It’s possible to turn negative interactions into positive ones
When others feel superior, do not play their game.
We all encounter annoyingly overconfident people from time to time—the ones who come across as if they know everything. Sometimes it’s hard not to let them get under your skin.
Arrogant people tend to think that they are always right, are stuck in false beliefs, and refuse to listen to other people. They may use condescending language, bully those around them, become intolerant of people, or just act downright rude!
But there is an effective way how to handle arrogant people.
It is not easy to constantly be around these types of people because they can begin to pick away at your self-confidence. You may not know what to say, how to stick up for yourself or politely tell them your own opinion. However, you deserve to have your voice heard and to be treated with respect.
If you always seem to cross paths with people who are stuck on themselves, try out these tips. You will be able to figure out strategies to handle that arrogant person in your life with dignity.
Have high self-confidence.
One of the best ways to face an arrogant person is by showing up with your own high self-confidence. Enter an encounter with an arrogant person with the knowledge that you are strong, worthy and self-assured. When you feel more in tune with yourself you will be less likely to let an arrogant person’s comments get to you. It will prohibit you from being vulnerable. An arrogant person may be unable to relate to you, and instead say cruel things. However you can let this slide when you feel secure in yourself.
Be compassionate, but don’t try to fix the person.
The need for superiority is deeply rooted and ranges from low self-esteem to an unquenchable thirst for praise to a lack of empathy for those who are or appear to be less accomplished. Only the arrogant person can confront such a problem with sustained effort. On the other hand, and as always, it brings peace to your heart and potentially to the situation if you can have compassion for the unhappiness of others.
Use it as a growth opportunity.
You can use this encounter as an opportunity to improve your listening skills, tolerance of other people, and reflect on how you interact with others. What is your weakness? Are you easily frustrated, impatient, or a poor listener? Try to flip your usual negative approach and practice doing the opposite. Listen to this person without judgement, seek to understand what motivates them, and aim to learn a higher tolerance of people who are different than you. On the flip side, arrogant people tend to look for people-pleasers or timid mouse’s because it is easy to push these type of people around. If you have difficulties in this area, you may wish to improve your assertiveness. Reflect on ways you can stand up for yourself when interacting with this person.
Accept the fact that the other indeed feels superior.
There is nothing you can do in the future or have done in the past to make him or her arrogant. He or she suffers from a problem that goes far beyond you. Most important, understand that accepting feelings of superiority in another person does not mean that you must feel inferior in turn. Look at it as a game that you can refuse to play.
Remember that arrogant people are insecure.
Find some empathy in yourself if you can. Though arrogant people tend to bully and seek to dominate and control, it’s a reflection of their fear of being controlled. The arrogant person finds it hard to admit being wrong, cling to false beliefs, and refuse to take into account other people’s opinions. Many arrogant people have less life experience because of their inability to be more open minded. While it is hard to sympathize with someone like this, remember that they are still human and that you should treat them with respect regardless of circumstances. Do not stoop down to their level and instead just acknowledge their own short comings and insecurities.
Don’t let it get to you.
This can be so much easier said than done. Take some assumptions that the person isn’t trying to be rude towards you, and instead try to find the bigger picture. What can you get from this encounter? Is there a deep story that is worth knowing? Do what you can to get past all the fluff and try to ignore the snide comments. At the very least, you can make it a funny story to tell your friends later on. That will help you let go of the stress it holds over you.
Sometimes it is advisable to tell the other person how s/he came across. It is good to remind an arrogant person that no one knows that much considering life’s mysteries, and that no one can claim absolute truth. As long as it does not harm you later, do not suppress yourself. Use disarming sentences such as, “Forgive me for interrupting, but…”, or “Maybe you did not mean to sound arrogant/hurt my feelings/come across as if you are 100 percent right, but… .” If the arrogance is an aberration, ask if anything negative happened that day.
Involve a mediator or a greater number of people.
Sometimes direct communication backfires, which is why you might want to include a third party to help diffuse the situation. Without being vindictive, stand up for yourself under the guidance of someone else. Seek the support you need. Sometimes you might have to find allies and stand together against a particularly harmful arrogant person or persons.
Give them a chance.
This person could be charming in spite of their evident snobbery, so it’s worth giving them a chance especially if it’s someone new. Sometimes new people are nervous, so take the time to try and see their true nature and personality. Listen attentively and give them a chance to speak freely. Can you find a conversation topic that you can engage with them that goes deeper? Do they continue to be unappealing and irritating or start to show kindness and integrity? From there you can decide who the person really is and act accordingly.
Change the topic of conversation.
If nothing is working, find a way to transition to a new conversation topic. This can take the power away from the arrogant person, especially if they are caught off-guard. Arrogant people are more likely to dominate a conversation on a topic that they feel comfortable about. If you switch it to something that is neutral, something you know about, or can’t easily be argued then you may have a more productive conversation with the person. If they attempt to return to an old topic, express that you already made your view points and that you want to discuss something else.
Reduce the harm by setting limits.
We cannot always choose with whom we work and must deal with, but we can set limits. Before meeting with an arrogant person, decide how much time you will spend together and about what subjects you will or will not speak. Be disciplined and resist biting any hooks that would prolong the allotted time or cover more territory. If you cannot keep distance despite great effort, maybe it is time to plan to sever the ties. Nobody should remain silent and endure abuse, whether in a personal or professional relationship.
Avoid interaction if at all possible.
If this is someone you are frequently in close proximity with it can be quite difficult! Do whatever you can to lessen the impact of an arrogant person. Some tips include smiling and nodding a lot, saying very little, and refuse to be drawn in. An occasional “mmm,” “ah,” and the like will show that you are uninterested in the conversation and that you are not truly being engaged. Find reasons to walk away and ignore the person when possible. To keep your own sanity, it might be best to keep your distance as much as possible. If you don’t have a reliable method for dealing with them, avoid their annoying presence!
Take the high road and disagree politely.
No matter what, you are not a punching bag or a mirror. You are entitled to respect even if you have disagreeing viewpoints. There are polite ways to explain to an entitled person that you don’t agree with them. Use a phrase like “You have an interesting point there. I’ve found it not the same for me because of X” or “That’s one way of looking at it. However in my experience X”. If the person continues to slam you or treat you with disrespect, do not retaliate. Take the high road and know for yourself that you made your point and that is the best you could do.
Be honest with them.
If nothing is working and the arrogant person continues to get on your nerves, consider being honest with them. You do not need to resort to shouting, swearing or arguing. You can tell them that you think they are being arrogant in polite yet firm way. Make sure to stand up for yourself and give clear examples of how they have hurt or annoyed you. They may be mad at first, but it could lead to positive change. If the situation escalates or the person doesn’t respond in a kind way, simply exit the situation and leave it alone. Unfortunately, not everything can be fixed.
Whatever you decide to do, do things deliberately, thoughtfully, and with as much love as possible. Arrogant people cause others to lose their temper and become their worst self. Observe your reactions with self-compassion and your long-term interest in mind. Play the game of your life instead of trying to fit into someone else’s. Stay true to yourself, always.
Unfortunately, not everyone in the world is as willing to be open to differing opinions or has the ability to admit when they are wrong. If you are facing an arrogant person, do not let them tear you down and instead stand up for yourself, act politely, and be honest. Face them with confidence.
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