The Psychology of Arrogance

Dana Tentis / Pixabay


Glenn Geher

5 reasons that arrogant people (regrettably) often succeed

Raise your hand if you like arrogant people?! … Just as I figured – no hands! Hey, I’m with you!

I work with a lot of people and, over the years, I have come to truly believe that there is at least a splash of good in each and every person. And that we all have a ticket on the same ride. I try to be forgiving and I try to respect others as best I can.

This said, if there is one quality in others that gets my goat, it is arrogance. In an article summarizing a provocative set of studies, Johnson, Silverman, Shyamsunder, Swee, Rodopman, Cho, and Bauer (2010, p. 405) define arrogance as “stable belief of superiority and exaggerated self-importance that are manifested with excessive and presumptuous claims.” Sounds about right. We all know one. He or she might belittle you without warning in any context. This person almost definitely talks behind your back. And you go out of your way to avoid having to have interactions with this person as you fear that such interactions may leave you feeling bad for any number of reasons.

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A Dad’s Letter to His Son (About the Only Good Reason to Get Married)


Kelly Flanagan

Dear Son,

It seems like yesterday you were blowing poop out of your diaper onto your mother’s lap. Yet here we are, on the verge of the birds-and-the-bees conversation. The poop was way easier.

Before we talk about sex, though, I want to talk about marriage. Not because I’ll shun you or shame you if you don’t put them in that order—although I hope you will—but because I believe the only good reason to get married will bring clarity to every other aspect of your life, including sex.

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10 “Notes to Self” that Will Stop You from Taking Things Personally



Marc Chernoff

Let’s start off with a simple question:

Why do we always take things so personally?

There are admittedly quite a few viable and valid answers to consider.  But, the one Angel and I have found to be most common through a decade of one-on-one coaching with our course students and live event attendees is the tendency we all have of putting ourselves at the center, and seeing everything—every event, conversation, circumstance, etc.—from the viewpoint of how it relates to us on a personal level.  And this can have all kinds of adverse effects, from feeling hurt when other people are rude, to feeling sorry for ourselves when things don’t go exactly as planned, to doubting ourselves when we aren’t perfect.

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The Love Tank Theory: How to Make Love Actually Last

love tank


Kyle Benson

  • “Our relationship is emotionally dead.”
  • “We never talk anymore.”
  • “My partner is distant, and we never have any fun.”

My inbox is full of emails like this.

These couples often ask, “How did we get here?”

Have you ever had that thought about your relationship?

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12 Hard Things You Need to Hear About Your Attitude

12 Hard Things You Need to Hear About Your Attitude


Marc Chernoff

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the mind is your ultimate battleground.  It’s the space where the greatest and fiercest conflict resides.  It’s where half of the things you thought were going to happen, never actually happened.  It’s where your inner resistance buries you with negativity.  And, when you allow these thoughts to dwell in your mind, they gradually succeed in robbing you of peace, joy, and ultimately your life.  You think yourself right into nervous breakdowns and bouts of depression, time and again.

I know because I’ve been there.

Honestly, we’ve all been there at times.

But, what can we learn from our trials?  A whole lot!

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3 Steps to Renewing Dialogue in Your Marriage


Jon Beaty

Many couples fall out of sync. Without warning, life events disrupt the rhythm that helped them stay in harmony. Pride, strong emotions, marital and work-related stress, and different communication styles often make it difficult to reconnect.

Meet Ryan and Alyssa, a married couple struggling with connection.

Ryan’s success in his job was such an event. He zeroed in on the opportunity to achieve a shared dream, but as he did so, he and Alyssa drifted apart. Ryan dreaded going home after 11 years of marriage. He and his wife, Alyssa, struggled with how to connect with each other without igniting a conflict. Alyssa felt dissatisfied. Ryan didn’t understand why. They described their dilemma to their marriage counselor.

The Communication Breakdown

Ryan explained that he works long hours—until eight most evenings, and two or three weekends a month. He’s ambitious, driven, and skilled in his work, which has paid off financially. He and Alyssa were able to move their family from an apartment to a new home only five years after they married. They’re putting money away to invest in a vacation condo in Hawaii.

