How To Cope With Snobbery


Why are we so worried about our careers? Why
do we care so much about our reputations? Partly it’s to do with money of course,
but there’s another, more psychological aspect to our fears as well.
We worry because we suspect – not wrongly – that the world is full of a frightening
sort of person ready to judge us ruthlessly and swiftly: a person we can call a snob.
A snob is anyone who takes a relatively small part of us and uses it to come to a rigid
and unbudgeable conclusion about how much of their attention we deserve. In the past,
that might have meant a snob being interested in your lineage and royal connections. Nowadays,
the snob cares about one thing only: what you do for a living.
This explains why the first question we will be asked in any new social context is ‘What
do you do?’ and according to how we answer, snobs will either welcome us with broad smiles,
or swiftly abandon us by the peanuts. The opposite of a snob is your mother – not
necessarily your mother in particular – but the ideal mother, someone who doesn’t care
so much what we have achieved, but who thinks about who we are in the broad sense. But most of the
world is not like our mothers – and that is why we are fired up by such a desperate
urge to achieve and impress. Sometimes our behaviour is mistaken for greed
and vanity, but it is more poignant than this. A lot of our interest in fancy cars, jobs
and houses has nothing to do with materialism. It has to do with a hunger for the respect
and esteem that is only available in our societies through the acquisition of material goods.
It isn’t the goods themselves we seek, it is the love we stand to gain through our possession
of them. The next time we see someone driving a Ferrari, we shouldn’t condemn them for
their greed, we should pity them for the intensity of their need for love from the world. At
the root of snobbery is a lack of imagination and confidence about how to decide who in
the world is valuable. The snob isn’t wrong in their background sense that there are better
and worse sorts of people around. They are just brutally misguided and slavish in their
beliefs about how the superior individuals can identified. For snobs, it is the already-acclaimed
and already successful who are the only ones worthy of respect. There is no room in their
timid regimented minds to imagine that someone might be clever, kind or good – and yet
somehow have been overlooked entirely by society, their qualities lurking beneath an unfamiliar
guise, and having as yet discovered no obvious outlets.
Touchingly, the personal origins of snobbery typically lie in parents who were themselves
snobs – and never endowed their offspring with the confidence to judge each new person
on their own terms, without reference to social status, income and reputation. Despite their
commitment to surrounding themselves by people of high status, ironically, snobs constantly
fail to spot who might one day be feted and applauded. They are misled by the unexpected
outward forms that brilliance often takes. Snobs don’t sign up the Beatles, don’t
invest in the start-up iteration of Google or Apple, don’t give the time of day to
the taxi driver who might one day be the president or the old lady in a woolly hat writing the
great novel of the 21st century. The true answer to snobbery is not to say
that there is no such thing as a better or worse person, but to insist that better or
worse exist in constantly unexpected places and carry none of the outward signs of distinction.
And because we are such poor judges of the worth of others, our ultimate duty remains
to be kind, good, curious and imaginative about pretty much everyone who ever crosses
our path – and that includes ourselves.

100 thoughts on “How To Cope With Snobbery

  1. i have reason to be snob that nonsnob never try to understand it, and im not being mean anyway.. they should appreciate that

    i am snob because…. lower class (excuse me), if i associate with them, they might creepy crawl to me for their needs like money and financial support, i have my own problem, they have their own problem, they can't work for their own…. i don't have to work for them

    this happened to me alot, that i can't count it anymore, they have to prove theirself first they won't pester my quiet life.

  2. Also people put so much time, resources and thoughts into achieving high status because we all crave appreciation, almost as much as we crave eating and sleeping.
    We have such a deep desire to be appreciated that we go through great lengths to get others to appreciate us, to complement us. When in reality if we focused more on being nice to others we would receive appreciate much more easily and sincerely.

  3. "Next time we see someone driving a Ferrari…we should pity them." Uhm. You know people who can afford Ferraris might buy them because they are excellent cars and they enjoy driving them on a track. You know…for reasons OTHER than trying to impress us. This video is about criticizing snobbery, but now it needs a rebuttal video about being judgmental.

  4. This is accurate, I hate being a snob. But, I just can't help it. For example on one night out, this chav stunk of weed, dressed in a tracksuit, speaking like a right chav then they tried speaking to me. I was properly dressed suited and booted, and I have standards. But, coming on a night out like that, I just walked off. Tells you a lot about the individuals standards.

