What do you do when someone thinks and treats you like they are better than you?
Post ReplyPost New TopicPosted 5/17/2011 by muellertime in NSBR Board
 

muellertime
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 5/17/2011 12:35:55 PM
First - what do you do/how do you react and respond?

Second - why do you think they do it?

Do you think it's possible to actually think you are better than someone without belittling them?

Deena714
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Posted: 5/17/2011 12:36:48 PM
Roll my eyes and then eliminate them from my life.


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lucyg819
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Posted: 5/17/2011 12:37:59 PM
1. I would get them out of my life pronto.

2. They do it because it bolsters their own self-confidence for a moment. I do think it's entirely possible to think you are "better" than someone (in whatever way) without making sure they are equally aware of your feelings.


LUCYG
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voltagain
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Posted: 5/17/2011 12:41:59 PM
How I react/respond depends on thier role in my life. I can't treat a boss the same way I might treat a sibling, kwim?

Why do they? I don't know.

Is it possible to think you are better and not have that oome across.... short term yes. But if this is a long term relationship sooner or later the truth of the thought processes become evident.


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grammanisi
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Posted: 5/17/2011 12:42:20 PM
Are you talking about my friend's husband? Seriously, that's how this man acts.

I way, distant myself.

I think it makes him feel better about himself. How, I don't know, but I think it does.

Like my DH says about him. "He acts like he is so much better, but the fact is he doesn't have a pot to pi$$ in or a window to throw it out of".


Denise
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zombie*grrl
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Posted: 5/17/2011 12:45:23 PM
This is an interesting question. I can't say I've ever had anyone make it obvious they thought they were better than me, other than bitchy ICU nurses who need to be brought into line, LOL.

Better than you in what way--smarter? Richer? Classier? More talented? Self-confidence is your best defense for that, and that can be hard to come by for some. I'm rarely lacking in it and I am also rarely at a loss for words. I don't say that to make it seem like I think I'm the shit, rather that I don't allow others to impress a poor opinion of me or negativity onto my OWN feelings about myself. If you're confident, assertive, and pleasant, others will naturally follow your lead with how you see yourself.

Woobster
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Posted: 5/17/2011 12:49:05 PM
My husband's very good friend is married to a woman who treats me that way. She is very snotty and rude.

I do my best to just stay away from her and let the guys have their relationship. When they invite us to things, DH goes and I do not.

I don't handle arrogance well at all.

606slz
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Posted: 5/17/2011 12:49:19 PM
First - what do you do/how do you react and respond?
It irritates me and I find myself short with them.

Second - why do you think they do it? I think some people ( I know of some personally) truly think they are better than others. I think they lack empathy as a person.

Do you think it's possible to actually think you are better than someone without belittling them? -- No, I don't.

muellertime
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 5/17/2011 12:50:21 PM

If you're confident, assertive, and pleasant, others will naturally follow your lead with how you see yourself.


Oh....this is a good answer. I agree.




Better than you in what way--smarter? Richer? Classier? More talented?


In the way that there should be more value placed on there thoughts, ways of doing things, opinions etc. Simply that they are above someone else, as people. Kind of the way poplular kids are sometimes portrayed in movies as thinking they are "better" than the geeks or misfits - if that makes sense.

loridg
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Posted: 5/17/2011 12:58:35 PM
I just ignore them and distance myself.

I have a neighbor like this, our kids are in the same class and she's forever bragging about her life, how wonderful her husband is, how much s*x they have (!), how perfect her kids are, how many trips they're going on, etc, etc, etc. Whatever I may be doing, she's done and done it better than me. She constantly implies that somehow my DH doesn't love me as much as hers loves her - it doesn't even matter what the subject is. For instance, I could say something about trying to keep up on the housework and she'll say something like "Wow, your DH doesn't hire a housekeeper for you? I'm SO glad MY DH loves me enough to do that for me". She's a SAHM just like I am, I just can't justify hiring someone when I'm home all day, but to each her own. It used to really drive me insane until I stepped back from her and distanced myself. I see it for what it is, her own insecurities and she has to put me down to build herself up. I feel sorry for her.



Ever had a day like this?

Pretty In PeaNK

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Posted: 5/17/2011 1:03:09 PM
Not saying this is you, but I have also encountered people who perceive others as being better than others when they're not.

For example, "Sarah" thinks "Jane" is always acting holier than thou, where in reality, Jane is just pretty/good mom/hard working, whatever, and Sarah just has poor self esteem and dislikes Jane for it.

Hope that makes sense. If I think someone is acting better than me, I do a quick self check to make sure it not just me perceiving it.

