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Arrogance and assertiveness

walfin

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#1
I wish to be more assertive, but I am afraid I will be perceived as arrogant. There are already people who perceive me as arrogant despite the fact that I never boast about any accomplishments and do my best not to say anything disparaging.

Oftentimes I feel helpless when other people are aggressive and attempt to infringe on my rights.

INTPs, how did you manage to become more assertive, without being perceived as arrogant by others?
 

Claverhouse

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#3
I think you have the order wrong.

Arrogance is good, whether justified or not. To disdain stupidity and the mass is to approach nearer to God. All admirable people had some arrogance no matter how they played it down. The docile and meek may inherit the earth but they make remarkably poor heroes.


Assertiveness is bad. I can never understand why this obnoxious and discourteous trait is nurtured by those who wish individuals of certain historically 'oppressed' groups to develop assertive behaviour and mannerisms. If I meet any assertive person, not only do I mislike them but I suspect they are a weak-minded bully.


You can be forceful without being initially or subsequently assertive. All you have to remember is that in the great scheme of things the antagonist doesn't matter in the least and that you are justified in putting your point of view --- which is at least of the same value as their's and probably of much more --- strongly or through passive resistance. And remember what's the worst that can happen if you say whatever ? In a work situation you may be fired; and in all private conversations there are no consequences ( outside Chicago, where it seems you can get shot or thumped --- then again, you can cut short a conversation with a stranger without rudeness ): but it's not as if you are going to be hung --- as I just read happened to a civilian who annoyed General Butler by taking down a Union flag...


General Butler seems highly assertive.




Claverhouse :phear:
 
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#4
I find myself perceived as being more arrogant by not being assertive, as it may appear one is suggesting to the people around that they are not worth one's opinion.

At times when you'd feel helpless, I doubt someone would find you arrogant for making an assertive statement, as long as you have reason. It'd be seen more as expressive.

In other situations where you may appear arrogant, take the statement you might have made in an unassertive nature, usually of which is in form of a question, and make it a suggestion, but not necessarily a demand. Merely making a suggestion displays your intention, while questioning a possibility appears uncertain.

Example:
Unassertive - When do you guys want to get lunch?
Assertive - We should get lunch at two.
Arrogant - Lunch at two, be there.
 

Cognisant

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#5
Arrogance is good, whether justified or not. To disdain stupidity and the mass is to approach nearer to God. All admirable people had some arrogance no matter how they played it down. The docile and meek may inherit the earth but they make remarkably poor heroes.

Assertiveness is bad. I can never understand why this obnoxious and discourteous trait is nurtured by those who wish individuals of certain historically 'oppressed' groups to develop assertive behaviour and mannerisms. If I meet any assertive person, not only do I mislike them but I suspect they are a weak-minded bully.
Lol, think like an asshole but don't act like one, great advice :D

People are just needy, they want to feel like you're listening to them, like you have an interest in their thoughts, feelings, and opinions, so my advice is pretty simple, validate them: when they’re right tell them, when you agree with them tell them, when you sympathise with their feelings tell them!

Now if only I understood this while sober :rolleyes:
 

EditorOne

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#6
General Butler's 'assertiveness' resulted in his likeness appearing on the inside bottom of hundreds of chamberpots around the South.... chamberpots being polite society's way of avoiding a trip to the outhouse in the middle of the night in the days before indoor plumbing. :)


One can be perceived as arrogant merely by being silent. Even your "I am harmless" little smile can be angrily denounced as a smirk. Sometimes it seems like you can't win in a world in which reality is defined as the other person's perception rather than your intention.

On the other hand, what we're calling arrogance might evoke a different emotion if we defined it as "accurate self-awareness of the things we're good at coupled with the observation that not all are good at those things." Humility, of course, would be self-awareness of all the things we're NOT good at.
 

Philosophyking87

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#7
I wish to be more assertive, but I am afraid I will be perceived as arrogant. There are already people who perceive me as arrogant despite the fact that I never boast about any accomplishments and do my best not to say anything disparaging.

Oftentimes I feel helpless when other people are aggressive and attempt to infringe on my rights.

INTPs, how did you manage to become more assertive, without being perceived as arrogant by others?
I don't really think being assertive has anything to do with how you are perceived (as arrogant or not). How you are perceived has to do with your manner of presentation and demeanor, which has little to do with how well you assert yourself. For instance, someone can be very lazy and unassertive, yet when they do speak, they do so in a very cold and condescending manner. Or, conversely, if someone is very assertive and active, they can also do so without appearing cold and condescending, but either indifferent or even friendly.

Thus, if you're already perceived as arrogant, you'll just have to work on trying to smile more often and deal with people in a more friendly and socially acceptable fashion. If you assert yourself, whether or not you're arrogant won't come down to how or if you assert yourself, but rather how you present yourself.
 

bluesquid

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#8
If your speaking from truth or strength, both will come. backing insecurity with both is a bad idea.
 

