What do you call a person who’s rude, conceited, overly proud, and just so full of themselves? Arrogant, right! Well, today’s post is dedicated to all those arrogant people around us who think they know it all, have seen it all, and have done it all in their lives. With this Know-it-all behavior, they are so hard to interact with and often unbearable to talk to. Arrogant people have the potential to make the lives of people around them miserable too. So, how to deal with arrogant people? Today I will be walking you through 10 ways that will help you not let their arrogance get under your skin. But, before that, you need to recognize arrogance and understand how it is different from confidence. So, without further ado let’s get started!

Recognizing Arrogance

Merriam Webster’s dictionary describes Confidence as the belief in oneself that you can do well or succeed at something. While Arrogance is described as an insulting attitude towards others. Arrogance comes from a place of superiority and a feeling of being the smartest, strongest, and cleverest of all. It is characterized by a demeaning attitude towards others considering them inferior or often worthless.

To help you spot an arrogant person you need to keep in mind the following signs

1- Arrogant people believe they Know-it-all

2- They believe they are always right and will go to any extent to prove you wrong

3- Arrogant people always have to talk about themselves. They are just a modified form of braggarts!

4- You don’t even exist for them!

5- Deep down they are very insecure of themselves, so, their arrogant public façade helps them mask their insecurities.

6- Arrogant people try to impress others with their constant and often unbelievable exaggeration of themselves.

7- They hate facing rejections!

In a nutshell, arrogant people are insecure deep down due to which they out up a whole faced of being the best of all to hide their insecurities. They have a difficult time accepting themselves. This deeper emotional trauma might stem from a painful experience or bitter childhood memories. Thus, while your first instinct would be to pay them in the same coin you should often try to remember that you are interacting with a human. Arrogance is just a part, albeit a bitter one, of their personality. But, the person that is behind all that arrogance is still a human worthy of compassion. This is not to say that you should tolerate any bullshit. However, you should try to be a little kinder when interacting with them, if possible.

10 ways to deal with Arrogant and over-confident people in your life

1- Never let your confidence slip away

The best way to handle arrogant people is by being confident in front of them. Arrogance thrives on insulting and putting others down, but when the other person knows that you can stand your ground then won’t bother you again with these tactics.

However, if you are a doormat or a timid mouse then that arrogant person will gain more pleasure demeaning you. The first trick is to work on your self-confidence. Insider offers great insights into how you can pretend to be confident even when you are not feeling it. Some of the tips that Michelle Elman shares for strong self-confidence are;

  • Thinking about the days when you did feel confident will not make your confidence slip away

  • Repeat a positive mantra- repeating some words of wisdom like ‘I can do this or ‘I have got this’ will revive your inner spirit and boost your confidence

  • Adjusting your posture- practicing sitting straight up, folding your arms, or maintaining eye contact are some of the power postures to increase your self-confidence

  • Never pull yourself down- we usually are our worst critics. The way you talk to yourself can either build your confidence or break it so, why not build it by talking positively of ourselves?

  • Look your best- heard the word power dressing? Well, that’s what you need to do to tap into your hidden self-confidence

In a nutshell, if you feel confident within yourself nothing can rip you off no matter how over-confident or arrogant the other person might be. So, fake it till you make it and never for once let your inner insecurities or doubts show off.

Related; How to be Smart and Confident

2- Accepting their superiority never makes you inferior

While interacting with an arrogant person you need to understand that they indeed feel superior. Arrogant people believe themselves to be the best of all. They think no one is at par with them. Only they know everything while other people are just dumb and naïve. Another word for this superiority complex is Narcissism. This attitude is an attempt to hide their insecurities and vulnerabilities. Healthline gives an apt explanation of why and how this behavior can onset in any person which can make them appear as boastful or arrogant by people surrounding that individual. According to Kimberly many incidents and experiences play their role in shaping and nurturing this attitude of superiority complex in a person. Often it is a result of failures and an attempt to feel better after facing a setback.

The point of explaining all this is that this arrogance and haughtiness is engrained in a person. It is a cumulative result of many past failures which in no way can be changed in a split second by you or anyone else. So, don’t try to change their behavior or diagnose their complexes. Rather, accept that they indeed are feeling over and above you or anyone else. Now, accepting this won’t ever make you inferior at all. However, going down the rabbit hole and pulling each other’s leg would surely suck away every ounce of peace that you have in your life. 

3- Be tolerant

Arrogant people usually are a test of your patience. You may be tempted to leave in frustration or be more mean and rude to them in return. Although, it is hard to stay calm and patient when all the other person does is demean and belittle you. Yet you should try staying tolerant and staying true to your values.

It is harder said than done though. For an outsider like me to say things like;

‘just brush it off your shoulders

‘turn a deaf ear to them’

‘why do you even respond?’

Well, the person who goes through the ordeal of dealing with an arrogant person on daily basis like an arrogant co-worker or a know-it-all haughty presentation team member. It’s not easy staying tolerant every day. But, you need to understand that it is not easy for them as well. Their insecurities or bad experiences have compelled them to reach this stage. These past experiences of theirs do in no way justify their mean attitude towards anyone.  However, it’s better to not go down the same drain. Don’t let their arrogance get to you by giving them a taste of their own medicine. Remember that frustration or annoyance is an easy way out. However, tolerance requires much stronger both physically and mentally. Only a strong, disciplined, and focused individual has the guts to brush off an arrogant person’s mean comments aside.

Related; 10 Ways to remain Calm in any Situation

4- Be tactful

One thing that you need to learn to deal with an arrogant person aptly is perfecting the skill of tact. You can call out the other person, stop them when they cross your boundaries, or demean other people in front of you, but with tact. All you need to do is not clap back by proving you can be more cruel and rude. But, you need to stay calm and point out the same things in a more understandable way. You all know that anger cannot be countered with anger. It never works this way. Similarly, arrogance should not be countered with arrogance. Rather, a thoughtful and calmer approach is required to let the other person know that this game won’t work in your presence.

