Author: Dr. Ajit Varwandkar

Laddu Pinto was a highly aggressive person. As an entrepreneur, he successfully built a decent business portfolio. His life journey could inspire many. The kind of challenges he overcame in his life and the level of commitment he demonstrated were unparalleled. Life circumstances did teach a lot to Laddu. In the process of evolving as a successful businessperson, his behaviour changed drastically. Laddu picked up a dominating attitude in all his conversations. He never accepted that there could be people with a better view of any situation. All his intent always was to prove that he was right always. 

Eventually, the coercive communication strategy became a subconscious part of his nature and behaviour. Children started avoiding him – previously, they used to share so much of their personal life. Even his loved ones began feeling the pain of his ‘I know everything’ approach. 

The height of Laddu’s opinionated behaviour could be seen in his patterns of conversations. When he could not make any substantial contributions to the subject under discussion, in the end, he would deliberately summarize and paraphrase the outcome of the discussion. He aspired to be seen as the winner of any conversation. He got so addicted to this habit of forcing his views and showing his superiority that he lost his sense of distinguishing between family, friends or business. He developed the unresisting appetite to hold the final conversation word or to make the closing remarks. 

My way or high way is a self-sabotaging attitude. It can derail one’s progress at any moment in the journey. Once, Laddu Pinto attended a meeting convened by senior government officials. Throughout the session, Laddu poked his ideas irrespective of their relevance. In the end, when the ‘officer in charge’ made the concluding remark, Laddu’s ‘Last Word Syndrome’ got triggered. He stood up and again made one more layer of concluding statement. This did not go well with the administrative officer. As a result, Laddu was slowly sidelined and eventually removed from that committee. Over time Laddu started experiencing staff unrest in his organization. Even he faced a degrowth in his business, which could be attributed to his assertion to always be right!

Friends, you may also have encountered a few such people. They need to be seen as the ones who think they know everything. Sometimes, a very close family member gets into the trap of this syndrome. The question is, what should be done with such people? Should they be left to their fate? Or constructive feedback be given? 

If the person concerned is receptive, it is always worthwhile to share a purposeful criticism. A few such people might agree to consciously observe their aggressive urge to be right always and make the final remarks. Such words of feedback can only do good for society. 

People who are infected with the “Last Word Syndrome” tend to risk the following:

  • Since ego takes the front seat for such people, the essential learning in the process stops. As a result, the discussion may not bring out any fruitful outcomes. 
  • Such people eventually start getting isolated by society. No one accepts being illogically overpowered by words and authority. Even close relations find it convenient to distance themselves from such people.
  • A negative word spread’s faster than the positive one. When a few people start speaking unhealthy words about you, it must be the begging of a devastating wildfire. 

Suppose you are in the role of a boss or a teacher, or a parent. In that case, it becomes all the more a responsibility to be sensitive towards the ideas and opinions of your colleagues and relations. The last-word syndrome and the incessant desire to establish dominance can dent your reputation and make future prospects bleak.

Beware of this syndrome. 

Do contact me in case you have any career queries.

Dr. Ajit Varwandkar is the Director of He is a leading career counselor and can be contacted on 9826132972 or email him at

This column was originally published by the author in The Times of India