ for those reasons.
The other issue was a debate I had about confidence vs. arrogance. When does one turn into the other? I believe it can be a fine line, especially as perceived by others. It has much to do with how these two auras are presented.
The debate was surrounding being confident as a paramedic and never letting patients know you are not. But it was told to someone coming from someone I have always thought of as arrogant. There lies the rub. So, has he just been confident all this time? Well, if so, why have so many of us thought the other? Delivery.
One can be confident while being kind and not appearing superior to others, especially to ones peers. I think that’s key. And being confident doesn’t preclude when you don’t know something, admitting it but finding the right answer. I understand not falling apart (which can happen to the best of us), but we pull ourselves up and learn from it.
Arrogance, on the other hand, is that feeling that one is better than someone else. That they can do the job better; you’re not needed so get out-of-the-way; I’m superior and the like. This is what I have felt from this particular paramedic. We call it the “Paragod” syndrome. I’ve tried very hard not to adopt this persona in my career.
Am I always confident? Probably not. There have been calls that have stumped me for sure, but I do my best. But I can safely say, no-one would call me arrogant and for that I’m grateful.
So all in all, I suppose we are all complex and multi-layered. But in the end, we’re all really the same. We all came out with the same material. It’s up to us what we want to do with it. We can be rude and arrogant, or we can smile, say hello and be kind and respectful to everyone we meet. It’s really just up to us. So who do you want to be?