I used to be angry, now I'm just amused.
That phrase could have described my attitude ten years ago. Now, I'm more inclined to feel sympathy for the same people.
Think about a student in high school who is unattractive and not at all intelligent. Maybe he or she has a disability, or more likely, is just wading in the shallow end of the gene pool. Probably that kid comes to school with clothes that are out of style or don't match, and often makes comments that are off-topic or just plain wrong, like
"If you don't sit with me at lunch, I won't let you have this Donatello."
Do you bully that student? Make fun of him for playing with ninja turtle action figures during lunch break and thinking that is the coolest thing in the world?
No, if you're not a jerk, you leave that kid alone. You think it is too bad that his biggest accomplishment in life is that he has collected more turtles than you, and you go on to your next class. Maybe you even sit down and have lunch with the kid, because you are a nice person. You take the Donatello and glue it to the dashboard of your car.
Some people in sports are like that. Whether it is coaching youth hockey, running a local judo club or owning a gym, they are convinced of their own greatness. Sometimes they have an attitude that they won't "let" you train with them, share their coaching greatness with you/ your child unless you put up with their lack of punctuality, bring them muffins to morning practices, whatever. Some expect to be paid far more money than they are reasonably worth and are outraged that competitors (or their parents) can't see the value of it.
I've even had some of them threaten me with, if I didn't play nice with them, they wouldn't bring their players to work out with me, or put me on a committee or teach my daughter. None of them threatened to not give me a ninja turtle, but it wouldn't have surprised me.
I ran into someone, let's call him 'Bob' (because if you spell it backwards, it's still Bob), that I had known years ago, and I laughed, but in a sad way. Bob's delusions of grandeur used to piss me off, but now -- to put it politely, Bob had not "aged well".
I thought to myself,
You have a sub-par education, a lame job that doesn't pay much, you look like hell, and you think you're hugely important because a couple dozen people show up at your practices, and half of them mock you behind your back.
Thirty years ago, I would have said that to Bob's face. Fifteen years ago, I would have been drinking beer with the people mocking Bob behind his back.
Now, I just think to myself,
How sad is it that this is all you have in life to make you feel good about yourself.
I've often heard that people who are brutally honest do it more for the brutality than the honesty. So ... I don't say anything.
Maybe those delusions are all that keep those people going. And how sad is that.