1 EAGLETON NOTES: SID 64. Condescension

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Thursday, 21 May 2020

SID 64. Condescension

We all have our personality traits and habits. Some are more annoying than others. Some are annoying even to ourselves.  

I'm not referring to things like picking one's nose in public (although that is both annoying and disgusting to most other people) but more subtle habits or traits. For example one trait I have that I find annoying is that I am often slow in finishing a sentence. Most of my friends, fortunately, now just find that slightly amusing and exasperating and several automatically finish off my sentences for me. This shows that I am also fairly predictable and tolerant of being helped/corrected. 

Possibly one of the things I find most annoying is condescension (an attitude of patronising superiority; disdain).

All of us have strengths and weaknesses. Some have great intellects. Some do not. Some have common sense. Some do not. Some have good dexterity. Some do not. Some have good memories. Some do not.

As a person who was born with an appalling memory (I call it my forgettory), has a modicum of intelligence and manual dexterity and, if I do say so myself (demonstrating my modesty) a good dollop of common sense, I am probably more aware than many of people who are condescending.

I wonder which trait or traits annoy you.

43 comments:

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    1. Well, that must make living a bit of a trial, JayCee.

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    2. No, J just ignore them. To be honest, I think I probably have more annoying traits myself than most people.

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  2. Trait in myself that annoys me - forever reflecting upon mistakes made, things said - often long ago.
    Trait in others that annoys me - pomposity - people who never listen and just want to blow their own trumpets.

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    1. I'd go with those, YP, although I try not to dwell on my own mistakes because that leads to negativity. The fist thing I do is try and rectify it - if it requires an apology that's usually easy. I just try and ensure that I don't make the same mistake again.

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  3. People that are dismissive of others. The same individuals demand full attention and seem to have a great sense of their personal importance. This person is also the one that in the middle of a conversation decides to check their phone messages while simultaneously stating, "I'm listening." No manners, no social graces.

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    1. I'd go with those although I rather prefer to talk to known people rather than unknown people.

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  4. What triggered this off, I wonder? Did someone behave condescendingly to you?
    I find it annoying in myself that I am not always a very good listener, even if the person talking to me is someone I truly and deeply care for.

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    1. No, Meike, no one was foolish enough to be condescending to me although I do know someone who is regularly condescending to others.

      I was really looking for qualities that people dislike in general. I have certainly never seen that trait in you in Blogland.

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  5. I have thunk and thought and thinked and have come to the conclusion that, my English apart, I am near perfect.

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    1. Adrian you have the advantage of being one of the most straight talking people I know. You are never pompous and can happily extract the Michael out of yourself (as well as out of others). I'm wondering, though, what trait you find annoying in others apart from their being a politician, bureaucrat or, come to think of it, just about anything else really.

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    2. Graham, I am tolerant of people who are accountable. It would be impossible for me to do the things I do without trusting myself and others. That apart I'm fine with other folk, I just wouldn't do anything from animal handling to swapping big heavy parts in machines with someone who thinks they know. Same applies to the people I'm happy working with. They keep you honest and take the piss mercilessly. It's always a laugh doing stuff with folk that know what they are doing.

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    3. I could not agree more with that, Adrian.

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  6. I find I am becoming far less tolerant as I get older. I do not like it when people are intentionally rude. People on their mobile phones while being served in the supermarket really get my back up.
    Mine is never knowing when to shut up, although I think I'm getting better at it :)

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    1. Jules, you made me laugh. One of my self-irritations is not knowing when to shut up and I've got no better with age. Actually I do usually know when to shut up - I just seem incapable of doing it. Someone once told me it was a sign of nerves and insecurity. I have to say I didn't recognise either of those qualities in me. However, I am far more tolerant of many things now I've got to my ripe old age however, rudeness doesn't come into that category. I'm with you there.

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  7. I used to get upset with people I thought were rude or arrogant or racist or just horrible. As I grow older I find I am becoming more tolerant - one never knows what is happening in another person's life to cause them to behave that way, and some people really struggle with 'faults' in their personalities (who doesn't have those? lol). Really, it is all about how we ourselves perceive the actions of another person - so now I concentrate on controlling my own reactions and try to be patient and understanding of those around me (it doesn't always work!!! - but I am getting better :) xx

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    1. Margaret, I'm not very tolerant of rudeness but I agree with you that we don't know why others act as they do. It doesn't stop me disliking cruelty and, to me, condescension, like mockery is essentially cruel. You have reminded me that my Mother always said how we reacted was the one thing within our control. I must try harder.

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  8. Oooeee, someone talking down to me, being condescending, takes all my strength not to use the fword in creative long sentences.

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    1. Maywyn, your reply made me smile. I wish that I was so controlled at condescension.

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  9. Think of the Orange Idiot. He pretty much has the most despicable traits on my list: a compulsive liar; narcissistic; rude; incoherent (unfathomable for a so-called 'world' leader); unsympathetic; contemptuous of the poor, the refugee, the immigrant; doesn't care who he endangers by his words/deeds...could go on and on and on, but will stop here.

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    1. I have to say, Mary, that he is very unpopular in Scotland, and was long before he became President, for demonstrating all those negative or unpleasant qualities that you mentioned in his dealings over here.