  5. A snob is a frog who tells his name all day long to an admiring bog! The following poem proves this fact:-)

    I'm nobody! Who are you?
    Are you nobody, too?
    Then there's a pair of us — don't tell!
    They'd banish us, you know.

    How dreary to be somebody!
    How public, like a frog
    To tell your name the livelong day
    To an admiring bog!

    Emily Dickinson ( 1830- 1886 )

    I deeply sympathise with the "nobody" in this poem. Seems like a very noble, honest, wise person to me. Someone who knows that he is just one more human being among billions of his kind, has the humility to see that he is nothing special and that he too will die! He is more likely to wish to make a difference in this world, to serve to his fellow human beings, without asking to be given a huge amount of power and recognition.

    The greatest name of Argentinian folklore is Atahualpa Yupanqui. He wrote 1200 wonderful songs, 5.000 verses and 9 books. But he once said that after his death, he wanted people to forget his name, but remember his songs. He wanted his songs to become "anonymous" one day.What a beautiful and noble idea…

    Friends who enjoyed this video, could also take a look at a TED talk by Alain called " A kinder, gentler philosophy of success", his book " Status Anxiety" and the documentary with the same name which you can find on youtube. All three of them have a life changing quality, since they change the way you look at yourself and the people around you, including snobs…

  6. I think this video makes some good points, but it lost me when it insinuated that the snob should be kind to the taxi driver who might someday be president or the old lady writing the great novel. What about the taxi driver who won't ever be president or get famous or rich? What about the old lady who's going to die without leaving much of an impact on anyone? If you think that only people who might someday achieve these sorts of prestigious things are valuable , you're guilty of the same sort of snobbery you just criticized.

  7. I read the word as "sno berry" and sat wondering what the heck a sno-berry was….😬

  8. Sydney's snobs ask you "Whereabouts in Sydney are you from?"

  9. "The next time we someone with a Ferrari"

    Snobbery; some people just like fast cars. Like, they built models of them as kids, then when they grew up and by chance had enough money to buy one, they did so.

    Some people collect trains, others collect cars. Neither means they're necessarily pitiable.

  10. The more I watch SOL vids, the more I am enlightened… Enlightened and aware of what a truly shitty world we live in. Its so shit, its beyond fixing.

    As for the snobs, why not tell them directly to their face that they are retarded idiots and to go fuck themselves? What is this fear of being direct that people have? Afraid of seeming rude? Lol. The more you play with their rules, the more they win

  11. In Sydney, snobs ask us where abouts in Sydney are you from?

    They want to know how much your house is worth

  12. I once had a snob ask me what I did for a living. I told them. Then they asked how someone like me managed to get a job like that. You can't win with those people.

  13. My wife and I were out at friends for dinner.
    They are extremely well off and a nice couple,however……
    After dinner the host produced a bottle of Louis X111 cognac from his drinks cupboard,asking me if I'd like snifter.
    Oh yes please says I,my eyes popping out,so he produces two glasses,pours one from the Louis X111 bottle,then reached down and poured me a glass from a cheap ordinary brandy.
    I was gutted,but too polite to say anything,what could you say anyway?
    Is this a form of snobbery or put down.I certainly felt put out.

  14. what about people like me? i think i'm a snob, but not for the reasons this video states. i'm a snob because i can't stand the rinky dinky dance music that everyone seems to be in love with and i look down over my shoulder at super heroe movies and won't even engage in a conversation with anyone who enjoys these things. isn't that just as snobbish and reprehensible?

  15. Aaaaaack! The apostrophe at 2:54 made me lose faith in this channel. Come on…

  16. Why are you so forgiving to people who are in need..and thus do things that they should not! How can we make more people to understand the vanity of not taking others view of us important.

  17. I stand corrected. I wanted to be a snob to the snobs, but that would be sinking to their level.

  18. So write people off for wanting to be more and have more in life? Isn’t that kinda being a snob also?

  19. Perfect description of the hick yuppies in the south… EVERYthing is based on money. You're given EXACTLY the same amount of regard as how much money they think you might have.

