Have you seen this situation before? The contestant in a singing competition who is overly confident that she is going to win? Or the guy who jumps into the boxing ring prematurely claiming his prize? Or the person who enters into a conversation bragging about their achievements, knowledge and how much money they have?
And then the contestant comes in third. The boxer loses the fight. And the bragger eventually loses the money he or she said she had and is told they are unpleasant by the person they are trying to impress.
Not far back I was engaged in a conversation with someone very accomplished and considered by most to be extremely powerful (insert your own definition of powerful). The thing about this person was that she didn’t have to say anything about her wealth, her knowledge, or her impact on the world. I’m sure she gave to many charities and funded great causes in addition to her life-changing global contributions, some that I knew about and some that probably no one knew about. She is a person who just does good things. She doesn’t need credit, no accolades. She listens to those around her and she has an eagerness to grow no matter how far she has come.
A different type character joined our conversation and there was an immediate shift in the mood. The woman that joined the conversation took over. There was no interest in what we were saying, it was only about her life, what she had done, and where she is now. “I have enough money to do whatever I want,” she announced. It was clear her intent was to get in good and impress this other woman. Clearly she thought she was winning and that by bragging about what she had done, is doing and how much she has would obviously win her a spot in this woman’s circle. Even more so, she had a don’t mess with me attitude. The gloating was dense and for me, very uncomfortable.
In the end (which didn’t take long to get to), she did not impress and she didn’t gain respect. In fact, it was just the opposite.