Marbas

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#9
I wish to be more assertive, but I am afraid I will be perceived as arrogant. There are already people who perceive me as arrogant despite the fact that I never boast about any accomplishments and do my best not to say anything disparaging.

Oftentimes I feel helpless when other people are aggressive and attempt to infringe on my rights.

INTPs, how did you manage to become more assertive, without being perceived as arrogant by others?
Could you give me some more specific examples. The most important part of not appearing arrogant AFAIK is to not deliberately draw focus to yourself unless you want something specific or want to talk about something specific.
 

Words

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#10
I wish to be more assertive, but I am afraid I will be perceived as arrogant. There are already people who perceive me as arrogant despite the fact that I never boast about any accomplishments and do my best not to say anything disparaging.

Oftentimes I feel helpless when other people are aggressive and attempt to infringe on my rights.

INTPs, how did you manage to become more assertive, without being perceived as arrogant by others?
Similar problem. Simply add a smile: an indication of lightness.
 
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#11
I wish to be more assertive, but I am afraid I will be perceived as arrogant. There are already people who perceive me as arrogant despite the fact that I never boast about any accomplishments and do my best not to say anything disparaging.

Oftentimes I feel helpless when other people are aggressive and attempt to infringe on my rights.

INTPs, how did you manage to become more assertive, without being perceived as arrogant by others?
Let me try some concepts --

If one presents oneself as more important than one is, that can offend others.
If one presents oneself as less important than one is, others can take advantage.
If one is able to present oneself exactly as one is, justice is more likely.

Example:
Arrogant - Lunch at two, be there.
Unassertive - When do you guys want to get lunch?
Assertive - We should [How about we?] get lunch at two.
Arrogant - others wishes are subordinate.
Unassertive - others choose over you.
Assertive - you express a choice; others have a say.
 

walfin

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#12
Philosophyking87 said:
For instance, someone can be very lazy and unassertive, yet when they do speak, they do so in a very cold and condescending manner. Or, conversely, if someone is very assertive and active, they can also do so without appearing cold and condescending, but either indifferent or even friendly.
I usually find that hardworking people are less assertive.

But otherwise I agree, the problem is that I don't know exactly why people sometimes perceive me as arrogant (often, they do not give specific examples of arrogant behaviour).

Marbas said:
Could you give me some more specific examples.
Arrogant I do not know.

Unassertive - sometimes my staff (they are all gone by now) used to talk back to me/not do stuff etc.; I either let it slide, or I try to tell them nicely that "this is not the way to do things etc." and they do not listen, but my business partner gives them a look and they listen to him.
 

EditorOne

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#13
"Unassertive - sometimes my staff (they are all gone by now) used to talk back to me/not do stuff etc.; I either let it slide, or I try to tell them nicely that "this is not the way to do things etc." and they do not listen, but my business partner gives them a look and they listen to him."

OK, I see this in a new light now. Theoretically these people are subject to your authority, but they've gotten the idea you're too nice or weakwilled or something to do anything if they slouch around instead of toeing the mark. And you, being INTP, are reluctant to drop the hammer on them in an authoritative way.

But you'd have no trouble being a tough guy if a principle was at stake or if, the best condition of all, all suffered because people were not pulling their weight.

So, at the risk of sounding like a despicable middle manager who actually read the book, here's what you do:

1. Continue to nicely say "This is not how we do things" and make sure you present "the way we actually do things". You can even present "why we do it this way," since sometimes that actually helps.
2. Quietly chart progress and change or lack thereof. After three days nicely say "I see you are still doing things in ways you were told were not the way we want it done. Please don't make me have to bring this up again."
3. Chart progress and change or lack thereof. If we are still on "lack thereof," talk to your partner about what you have done and what you have observed, and get his backing for step three, which is
4. Nicely call the person into your office, with your partner present, and tell the person, nicely, that they have ignored two calls to action and you are not required to put up with their lack of respect for the way the firm operates. Hand them their last check and tell them arrangements will be made for them to come back when no one is around to collect their personal stuff, if any. Then tell them you wish them luck in finding a job where they can do things their way and escort them to the door.

I had to fire very few people over a 40-year career, but I always made it a point to do it in the same calm way I did business on the newsroom floor, an amiable guy showing folks how it should be done and just as amiably telling them to hit the road if they -- key point -- didn't follow the program. Had nothing to do with me. It had to do with the program. I believe the ability to not change style during the firing kind of enhanced, long-term, the idea that "he doesn't sound threatening, but he really means it, so toe the mark which, after all, isn't so very hard to do."