  20. I like the ferrari comment – very stoic! "Be jealous not of the man with a beautiful wife – pity him for his need for a beautiful wife"

  21. Personally i feel it's the rich people in this world who are snobs. Just going around like they are better than you are going about life, like their shit doesn't stink. When in all reality they are the same as you and me. Like Mary Poppins so delightfully puts it they can't see past the end of their nose

  22. Attractive women were always snobs towards me. I don't know why. Ohh well that's there problem not mine. I do everything in my power to mind my own business

  23. Once I met a lawyer who told me he had to have a very expensive car, bcz in that way his clients would be sure he was a good lawyer… any thoughts?

  24. Wrong. Many people want fancy cars and houses so 1) They can feel good about themselves and 2) They can feel superior to others, thus again circling back to #1.

  25. i feel like you contradict your logic when you say mother, 1:10…in other arguments; true vs. false self; you have said that its the parents unflinching support which creates a balanced adult able to deal with the world and be "false"- so which is it? very frustrating.

  26. 0:33: The nose of the snob is just as big as the victom LOL

  27. Oh mah gawd! Mind your fuckin business all up in my wallet all up in my toilet and dont know shit… @ half way through… thats exactly what i do… pity them…. you will miss out on the best people if you care about or worry about that sort of thing. Ive had the titles i dont give a shit… the best people ive ever met dont care about these things either.

  28. Oh. And i hate that stupid ass nosey ass question "what do you do?".. i mean, who the fuck are you or anyone to ask me this? Thatz like straight up asking me how much money do I have? Wtf? And its always somebody looking to compare themselves to you in some way or the other… its a very invasive question and i dont answer it because what i do for the world and how I make my money are two different things

  29. If one is looking for the taxi driver who'll become President, ain't that being snobish?

  30. The feebleminded try to judge others. The wise try to understand others and imagine the lives of others as if it were their own.

  31. My definition of snob is much broader than this and actually is along the lines of prejudice, judging on appearance before you get to know someone. I believe snobs also pick up on things like skin color, accent, height, age, looks (pretty/ugly), and mannerisms, not just money. I’ve met plenty of snobs who ignored me because I wasn’t the prettiest or most talkative of the bunch, aka popular. Recently even I got rid of a friend who turned out to be snobbish to people based on skin color and economic class, basically only respecting people who were darker skinned, had a diverse parentage, and were below middle class.

  32. Apostrophe in the wrong place in this video… OMG, I'm a Snob……

  33. I can understand. I'm a bit of a snob, but I'm not a dick. I do carry myself a certain way, talk a certain way, dress a certain way. I am generally quiet, which can lend a lot of weight to the "snob" factor, according to many people. I like nicer things, I like accomplishments, I like people who are intelligent, witty and talented, I like people who work hard for what they want and I am very attracted to true quality people. Not by what they own or what they do, but by how they treat others. I refuse to associate with human garbage that acts like garbage. i.e, being rude, crude and treating anyone like dirt for no reason. I don't care if they are BIll Gates rich or pauper poor either. Treating others like trash just because you can and for no reason always sat wrong with me. For this, people call me a snob (even though I treat just about everyone with due respect), but a label is a label I guess. Hundreds of people who have told me the same things can't ALL be wrong. Oh well.

    And yes, my mother was a snob and her parents were snobs and THEIR parents were snobs. Go figure. The snob gene must be a thing then. According to many people, it radiates off of me, but I really don't mean it. Growing up, there was a way you were to talk and act, and I can't act any other way if I tried. I am actually more animated and less stone-faced once I get warmed up to people, I'm just more introverted.

  34. this channel is making me a better human being 🙂 🙂 thanks Alain de Botton and team

  35. A lot of nerds even, are actually snobs. Snobbery is in almost every facet of societal behavior.

  36. "What you do" can be a natural question without the intent to judge and be snobbish. Sometimes it arises quite accidentally out of natural curiosity.

  37. asking what a person does is also a form of small talk, just because someone asks you that doesn't mean they're a snob.

  38. Snobs within anything having to do with a following (ex. being involved in a church or being athletic and/or being in vogue with sports) are some of the deadliest or more dangerous ones to my mental health I have come across.

  39. Snobs think there better than everyone else because they have money but in reality there nothing

  40. A snob a neurotic spoilt twat i hate snobs who busy there lives watching other people they give the wrong type of stare to a scizophrarnic they risk assault snobs are in great danger of assault they are aware of it they provoke people with big words like huge amazing they big up the world because there brain is small and there mind is petty.
    They generalise and have conditioned thinking.
    They are the same or worse than being autistic.