If it is just them, I distance myself if possible because it gets old, quick.

friday cat
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Posted: 5/17/2011 1:04:51 PM
I posted a similar question a few weeks ago. Honestly, just posting the question helped me cope a lot better regarding the person. It made it official that I know this person was not my cup of tea . . . there's something pretty freeing about that.

Anyhow, in the meantime as I have daily contact with her I make a conscious effort not to have to much one-on-one time with her. And in the end the most comforting thing I can do is have a little compassion and feel bad for her. More and more I realize her attitude has much to do about low self-confidence. She's much easier to tolerate when I come from a place of feeling bad for her.

I don't know the answer to your final question. I believe we are all more transparent than what we think we are. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. We'd be an awful deceitful bunch if we aren't wearing our true colors for all to see.


______________
Erin

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Posted: 5/17/2011 1:09:00 PM
Our perceptions aren't always reality... So have you tried calling the person on it? Tell them you feel xyz when abc happens, and why would they say something like that?

Give them a chance? Maybe they don't realize they are doing it. Maybe they are insecure. Maybe she's just a wench.

But I hope I'd at least give them the chance to defend themselves and fix the problem (if the problem lies with them).




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zombie*grrl
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Posted: 5/17/2011 1:10:17 PM
Someone who constantly plays the one-up game is probably pretty insecure inside and is constantly trying to reassure themselves. Very dull. Move on.

Someone who continually gives unwanted advice and opinions and discounts yours is probably bored, and may possibly be a MIL. Ignore.

If it's someone you can't easily remove from your life, smile a lot and say "how fun!" no matter what they just said, and then talk about whatever latest book, movie, or show you've seen with that bright smile plastered to your face. Works like a charm. Only to be used when a quick and graceful exit is not possible.

KittenOnTheKeys
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Posted: 5/17/2011 1:17:06 PM
Oh, you are talking about my MIL.

MIL has always thought that because I was from __ town, I was trash. Some people she knew went there during an industry boom and came back with bad reports. She failed to think of it any other way.

I finally distanced myself and kids from her. That wasn't only my choice but the "demands" of a couple of counselors I had been to.

She did this because she wanted to feel superior. She wanted to boss/instruct me in the so called "finer" things in life.

Fast forward to when my Mom dies. I get a bunch of Moms antiques and __ (name brand) furniture. MIL comes and walks in. You can see the light bulb coming on. I did not have the life experience she thought I had. Not even close. She now wants to play buddy buddy but I'm not playing.

ScrapbookFran
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Posted: 5/17/2011 1:19:54 PM
Ditto what voltagain said. Mine are mostly in positions of authority, so obviously I can't say anything.

BUT I sure do think a lot of juicy comebacks in my head!



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muellertime
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 5/17/2011 1:32:54 PM

Our perceptions aren't always reality... So have you tried calling the person on it? Tell them you feel xyz when abc happens, and why would they say something like that?

Give them a chance? Maybe they don't realize they are doing it. Maybe they are insecure. Maybe she's just a wench.

But I hope I'd at least give them the chance to defend themselves and fix the problem (if the problem lies with them).


Good post.

I have talked to said person. Bottom line is that they DO think they are better. They think their ways make more sense, they are smarted on said topic or that their opinions are "right" and hold more value. They agree that they put themselves above. They like to be right and they won't miss an oportunity to prove it. But...they also see where this thinking is a bit flawed and hurtful towards others.

I think you can be confident in how you do things. You can feel you are valuable with your talents etc., but when you do it in a way that cuts other people down, it's hurtful and very belittling.

I also think sometimes we feel belittled by someone becasue we let them...if that makes sense. Just becasue someone thinks they are better than someone else, does not make it true.

friday cat
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Posted: 5/17/2011 1:51:26 PM

I have talked to said person. Bottom line is that they DO think they are better. They think their ways make more sense, they are smarted on said topic or that their opinions are "right" and hold more value. They agree that they put themselves above. They like to be right and they won't miss an oportunity to prove it. But...they also see where this thinking is a bit flawed and hurtful towards others.


So is this said person someone you can eliminate from your life? Or at least distance from yourself?


______________
Erin

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Posted: 5/17/2011 2:05:32 PM
Depends who they are. In my own personal life? No time for that, so they are cut from the social roster. In my life because they are related to DH's work? Grin and bear it and shrug it off. Quite a few of the female colleagues at his company tend to look down their nose at me. Some of it is because I think they can't relate to the lady who finds fulfillment in being a mom. Or because I'm cuter and more fun than they are.


------------------------------------
"When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself." -- Wayne Dyer


muellertime
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 5/17/2011 2:10:43 PM

So is this said person someone you can eliminate from your life? Or at least distance from yourself?


Not even a little bit.


If you're confident, assertive, and pleasant, others will naturally follow your lead with how you see yourself.


