Why Acting Arrogant Is Pointless
December 2014 (perspective of an assistant professor)
I've worked in both academia and the high-tech industry and witnessed plenty of arrogant behavior in both settings. For a long time I've thought that acting arrogant was pointless, but couldn't put my finger on why until now. Here's my folk theory:
In any social situation, you're either:
In either case, acting arrogant is pointless because:
Either way, you lose.
I have yet to find a situation where arrogance is a competitive advantage. But then again, I don't have any direct experience in the business world. Given that wealthy people can be arrogant, it might have some advantages at the upper echelons of society.
P.S. Got some good reader feedback! I see how in image-driven worlds such as the entertainment industry, high-stakes politics, and bigwig-style business deals (thick necks, shiny suits, and flipping tables), arrogance can be an effective weapon to show dominance and to ultimately get what you want. But I still stand by my original hunch that arrogance is pointless for the majority of mere mortals with regular jobs.