  41. Snobs are judge MENTAL..people. I know that much..and I bet you they die early rich..with no one to give it to.

  42. In the super-shallow south, the hick yuppies base absolutely EVERYthing on money (or more accurately, the appearance of it).

    They not only want to know what you do, but in what neighborhood you live, and if familiar exactly which house or condo, and if you own or rent… I've even had a couple of people then ask me how much my rent is!

    This is all so they can immediately establish how much regard to give you, based solely on how affluent you appear.

    Then, upon thinking you might have more than they, instantly they'll begin to brag&brag&brag&brag&BRAG about their possessions.

    Unbelievable shallowness, and problem is, it seems nearly ALL the hick yuppies are like this.

  43. I dont think asking other people what they do for a living is that terrible. Anyway most people expend most of their lives in their Jobs, so for me makes sense to ask that question. But for me is more important to ask where they are from, because the culture says a lot more of someone than what they do. The problem is to jugde because of that. Greetings from Chile.

  44. So why not start a fucking anti snob movement? I hate snobby fuckers they think the world evolves around them.

  45. Seems very similar to the ted talk A kinder, gentler philosophy of success | Alain de Botton

  46. I've gone out on certain days, lovely weather, just a nice day, i'm walking about and i decide to go into a shop and i speak with the manager or the owner just to ask them something, and you can tell immediately that they're a snob, that and because you have to be aware of the part of town you're in — the look in their eyes, their sort of slapped arse face, the crooked mouth and then they say something — its like they're dead on the inside. Its so weird, speaking to another person like that, you just want to slam their heads into the wall. And they love getting involved in the art world, art is not for snobs, its not for them, ''oh this is a piece by Sandra Saunders, it really expresses the blah blah blah'', when its just a blue square… you just want to laugh at them. They're under the illusion that they're better than other people, but its exact opposite. You find them in book shops and galleries and in really nice looking places, in fact i could do out a map of their locations, actually that's a good idea hmmm…

  47. Brain:"I'll just watch one before bed."
    *2 hours later*
    Me:"I have a problem"

  48. sometimes pitying someone for their need for love is its own kind of snobbery

  49. "its not that better or worse don't exist, but that they exist in unexpected places."
    or maybe its just not our job to judge better or worse, but just to go for what or who we actually want or like.

  50. Aspiration seems to be left out of this equation. 😮.
    Well growth is good, and moving forward is good. This video has a race to the bottom feel to it. 😘

  51. Snob: "What do you do?"
    Me: "Drugs."
    Snob: laughs at themself for asking a useless question
    Me: (once snob settles down)
    "Actually, I…..(describe job in concise terms)

  52. I discovered that having an above ground pool was grounds for being snobbed in Fort Lauderdale. 🤣

  53. i don't know about y'all but lots of mothers care what their children do for a living.

  54. I’m a second generation snob and my parents were too. My mother would get scared of anyone that looked like a crackhead or lower class and it’s horrible, I know! But I do that same admittedly. It’s true that you become you parents. I must say I am very quiet and a respectful person but I won’t catch public transport and never have as I’ve heard horror story’s from my mom growing up and she feels it’s too unsafe for us to go on there and get mugged :/

    Edit: the grammar in this is terrible, but I can’t be bothered to change it & English isn’t my first language so
    .

  55. More often I have seen low life people are snob. They feel so lacking that are attracted to anything that seem to contain.

  56. Yeah snobs are the worst. We're all way better than all those snobs (see what I did there?). In reality, most people are snobbish in some aspect of life, whether they realize it or not.

  57. These people are total snobs especially Eugene and these damn shrinks doctors and teachers and especially many musicians…..total freaking stuck up snobbbbbbbbbs!!;

  58. The "What do you do?" Question is answered by a list of my family obligations and hobbies. Work is answered last with: I'm independently wealthy, and you?

  59. How To Cope With Snobbery:

    Punch them.

    Next time they look down their nose at you, make sure they're looking down a splint or a bloody bandage. That will remind them of the price of snobbery. That will teach them humility.

  60. I love that this guy has an accent! xD
    I feel smart listening to him hahaha

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *