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How to Detect Arrogant People


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Do you always seem to cross paths with people who are stuck on themselves, intolerant of people different from them, rude or downright arrogant? These people can be a great source of potential pain, and this article is here to help you sort the arrogant from the not-so-arrogant.

1 Pay attention to their conversations. Don't eavesdrop, but when they're talking to you or to those around you, listen to them. Is it always about them? Do they get mad or irritated if the centre of attention moves to someone else? These are good signs of arrogance. Arrogance and smugness is often a reflection of limited life experience, and feeling concerned that those with greater life experience "have got something over them". Rather than seeking to find out more through questions and learning (actions viewed by them as showing vulnerability), arrogant people tend to generalize from their limited, narrow life experiences and try to impose their small worldview on others.

Jealousy of your achievements or seeming lifestyle can cause another person to feel smug or arrogant about something they think they do better than you or own/have that you don't.

Arrogant people have an extremely strong need to look good. When you make them look bad- even if it is the slightest offense- they will usually be very mad at you. This happens when you question (or at least seem to question) their appearance, intelligence, athletic abilities, or anything else relating to their self-image.

2 Challenge their worldview. Don't be aggressivejust skeptical and curious. If they get upset, gauge their anger. If it's minimal, they may be simply having a bad day. But if they're enraged, then they may see you as questioning their 'perfect little world.' And having one of those is usually indicative of arrogance. At some point or another, most people realize that the world doesn't revolve around them. Arrogant people counteract this by creating an atmosphere that revolves around them, and get angry if they're reminded of the real world.

Ambiguity frightens arrogant people because it suggests imperfection, change and lack of certainty (realities we all must contend with as best we can). As such, instead of accepting that the world behaves randomly and at times totally averse to one's preferences, the arrogant person seeks to control everything and everyone, which of course, is an impossible mission.

Reality hurts when it intrudes; as such, an arrogant person is less likely than other people to self-reflect or analyse, thereby not seeing their own imperfections. They may also give themselves undue credit for positive achievements instead of acknowledging the input of others or of circumstances.

3 Learn the quality of their friendships. Don't be nosy or gossipy, but if they are happy with someone one day and hateful with them the next, that's a sign of them having a lot of fair weather friends. That's a sign of arrogance, since it is very hard to be a truly good friend to someone who's stuck on themselves. Prideful people have a strong need to look good, and being self-sufficient is an effective way to do that. Since being a good friend to someone usually means helping them, they often can't stand the thought of a good friendship. Ironically, arrogant people often can't understand why they don't have any reliable and supportive friends.

4 How do they treat those not like themselves? In other words, how do they treat those with different beliefs, cultural backgrounds and ways of seeing the world? If it's inherently negative, then they're either over-zealous, ignorant of other people or what to avoid those that contradict their fantasy land that caters to them and them only. Determine this based on their general personality and the people they're interacting with. Many times prideful people have a serious 'my-way's-the-only-way' attitude. This is simply a protective mechanism for their false image or their fantasy land.

5 What's their personality like? Take note of how they act, talk, and use their social status. Do they have a general sense of 'coolness?' Are they a chatterbox? Do they act like they own the place, or act like the 'big dog?' Are they very keen on their self-image? Many arrogant people have a false charm that no one seems to see through. But the arrogant person is usually more than happy to show their cruel side to those that they don't like.

When they are cruel, their friends will usually ignore it or not do anything to stop it since they're afraid that they'll be treated badly by their 'friend.'

6 Mention people you know that they don't like. This isn't meant to begin a conflict, but to gauge their rivalries, annoyances and enmities. If their condemnation seems to be reasonable, they probably aren't hubristic. If it's harsh, they are. For the most part, arrogant people see people that they don't like as threats to their perfect little world. The more they hate someone, the more dangerous that person is to their fantasy land. And in turn, the bigger the threat, the harsher the criticism.

7 Ask around to see what they've been saying about you. If they have been saying bad things aboutyou, they may simply not like you. If they're nice to your face, but talk bad about you behind your back like it's their favourite hobby, then they probably have a problem with pride. Arrogant people often subconsciously know that they don't have any good friends. They compensate for this by creating the impression that they have a lot of friends- they have a 'quantity, not quality' mentality. Then they simply insult their trophy friends when they aren't looking.

8 Be compassionate. Don't be judgmental of arrogant people or you risk having as negative an outlook as they do. Arrogant people are often trying to hide certain vulnerabilities and fears. Most of the time, the need for a strong and unquestionable self-image comes out of deeply rooted pain. Obviously, you also don't need to be taken in by their claims to be superior over you. Stay principled and detached. But you can reach out and see the genuine good in them and praise what is real, rather than perceived or forced, talent. Sometimes having someone push through the brusqueness can free the arrogant person to be much truer to themselves, allowing them to stop shielding themselves so fiercely. An enormous amount of vulnerability tends to hide behind arrogance. This leads to overcompensating, so that the vulnerability is deeply suppressed. For example, if an arrogant person grew up poor but later becomes rich, he or she may be snobbish about everything they can now afford because they are covering up the fear of poverty from the past.


Always remember that there's a big difference between being assertive and being arrogant. Equally, some people are very anxious rather than arrogant, and it is anxiety that causes them to dominate a conversation or to try and prove themselves as good as you. You can tell the difference by looking for empathy. An assertive or nervous person will check for your responses and even ask questions, while an arrogant person will ignore your needs and you completely and will continue to lack respect for your perspective.

Do they joke about people who shouldn't be joked about? Making fun of someone going through a hard time is a sign of wanting cheap laughs, and not caring about other people's emotions. Prideful people usually couldn't care less about how people feel, since they nearly always have a difficult time empathising with others.

