A few months back I set myself a challenge of sorts, perhaps it was more of a quest! The motivation behind this ‘quest’, well I wanted to immerse myself more than I had previously decided to, within Madrid social spheres. Basically, I hoped to meet new and interesting people, to maybe form friendships with.
Well, as some of you may recall, I have achieved this. I joined countless meet-up groups, circulated, discussed and had fun. I met people I have remained in contact with, people I now call friends, and others, others I actually don’t want to meet again!
This is social trial and error!
I suppose by the very nature of being social, you cannot pick and choose who you meet! I quickly began to notice that I was coming into contact with one type of individual though; time and time again the pretentious ones would make themselves known.
So often, whilst in tne company of others, this characteristic reared its ugly, boring, childish, poisionous, carefully applied and maintained, self absorbed head.
One human characteristic I abhor, and freely admit I have no time to pretend I am interested in indulging, is pretension.
I am used to pretentious people though, I have experience in dealing with them on countless occasions; from being a student at school, being an employee, a friend and so on. Unfortunately pretension is, and always will be, here, there and everywhere; hiding in full view amongst people of all ages and backgrounds. Just like a sociopath / psychopath, the pretentious ones exist in quantities the rest of us would be surprised about!
It seems that everyone has at some point in their life, had to associate with a pretensious individual.
Why is pretension so terrible though? Well, the pretentious ones spoil and pollute not only social occasions. They turn all gatherings into a competition, a school-yard, a charade, a stage for them to flex their pretentious muscles and exert their superiority on the ‘simpletons’ surrounding them.
Yet, I ensure I remain aloof and thoroughly unimpressed by what others might deem to be high intelligence, grandeur, intimidating wonder, superiority or whatever else. I have no patience to sit, listen and feed the ego of the pretentious ones!
In my experience, there is definately something about ‘the arts’ that attracts this type of person, drawing them out from the woodwork in droves.
Intellectualism and creativity is great, but by being these things does it have to then delete all the ‘people skills’ a person might possess? Why do the pretentious ones suddenly forget they are human, only human, just like all the other flesh and bloods walking about this humble pile of dirt! I don’t understand why they adopt an attitude of superiority, when we are all learning, all of the time! None of us are impervious!
In fact though, experience dictates that such people actually feel, but conceal, a deep seated sense of insecurity. They doubt themselves, their choices and their social status; hence their attitude, their carefully applied and mainained persona, their pretension.
They battle to be seen as ‘cool’, but I only see insular, boring, supercilious, restricted and fragile.
Why do the pretentious ones derive comfort in shunning the genuine and real though? Why do they prefer not to celebrate individuality, and refuse to delve into enjoying life? Why do they restrict themselves so tightly? Why the charade? Why the fakery? Why act as though nothing is capable of impressing them, everything is passé, why be supercilious and bored by it all – even though they haven’t really actually lived!!
Why impose this on others, socially?! How social is that attitude, NOT very!
I really don’t understand why pretentious people tend to like, and pursue activities they feel identifies, and associates them with being seen as an intellectual! I doubt whether they enjoy ‘the arts’ as much as they profess they do. I feel they say they like such things to fit in, to be part of a crowd. Whether this crowd is categorised as elite or not, it is still a crowd, rather like being back in school!
Intellectual and creative pursuits are not just for the pretentious people of the world. Although amongst their cliques, the pretentious ones excel at being priggish or ‘posh’. They work to belittle, and deny anything that doesn’t fit with their ideals of what is ‘in’, what is cool, what is creative and intellectual.
They ring-fence intellect and creativity; constraining them, exerting their influence and pontificating about what they believe these things to be. Basically removing what these things symbolise fundamentally; freedom, change, diversity and so on.
What is this attitude if not one belonging to someone from a high school clique, a teenage wannabe?
They tell others what is acceptable, how to behave, function and think.
People never grow out of this pretentious behaviour either, and no one confronts them!
I just don’t get it! I just don’t like it! I just can’t tolerate it socially!
What has happened that people just can’t have fun, be silly, mess about, admit they are wrong, laugh at themselves and just live! What is wrong with that? Why can’t they be intelligent, creative and interesting without being so conceited, and self absorbed? Sometimes it seems as though they can’t smile through fear of cracking their face!
Honestly I can’t think of anything worse, going through life worrying how you appear, ignoring people and things you deem beneath you. Basically, these people are so stiff they seem dead already! This is NO way to live! No way at all! All things considered, I actually feel quite sorry for the pretentious ones. They are so constraint, they cannot change, they are stuck in a rut and can’t escape. How very sad.
NOTE: Before people critique my writing as judgemental and stereotypical, I have to state I don’t deem all intellectuals or creatives as pretentious people. I am discussing certain people, certain situations from my experiences and via my own opinions. I am not judging or commenting on ALL creative and intellectual people, merely some!
Pretentious people = Narcissists. What a bunch of party poopers!
I think so, yes 🙂
How are you doing? Are you still in Spain or moved back to UK? 😉
Really good thanks. Still in Madrid 🙂
I think some people act pretentious because they aren’t as intelligent, or don’t believe themselves to be as intelligent, as they would like to appear. So, they create a false persona to hide behind. They are really sad actually. Admitting that they are sad doesn’t preclude me from calling them out when they act pretentious. Good post!
Thanks Barbara, yes I do agree with you on this. I feel it is an act, I know perhaps at some point we might have all acted ‘pretentious’, but we usually grow out of it by adulthood! Well, hopefully! Thanks again!
Hahaha – I am so with you… No need whatsoever. God, clever people don’t need to sound as if they smell of leather patches. No time for these guys at all… I mean, I may have been a ittle pretentious in my teens, but what precocious kid isn’t. I enjoy laughing at myself too much, now that education and career, expertise and all that nonsense is out of the way…
Yeah, as a kid it can happen, but adults who live that was 24/7, are a disappointment! Nothing is that serious, well, not all of the time anyway! 🙂
Absolutely! It is a frustrating trait…
Indeed it is! 🙂
I agree with the Bumble Files that really talented people are often the most humble, not always, but often. I always try to remember that nobody is pretentious or anything else, they just sometimes act pretentiously. That helps me not to get angry or worked up by anything someone does or thinks. It’s not that they are bad it’s just that they did a bad thing. We are all human and fallible creatures and we have probably all acted pretentiously at some time or another.
Yes, I can reflect on what I have written and think I have been a touch too harsh in my analysis!! I know at times we can all, well, I think the majority of us, have been pretentious! Oh, and thoroughly annoyed those around us! Thanks for your response Malcolm. I appreciate, as always, your insight!! 🙂
I think you nailed it when you said these types are insecure. Their pretentiousness masks their lack of self-worth. Usually the more talented are the most humble, in my opinion.
Thanks for that, I appreciate your reply on this topic. Yes, I think so too – humble is definitely more genuine.
Yes, indeed. I know a few very pretentious people and they are a vexation. I avoid them as much as I can and when I can’t, I try not to give them the opportunity to go on about the latest celebrity they’ve partied with or how wonderfully their latest painting is and how well received it is among the people that matter. You’re right about the fact that pretentious people seem to suffer from a serious identity crisis and need to have their egos constantly boosted.
Thanks for the post.
Thank you for your reply, oh, and sharing your experiences of these people too! There is comfort in knowing I am not alone in disliking this behaviour!