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Why is my son so arrogant?

(13 Posts)
unusuallaptop Tue 07-Aug-18 16:19:17

We are just a normal middle class family. We don’t have huge wods of spare cash to spend. He only really like spending time with my DH’s old money, upper middle class family. He’s quite snobby about my working class parents.

My DS is 19 and has done well for himself, excelling at school and now goes to Cambridge.

He is hugely arrogant now. He thinks he knows everything about everything and judges people quite quickly.

All of his friends come from the same sort of family as my DH. He bothers with the sort that order champagne in nightclubs... not a larger like myself ha.

He likes the finer things in life already, expensive hotels, nice wines etc. He’s not afraid to work for these himself but it’s wasteful.

He looks down on his roots already.

How can I snap this arrogance out of him?!

OP’s posts: |
unlimiteddilutingjuice Tue 07-Aug-18 16:23:31

He's arrogant because he's in an elite environment and has not lived long enough to experience any crushing disappointments.
Time will fix it.

MoggyP Tue 07-Aug-18 16:24:42

You don't sound as if you like him or your in-laws much.

Babdoc Tue 07-Aug-18 16:26:12

Tricky one. He’s still young and probably desperate to fit in with his peer group at uni. Which possibly includes actual peers, lol!
You could try pointing out that a truly well bred gentleman is polite to all levels of society, and that looking down on his working class grandparents is an unpleasant and deeply unattractive way to behave.
You could say that you are disappointed by his behaviour, that it makes you feel personally rejected. Where you go from there depends on his reply, and whether he reflects and apologises or brushes you off.

EvaHarknessRose Tue 07-Aug-18 17:09:44

He’s social climbing. He may or may not grow out of it. I am starting to recognise the ‘arrogance of youth’ in one of my lovely nieces recently.

Smile and nod and call him out on snobbery.

pennycarbonara Tue 07-Aug-18 17:16:41

Time will deal with that. He'll get the corners knocked off once he has to start a job among lots of people more senior than himself.
I used to be an arrogant teenager, as did several friends and relatives. In all cases people learned more from living in the post-university world, although to what extent depended what fields of work they went into and what areas they lived in.

My concern in your shoes would instead be whether he is overspending. May be a bit late for this summer, but assuming he is healthy, insist he gets holiday jobs as a condition of parental support during termtime.

MargaretCavendish Tue 07-Aug-18 17:28:13

I think this is a normal but unpleasant stage. I went through it a bit at university, which makes me cringe now - but it passed. It happens to all sort of teenagers - while he's pretending to be posher than he is, there will be lots of his peers downplaying their middle-classness in favour of being 'street' and authentically working class!

Easier said than done, and I've not been on your side of it, but I'd try hard to just keep your relationship going and trust that he's fundamentally decent enough that this will be an obnoxious but short-lived phase. Make sure you're not contributing to it by making him feel like there's an inherent contradiction between his roots and where he is now - I know lots of people who were made to feel like going to an elite university etc was a betrayal, and it didn't bring them down to earth, it distanced them from their families. Try and avoid 'jokes' about Cambridge boy, how he's clever but has no common sense, etc. - again, this won't bring him down a peg, it'll make him feel that he was right that his old and new lives are incompatible and that he fits in better in his new one.

AnduinsGirl Tue 07-Aug-18 17:30:39

I do sympathise but comments like this:
He likes the finer things in life already, expensive hotels, nice wines etc. He’s not afraid to work for these himself but it’s wasteful. seem to suggest you equally look down on his appreciations and preferences - there's nothing wrong with liking the finer things in life; at least he's willing to graft for these himself!

unusuallaptop Tue 07-Aug-18 18:44:06

I do really hope that this is a phase that passes!

OP’s posts: |
Birdinthetree Tue 07-Aug-18 19:10:30

So he is developing a taste for the finer things in life and if he works hard he will be able to afford them - that's just his tastes changing as he experiences life - you seem to be judging him too, he's allowed to change you know, many people reinvent themselves at University, free from the constraint of their family and old friends. It sounds like his arrogance is born out of insecurity - maybe because he is in the process of reinventing himself.

unusuallaptop Tue 07-Aug-18 19:34:19

Maybe he is experimenting on who he is. I certainly remember going through a punk phase. Generally he is a nice lad. He has always worked summer or weekend jobs. He started working at 14.

I feel his like for nicer things is a bit premature. I suppose maybe he feels he’s found his “set”.

OP’s posts: |
unusuallaptop Wed 08-Aug-18 11:26:06

Thinking about it, he’s almost morphed into his 50 year old uncle, who’s a banker in the city.

OP’s posts: |
BiggerandBetter Wed 15-Aug-18 21:10:56

MoggyP Wow, Just loving that poster!

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