I’m sick and tired of Chaddhaji. No, seriously. It’s another thing to joke about his eccentricities, but tolerating some of the unadulterated nonsense that oozes out of him is good enough to fetch a lot of people the Nobel. Just yesterday, I heard him talk to Ankush, a rather sweet and well-mannered young man in the neighbourhood. Ankush had barely mentioned that his Blackberry sometimes hangs in the middle of a conversation that Chaddhaji interrupted him mid sentence and hijacked the conversation. "Mine hangs all the time. Even when I’m SMSing." And then to my horror, he added, "Chalo, your calls may anyway not be that important. Who cares for you? But imagine MY phone getting hanged!" I could tell from Ankush’s face that he was secretly imagining Mr Chaddha getting hanged instead. Just a little info, while Ankush is a successful, and humble Chartered Accountant, the only calls Chaddhaji gets on his centuries-old antique Nokia phone, while squatting flies all day, are personal loan offers from telemarketers. Anyway, that’s not even the point, and he may as well have been the Prime Minister. What I just don’t get is how some people think so highly of themselves that they don’t think for a moment before running someone else down. Such people have an overdose of Vitamin S complex, aka Superiority Complex or SC, in their head. You may have also come across some such idiots around you — those who think they are divine gifts on this earth and all others are worthless. I’ve decided that the purpose of my life is to be on a mission to help them set themselves right. Are you with me?
You could either know an ‘SC’ person who makes everyone else’s life miserable, or you may even be one yourself, without realising. The first step is to identify.
Do you have a tendency to cut into peoples’ conversation and start recalling your own experience even before they’ve finished narrating theirs?
Do you use the word ‘I’ more than any other word in whatever you speak?
Do you secretly feel you are the best placed to accomplish anything and that others would never be able to do it as well?
If the answer to the above questions is Yes, please make the effort of doing something that’ll help you become someone who people want around them, and not avoid like plague. Ask someone close to you — a family member, your best friend, anyone you trust — to record a short video of your conversation with someone, at a time when you are not aware. Once they do it, watch the video and see what proportion of the conversation you dominate with stuff about just you, yourself and your life. Be honest in judging if you come across as being miserably self-centered and opinionated when you talk to someone else. On the face of it, people with a superiority complex may not even be criticising someone, but subconsciously, their mannerism always turns to being condescending about others. So, my dear, if you have unfortunately passed this one test, you need help.
Here’s what to do…
1. Remember, that while it is very important to have self-confidence and faith in your own abilities, still there is always someone in this world who is better than you in something. Yes, even if you are Sachin Tendulkar.
2. Remember that nothing will stop or come to an end if you chose to vanish from the face of this earth tomorrow. Yes, the flow may get interrupted for a bit, depending on what role you played in the grand scheme of things, but the show goes on. You are not indispensable, nor is anyone else around you. Stay grounded.
3. Speak less, listen more and advise only when asked. That’s pretty self-explanatory. Or, to put it simply, don’t be a pain in the arse for others. If you paid a little attention to the body language and expressions of people around you, you would know if you are.
4. Avoid always having yes-men and sycophants around you. For every four friends who will nod and agree with whatever you say, have one friend who won’t hesitate to point out if you are becoming a pest. We all may love being around only those who appreciate us, there’s no point being surrounded by ‘friends’ who are patting your back even as you are digging your grave. Is there?
5. If you genuinely feel you are better than others in something, the best way for everyone to know it is through your actions, not words. Lead by example, as the law of attraction is far more superior to any amount of invasive self-promotion. People get put off if you keep saying ‘I’m the best.’ Why not do something that shows them, instead?
I have just realised, to my utter horror, that I have preached so much in this column as if some Nirmal Baba’s aatma has entered my body. I hate Chaddhaji for turning me into this gyaan spewing and must-be-hellishly-boring soul. But while in this avatar, let me end by quoting Vanna Bonta — "I’d rather have inferiority complex in life and be pleasantly surprised, than have superiority complex and be rudely awakened." Pranaam. And oh, just realised that Nirmal Baba is very much alive. Sorry.
Sonal Kalra is trying to shake off the saintly-ness that’s suddenly engulfed her. Please ignore whatever she said above. The real remedy for those having Vitamin S-complex is OTS. One Tight Slap.
Tell her if you agree, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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