I really did like this answer though. I should be able to do a better job or blowing things off and walking away. If someone wants to think they are better...who cares. It doesn't make it true. It's still hurtful, but there is not much I can about it.

I love the response "kill them with kindness" becasue it is such a good way to respond to "mean" people overall.


muellertime
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 5/17/2011 2:11:57 PM

Or because I'm cuter and more fun than they are.



miss_lizzie
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 5/17/2011 4:35:21 PM
I've found that if I ignore that behavior it often stops. After all, what good is it trying to come off as superior to someone when the person doesn't "recognize" it?

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Posted: 5/17/2011 4:44:54 PM
My reaction to that is that it has nothing to do with me.

It has more to do with that person's unhappiness with his or her self. I don't take it personally.

I saw this on pinterest the other day...judging a person does not define who they are - it defines who you are.

Angieh1996
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Posted: 5/17/2011 4:50:04 PM
I had a friend do that to me. She bought a house that was totally out of her price range, and was living way beyond her means, looking rich was important to her and since I lived in a house that was less expensive, she was better than me and acted so. I cut her out of my life and haven't spoken to her in about 10 years. She keeps friend requesting me on FB and had made comments to my sister about it. But I feel so much better without all her DRAMA


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Cara in TX
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Posted: 5/17/2011 5:06:31 PM
Agree with them! Sometimes they don't realize they are doing it or how it sounds. Or they are doing it on purpose. Either way, agree with them.

Put a smile on your face and say, with a very nice tone of voice, "You're right, you are a MUCH better cook than I am!". "You're right, your house IS much bigger and nicer than mine!"

Or to really get your point across do it the opposite way, but really ramp it up. "You're right, my kid IS a lot dumber than yours!". "You're right, my house IS an absolute pig sty!". "You're right I AM white trash compared to you!"

This will do two things depending on why they are doing it. Either they will protest that that isn't what they meant so then you can ask them, "Well, that is what it sounded like, what DID you mean by what you said? Because it made me like _____". Or it will make them think about how they are coming across and might change.

Or you will just feed their superiority but at the same time making it clear to others how it comes across to you. And since you cannot get away from this person this may be your only choice. Or, if they are trying to turn the knife on the sly this clearly calls out their behavior and they will realize they are not going to get away with it without being called on it.

Whatever the situation is (do you know why they do it...is it malicious?) you are calling them on it but still remaining pleasant so no one can call you on being mean.

Really, southern women know exactly how to do this with a mouth full of honey. Try it, I bet it will change.


~Cara




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Posted: 5/17/2011 5:18:51 PM

I have talked to said person. Bottom line is that they DO think they are better. They think their ways make more sense, they are smarted on said topic or that their opinions are "right" and hold more value. They agree that they put themselves above. They like to be right and they won't miss an oportunity to prove it.
I'm finding it hard to believe that someone actually used these words to describe their own behavior. There is no embellishment here?


"The sharpest criticism often goes hand in hand with the deepest idealism and love of country." - Robert F. Kennedy

birchplywood
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Posted: 5/17/2011 7:07:09 PM

My reaction to that is that it has nothing to do with me.

It has more to do with that person's unhappiness with his or her self. I don't take it personally.


That's how I handle this too. I only have one person like this in my life and I have put a lot of distance between us.



Robbin
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Posted: 5/17/2011 7:31:44 PM
So much of what people say and do is an effort to make themselves feel better about themselves.


My reaction to that is that it has nothing to do with me.

It has more to do with that person's unhappiness with his or her self. I don't take it personally


I just started reading a WONDERFUL book called the Anatomy of Peace (suggested on another thread). There are some great insights to so many of the recent threads about friendships, toxic friendships, and broken friendships. Thank you to whichever pea suggested it!

PlaidFruit
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Posted: 5/17/2011 7:48:01 PM
I divorced him.

Ms. Liz
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Posted: 5/17/2011 8:30:31 PM

Agree with them! Sometimes they don't realize they are doing it or how it sounds. Or they are doing it on purpose. Either way, agree with them.


I've done this with a few women I know, and it shuts them right up. They're both decent people, but they just share a bad habit of talking themselves up (above the rest of us.) I'm sure they don't even know they're doing it.

I feel like my choices are either to A. confront them on their bad habit, B. argue against the point they try to make (your kid is smart, but not the genius you suggest,) or C. just agree with them to shut them up.

C. is easiest, and we can remain on good terms. And I can just laugh about it later.



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Posted: 5/17/2011 8:41:37 PM
I've had a couple fo people due this throughout my life and I just really stopped having anything to do with them. However, I do have one person I still have to put up with and there is no way to avoid her, as she is family. We have mentioned to her to please stop with the superior comments, but to no avail.

I tried everything...kill her with kindness? She got more superior. Sarcastically agree with her? She felt she was right. I tried everything suggested here and she just did not stop until I tried this last thing.

