“If you have any trouble sounding condescending, find a Unix user to show you how it’s done.”– Scott Adams
I hate patronizing bastards.
I have been a bully, and sometimes when I am really annoyed by some gregariously stupid person I still have the tendency to be mean. But for the most part, I have calmed down. My level of tolerance to different kinds of people is almost Zen-like. (Or maybe it is just my apathy. Whatever. I’ll introspect later.)
The point is I have been a bully but I have never been a patronizing bastard.
If I know something, I’ll tell you without adding, “Oh! Hahaha.. you don’t know this yet! This is how it works..” or “Have you been living under a rock?” If that ignorance shocks or saddens me, I will make an attempt to urgently clarify and explain it to you.
I am not the smartest person. My education degree doesn’t provide me with any “skill set”. So I am full of dumb questions and I am numb to embarrassment. So you can explain “tech stuff” – or finance or geography or anything really- to me by dumbing it down so much that it insults my intelligence, and I will humour you (but rest assured I will pay you back in full with interest). However, I absolutely hate it when Grammar Nazis cyber-bully or cliques in college make fun of other people they don’t relate to or you ridicule a particular kind of music because oh-what-you-listen-to is so much more cooler.
Any learning process requires one to make mistakes. A patronizing bastard in essence pretends automatic omniscience. If you do not allow people around you to make mistakes, to be curious and ask dumb questions, you hamper growth of everyone involved. Firstly and obviously, you are not helping the other person. Secondly, you are limiting your own understanding of what you know because you have set answers in your head, and you resist prodding questions that may refresh your thinking over that matter. Thirdly, you are not letting people express themselves freely around you, thus limiting the scope of the conversations you can have.
I am still to learn how to control the barrage of information that the internet throws at me. Social media is affecting my productivity for the worst. I already am a good-for-nothing procrastinator, and now I fill my head with unprocessed crap I don’t need. Lately, I have been seeing so many posts and tweets that are unnecessarily condescending passing off as humourous to which all I do is ignore and let it go. But, I vehemently disapprove of this high-handed, pseudo-intellectual behavior. I immediately disconnect to this self-righteous bullshit people indulge in.
Everyone out there is trying to figure something out. If you can contribute to someone’s growth, chip in. Not like a patronizing bastard, full of advice and condescension, but like a friend who is part of the journey that learning is. A person first has to have the courage to have an opinion so that s/he can improve on it for the better. That’s the first step: To have an opinion and express it. Do not scare people from having the wrong opinion, or laugh on a stupid, emotional stand someone has taken or worse still, laugh at how someone chooses to express oneself. Yes, even if it is with wrong spellings and too many emoticons. Stop expecting people to be your idea of perfect from the get-go. You are denying them the opportunity to explore and grow. If you bully someone during discussions just because you’ve found a foolproof argument or a genius way of living your life, then you are more ignorant than the fucker you are trying to help. Atleast s/he is not pretending to be a know-it-all bastard.
I sometimes wonder how someone can forget their own past stupidity. I even wonder whether patronizing bastards have the tendency to hide their own mistakes. If you check out my blog’s archives – please don’t – you’ll see what kind of a bubbly, nonsensical, exclamation-using nutcase I was. I mean, there is clear proof that I have been an idiot. And I had to be that first, before I chose to be this person somewhere down the line. And maybe, the future-me would cringe at me using so many cuss words on my blog, but I need to be this person first.
I hate how ‘online distance’ makes people feel okay about making someone feel bad. How do you justify venting loudly or mocking someone on status updates? How?! And then you have your pseudo-intellectual friends giving you their sympathies. Aaaargh.
(Look, I wrote a whole blog-post ranting against y’all.)
For the anger they evoke in me, I hate patronizing bastards.
“I don’t like intellectuals, or, at least, people who call themselves that way, because I am under the impression that there is always something condescending in their demeanour, and I don’t like condescending people.”– Carine Roitfeld