Leading Those Obnoxious People

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Wouldn’t it be nice to never have to deal with obnoxious people; those people who are so annoying they seem to literally crawl under your skin?


When I was a little kid I remember a time my father had one of his close friends over.  They were out in the front yard talking and I was right in the middle of them.  I wanted his visiting friend’s attention desperately.  “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy.”


“Not now son.” he replied as they continued their conversation.  “Daddy, Daddy, “Will you put me in the tree?  Will you put me in the tree?” I asked as I tugged on his shirt as I simultaneously reached up for the lower tree branch. “Daddy, Daddy.”


He never looked down at me.  He reached down grabbed me, lifted me up, put me on a low tree branch and walked off while still talking to his friend.  I was left sitting on a tree limb watching them walk away.  To say the least, I was being very obnoxious.


You see, the reason I was being so obnoxious was because I wanted his friend to notice how “cool” I was.  If he would have acknowledged it my “coolness”, I would have probably done a couple waist high ninja kicks and went away.


Most of the time when people are being obnoxious, the reason is they want you to acknowledge something about them.  They will go to extreme lengths and repeat the action until you do. They will get worse and worse; without even realizing how irritating they are.  It’s the same reason frogs are so annoying.  They can’t hear themselves croak.


Your job as a leader is to figure out what it is those obnoxious people are trying to get you to notice.  You see, no one is really obnoxious they just want some kind of acknowledgement. It’s like a person who walks around holding up a trophy they’ve just won waiting on someone to comment on it.   Here are some examples:


The one upper: “I’m important.”

The know it all:  “I’m smart.”


The gym rat: “I’m more fit than the average person.”


The snob: “I have more money than most.”


The arrogant: “I’m a big deal.”


The has-been: “I used to be a big deal.”


Do you have enough charisma and style to give other people credit for what they crave, so you can remove it as an obstacle and get big work done?




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8 thoughts on “Leading Those Obnoxious People

  1. Kerwyn Hodge says:

    A nice viewpoint of what it means to lead! Handling disagreeable (or obnoxious) personalities presents a challenge, one the effective leader rises to meet. Of course, I’m not in total agreement with the statement “No one is really obnoxious.” Though I readily agree that they actively seek recognition, some people by their nature put that recognition above all other things at all times, no matter who gets hurt in the process. In my book, that makes them obnoxious. People like “the snob,” “the arrogant,” and “the know-it-all” need leadership but may not accept it. While you want everyone to succeed and grow, a leader must focus on the willing (those ready and able to accept and apply direction), not the needy (because, let’s face it, everyone needs help to grow).

  2. mentalmom02 says:

    I agree with a previous comment as well that obnoxious people aren’t always looking for that approval and then they stop the behavior. There are some people in this world who are just overly loud in their mannerisms and not seeking compliments or validation from anyone-they just have obnoxious personalities. The others you speak of can go into a couple categories I think:ones that shut up once they are validated and act human again and there’s the ones that have to be the center of all topic and conversation and it no longer is a validation issue, but more of what I like to call an “attention whore.” Great thought provoking post! I love those!! 🙂

  3. Tienny says:

    Hmm, something new for me to understand those obnoxious people 🙂
    Thank you for following my blog, your future visits and likes. May you enjoy my artwork 🙂

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