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  10. I hate intellectual snobbery - people who look down on others who are less "educated" than them. Not having a piece of paper in your hand that tells you you are educated does not mean you are lacking in intelligence nor does the possession of a degree turn you into an expert on everything whose opinion holds much more weight than the rest.

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    1. Helsie, I agree with you absolutely. Paper qualifications have their place but tell you so little about a person and what they know (or don't know). Some of the most knowledgeable and wisest people I have known had no formal further education.

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  11. Oh I must tell you my David Niven story...When he won his Academy Award for "Separate Tables", he stumbled on his way up to the podium. When he began his acceptance speech, he said "The reason I fell was because I was so loaded..." and the crowd roared in laughter. (They thought he was saying he was drunk.) He said that he paused and was going to say...Because I was so loaded with good luck charms!")
    What traits do I have that are annoying? How long you got?

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    1. Kay, I don't really know you well enough to know your annoying traits but I know that you have one positive trait that tops most: kindness.

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  12. Oh! God! Where do I start? lol (And, I'm referring to things about me that annoy me!!) :)

    Condescension...sneering sarcasm...mean people...greed....

    I listed a few of my dislikes in a post a while back...repeating myself is something that annoys me..and it probably annoys others, too! :)

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    1. Lee, I know that it's not that long since you did a similar post but 'twas not that made me get onto my hobbyhorse but the comments of someone else (not directed at me) that made me realise that the person had that as a definite trait which I find cruel and horrible.

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  13. I don't like arrogance in others and I can disappoint myself with my bitchiness at times but on balance I think I tend to float blithely through life not noticing a lot of negatives, including my own.

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    1. Kylie, there are a lot of advantages in having that attitude to life.

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  14. Without question; hypocrisy, snobbism, and arrogance. Maybe because I am capable of demonstrating all on occasions.

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    1. Cro, at least you recognise the qualities. I often wonder when reading your posts how many statements are made with tongue in cheek. I can't recall finding your words offensive even when I may disagree quite strongly with your point of view.

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    2. I do enjoy dangling a tasty worm to see how many will bite. It's often more fun that taking a standard view.

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  15. I take too long to tell a story. I can't stand mysogyny.

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    1. Diane, I can't comment on your oral storytelling (there's nothing amiss in your Blogland stories) but I absolutely agree about misogyny (a trait I have to say I have never understood).

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  16. I dislike pretension as a trait and sanctimonioness as one sees a lot of today. However, I mix with friends who grew up in rural England same as me so we do not come across it in our own company. We may have traits that others dislike but we rub along alright together; I guess we cancel each other out.

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    1. Rachel, sanctimoniousness and pretentiousness are both rather anti-social traits in my book I agree.

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  17. I read your post late last night but decided I had to think about that. Then I forgot... ;) I agree with you about patronising superiority, and that definition probably overlaps with what else came to mind for me. Like, some people who always seem to need to "win" a discussion, or who are consistently rude and inconsiderate or discriminating towards others in general.

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    1. Monica, I have never been a particularly competitive person which made me a very unpopular team player at school. Winning at all costs seems so pointless because one knows in one's own heart that one may not have deserved it. Rudeness is just unacceptable as is discrimination.

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  18. This was really a thought-provoking question, Graham, and lack of consideration tops my list followed by rudeness, and intolerance because it seems I have known a few people who possess one of more of those traits. As for myself, I would say that impatience is one of my worst traits, although I am sure there are several others that modesty prevents me from enumerating here (being very modest here).

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    1. Beatrice, I always used to say that I was proud of my modesty! People who are inconsiderate are very high up my list of dislikes too. I used to be impatient when I was a young man but, on the whole, I've become less impatient the older I've got. I think, though, that I'm in the minority.

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  19. You know what really disgusts me that people do? spit in public. I just think that it's one of the filthiest ones ever, so uncouth and another one is people that talk with their mouths full of food, ewww I"m sure I can handle the normal habits the rest of us have though.

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    1. Amy, spitting is such a disgusting habit that it hadn't even occurred to me. As for talking with one's moth full I have noticed a few people of TV doing that recently. Yuk.

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  20. Unlike most of the commenters here, I actually enjoy snarkiness, sarcasm, and even haughtiness... if it is well delivered. My favorite characters in movies are almost always the bad guys, if they are smart and know how to turn a phrase. I adore a brilliant cutting remark, which is why I so enjoy reading Bruce Robinson. If, on the other hand, someone is snobbish with nothing to back it up, it makes me laugh because it basically just puts huge spotlights on their own insecurity.

    As for pet peeves?

    I hate it when people make noise as an attention-getting device (jangling keys or change in pockets, tapping cutlery on the table, talking loudly to a child in public as performance art, etc.).

    I loathe people who eat with their mouths open (whether said mouth is full or not) and make smacking noises.

    I have been known to utter curses upon the heads of people who scrape their knife or fork on the plate so as to make that godawful screeching noise which sets my teeth on edge.

    People who have their heads up their arse so far that they stop and stand, blocking entry/exit doorways to stores, moving walkways in airports, aisles in grocery stores, while they talk on their cell phone or whatever, make me wish I carried a pocket air-horn. I may actually start doing that. It would be hilarious!

    Also annoying: People who wait until their 400 items have been rung up at the grocery store before starting a conversation about which items are on sale, or have coupons, or they decide to pay the bill in pennies.

    You can tell that I'm one of those people for whom the quarantine has actually been very enjoyable! 8-)

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