Understand, my field had a lot of flexibility for performance and a lot of room for people to follow their inclinations, but at the end of it all there were indeed standards for producing and, especially, for meeting deadlines and whatnot. Your mileage may vary.

This process, this arrangement of impersonal measurements for job performance, seems to suit the INTP temperament. It gets your ego out of the way, which I suspect is one of the problems all of us have when forced to interact with others. That chameleon character we're supposed to have, so some extent, as INTPs, really does us no favors when we're in a supervisory or authority position, ya know? So you have to make sure you put the whole process in some other place.

One more piece of gratuitous advice: Those people aren't your friends. INTPs sometimes have a dangerously self-deceptive tendency to equate familiarity over time with friendship. You may work with someone for five years; you may be a lot more comfortable with them than with a stranger; that person is still not your friend, especially if you are the supervisor and especially if you have no outside-of-work contact. It is professionally dangerous to YOU to think they are your friends. Treat them with courtesy, but not as you would treat a friend. Read this about 20 times until it sinks in. It's a really important factor in the "professional INTP" survival bag.
 

Jaico

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#14
Arrogance...hmm. I think one of the biggest things that will lead people to think that you're arrogant is your tone/delivery moreso than what you actually say. If you act all 'high and mighty' (which I really doubt you do), or if you talk down to people, then that'll probably make people think that you think a bit too highly of yourself. I don't know what your exact situation is (although it sounds as if it's related to work/managing others), but the best advice that I can give is to talk to them as if they were your peers/on your level/try to keep it casual (I don't know how good that advice is, though, so take it with a grain of salt).
 

walfin

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#15
EditorOne said:
I had to fire very few people over a 40-year career, but I always made it a point to do it in the same calm way I did business on the newsroom floor, an amiable guy showing folks how it should be done and just as amiably telling them to hit the road if they -- key point -- didn't follow the program. Had nothing to do with me. It had to do with the program. I believe the ability to not change style during the firing kind of enhanced, long-term, the idea that "he doesn't sound threatening, but he really means it, so toe the mark which, after all, isn't so very hard to do."
Hm. OK. Helpful. Not exactly what the books told me, though. They were all about inspire people, influence & don't dictate, leading is more than managing &c &c. I seriously doubt that I have inspired anyone, though. In fact this seems to be the former "SOP style" which is often decried nowadays in favour of "inspirational" & "charismatic" leadership.

I will try this in future when I start something new (gonna close down my company).

Yes, I do have a tendency to get familiar with employees. The ironic thing is that the more I try to be friendly with them, the more they don't give a **** about me, and the more they heed the business partners who don't try to be friendly.

But what about non-work situations? I find that there are many situations when people insist on their way, and I simply go along (slightly doormatish). It only stops when I "snap", and by that time I have wasted lots of time. I know what I'm supposed to do (which is be firm without becoming a mad dog), but cannot seem to be able to do it. How do you get yourself into "assertive mode"?

Jaico said:
I don't know what your exact situation is
Neither do I, w.r.t. arrogance. There was only one person (incidentally one of my business partners) who gave me a specific example (when I talk about computer stuff, I always keep saying that it's very easy, even when people are having difficulty doing something with the computer - I could see that that was kind of "talking down" to them). I'm trying not to do that.

Jaico said:
talk to them as if they were your peers/on your level/try to keep it casual
That is what I did, and they started to slack.

Personally, I was never like that, because the more a superior treated me as his/her peer, the more I respected him/her.
 

EditorOne

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#16
"They were all about inspire people, influence & don't dictate, leading is more than managing &c &c."

Sure. And, to put it bluntly, some it is crap. In a job situation you can't inspire ("motivate") anyone but yourself. The time to take care of that is when you hire. You need people who either embrace the work (journalism is easy that way) or (usually) people who demonstrate a tendency to enjoy working in small groups no matter what the purpose of the group. They exist, it's hard-wired in our genetics to varying degrees. And yes, it's better to let the situation dictate what needs to be done rather than "because I said so." And leadership is indeed the ability to make sure people are doing the right things, rather than relentless supervision to make sure they are doing things right.

But it's not like you're Billy Graham and your words are going to lead to epiphanies and inspirational life changes for your staff. "Here's what we do. Here's how we do it. Here's why we do it. Let me know if you meet with an obstacle and I'll help you over the obstacle. " From there it goes here: If they can't do it, and you've provided inside and outside remedial resources, then they should be in some other line of work, for your sake and theirs, too. If they won't do it the way you want it done, that is, the process they use, you have to decide if it really matters if they are still producing building plans, blue boxes, or whatever at the end of the day. If on the other hand it's a customer thing, you want customers treated with respect and they treat them with arrogance, you need that measured response thing and if they don't change they are out of there. And if they disagree with WHY you do the things you do, wtf are they doing working for you? They are probably spreading discontent. Don't know how it is in your world, but in mine, an employee who interferes with another employee's ability to do his/her work is eligible for instant firing, and that includes what I will rudely call mind-fucking, destroying the other employee's will to work. (Firing is also a fairly quick solution for an employee who, outside the office, disparages another employee, but that might be a journalism thing. Half the staff works in the outside world, someone running them down interferes with their ability to collect information and ideas and do interviews.)