People going through a difficult time are often the target of jokes and insults by arrogant people. But these comments are made only when they're around people who they know will tolerate them, and not in the eye of the general public.

Even though it's hard, don't hate arrogant people. They're usually trying to hide a painful past, an aspect of themselves they don't like, or have been seriously hurt by other people. Remember that they could be hurt by the same things that have hurt you, but they're simply addressing their pain in the wrong (unhealthy) way. Instead of resolving it, they're hiding it. This pain can express itself as arrogance, among many other things.

When it comes to dealing with arrogant people, they nearly always have something to protect: either their self-image or their self-centred universe. If they get the impression that you're questioning either one, they will dislike you. Learn to live with that because it isn't about you at all; it's totally about their inability to control you.

Stay away from arrogant people as much as you can. They can cause you a lot of pain in your life. On the other hand, learning to deal with them in short bursts is a useful skill that can help you get on board good people in teams, at work, in sports, etc., provided they are aware that you won't tolerate their smug shenanigans. It doesn't always do to run away from others or you could be running all your life!

A summary of symptoms of arrogance include: intolerance of people different from themselves, inability to see different points of view, extremely harsh criticism of those they don't like, inability to form long-lasting relationships, and general narcissism.

Make sure you're not being arrogant. If you are, tone it down and look at the situation objectively, or in a non-biased way.

When it comes to popularity contests, why are they popular? Is it because they treat their friends decently, or because they are simply 'cool' to hang out with? Simply because someone's 'cool' to be around doesn't mean that they treat people respectfully. The main things that make people 'cool' are completely superficial: they're either rich, attractive, athletic, have a good personality (to those that fit their friendship criteria) or have a fake charm (that soon dissembles if you anger them when alone). Arrogant people can have all or a mix of these (and other) traits.

Arrogant people usually don't have truly good friends. Remember this when you wish you were as 'popular' as they are.

Arrogant people also have a very hard time accepting apologies. This is particularly true if you've questioned their fantasy land or have seriously questioned (or have seemed to question) their self-image.


Don't pay lip service to their perfect world. This will not only help you stay true to yourself, but may help them to see things differently. Don't actually attack their fantasy land. Instead, say something like "I don't agree with you on that" or "I have different opinions on this". They might get angry, but these chances aren't as high as they would be if you questioned their self-centered universe outright.

Instead of saying "Maybe if you'd get over yourself, you'd see things for what they are", try saying "What makes you say that?" or "Why do you hold that opinion?" This forces the person to answer a very direct, factual question.

If they get in your face, leave or just ignore them and continue doing what you're doing. What makes them madder than anything is ignoring them, giving into them is giving them the satisfaction of knowing they have gotten to you. They are simply trying to inflate their ego, and insulting or arguing with them will inflate it a lot. Leaving will too, but not nearly as much, all they want is attention, because they are insecure. Depending on the situation, leaving might make them look stupid. They will hate you for this, but nobody wants to keep company with a total jerk!

If you have to vent about an arrogant person, do so only to your best friends who won't tell anyone else. If your anger becomes common knowledge, it will start a conflict. There's a good chance that the prideful person won't understand why you don't like them. Just ignore their rude behaviour, and use a short and smart comeback if you must.

No matter how much you might want to say something nasty to them, don't! It will do no good anyway. Don't go into platitudes about how arrogance is wrong. Just give a quick answer and let them understand that you don't want them in your life, being assertive doesn't necessarily mean putting things into words; be on your look-out; be smarter than them. If they've backstabbed you, point this out. No one not even the arrogant person's "best friends" will appreciate that behaviour.

Ironically, if you do win the argument or fight, they'll start playing the 'Victim' card, and start appealing to their 'friends' to not only help them feel good, but also make you look bad. If the arrogant person is considered 'cool' by a lot of people, their use of the Victim card could make you an outcast. Act discreetly when confronting cool people with an ample entourage.

One of the symptoms of any antisocial personality disorder (such as psychopathy and sociopathy) is arrogance and disrespect for other people's rights. This is a dangerous aspect of arrogant people; if you have to live with a person like this, seek advice. This is why some arrogant people go on to become criminals.

Keep in mind that there may be a psychological difficulty that may come across as arrogance (seeming aloof or closed off or insecure with a false sense of self). In some cases, this could be bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder or a social phobia. It could be many things like a history of abuse or illness or bullying. Some people don't realize that their behavior marginalizes them from others and stops them from making friends. Be aware that while it is easy to call anyone "arrogant" as a wholesale generalization of a person's character, take into account your own mood, their mood, environmental conditions and life circumstances. Sometimes what people do or say has nothing to do with you. Be careful when you assume they're acting in a certain way to specifically to upset or anger you. Be smarter than them.


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Do you always seem to cross paths with people who are stuck on themselves, intolerant of people different from them, rude or downright arrogant?

You really could have simplified that whole post by simply asking people if they'd ever met an American :)

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Do you always seem to cross paths with people who are stuck on themselves, intolerant of people different from them, rude or downright arrogant?

You really could have simplified that whole post by simply asking people if they'd ever met an American :)

Your comment really cracked me up!

Without trying to be disparaging, or invite the wrath of the offended, I must agree in general. Although I have met a few Americans who have been out of their country for a while, and they really are some of the nicest people i know. The one man I know has been out of the States for so long, that he told me that he actually cannot abide his own people when he goes "home" - go figure!

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There aint no American or a arabian or a whatever!

People is what they call it and nothing else we are all just the same.

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