A long time ago, I read a book where one character says that human beings “talk in stories.” We tend to spend most of our time talking in anecdotes, tales, and whatnot. It’s the primary way we inform others about ourselves. And those stories tend to tell a lot more about ourselves than a simple recitation of facts — they are remarkably revealing about our true natures.
For example, I tend to most often tell self-deprecating stories, with a humorous bent. I figured out a long time ago what that says about me, psychologically, and why I do it — and I’m OK with that.
But this guy I know… he’s something else.
It took me a while to catch on, but almost all of his anecdotes have the same theme:
He’s the strongest. He’s the fastest. He’s the toughest. He’s the bravest. He’s the smartest. He’s the most resourceful. And he’s always right. In almost each and every case, he’s involved in a conflict with others — and it always ends with he being acknowledged as superior.
Unfortunately for me, my relationship with this guy is professional, not personal, so I can’t just call him on his bullshit without risking problems at the Day Job.
Sooner or later, I’m gonna snap and this guy’s gonna get an earful. Right now, though, I’ve found a way to make his boastings almost tolerable — I listen to the beginning, then try to guess the ending. It’s easy — I just have to ask myself “where could this go that would make him look the best, to his way of thinking?”
Last few times, it’s worked like a charm.
And the day I snap, I just might interrupt him and give him my prediction — and just how I came to it. That oughta take the wind out of his sails a bit.
And make my Day Job quite awkward for some time to come.
It just might be worth it, though…