HowTo:Understand and deal with pretentious people
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Pretencious people instead inflate their worth within an environment and then smack everyone around them over the head incessantly with their blessed presence and unlimited knowledge on all things that are sublime.
it simply cannot be avoided and may seem confusingly unnecessary and unnecessarily confusing.
Pretentiousness is when one overstates their value or importance in their environment or social group when doing so is completely unessesary. In essence it is the essential quality of those creatures who comunicate by words instead of action and pass off opinion as though its gospel. Instead of finding worthwhile constructive things to do they comment on everything around them. Instead of developing their own skills, the critique the methods others use. Instead of finding a job where people get along with them, the drain the liquid plasma out of everyones circulatory system, one unwelcomed opinion after another.
Boringness pervades every fibre of the pretentious animal. Think of an over dressed elitist on a low-budget flight asking the year of the wine served from a box from the push cart by an busy and very patient flight attendant.
Do everything you can to expell all pretentious people out of your life. For those that cannot be kicked out (the neighbour across the street, your co-worker, your eldest son) there are ways to deal with them. First, assess what the person is trying to prove, who they are trying to impress, and just how deluded the person is. Then deal with them by either ignoring them, challenging them, and if this fails by destroying them.
UNDERSTANDING pretentious people
Step 1. Assess what the person is trying to prove.
Most pretentious people want everyone (not just most people, but every human being with eyes) to agree that they are clever and/or amusing and/or really super extra important. Think, you have discovered how many languages someone speaks before you've learnt their name.
Above all, this person is trying to demonstrate to anyone and everyone that he is important. He is not actually important, as important people don't have time to tell others how many languages they speak. Ultimately, this is what he is trying to convey, which is also what he is failing to be. Variations on this theme include people who want to seem clever, authoritative, powerful, admired, sought after and all other clichéd adjectives that no one who posseses these qualities ever needs to convince anyone of.
Step 2. Assess who the person is trying to prove something to.
In reality, all pretentious people are trying to prove everything to everyone, but often, they are trying to prove some specific things to some extra specific people. Think, a woman compliments another womans shoes and then starts talking about her own, with a false smile on her face (and the other woman).
Think, first day of theatre class introductions where students name all the obscure directors they have worked with.
Think, a secretary who remarks that there is never enough time to get anything done but that working for her boss is the most challenging and rewarding thing in her life and that if she didn't do it, the company would fall apart.
The last one is a particular whopper. The secretaries job is probably the only rewarding thing in her life. Her own insecurities are so ingrained into her psyche that she needs to validate herself to everyone, all the time (i.e. she's trying to prove everything, to everyone) and usually more so, to anyone she has just met. The new person offers a fresh new batch of possible (and always temporary) attention and theoretical admiration.
Step 3: Assess how the pretentious person is being pretentious.
While there is always slight variation in each case, a pretentious person is being pretentious because deep down inside they know that they are bland, incapable of anything useful or original and compelled to make everyone around them droop downwards to their level in order to make themselves feel better. They do this in two ways: by being pretentious they try to propel themselves to the level of those who are actually above them (by appearing better than them) or to demean and bully those around them in an attempt to bring them down to their own real, low, level. ex. A visual artist wannabe updates his daily blog with a couple nearly blank images of lonely lighthouses in an empty sea a commentary on the meaninglessness of intransinistic spaciality in both temps (french for time) and temporalinicity (sensible in no language). The image is meant to propel him to everyone else's level, by sporking someone else's pic and putting it on his blog, it makes it seem like the image is somehow his and therefore demonstrating his cleverness and worth propelling him up to the original artists greatness. By writing incomprehensible but seemingly meaningful words underneath, he tries to cast the readers in the shadow of a great mind, confusing them, making them doubt their understanding of things and lowering them down to his empty and meaninglessly insecure level.
DEALING WITH pretentious people
Step 1: Ignore them.
The classic, rarely used but often successful way to deal with all awkward social situations: smile and/or ignore. Without a reaction a person will have no way to asses if those around them are buying their story and will therefore not know how to feel about themselves. Ignoring the person will encourage them to try a new victim therefore making them do the truly desired move: "to go away". While usually silence creates a few moments of awkwardness for both parties, rest assured the pretentious guy feels way more distressed than you possibly could by ignoring him. Silence is the most potent poison for the pretentious.
Step 2: Ask questions.
The best question to ask a pretentious person after anything they say is "why"? Multiple times. Doing this will quickly destroy the illusion the person is trying to create and deflate any and all exaggeration in their stories and judgements.
Think: a friend of a friend talks about a trip to Canada with its clean streets. She simply wants to go and live there forever with its safe streets, polite shop attendants and lovely colourful money (where everything is better than here).
Now, ask her why"? Even better, ask her: Why are you talking about your trip to Canada, I barely know you. This is a little rude however the directness of the question brings our pretentious animal back down to earth and it helps you set limits with her.
Think: a friend of a friend has bought a suave pink shirt from an expensive place by a famous designer. He doesn't stop talking about it.
Now ask him: Why is this designer important? Why should I care about a shirt? Why should I care about your shirt? Why are you talking to me? Why would you pay $700 for a pontsy looking shirt? Your job doesn´t even require one! And in what straight bar would you ever pick up a chick wearing that?
Again, your questions will be very rude, but it accomplishes three things at once, it makes the person seem not-clever, not-amusing (and not-important.
If your colleague mentions Canada again, that nordic socialist paradise, a place where she wishes she could move to and live forever, it should be adressed to by asking her: Why don´t you go move there already? She never will leave and reminding her that she is not moving there will destroy the pretence. You won't hear anymore about Canada until South Park makes fun of it again.
Step 3: Go along with everything.
It just may not hurt to play the game. A pretentious boss can be won over by agreeing with everything they say. Taking a few humiliating jabs might send the pretentious person off and give you time to do real things and worry about important stuff. In the end, everyone knows what you are really doing and you will often be the one (especially if your responses all have a hint of irony in it) who appears clever and/or amusing and/or important.
Step 4: Violently attack the person.
After the twelfth time some guy (or girl) has asked you if you have heard about an important book and you have said no and the guy (or girl) replies "wow, that’s really surprising" you may find your patience bottomed out and an urge to destroy something grow quickly inside your heart. It may be best to sucker punch him/her for once and for all. Try not to break your own hand in the process but still do a good number on the nose. It will be difficult for him (or her) to be pretentious with a cast over his mid-face (though they will find a way). At the very least he/she will think twice before quoting Proust or Camus. If you are a man and she is a woman, you may have to just trip her or pull her chair from behind her as she sits down.
Step 5: Have sex with his (or her) wife (or husband or partner).
Some times you have to bite the bullet and tolerate a truly obnoxious person to keep your job, to impress someone with your patience or keep the peace in a bigger situation. Nailing the guys wife on a weekly basis will certainly help you deal with an incessant pretentious person. His wife will jump at the chance to ride any cock other than her deflating husbands' one incher and a few small but nice compliments will be the first she has heard in years and all she needs. It is true sausaged bait. A meaningful gift will be a blast from the past for her and a good mutual rompage will be her sexual rebirth. Fun for the two of you. Thinking about your weekly bedroom smashes will give you a place to go while the dorkus goes on about his Mediterranean cruise, the wait list for his unborn kids preschool or a new cheese at Twenty Francs a Kilo only available through a friend of a friend who you've never met as he is in Sweden attending a Sartre conference in his place. While he talks about the blue veins in the cheese you can think about his wife tongue swirling your balls (or anything else far more important than him).