Am I Condescending or Are They Insecure?

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    Let’s look at this scenario: you are showing up to a social occasion with a luxury Swiss watch and gem stoned cuff-links. A person seeing you wearing these items is not likely to think: oh, I want to talk with him, I want to be friends with him! He may think: oh, I wish I had that Swiss watch!

    First, this club is mainly professionals (it is not really a social occasion but that’s beside the point). I wear them because I think they’re “cool”, their well crafted and because I’ve earned them. I know that many of my colleagues actually draw attention to their watches etc. my “casually” bring up the fact that they’re wearing a Rolex in a conversation. I dress for myself, not to show off to others. [I love wearing fine fragrances because I’ve learned so much about the differences between EDC/EDT/Perfume and top notes and bass notes. It has been my learning and so I wear it].

    If it inspires others to want the same material success, then I think it’s great. I have since learned that the person I asked to coffee with, has (in his 40s) registered for a part-time college degree. It’s not a great school, but if he’s been inspired to achieve a better education (you cannot separate my influence from the context) then I think that’s great.


    So everyone has a tribe, it just takes some people a lot longer to find theirs, especially true when you don’t fit the cultural “norm” around you, whichever particular city/country you may be in. I know, since we have similarities here and in perspectives.

    I know that I have a VERY unusual perspective on life. It shows up in my political views, in the events and causes I support and the way I view the world.

    I did wonder from the tone of your messages that do you still want to be moving around so much with your work? Or would you prefer to stay in one city? It is really great that you have been and are so successful, I think that is inspirational to many people, but maybe your quest for your tribe is also about wanting more stability in your life in general? I could be wayyy off the mark here so please ignore if you dont think it fits your dituation.

    Actually, your spot on. I had expected to be more settled by this age and yet there seems still to be more and more required of me. More travel, more relocations, more sacrifices. It’s essentially a primary law of leadership. “In order to go up, you have to give up. And in order to stay up, you have to give up even more”.



    1) join a club that plays to your debator type strengths such as toastmasters or a debating society. These people may be more like your tribe than others.

    I don’t think it’s my “debate” personality [btw the society I’m talking about originally is toastmasters], but the fact that so many people are content with being “less than” (not me, “less than” they are capable of). I’ve recently joined a cycling club (it’s kind of an up-market obsession for people who are very fit) and everyone seems to be exceptionally friendly. Maybe its because most of them already wear Swiss watches…lol


    Is she the kind of person to be direct and say what she thinks outright, especially in the instances that denotes you as patronizing? Does she have a good memory or is life a series of impression to her? Memories aren’t that reliable. How close is your relationship seeing as you might be acquaintances than friends so she probably hasn’t seen the good and bad sides of you? Did you follow up with her on her impression of your patronizing first impression? She might have mull on it and remember some examples, but felt it too awkward to bring it up again. But why does she have to help you figure out whether you are patronizing or not?

    One of the reasons I feel able to talk with this person is that she really doesn’t care about what others think – she’s very comfortable in her own skin and speaks her mind freely (and I encourage her to). She believes there may be a lot of factors at play (from unconscious bias to unspoken prejudice to my failure to “know my audience”). I asked her opinion because as a specialist in public relations she has the ability to give me an informed opinion.


    Hi Ashley,

    I thought I had not more to add but as I was reading your last posts it sprung to mind that you reminded me a little bit of a colleague I work with and get on well with. What I write next is based on that, but I could be projecting and completly wrong in that I only see what I know or infer about you from writing only on these posts.

    My colleague works incredibly hard, she often works long long hours, complains about the manager not being any good and oeganises lots of additional meetings. She is very good at her job and successful, eg on various boards for things. She often complains and says why is she the only one doing overtime when others arent? Why is she the one tired and busy? Almost like doing a sprint when everyone else is just walking along at their own pace. For her I know it is a geat source of frustration at this eg why cant more people be like her? More work would get done and it would be better.

    However I think it comes back to values and why you are doing something. Eg maybe she values regonition and success more than say flexibility or a peaceful life-there is no right of wrong but it shows why people arent magically going to change to be like her eg start running but perhaps she could slow down a bit and walk with the rest of the team, not because it is lowering standards but because it is healthier for her.

    You mentioned about needing to keep movig and working etc and I would be interested to know why? Why do you want to go higher and higher? It sounds like you are rich and successful already eg the swiss watch etc so why do you need more money? More things? More status? What are you looking for? I think this is a very common thing in the world and of course you can be rich and happy, but it sounds from all the moving and stress associated with getting ahead in the company that it is quite lonely and often not al that glittery or exciting-This is my inference from your words but I could be wrong. Maybe the cycling and other hobbies is a trial and error time to find what makes you happy and belong outside of work and that could your focus for a while?

    It could be related to what Mark said about love vs fear, if it is genuine love that keeps you motivated at your job eg you feel a stable calm inside or a fizziness or joy based on your job day to day, and not just the success or end of a project then you are clearly on the right track, but if you are more doing and doing because of fear eg fear of not making the most of your qualifications, a fear to be someone and make it etc then it is good to take a step back and reassess what you want tto do. You dont have to be a high flier to have friends or be liked or be loved-you are 200% okay exactly how you are.

    It sounds like you have done alot of job changes in the past so maybe a new one that is more stable is on the cards.

    Also, you say (and I could be wrong here as my phone wont let me scroll back up to your oost) something like people judge you for who you are and you judge them for what they are.. i dont understand that sentence. If having an education from X, driving a Y car and living in xx district is what they are, how does this denoate if they are worth a friendship and trust with? Taking extreme examples like the guy from the film wolf on wall street or donald trump, yes they have alot of “whats” but do I respect those people? No. If i dont respect someone, i wont want to forge a relationship with them and so in my own way I would cut off the friendship before it even starts. It takes alot to be vulnerable, let down the walls and trust a friendship and so you need someone who has the capability for empathy, humour and non judgement to you for this to occur. Cycling sounds good, as it is active meaning you focus on your body more than your mind and I can imagine it is more like small talk or chit chat for a few sessions before friendships grow, this could be a great opportunity for you to have that stability- best of luck! 🙂



    I think what I am trying to say is, getting ahead is only good if you want to be ahead int that area. What I see most inspiring is passion. This could be at work eg a passionate chef, woodworker, animator, nurse etc or it could be as a hobby such as passionate about gardening, writing, running or in relationships eg friendship or parenthood.. it is the passion, not the activity that counts. If you have passion you care about the task for an intrinsic reason (read zrn and the art of motorcycle maintenance for more on this) and therefore whatever you do is of better quality. Maybe your search could be more for passion? Eg if youn find a club you love and are passionate about, it will be the right fit for you.

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