Thursday 9 April 2015


Part 1 of 3: Standing Your Ground

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    Don’t compete with them. You may think that fighting fire with fire is the best approach when it comes to snobs, but the worst thing you can do is try to stoop down to their level. If a snobby person in your circle is going on and on about his fancy vacation to Milan, there’s no point in trying to point out that you’ve been there, too, or that you prefer France over Italy. This will only make the snob more determined to prove you wrong and to show that his way of life is far superior to yours. Instead, hear the person out without feeling the need to show that what you’re doing is superior or that you’re also pretty cool in some other way.
    • Though it can be tempting to point out how expensive your handbag, wine, or painting are, it’s just not worth it. The snob can never be out-snobbed, and you’ll only be making yourself look bad while alienating the non-snobs around you in the process.
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      Kill them with kindness. You may feel like it’s easier for you to breathe underwater than it is to be nice to a snobby person. Still, when you’re faced with a mean, sour-faced, and generally unpleasant person, sometimes the best thing you can do is to smile and say, “Hi, how are you?” The snob may even be taken aback because he’s not used to being treated so nicely and may surprise you by being kind back. If being nice to the snob doesn’t yield a nice result, then you can at least tell yourself that you tried everything before deciding that the person really is stuck-up.
      • If the snob insists on acting like you don’t exist, you can even cheerily say, “Hi!” followed by the snob’s name when he walks by. This will catch him off guard — and hey, it may make you chuckle.
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      Maintain your confidence. Don’t let a snob make you feel inferior or like you don’t know anything about anything. If you waver in your ideas or doubt yourself, that will only fuel the fire and give the snob free reign to make you feel terrible about yourself. If you’re insecure, slow to respond, or talk softly because you’re afraid of sharing your ideas, then the snob will latch right onto that and will only make you feel worse. Instead, speak in a steady, even voice and use facts to back up your ideas, showing that you’re not afraid to state your ideas.
      • It’s one thing if you really aren’t an expert on something and the snob tries to gently educate you, but another if you’re talking about something you feel confident about. Don’t let a snob make you doubt how many championships the Lakers have if you’re positive you know the answer; however, if a snob who spent ten years making wine tells you something you didn’t know about pinot noir, it’s okay to listen if you’re not being condescended to.
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      Don’t make fun of their taste. Remember that part about not stooping to their level? The thing about snobs is that they not only have really strong opinions, but that they don’t like to have them challenged. Sinking to their level will only make them more sure about their own opinions, and will make them simply annoyed that you would engage with them. Since they’re used to arguing and being snobby, they’ll fight back and will make fun of your taste twice as hard, and that’s something you want to avoid.
      • Instead of saying that the snob has terrible taste, you can just mention something you like instead in a kind fashion. You can say something like, “Well, I haven’t seen Sherlock, but I really love True Detective. Have you checked it out?” This works far better than saying something like, “That show is for losers. True Detective is the best show out there and everyone knows it.”
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      Talk to them about the behavior if you know them well enough. If you’re forced to spend a lot of time with a snobby person, or even call one of these people a friend because you like other things about him or her, then it may be time to bring up the behavior to see if the person is capable of changing. You shouldn’t come right out and say that the person is a snob, but you can try saying something like, “You know, you tend to make it sound like you think your way of doing things is always the right way. It hurts my feelings.” Though this won’t be easy to say, this may help the person change, if he’s willing to do so.
      • If you’re afraid of using yourself as an example, you can say something like, “You really hurt Ashley’s feelings when you told her her shoes looked cheap. I don’t think comments like that are very helpful.”
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      Let them see that they can’t hurt you. Another way to deal with snobby people is simply to show them that you’re impervious to their insults. If they make fun of you, call something of yours inferior, or just clearly go out of their way to make you and the people around you feel small, then you should make sure not to flinch or respond when they’re being mean, or even to roll your eyes if necessary. If the snob wants to start a fight about craft beers, just shrug and disengage. Show that you’re happy with who you are and that no snob can change that.
      • If you find yourself on the brink of tears, just excuse yourself and step out for a minute or say you have to take a quick phone call. Don’t let them see how upset you are.
      • Don’t waste your time complaining about them to others, either. It’ll get back to them and will only give them power.

