Let me know which person you think in this conversation comes across as better or worse? Which person rubs you the wrong way?
Let’s say you’re having a conversation and one person is really excited about a new project he’s completed or a task he’s done or just some kind of accomplishment. The other guy has done some other accomplishments on his own and he’s also done a really great job and they both want to share what they’ve been working on.
The first person says, “Hey Joe, I’ve been working on this project, come check this out. This is really cool.” Then the other guy says, “oh yeah, that is pretty cool. Let me check that out.” Or, the other guy says, “Hey Joe, come check this out, this is pretty cool.” Then the other guy says, “yeah, that’s pretty cool I guess but you ought to see what I did.”
You see there’s a difference between the body language and the way they both come across. So, the first one is excited about what they do. They just wanted to share what they’ve done, they’re excited about what they’ve done with really no thought about how they’re coming across. They don’t sound conceited or arrogant, they don’t sound like they have a big ego. They don’t sound like an asshole versus the other one who sounds like ‘oh yeah, I’ve done some great work, but I am ridiculing your work because your work is not as important as mine and I do more important work’. That is gloating.
My Conversation on Twitter
The reason that I wanted to talk about this kind of topic is that I recently had a conversation on Twitter about how IT pros and geeks, in particular, are typically the former. I haven’t met a whole lot of assholes that gloat and try to put down other people. You know, what they have to say about what they do. It’s typically the opposite. A lot of IT pros and geeks in general really don’t have any kind of malignant intentions but most of them I found have impostor syndrome where “well I don’t think I’m good enough to be in this position or I don’t think I should be in here.” It’s always I’m not good enough, it’s always lack of self-esteem and lack of confidence.
I Tweeted for IT pros to be confident in their skills and it’s okay to gloat a little and you need to actually become more confident in your ability, so you can share what you know, and others can learn from you. Everyone has something to learn from everyone else. I got some flak from that because I used the word gloat and with your typical left-brained geeks out there, they tend to read into the word instead of understanding the whole message.
“You Should Never Gloat”
This is something that I think brought up something in my head. Whenever I said the word gloat, I was immediately replied with like. “oh, you should never gloat.” I’m very focused on not being an asshole all the time, not trying to come across as an asshole. It was my intention to say it’s okay to become an asshole every now and then because it’s a matter of extremes. For example, whenever you have somebody with already a good amount of confidence in their work and they know they do good stuff. Maybe they are some kind of IT Rockstar out there or some developer that it just awesomely does, and he knows he’s good.
If he thinks he’s going to gloat, he’s going to come across as that second guy in my original example. He’s going to come across as an asshole. He’s going say, “oh yeah, look at this thing! I am awesome!” It sounds like they’re gloating, they’re coming across as assholes. They come across as an egotistical arrogant prick. But, when you have somebody that has not a lot of confidence in themselves, maybe they have impostor syndrome, maybe they have the same skills or more than that typical “Rockstar” guy, maybe they have more skills than that but they’re so humble in their demeanor that they don’t want to ever come across as an asshole so they tend to go to the other extreme.
Challenging Geeks to Be Assholes
I challenged geeks, in general, to try to be an asshole to some degree. I caught some flak from it, but I still believe in its 100 percent because in my opinion, if you’re not confident in your abilities that’s going to hold you back and even if you personally think you are gloating that’s just probably going to come across as just plain confidence and you not being an asshole. We tend to think that if we (me included share accomplishment with other people because those accomplishments may be better than what we’re currently telling somebody, those things that we have done, there’s a lot more unfortunate people out there it’s a great it’s a very noble attitude to have, however, a lot of people just take it to the extreme. They never share anything because they’re always afraid of either hurting somebody’s feelings or they’re afraid of making somebody feel bad and it really holds them back from where they need to go in their career and their life, frankly.
We’re so worried about being politically correct and not hurting people’s feelings that if you are typically traditionally someone who lacks a lot of confidence in yourself you’ll never share anything because, “oh, I feel bad because I know how to program in xyz languages. I’m this awesome. Look at all these great that I’ve done. Well, why should I share that because there are some people out there that really don’t have that opportunity and no I shouldn’t do that because I may make them feel bad.” Screw that, that’s holding yourself back personally from professional development just for other people.
Of course, there’s always going to be a line there. It’s awesome to be humble 100 percent. Be as humble as you can but not at the detriment of holding yourself back professionally. That’s the biggest thing that I’ve seen whenever I try to get people to get out in the community. Share what you’re doing, start blogging accomplishments, start reporting and telling your co-workers, “hey, look at this thing I did.” Just make yourself publicly out there and not caring what other people think regardless.
Don’t Let Hater’s Control You
There’s going to 100 percent be some people that also lack self-confidence and they’re going to tell you, “you shouldn’t say that, you sound like an asshole.” Most of the people are just jealous of your accomplishments, they’re jealous of what you have done and it’s up to you to just say forget those people. Those people will hold you back your entire life. However, the people that in their abilities but maybe they don’t have the skills that you have, they’re going to be happy for you. They’re going to be happy for you but they’re going to learn what you’re sharing. They’re going to instead of just immediately saying, “oh, oh, I’m just completely put off with this guy. He’s an asshole. Look at all this great stuff he’s sharing. He thinks he’s awesome.” But the fact is you’re just sharing what you have, what you know with the world to make the world a better place and to help people learn more skills.
Those kinds of people that just are automatically put off, screw them. That’s a ridiculous attitude and something you should never even put into your mind. Don’t let the haters make you afraid of putting yourself out there.
So, that’s a little bit about what I wanted to talk about today. It comes to mind because I Tweeted that thing here recently and it got a few people saying you should never gloat. You should always be diligent on never making anyone a hundred percent of people happy all the time and never making everyone comfortable. Screw that! I say screw that because if you do that 100 percent of the time you are never ever going to live your true potential. You are always going to get held back and you’re not going to realize the potential of the impact that you have on other people that do not pay attention, that magnifying glass and thinking you’re this arrogant asshole or something. People will learn from you and some people will take that. Sure, there are some people out there that if you start sharing all this great stuff or mentioning your accomplishments and even gloating a little bit, thinking you’re gloating. They’re going to just say, “you’re an asshole! I’m not as good as you so I’m just going to put you in a bad place and I’m going to unfollow you and block you. Fuck it! It’s just ridiculous!
So, that is my opinionated talk today, I hope you enjoyed it!