So, point them out when they start excessive boasting of their achievements. Remind them how luck plays an equally important role in the success of an individual because many other individuals do double the hard work but still aren’t able to make it just because it wasn’t their day. Not to say that hard work doesn’t matter. But these arrogant people do only 1% of the job and then start bragging about how amazingly intelligent they are. So, you need to call them out because how many times can you hear the same story of invincibility?

5- Improve your assertiveness

When all an arrogant person knows in life is putting others down then what do you do? You come again firmer. This means that you should never forget who you are and what you are capable of. Arrogant people like seeing others below them. But, if you remain firm and assert yourself then they won’t enjoy it, and neither would they waste a second more trying to prove their superiority.

So, the best way you can deal with an arrogant person is by coming back stronger. Never act humble or let them have their way. Instead, stay true to yourself. If you want to disagree then do, but by being tactful. If you want to leave then go. All in all, you should never compromise your boundaries, morals, or values for any other individual. Rather, say what you mean, do what you want, and let the world think what it has to. Life is too short to compromise your precious moments on people who know nothing other than proving how perfect they are.

Related; 6 Powerful Habits to Become Mentally Strong

6- Know their insecurities

Overconfident and arrogant people are quite insecure inside. They are unable to accept their faults. They won’t take responsibility for their failures. To cover up for their inadequacy they make these stories of being above and beyond the things they failed in badly. They will make up stories saying ‘This was not for a genius like me’ or ‘there are far better things in life, this wasn’t worth it’ or go beyond by saying ‘ oh I was just giving it a try you know, it never really intrigued me. You see how arrogant people will make up stories only to cover up their insecurities.

So, the best way to deal with arrogant people would be to know their insecurities. This is not to say that you bring them up occasionally. But, when the arrogant person is trying to prove how genius they are you should subtly remind them that only after failures can a person rise to success. And also let them know that it is a matter of time as well. Everything happens in good time, but you should never forget your mistakes as well. 

7- Maintain your distance

When nothing works in your favor then try limiting your interaction. You cannot define how the other person acts in your presence but you can surely set some boundaries around your time and your words. Decide how much time you would spend in the company of an arrogant person. Avoid sharing details of your personal life or your deep secrets. After defining boundaries you need to stay disciplined as well. Don’t let their gossip tempt you to compromise your set limits. This will only make the arrogant another chance to disrespect you.

Another one of my most favorite tips is to act busy whenever you see an arrogant person approaching you. Take out your mobile, check through your emails or start reading a blog. This will send a message that you are not interested in their bullshit and they would be quick to leave. The best way of all is not to cross paths with them at all.

However, if the arrogant person is a family member or a nosy co-worker whom you have to deal with on daily basis then you can’t cut them off entirely. Instead, if you just have to interact then only talk business. Only keep your interaction focused on the task that you need to get done and then get back to your life. In a working setup, it would be best to only interact through emails. This will not only help in limiting your interaction but will also help in keeping a record in case your co-worker tries to take credit for your work. In any case, limiting the time you spend with arrogant people is the ideal way to shut them off.

8- Change the topic

Everyone has their strengths. Similarly, an arrogant person is also well aware of the topics they have a grasp in. They feel comfortable talking about things they already know. This makes them dominant over people who know little about their area of expertise. Think for a second, if an artist sits in the company of engineers who are discussing their field of expertise how would he feel? He would feel very dumb right? The same goes for any individual sitting in the company of an arrogant person. The best way to act in such a situation is to change the topic and never let the other person dominate the conversation. Still, if the arrogant individual tries reverting to that topic stop them politely by saying that you have already discussed it.

Changing the topic works well if you have known that person for some time. As you would be already familiar with what they like talking about. So, the moment they resort to their habit stop them right there or change the subject or bring up something very distantly related to the topic. This will take the wind out of their sails and they won’t try it again in your presence.  

9- Stay polite even if you have to disagree

Disagreement is a part of every discussion. It is bound to happen when two individuals interact. However, an arrogant person sees disagreement in the light of disrespect. Which in no way is justified, but to minimize the effect of disagreement it is better to do so by staying polite. This will not make you look like the bad person in the room. Instead, would make the obnoxiously mean person realize that you are not a door-mat or a punching bag who will take whatever shit that is thrown their way.  

So, the best way to deal with arrogant people would be to stay polite around them no matter what. Doing this will also the arrogant person realize that you are not affected by their daunting presence. Neither are you that easy to hurt, make angry or take control of. Rather, they would know that you are a strong and well-mannered individual who knows how to stand their opinions with respect.

10- Only argue if you have to

With arrogant people around confrontation is always the last call. Remember that arrogant person has constructed this fictional reality of themselves to hide their insecurities. So, calling them out for their lies will only drain you especially if that individual is an experienced manipulator. In such situations, it’s better to let them be. Confront only if you must. Even when you decide to confront remember that it is not going to get anywhere. Rather, be ready to go round in circles only to end up with a nerve-wracking headache later. So, the call is yours after all but be wary of the outcome as well.

Conclusion

People are not easy to deal with let alone arrogant people. The best response to arrogance would be to remain confident even when their presence overwhelms you. Always remember that you can’t control how people act, but you can change how you react to a situation. Whichever way you decide to go by doing so with kindness and empathy.

Related; 7 ways to shut down haters

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About the Author

Sara Khan

Sara Khan is a writer, fashion designer, and entrepreneur. She aims to inspire and motivate people to live, love, and laugh wholeheartedly.

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