“Alyssa supported me in the beginning. We both dreamed of being where we are now,” Ryan said. “We’ve been working on the next dream. But, now she’s not happy. I don’t get it.”

Alyssa described what it’s like when Ryan arrives home each evening. “Hi, honey,” he says. “Hi,” she replies, and their conversation doesn’t go much further than that. She complained to their counselor, “He doesn’t connect with me or the kids in a meaningful way.”

Alyssa used to ask Ryan how his day went. Not anymore. He just says, “Fine.” If she asks for more detail, he gets angry and says things like, “Why do you ask? You don’t really care.” Then they argue. Ryan admits he used to say more, but from his perspective, Alyssa doesn’t appreciate his hard work. When he brought home the top sales consultant bonus for the second year in a row, Alyssa cried.

Alyssa said what Ryan knew; her tears were tears of frustration, not joy. “You really need to cut back and spend more time with your family,” she’d said. “You work too much. You don’t spend enough time with our boys. I can’t be both their mother and father.” Alyssa felt overwhelmed handling it on her own, especially because their boys were having difficulty in school. Ryan has been colder to her since then. She misses the closeness and fun she used to have with him.

Caught in a Whirlwind

Ryan seemed clueless because he wasn’t paying attention to his wife’s bids for connection. Alyssa tried to tell Ryan what she needed, but she often delivered her appeals to Ryan to change his behavior with criticism. Ryan defended himself, and he didn’t listen to the request for connection that lay beneath Alyssa’s criticism. He didn’t see that she wanted to express her needs and wanted him to understand.

Alyssa and Ryan stepped into a trap of criticism and defensiveness, which derailed their attempts to connect. Criticism and defensiveness are two of what Dr. John Gottman calls The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse. When a couple fails to break free of this trap, it may not be long before the other two horsemen—contempt and stonewalling—enter the fight and put their relationship down for the count.

Renewing Dialogue

Highlighting past behaviors only invites more criticism and defensiveness, so their counselor encouraged Ryan and Alyssa to clean the slate and start over. He coached them to take turns expressing their needs and responding to each other. He guided them through the following steps. At the same time, he urged them to keep their focus on the present and to avoid bringing up the past. Most couples can follow these same steps to begin to restore a broken connection.

  1. Tell each other what you want rather than what you don’t want

When spouses can clearly state what they need from their partner without blame or criticism, and especially by using “I” statements, they help their partner see where they can focus their efforts to reconnect successfully.

Alyssa began stating her needs to Ryan. “I need you to be home at least two nights a week to connect more with me and the kids. I feel overwhelmed with the problems our boys are having at school. It would ease my stress if you and I could talk about their problems,” she said. “I need to talk to them together about situations that are coming up. And I want us to do more fun things, too, as a couple and as a family.”

  1. Respond to each other’s statements of need with open-ended questions

Open-ended questions are curiosity’s most powerful tool. These questions typically begin with words like “what,” “why,” or “how,” and are framed to avoid a “yes” or “no” answer. They provide stories for answers, which helps couples to understand each other’s needs more deeply.

To Alyssa’s needs, Ryan responded with an open-ended question. “If I cut my hours and we can’t make that vacation condo happen, how are you going to feel?”

Alyssa said, “I need you more than I need a vacation condo. I want me and the kids to be connected with you more than I want your paycheck or anything we can buy with that.”

Ryan gained a deeper understanding of what Alyssa needs to be happy. Some of her dreams and needs seem to have changed, but he didn’t know that until they had this conversation. He agreed to arrange his hours at work so he can spend more time with Alyssa and the boys. He also agreed to partner with her on helping with the boys’ school problems. And, he promised to plan some dates for just the two of them.

  1. Express appreciation and gratitude to the spouse who’s listening

Words of appreciation and gratitude say, “You matter to me, and I value you.” They express commitment to the relationship, and they cultivate trust that helps bond people together.

Once Ryan responded to Alyssa’s needs and compromised so that they can reconnect and support each other, Alyssa expressed appreciation and gratitude. “You don’t know how happy that makes me hear that,” Alyssa said. “Thank you for listening and understanding.”

