Is there anything as annoying as someone who exhibits traits you used to have, you’ve done your best to get rid of, but still have in you?
It cuts to your core. I spent a week and a half with a guy who had traits the rest of the group all had gotten over
- a know-it-all
- couldn’t help butting into conversations
- always had to point out what he knew that you didn’t, no matter how irrelevant
- a show-off
- self-righteous, especially when confronted with how he annoyed everyone
It’s the list of most annoying traits! You know the type, right? We all know identify those traits within us, perhaps sadly.
We were all annoyed by him, but his exhibiting those traits didn’t cut to the core. Sensing the same motivations within you cut to the core. That’s what annoyed us. That, no matter how much you’ve developed, you understood exactly his motivations. And still felt them.
His annoyance made you wonder — have I completely changed? Or even close to what I’d thought? Or have I only covered something up inside me? What if people find out? Or what if I forget or lose track and act that way, like when I’m stressed?
Then you realize in social situations how you behave matters. And you didn’t behave that way. He did. You have learned something.
Still, it’s annoying.
EDIT: This post describes this type of person, with a funny video to boot.
Learn to make Meaningful Connections
with a simple, effective exercise from my book, Leadership Step by Step.
- Step by step instructions
- Video examples of me and Marshall Goldsmith
- An excerpt from my book