Now, when she makes a comment, I just make this sort of giggle noise and say "really?" then smile, pat her arm and walk away. Several people that have the same problem with her are now doing the same thing. Works for us.


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Posted: 5/17/2011 9:07:49 PM
First - they only "think" they are better...no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Get them out of your life.

Second - it comes from weakness and low self-esteem. Some people need to break other people down to boost their own sense of self, not understanding it comes from within.

Third..."thinking" you are better than anyone else is so broad. For an example, I know a surgeon who is as kind to the poor guy picking up the cigarette butts as the hospital CFO. It comes down to character. Let's be real, a surgeon is smarter than I...went farther in school and has a huge mansion of a house in which mine would probably fit into the garage. But, thinking you are better than someone? Who's definition of "better" is it?

A girl I'd now call an x-friend was like that and as a result is no longer in my life. I got tired of the, oh my house is bigger than yours (yep - congrats mine will also be paid for in 8 years instead of your 25 since you just remortaged!), oh I have a trailer (bought before the market tanked...I have to admit it feels good that we paid nearly half for ours this year!), oh, my daughter is in the competitive dance team (yep...it just wasn't for mine anymore), etc. ad nauseum or however that is said. This girl had to one-up everything. She wanted another child and her husband did not. Around the same time, I had my twins and that was when I finally said to myself, who has time for people who just suck the life out of you?

At the end of the day, who needs friends that have warped thinking and believe the stuff that they say trying to boost themselves. If you aren't happy with your own life, you will spend it trying to convince others of how great it is.

PhotoHorse
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Posted: 5/17/2011 9:21:03 PM
Laugh.

My favorite example of this was at my 20 year hs reunion. One of the girls from my class (who WAS NOT one of the IT crowd) treated me and my husband like we were white trash. And then she proceeded to take her pregnant body outside for a smoke break. Nice.

I have a neighbor who only is neighborly when he has something to correct me about or some instruction to give me....long story and not worth typing. I now time our conversation...how much nicey nicey before he gets bossy.


*Angela
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Posted: 5/17/2011 11:51:40 PM

My reaction to that is that it has nothing to do with me.

It has more to do with that person's unhappiness with his or her self. I don't take it personally.
Ditto. I either just smile or nonchalantly respond "oh yeah?" or the like to acknowledge his/her comment.

Just consider the source. Do you really care about the opinion of someone who chooses to belittle you/others? It's laughable s/he would think her/his opinion matters to you!

Edgy Coolness
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Posted: 5/18/2011 3:29:47 AM
I have a friend that is like that. We come from different socio-economic backgrounds and she constantly refers to her previous life of privileged and wealth though she has neither now.

Depending on my mood, I either ignore her or I respond by telling her that we do have different backgrounds but that matters little in our current circumstances. I thought of cutting her out of my life but she deserves to have a friend even though she is sometimes thoughtless to the point of toxic and borderline mentally ill.

Why does she do it? Simply childish insecurity, she never had to worry about her behavior when she had money and now that she doesn't, she is incapable of dealing without striking out.

Yes, I do think you can believe that you are better than others but not make them feel like crap. It is about self esteem, not making others feel demeaned.

Or as my Gran would say:

You are as good as the best and better than the rest.










Paula Pea
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Posted: 5/18/2011 6:43:02 AM

First - what do you do/how do you react and respond?

Second - why do you think they do it?

Do you think it's possible to actually think you are better than someone without belittling them?


I usually don't respond and ignore the hurtful/hateful comment

Why they do it, I can tell you from being married to this type of person (xh) that they have low self esteem. This was one of the major reasons we divorced, his constant cutting people down, he would make a snarky comment just "out of earshot"...but usually not, because they usually heard him... he's been chased down and confronted...and he'll back down, but he'll never stop. He used to have a "thing" about overweight women...and I was always left there thinking "there's a person with FEELINGS standing there"...and left to apologize for his rudeness. I wasn't surprised at all when I found out AFTER the divorce how disliked he is. I see him a couple of times a year and now I just feel sorry for him....

knit.pea
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Posted: 5/18/2011 9:50:47 AM
It used to upset me. But honestly, you can't change what people think
or say about you ... and you have no idea what goes on behind your back.

Saying it to my face ... it's a family member, so my choices are limited
by how much strife I want to start. The person is pussy-footed around
and never called on his boorish behavior, so I'd be hanging in the wind.
It's not worth it to me yet to confront him. People know he's an ass
and he eventually treats everyone that way ... I have seen him widen his
superiority over the years, and some people he has now alienated.
Yet he is *still* given a pass by those closest to him.
Unless his methods escalate, I will let him flame out spectacularly on his own.


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