The only thing I ever did to "motivate" folks was tell them I'd learned that the smartest thing I could ever do was get out of their way so they could get the job done. In a world where micromanagement is the byword for daily work life, where management has policies that assume all employees are sluggish, thieving dolts, that made me a reformer and quasi-messiah for most staffers. :-) More subtly, it also transferred more responsibility to them. Most accepted it ... proudly? Not sure what word to use.

I don't pretend to have all the answers, but generally, since I had productive, happy and award-winning operations all my career, I'm pretty sure I have some of them.

If you want to take this off forum so we can talk in more specifics, I'd be happy to do that. As an INTP manager/leader who made every mistake there is to make, I'm happy to help others avoid them.
 
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#17
I think I'm more assertive in a subtle way, as I more so suggest that a person so something rather than outright telling them to do it. If the person doesn't comply, then I usually gove reasons to my decision. I tend to get a little persisten when the person doesnt listen, then I tend to get sortof arrogant, as I say "this is whats going to happen and there's nothing you can do about it" but I generally dont like to say things like that.
 
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#18
I wish to be more assertive, but I am afraid I will be perceived as arrogant. There are already people who perceive me as arrogant despite the fact that I never boast about any accomplishments and do my best not to say anything disparaging.

Oftentimes I feel helpless when other people are aggressive and attempt to infringe on my rights.

INTPs, how did you manage to become more assertive, without being perceived as arrogant by others?
There is no way to exhibit confidence, that cannot be seen as arrogant. People see what they wish to see (in most cases). For about every positive character of personality there is a negative connotation. One of the great revelations that changed my life was the realization that Others saw me as an arrogant asshole. In high school, this caused me a great deal of confusion about my social identity. However, when I got to college and new friends told me "you are nothing but an arrogant asshole..., welcome to the club. We are all arrogant assholes here, but someday we will be the ones that run this country" I had a bit of epiphany and once I realized the reason for my former social ostracizing was not my fault or because of my inadequacies, but rather the opposite, I really opened up and transformed into 'Da Blob' that everyone knew and loved (everyone that counted, that is)

I guess the challenge for you is develop the ability to exude "quiet confidence" (hidden arrogance?), to learn how to politely, but firmly, respond to aggressive actions/statements with statements that begin with the word, NO. Perhaps, the greater challenge is not to assert Self directly, but rather impose one's will/POV upon Others via suggestions and inspiration so that it can not be viewed in the usual context of social dominance/submission scenarios.
 

Trebuchet

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#19
To me, the two are independent of each other. Assertiveness means putting your points forward and not being a doormat. Arrogance means thinking you are always right or too important to oppose.

I am assertive because I refuse to take abuse from people or let others make decisions for me. I am no longer the one who always changes her schedule to fit others - sometimes, but not always. I won't talk to someone who is swearing at me, or stand by and watch someone be abused. If I have a good idea, I let people know, and then put in the work to make it happen. I don't always have to win an argument, even if I am right, but when it matters, I am not shy about insisting on something. These are assertive things.

I try not to be arrogant by keeping in mind that other people may know something I don't. (That isn't to say I am never irritating, or that I never overestimate my own genius, but I do my best.)
 
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#20
You are very correct about that Trebuchet, no one can know everything but some people deserve it to be treated with arrogance .. That is away from being intelligent or not, some think they know everything and totally miss the point of it.

The use of Arrogance or Assertiveness, depends when, where and with who and often why..
 

gvn2fly

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#21
One more piece of gratuitous advice: Those people aren't your friends. INTPs sometimes have a dangerously self-deceptive tendency to equate familiarity over time with friendship. You may work with someone for five years; you may be a lot more comfortable with them than with a stranger; that person is still not your friend, especially if you are the supervisor and especially if you have no outside-of-work contact. It is professionally dangerous to YOU to think they are your friends. Treat them with courtesy, but not as you would treat a friend. Read this about 20 times until it sinks in. It's a really important factor in the "professional INTP" survival bag.
This. X100! Im strong INTP and I own my own biz. This last bit of advice you gave has almost been the death of me!!
 

gvn2fly

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#22
This. X100! Im strong INTP and I own my own biz. This last bit of advice you gave has almost been the death of me!!

Lol. Sorry to resurrect old thread but his advise was spot on!
 
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