    Part 2 of 3: Winning Them Over

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      Find common ground. One way to win over a snob is to find something that you do agree with or something you do have in common. Maybe it turns out you were both born and raised in Poughkeepsie, New York. Maybe you’re both die-hard Maria Sharapova fans. Maybe you both love making your own pasta. As you spend more time with the snob, dig around conversationally to see if there’s something you can bond over. The snob will begin to see you as a person he shares interests with and will come to think of you as a person of good taste.
      • If you really do find something you have in common, then you can even impress the snob with your knowledge of the subject.
      • It may take a little digging if you really feel like you and the snob have nothing in common. If you have a mutual acquaintance, see if that person can give you something to work with. Then the next time you see the snob, you can say something like, “I didn’t know you were a Celtics fan, too. Are you from Boston?”
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      Challenge their expectations about you. Snobs like to stereotype people in order to help them believe that their views are superior. They may have a certain idea about you because you grew up in a working-class neighborhood, went to Harvard, or teach yoga. Though you don’t have anything to prove, if you want to be able to deal with snobby people, sometimes the best thing you can do is to show them that you’re not who they think. It takes time for you to challenge a person’s expectations, but it’ll be worth it.[1]
      • As you help them get to know you, you may find that they’re not who you think, either. Maybe you had a certain idea of the snobby person as being stuck-up, when you’ll learn that the person is really just insecure and afraid of new people.
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      Educate them about the things you like. Though it may not be easy, one way to win over a snob is to turn him on to something you know he’ll like. Maybe the person is a pastry snob and you know exactly which boulangerie he’ll like the most; maybe she’s only into indie rock and you make her a CD of Stones hits that you know will do the trick. Make an effort to show the snob that there are other exciting things out there that are worth exploring.[2]
      • It’s all in the delivery. You should avoid making it sound like you’re offering a superior opinion. Instead, say something like, “Hey, if you like Vampire Weekend, then I think you’ll actually really like this Velvet Underground album.”
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      Avoid topics that are likely to start a conflict. There are some subjects that will really get a snob going, and they are best to be avoided at all costs. Of course, it depends on the snob you’re dealing with; if you have a wine snob, don’t talk about how you think Napa Chardonnay is the best in the world, unless you want to get a lecture on French viticulture. However, if the snob doesn’t mind talking about fashion, sports, or even current events, then you can turn the conversation in that direction. Every person, even a snob, has a soft spot, and you should focus on discussing subjects that are less likely to be controversial when dealing with your snob.
      • If the snob is really set in his ways about certain subject, then there’s no point in trying to fight him on the point. You can talk to other people who care about your love for The Beatles or yoga.
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      Consider your audience. Of course, there will just be some people you don’t click with. If these people are snobs, though, you can think about what makes the snob you’re dealing with angry in particular. If the snob grew up in a working class neighborhood and is suspicious of wealthy people and you have a bit of money, then maybe he’s not the person to chat with about your sailboat and ritzy vacations. If he’s a huge foodie, then maybe he’s not the person to invite to make a daily run to Chipotle. If you avoid bringing up topics that are sure to annoy or offend the snob, then you’ll be more likely to win him or her over.
      • Though you don’t have to change what you talk about completely to win the snob over, keeping his own prejudices and experiences in mind when you talk will make for more positive conversation.
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      Don’t be a snob to them in return. The worst thing you can do is to be stuck up right back to the snob. If everything fails, you can just ignore the snob, but there’s no need to be stuck up right back. Don’t bother making fun of the snob’s taste, turning up your nose at the person, not being friendly, or just demeaning everything. That won’t be much fun for you or anyone in your orbit, and you don’t want the snob to drag you down with him.

