The Khadoos, Middle-Class Citizen
Learn how to be a little snobbish to avoid getting walked over. Let’s see how being Khadoos helps us.
You can classify the Indian middle-class population into two broad categories – timid or assertive. One says middle-class because the social issues plaguing the upper- or lower classes are quite different. The lower class is more concerned with surviving on a daily basis to secure their basic needs. They don’t have the luxury of being reserved or snooty.
As for the rich or upper class, we can only speculate what their issues are, having seen them only in the movies. One of the few places where we cross paths with the crème de la crème is the airport, especially when you are juggling between your luggage and a crying toddler in a serpentine queue for boarding, and the first and business class boarding opens. These are the folks who walk past the oldies and cranky babies without batting an eyelid, with their Louis Vuittons gracefully gliding along with them. We just assume that there are no inhibitions in their universe (they have their own demons, no doubt)!
Coming back to our reserved-by-nature middle-class citizen. This creature needs to lean on its neighbours, relatives and friends for support. They tend to be slightly shy and forgiving of each other. They bond and band together. Khadoos or snobbish folks are a sub-sect of the middle class. Although they are rare to find, they tend to make up for it with their sass.
Snobbish vs. Timid
To understand the characteristics that set the snobbish apart from the timid, we have to imagine these creatures in a conference. Everybody is hungry; it’s way past lunchtime. The speaker, oblivious to the rumblings of the tummy, continues to ramble on. Most people politely wait for this speaker to wind up. But a person gets up and excuses themselves saying, “Time’s up. I’ve got to go.” The next time the speaker spots this person, they will stick to the time limit to avoid clashing with this person. This is just one example of this unabashedly Khadoos person.
We’ve all had that one friend who hasn’t met us for years but will casually comment on our appearance or say, ‘You’re just as scattered as you used to be’. Do you often wonder what the right response to this should’ve been after they’ve left? This is so common that the French have a term for it – staircase wit. This inability to respond to negativity is a sign of a timid person. Even though the person has said a hurtful thing, we fumble for words so as to avoid confrontation. A khadoos person will never hold back. But that doesn’t mean talking non-stop is one of their traits. It’s not. They know exactly what to say when and when to stop. The result? People avoid talking down to them. If someone still does, one sarcastic comment is enough to shut them down.
The Traits of the Snobbish
It might be difficult to define the word khadoos, but we can identify their signature traits, the most significant of which is a sense of superiority, which comes across whenever you have a conversation with them. You might ramble on, they might ignore you or throw one line at you and the argument is over. They don’t look for validation or acceptance from their peers. That makes it impossible to insult them.
They may also believe that everything and everyone is beneath them. This leaves no room for arguments and insults. People know that arguing with them leads to no change in behaviour or thought, so they leave them alone. The third trait is their ability to startle people. Snobs tend to behave in an unpredictable fashion and sometimes, that shock value itself lets them get away with anything. However, remember that this may come back to bite you.
Remember when a CEO fired 900 people over a Zoom call? This video went viral, and he was sent on an ‘indefinite leave’. So the arrogance of a snob works if you use it in the right place and for the right reasons.
How to be a Khadoos Middle-Class Citizen
Coming back to our timid, reserved middle-class person. Some people who fall into this category have the habit of being super cautious about hurting people around them. They end up bending over backwards to be in people’s good books hoping their good deeds will be reciprocated. On the contrary, they get pushed over and their ‘people-pleasing’ nature makes them vulnerable.
It is important to say ‘no’ to an employee who repeatedly takes leaves, but it is equally important to say ‘no’ to a boss who keeps calling you to work on your days off. Now if you are someone who is afraid to say no, can you imagine how frustrating and exploitative both these scenarios can be? If you are blunt and confrontational, people will respect your boundaries. You will not suffer the frustration of having to do things against your wishes. At work or in your personal social circle, being a snob might be more liberating than damaging.
‘They were here for your sister’s wedding; we must go to their niece’s wedding’. If a family member says this to you, don’t argue or crib. Just drop one, single, effective line. This will require a lot of practice but imagine, it will save you from standing in a serpentine queue while wearing heavy silk clothes. You won’t have to timidly wait as someone goes up to take a picture out of turn; you won’t have to eat the unappetising, greasy wedding buffet. Isn’t that just amazing?! Imagine your friends not taking you for granted while planning a night out because you’re no longer a pushover who will show up on the day they decide on a place they have chosen!
Now, how does this author know so much about being khadoos? Has she done the research, you ask? Well, if your life partner is a snob, there’s ample time to study this magnificent creature in its natural habitat. One can make mental notes and design a template of sarcastic responses, but just one glare, and the research, notes, and planned replies immediately disappear. That said, there’s a thin line between being assertive and being narcissistic and toxic. As long as you toe that line, you are guaranteed mental peace (without the guilt, of course).
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