Why do condescending people deny being condescending?



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Mw99
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Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:59 pm

Acting condescendingly is when a person behaves in such a way that he or she gives the impression that he or she is graciously lowering himself or herself to someone else's level.

I often meet people who treat me condescendingly. I don't think I am cursed, as many neurotypicals imagine, I just have a condition that affects my body language - causes me to stim when stressed out - and the result is that I come across as a moron in the eyes of people who believe that stimming is a token of a person's stupidity (ie: idiots).

When someone is condescending to me, that is, when they behave in such a way that they give the impression that they are graciously 'lowering' themselves to my level, I call them on it.

Interestingly, I've never heard anyone admit they are being condescending to me. They always deny it.

Is condescension a subconscious process? Or is their lying more condescension?



zee
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Fri Jan 18, 2008 9:05 pm

You could try mirroring them, and see how they react... although personally I just ignore such behaviour. If they want to make things complicated for themselves, let them. :?



ChelseaOcean
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Fri Jan 18, 2008 9:05 pm

My husband has AS. He's condescending as all hell to me (me: how do you X? him: you have to recodify the ABC tags. me: and how do you do that? him: well first there's this thing called a computer and then you take the mouse and you click... me: /leaves the room/)

And he denies it, too. I don't think it's related to your having AS and their being NT.



EvilKimEvil
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Fri Jan 18, 2008 9:09 pm

I also wish that people would admit to being condescending. I have had to deal with that behavior far too much. Certain family members of mine have always treated me with extreme condescension, as though I were not even human, as have teachers and peers.

Now, when someone is condescending towards me, I want to say, "Could you please refrain from using that condescending tone with me? It is a distraction from what you are trying to communicate. Thank you."

Unfortunately, I know that to simply imply that a co-worker is speaking condescendingly could get me fired because it would seem like I was trying to insult them, so I have to remain silent and try not to take it personally.

I think that people don't admit they are being condescending because:

1) They do not realize they are coming across that way.

2) By treating you that way, they imply that you are not worthy of respect, which means that you are also not worthy of honesty.



egodeus59
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Fri Jan 18, 2008 9:35 pm

I'm guilty of being condescending to people, I'm also guilty of being very egotistical.



WurdBendur
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Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:00 pm

Everyone will deny acting condescending, whether they are or not. And that includes you. Now stop it.


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tmad40blue
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Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:03 pm

WurdBendur wrote:
Everyone will deny acting condescending, whether they are or not. And that includes you. Now stop it.


Yeesh, (s)he's just asking a question. Don't be so harsh. There's certain social concepts I don't understand either that some people would think I'm an utter idiot for not understanding.



tamarind
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Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:57 pm

Probably the person isn't aware of doing it



Ticker
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Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:58 pm

Condescending people have to deny being condescending or else they couldn't be condescending. Think about it. 8)



pakled
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Sat Jan 19, 2008 12:44 am

well, it's probably that they're just better than everyone else around them?..;)

Sometimes you can play into it, and throw them off. Self-deprecating humor, if not overdone, isn't always a bad thing.



sinsboldly
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Sat Jan 19, 2008 2:33 am

ChelseaOcean wrote:
My husband has AS. He's condescending as all hell to me (me: how do you X? him: you have to recodify the ABC tags. me: and how do you do that? him: well first there's this thing called a computer and then you take the mouse and you click... me: /leaves the room/)

And he denies it, too. I don't think it's related to your having AS and their being NT.


thats not condescending, that is being a jerk and getting away with it. You might want to google 'passive agressive behavior' and see if you can relate.


Merle



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Sat Jan 19, 2008 2:46 am

Many aspies are used to constantly having to explain their actions and emotions to people around them. As a result, this habit persists when they're giving instructions on how to do things.



KimJ
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Sat Jan 19, 2008 2:50 am

There are several facets of condescension.

a)there's feeling righteous, where the other person is so obviously wrong/pathetic/evil that patronizing, being sarcastic or using veiled insults is A-ok.
b)there's feeling of objectification, where you're really doing better than the other person and just want to help. . .
c)there's a divide in the communication where you're not being condescending but don't have a handle on where the other person "is". So, you may talk in a simple manner and offend them unintentionally.
d)the other person is so insecure that they hear condescension, especially if you use "big words".

I have been accused of it a lot. Especially among people who really care about their image and are insecure about their lack of education.



Rynessa
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Sat Jan 19, 2008 12:56 pm

I have, albeit rarely, encountered people who mistook my Aspie qualities for mental retardation. They were quite condescending.
More often, I think people who condescend are simply cowards. They want to be mean to you without being confrontational, so they condescend to you. When you actually confront them about it, they deny it and usually stop doing it. It's a form of bullying.



aries
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Sat Jan 19, 2008 12:58 pm

Mw99 wrote:

Is condescension a subconscious process? Or is their lying more condescension?


I think it is for the most part subconscious and then when you point that out to them, they deny it because they don't want to be seen as belittling you. I don't think most people do it on purpose. I think they don't or can't believe they are being condescending. It's an admission of a failing and not many people with egos like to admit failings. And most people who are condescending have egos.

KimJ wrote:
There are several facets of condescension.

a)there's feeling righteous, where the other person is so obviously wrong/pathetic/evil that patronizing, being sarcastic or using veiled insults is A-ok.
b)there's feeling of objectification, where you're really doing better than the other person and just want to help. . .
c)there's a divide in the communication where you're not being condescending but don't have a handle on where the other person "is". So, you may talk in a simple manner and offend them unintentionally.
d)the other person is so insecure that they hear condescension, especially if you use "big words".


Actually I am pretty sure that I do a bit of b and a lot of c. As a result I get peoples back's up a lot and get called arrogant. But my intention is not to be condescending just to keep things as simple as possible until the other person lets me know that their knowledge is more advanced than that.



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