A Two-Way Street

For couples to connect, communication needs to flow in both directions. Ryan took his turn expressing his needs in a different way. “I need to hear you say you’re grateful for what I do for our family. You and I both came from families that always struggled to make ends meet. I want you and the kids to have everything you need and more.”

By listening, Alyssa understood that part of what drives Ryan to work so hard is that he wants to provide for his family. “What if I told you I’m grateful every day for what you do? What if I said that at least a few times a week? And what if I said you’ve more than met our material needs? How might that change things for you?”

“That would mean a lot to hear it from you more often,” Ryan said. “You want more of my time. I get that now. That’s what’s been making you unhappy. I thought it was something else, and I couldn’t figure out what it was. I understand now. It’s been good for us to listen to each other like this. Thank you. I don’t remember the last time we talked like this.”

When disconnected couples repair their connection, they can enjoy being with each other. Ryan no longer dreads going home. He and Alyssa are learning to communicate better. They now know the secret to getting back into sync; to tell each other what they want instead of what they don’t want, to ask open-ended questions, to form a compromise, and to thank each other for listening.

How to Get the Intimate Partner You Most Want to Have


Steven Stosny

To get the partner you want to have, be the partner you most want to be.

Your only chance of getting – and keeping – the partner you most want to have is to be the partner you most want to be. The hard part is figuring out what kind of partner you most want to be. Here are some questions that might help.

Do I want to be driven by my ego or motivated by my deepest values?

Do I want my partner to submit to what I want or to willingly cooperate with me?

Do I want to devalue my partner or regard him or her as valuable?

Which do I want most in my relationship, power or value?

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The Greater Gift Came Later

Related image


Donna Miller

My husband was seriously injured at work in August 2002. He was unable to work for about six months. Much of his income is from overtime and his disability pay did not equal even 25 percent of the income we count on. We have five children and this was a massive loss of income for our family. It became necessary for me to work a second full-time job.

Most days I went to my teaching job at 7:00 a.m., went to my second job as a cashier at a local retail store at 4:00 p.m., and dragged myself home around midnight, knowing I had to do the same thing the next day. I still had to do lesson planning and somehow squeeze in family time. I worked seven days a week, and was rarely home. My youngest child, seven years old at the time, missed me so much that he started carrying a picture of me to school in his pocket.

Until then, I’d been very active in my church. But I became too busy for most of my church life and missed many meetings. Word spread about our situation, and I received many calls with words of encouragement and emotional support from fellow church members.

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The Top 3 Vulnerabilities That Ruin Your Relationship




Kyle Benson

All couples come to experience the raw buttons of their partner. Happy couples understand each other’s imperfections and enduring vulnerabilities, while unhappy couples use these enduring vulnerabilities as fire power in the heat of a battle. Instead of holding hands, they point fingers.

Pushing Each Other’s Raw Buttons

Steven and Ruth met while traveling through Brazil five years ago. Both are in their late thirties, and both had a difficult childhood.

Steven was abandoned by his father at the age of 6. He felt like a burden because his mom constantly stressed about money and his childhood expenses.

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24 Signs of a Highly Sensitive Person



Preston Ni

Highly sensitive people often “feel too much” and “feel too deep”.

Are you a highly sensitive person? Do you know someone in your personal or professional life who may be highly sensitive? High sensitivity can be defined as acute physical, mental, and emotional responses to external (social, environmental) or internal (intra-personal) stimuli. A highly sensitive person may be an introvert, an extrovert, or a combination of both.

Although there are many positive attributes to being a sensitive person (such as greater ability to listen and affirm, greater empathy and intuitiveness, better understanding of others’ wants and needs, etc.), in this writing we will focus on aspects of high sensitivity which adversely affect one’s healthhappiness and success, and often complicate relationships. Below are twenty-four signs of a highly sensitive person, with excerpts from my books: “Are You Highly Sensitive? How to Gain Immunity, Peace, and Self-Mastery(link is external)” and “How to Communicate Effectively with Highly Sensitive People(link is external)” These traits are organized into three major categories: Sensitivity About Oneself, Sensitivity About Others, and Sensitivity About One’s Environment.

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