    Part 3 of 3: Not Letting Them Get to You

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      Feel sorry for them. If all else fails, you can approach the situation from an empathetic perspective. If you’ve tried to be nice to the snob, tried to change his expectations, and even made a point of introducing him to a new restaurant, brand of coffee, or clothing line that you thought he’d like and have gotten nothing but cruelty in return, then the best thing you can do is accept defeat and feel sorry for the snob. Recognize that the person is deeply insecure, socially unaware, and so determined to prove that he knows best that in the end, his life is going to be sad, lonely, and pathetic. This can make you feel better about being a more reasonable person and for not being able to connect with the snob.
      • Think about it: isn’t your life so much easier because you’re able to have a conversation without making people feel bad? Think about the difficulty the snob faces in everyday interactions — even if it’s his fault, it still makes for a pretty miserable existence.
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      Make sure they’re actually snobby, and not just shy or socially awkward. Many people who are shy, socially awkward, or just insecure are often mistaken for being snobs. You may think the person is thinks he or she is better than you simply because he or she is reluctant to make conversation, seems cool socially, and acts stand-offish even when you try to be nice. Some people are just really, really shy and find it hard to connect with new people; this might come off as snobby, but in reality, the person may be as nice as can be. Make an effort to get to know the person better before you make a final judgment.
      • If the snob is close friends with a few people you think are normal and nice, then it really may be that he or she just opens up to very few people. Think it through before making a final call.
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      Avoid them as much as you can. Another tactic for not letting the snob get to you is to simply avoid being around him or her as much as you can. If you know the snob will be at a small party you were thinking of going to and that being around him will ruin your mood, then skip out. If you know the snob is likely to be hanging out in the kitchen at work, then go out for lunch. Of course, you shouldn’t let the snob win and stop doing what you love for the sake of avoiding him, but if being around the snob is really dragging you down, then avoidance may be your best option.
      • If you don’t want to let the snob affect your schedule, think of strategic ways to avoid him or her when you’re in the same room. You can pretend to look busy on your phone, actively engage in conversations with other people, or even move to a different conversational circle if you’re at a party.
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      Don’t let them affect your self-image. If you had to spend a lot of time around a snobby person either socially or at work, then you have to learn to let their comments move right past you instead of getting stuck in between your ears. No other human being should dictate your self-worth or make you feel inferior. You are only inferior if you make yourself out to be that way, and only you have the power to truly control your self-image. If a snobby person is bringing you down, it’s important to remind yourself about all of the things that make you great.
      • Make a list of all of the qualities you like about yourself, and all of the compliments other people have given you. Just because one person is being a jerk to you doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you — in fact, it’s much more likely that something is wrong with him or her.
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      Ignore them when necessary. Though ignoring a person isn’t exactly the most mature route, if you tried everything and the snob is still being a real jerk, then that’s not very mature of him, either. If you’re forced to be around the person but no longer care about making a good impression, then the best thing you can do is roll your eyes and not engage with the snob. You don’t have to pretend like he’s not there, but you can mentally tell yourself that this person really doesn’t matter to you at all. This can help you avoid engaging with his snobby antics or trying to waste your energy on fighting back.
      • If you’re in a group with the snob, just don’t make eye contact or really engage with him. Focus on what other people are saying instead.
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      Remember all of the non-snobs who make you feel good. If a snobby person in your life is getting you down, just remember all of the people you actually like, care for, and feel good around. Just because one person is making you feel ugly, poor, or stupid doesn’t mean that a single word of what he’s saying is true. Think of all the people in your life who value you and make you feel good, and don’t let one jerk get under your skin. Instead, spend time with all of the people you love and care about, and you’ll see that you’ll feel better about the world and yourself.
      • You can even hash out something the snob said with one of your close friends, if it’ll make you feel better. Though you shouldn’t give the snob too much power by talking about him too much, if you just want to confirm that the snob is annoying with one of your close friends, then you can talk about it. Your friend will assure you that you’re awesome and that the snob has nothing to feel superior about!


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