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This is one of a series
of brief articles on how to respond effectively to
annoying social behavior. An effective
when you get your
well enough, and both people feel
This article offers useful responses to
arrogant behavior. assumes you're familiar
Try saying your definition of "arrogance" out
loud. Then describe (a) the opposite of arrogance,
and (b) the difference between arrogance
Do you know someone you feel is too arrogant? Arrogant
kids and adults...
ideas of their own worth and abilities,
unrealistic sense of personal
are quick to feel
discounted and disrespected (victims),
often rank their
needs and opinions above other peoples'
may assume they know
how you feel and think, and what you need;
genuine empathy or interest in others'
on themselves in conversation.
feel that arrogance, egotism, and Narcissism are the
same thing. Others feel egotism and
Narcissism are overfocusing on yourself, and
arrogance is feeling "I'm better than other people
(like you)." Regardless, all three traits can be
How do you feel about arrogant adults or
kids? Scornful? Resentful? Intimidated? Disgusted?
Indifferent? Compassionate? Frustrated? Amused?
Combative? Would anyone describe you as
arrogant? If not, how would they describe
How do you normally react to an over-arrogant
person? Avoid them? Repress your feelings? Endure?
Confront? Chide? Hint? Criticize? Feel amused? Pity
them? Challenge? Gossip about them? Feel inferior?
Superior? Intellectualize? How do you feel
about your reaction?
Arrogance may indicate the person has survived a
low-nurturance childhood and is psychologically
wounded - i.e. is ruled by a
It may mask deep shame (inferiority), and/or an
inability to bond and empathize with other people.
Like egotism and Narcissism, arrogance is usually a
symptom of significant
suggests that compassion is a more appropriate
reaction than blame or scorn.
person as "arrogant" may indicate that you
lack self-respect, confidence, and assertiveness.
Option - seek others' opinions before using
Is there an effective way to respond to arrogant
people? Consider these...
This YouTube clip provides perspective
on effective confrontations:
Check to see that
your true Self is
you, and that you have
attitude. If not, make
attaining those a high priority, and lower your
Mentally review your
as dignified people, and the
for affective assertion;
what you need from responding to the arrogant
person - to vent or inform? To cause
change? To set or enforce a limit? To avoid
conflict? To respect yourself? To protect
someone? (Who?) Something else? Your
response/s will depend on what you need...
s/he is open to some personal feedback.
Uninvited feedback may feel disrespectful. If
the person says "No," you have a different topic
than arrogance to discuss!
To Vent or Inform
like to know your definition of 'arrogance.'"
"How do you
feel around arrogant people?"
"Do you see
any difference between arrogance and egotism?"
you see yourself a humble person?"
you as arrogant at times. When I do, I feel
very sure of yourself."
you aware of where you've been focused in our
"When you come
across as arrogant, I tune you out / lose
respect for you / get impatient."
To Cause Change or
Set a Limit
"I'm going to
count how often you use the words 'I', "My," and
arrogant of you to assume you know how I feel or
think. I need you to stop doing that."
"When you tell
me what I need, I'm going to confront you."
don't ask for or respect my opinion, I'm going
to confront you."
irritated and disrespected when you interrupt me
Note the theme of these options, and adapt them to
fit your style and language.
When you use
such responses, expect the other person to
deny, explain, excuse, whine, protest, argue,
etc. When s/he does, use respectful
to acknowledge that, and then repeat your response
briefly and calmly, with good eye contact. Repeat
this sequence until you get what you need, or your
This is one of a
series of brief articles suggesting
effective ways to respond to annoying social
behaviors. This article suggests traits of arrogant
people, and ways to respond to
excessive arrogance. Effective responses are based on...
your Self guiding your personality,
genuine mutual-respect attitude,
being clear on your
feelings, needs, and
mutual rights; and...
with the relationship skills of awareness,
assertion, and empathic listening.
See also these response
options to disrespect,