Smugness conquered?

Have you ever seen a person conquer smugness?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Not Sure
  • Other (please explain)
  • Don’t Care
0 voters

For fun, I thought I would bring up the subject of smugness. A friend of mine is actually realizing that they are in fact sometimes obnoxiously smug!

To explain:

Usually this person is short-term smug: they will make a humorous declaration of their superior abilities, and we will both laugh.

But sometimes the smugness lasts a little longer to the point of my laughing AT him instead of WITH him.

And rarely the smugness will go to stages three and four. If he goes to stage three, stage four always follows: stage three is where the laughing stops; its a sort of pause that occurs before realizing that my friend has gone to: stage four: being annoying.

I guess these are actually stages based upon my own reaction to this persons smugness over a short period of time. On average it would take about 10 minutes to go from stage one to stage four. Ten minutes of smugness is annoying.

Anyway, this person recently called to ask if they were in fact smug, and I told him “yes”, and he is actually evaluating himself. I think this is very admirable since previously one would get into trouble when commenting on the smugness (at stage four). It seemed that this person had a sense of delusion or denial about their own personality and would lash out if you said anything. So now I am happy to see this self-awareness apparently occurring.

Any thoughts? Has anyone ever seen a person conquer smugness?

Membrain–
Are you defining “smugness” as declaring one’s superior abilities? Or are there other behaviors that you associate with “smugness?” More behavioral examples would help me understand the topic.

according to this definition, yes, I have seen people “improve” their smugness. But most people who are smugers are smugers for life. It seems to be a trait, which can be heavier or ligher in different periods of a persons life.

Smugness is a form of elitims humor. It may be mild or out of control. I have some smug friends, and i am guilty at times, but I try to improve and overlook the faults of my friends as best as I can, like I am sure you do membrain, until it gets to level 6, and then you gotta be like, “wow, a litle too much.”

I think we can be a little bit flexible with the definition to allow for more input. In general, it’s just off-putting behavior by otherwise nice people. In this case, it was the opposite of humility.

Perhaps combined with the misperception that the trait is endearing or just being in denial that their behavior is off-putting.

I’d imagine folks who have seen this transformation will speak right up. Besides this one person I am speaking of, I would have said that I had never seen it. Every friend I’ve had has kept every one of their annoying habits! :smiley:

I’m not so sure. When, if ever, I mimic smugness, I’ll adopt a funny over-smug voice that declares loud and clear that I am joking.

The kind of smug I’m talking about is where you can tell that the person really believes it underneath the joke. That basically it isn’t really a joke.

And we shouldn’t forget bitter, scornful people either. I’ve never seen one go from scornful to cheerful. Worrier to non-worrier, etc.

I had a friend who, whenever I voiced my opinion, would preface his response with “what you don’t seem to understand…” I confronted him about it a couple times saying “if my understanding differs from yours’ it doesn’t mean that I don’t understand.” His behavior didn’t change. I don’t hang out with him anymore.

Some people insist on interacting from a “one up” position. If it isn’t granted to them unambiguously, they will compete for it. I wonder how much of what attemts to pass for philosophical discourse here is really competition for the prized smug “one up” position?

They sound like a candidate. Without giving away my age, I will say that it took my friend a long time to change (but he did).

Although I know of friends that I’ve known equally as long that have gotten worse. Time doesn’t always heal. I think it’s a matter of weight: are they like that 100% of the time or only infrequently?

OMG, I once knew someone who knew EVERYTHING. I would say, “I saw an interesting movie the other day”, and they would say, “movies were invented by Thomas Edison in 1942 using film made from human skin”, or some such thing. It was relentless. You name it: how was the spoon invented, where does felt come from, he even knew that people with my surname immigrated from Spain to Denver (my Dad was born in Denver). It was fascinating, but I couldn’t take it. I lasted about a month.

I try my best not to be in that circle. I have also thought about this as well on Ilp many times, as I have seen what I would consider “smug one up” instead of intellectual discourse.

I can conquer smugness because I am the best and know so much more than everybody else. I’m also the least smug person I know.

finally a man turned humble and ready to conquer smugness. Like neil young once said in a song, “you are an unknown hero in your own time.”