Every once in a while you meet someone who is perfect. They are never wrong. God has given them permission to hold the moral high ground. Sin is what other people do, not them. No, they would never really admit that, but they just know it.
I am always amazed by these people when they end up in my counseling office. When it comes to relationship issues they are 100% not the problem. That’s because they are, well, superior. They hold lesser individuals with contempt and feel justified. When we ask them to talk about their part in the relationship difficulties they are silent. They own nothing because they are blameless.
You find these people on social media, too. They are always expounding on the ignorance of others – on the issues that morally superior people like them understand, but that others don’t. Well, unless those others think like they do.
Don’t confuse intelligence and wisdom with superiority. Superiority is an attitude, a state of mind, not an indication of how smart you really are. Many very intelligent people are also humble.
It is really hard to be in relationship with superior people. Their arrogance is so off-putting. I know this kind of behavior is often labeled as low self esteem. Somehow it takes some of the sting away when we can view them as wounded. But it doesn’t make working on problems any easier. And it flies in the face of Philippians 2:3 which says:
“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.”
When you are with these people they can be quite confusing. Is it me or is it them who is not seeing clearly? I feel their hostility towards me, but I’m not sure I’m at fault. They can appear compassionate at times, but it feels so condescending. What’s wrong here?
Is There A Solution?
The sad news is that often these people don’t change unless they are faced with a trauma in their lives whose root points inescapably to them. It might be a divorce or other relationship breakup or a major career upset. Then the façade starts to crumble.
If you are in a relationship with a superior person, you should treat them with kindness, but set definite boundaries, both with them and with yourself. Self disclosures about your weaknesses will probably be met with contempt and be used against you. Don’t worry – they will be happy to point out your flaws. And don’t try to point out theirs or try to fix them. It will be fruitless and it will open you up to more of their condemnation. Instead, practice loving detachment. Emotionally distance yourself as far as is necessary to not get wounded. Sometimes that can be out of the relationship.
Responding with gentleness, but firmness is what is needed if you see them beginning to break denial and face themselves. If I am describing you, the most helpful thing I can recommend is a (Christian) 12 step program.