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Arrogance: Tips for Dealing with Arrogant People

The line between healthy self-confidence and arrogance is narrow. To know that you are good, that your own idea is right and better than the ideas of others, is one thing. To let others feel this, something completely different. If arrogance is then paired with power (for example in executives), it quickly becomes unbearable. Such people do not mince their words, rumble, insult and hurt, and brush off any thought that does not come from them. Can't be good, wasn't mine! The self-satisfied rests in himself as in a Faraday cage. No question about it, it's not healthy. Especially for the environment. But how do you deal with arrogant people? We have a few ideas ...

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Arrogance: what does that mean?

Arrogance can have many faces and names. Arrogant people are often credited with having them

  • conceited
  • snooty
  • haughty
  • blase
  • complacent
  • presumptuous

  • or
  • arrogant
  • are.

Although there is no medical definition because arrogance - unlike narcissism - does not belong to the classic personality disorders (mental illness), arrogant people often show similar properties:

  • They believe they have a monopoly on the truth.
  • You know everything better.
  • They consider themselves the crown of creation.
  • They are convinced that no one does a better job than they do themselves.
  • They constantly overestimate themselves and their abilities.
  • They appear disparaging and disparaging towards their fellow human beings.
  • They are immune to advice and criticism.
  • You are overconfident.
  • They demonstrate their superiority at every opportunity.

You could also say: arrogant people own them Ability to miniaturize - you feel smaller than you are when you are around them.

However, this arrogance is extreme wobbly construct. He always remains dependent on others and needs their mirror in order to be able to stand out and rise. Or to put it another way: The arrogant is really dependent on those who are smaller or worse in his eyes in order to feel superior.

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Where does the arrogance come from?

What arouses arrogance, why some theirs Talents literally go to your head - that is not always very clear.

Because - and this is a decisive difference to the fool - the arrogant can really do something and often has one above-average intelligence. In other words: He or she has a very good reason to be arrogant.

Why such people then develop the need to make others small is more likely to indicate high uncertainty or a veritable profile neurosis.

The strong self-confidence is often just a facade. Behind it there is usually a still immature and unstable character. Because these people just don't care about themselves deliberately doubt their strengths and talents or have an unfulfilled desire for confirmation and admiration, they force applause and recognition by standing on the pedestal. Motto: Look, I'm better than you - now finally admire me for it!

You could also say Self-image and external image are wide apart in these people. Behind this is often the obsessive fear of not counting enough, of not getting the attention and recognition that one actually deserves.

The Seeking attention from others can also be shown in the fact that those affected have to emphasize again and again what they are doing or have already achieved (My car, my house, my boat, ...).

Here, however, there is usually also pure Despair: The craving for recognition remains ultimately unsatisfied. The arrogant may feel superior in the short term - but at the same time he feels that this is not real admiration, but at best a self-constructed triumph. Artificial ascent through humiliation.

And it doesn't make such people any more personable. A Downward spiral arises: The dose has to be increased continuously to satisfy it. At the same time, the person experiences more and more rejection. Or realizes that he or she is not as special as expected and not capable of really great things. In this way, self-image and the image of others are constantly moving away from each other.

3 signs that you are becoming arrogant

In case you are now wondering how you affect others or whether you are already arrogant: There are three strong signs for at least being on the way to being considered arrogant and condescending by others:

  1. Ignore

    You're not listening properly anymore. You ignore or iron out other opinions and insist on your point of view. And of course only your point of view is the only correct one.

  2. Overlooked

    You rule out being wrong as well as the possibility of making mistakes. In fact, you win with this one error-free Attitude no more respect - you lose him.

  3. Overfly

    You no longer bother with people below your level. You simply don't have the time for that. The pleasure anyway. That ability and knowledge are just as binding as prosperity - you never even think of it.

Is arrogance related to power?

No question about it, power fosters arrogance. After all, it is a kind of confirmation that you have achieved something. But there is no causality: Power does not automatically make you arrogant.

However, certain management positions reinforce an already existing personality trait. In the beginning it is certainly not wrong for managers to have the necessary portion Self-confidence appear and manage projects without hesitation. In contrast to people with an excessive need for harmony, this can even have an attractive effect on employees and other superiors. But only until self-confidence turns into arrogance.

Managers are common great pressure and allegations exposed. In order not to let that get too close, a thick coat and a pronounced self-esteem often help them. In a pinch, however, just a superimposed, constructed one. People who assess their characteristics excessively positively run the risk of losing themselves in arrogance and arrogance.

But it is also true that Power corrupts. Those who feel powerful like to take more liberties - simply because they can. Or rather, believe that you can afford it.

Many professional successes can increase the feeling of superiority over others. And those who feel superior often show less empathy and empathy. Numerous studies now suggest this.

A simple equation seems to apply: the more arrogance, the greater the emotional distance. Not infrequently this culminates in noticeable malice, bossing and the desire to torment others. But that is no longer arrogance, but wickedness.

One of the most famous pieces of evidence for this thesis is the so-called Stanford Prison Experiment


The Stanford Prison Experiment

This experiment was carried out in 1971 by the American social psychologist Philip Zimbardo. Out of 70 students, he selected 24 who, in his opinion, were the most average and divided them according to the Random principle in guards and prisoners a.

The prisoners had to stay in prison cells in the basement of the institute, which had been specially prepared with bars for this purpose, while the guards were supposed to go about their work. However, the guards came with their newly won Doesn't trim well.

In a matter of days, the once average students turned into true ones Sadists and tortured the prisoners. This turned out to be such that the experiment, originally scheduled for 14 days, had to be stopped after six days. Some of the prisoners' students showed extreme signs of psychological distress and early indications that depression was developing.

Do I seem arrogant? That also depends on the other person

Not everyone is arrogant to attribute this attribute to others. Many extraordinary and highly talented people are regularly disdained as arrogant just because they are beyond mediocrity.

As the cynical saying goes: Level only looks like arrogance from below.

Self-confidence, self-love and mental strength are not bad, on the contrary: They are a key to success.

And there is not always calculation and calculation behind an arrogant demeanor. Some people only have a head start in knowledge or a really brilliant idea, but they do expressed in the most unfavorable way possible brings and offends his colleagues.

On top of that, above all People with low self-esteem tend to dismiss a certain behavior as arrogant. Conversely, employees who are also very self-confident only take a confident person as assertive true - there is no talk of arrogance.

Psychologists therefore differentiate between the authentic and therefore positive forms of self-confidence on the one hand and the negative, because presumptuous, on the other. An essential characteristic of arrogance is the lack of self-reflection. This leads to a distorted perception of the reality.

How do I deal with arrogant colleagues?

With all understanding of the causes and triggers for arrogance - annoying is of course still if you share the job or the office with such a person. So the question arises how you should deal with arrogant colleagues (or bosses). In fact, there are a couple of options ...

  1. Accept it.

    Last but not least, arrogant people stand out Counseling residency out. An open conversation with them is seldom possible. It would also be a waste of your life to convince them that you are ordinary. It is better to realize that the arrogant behavior has nothing to do with you as a person. The guy opposite can't help it, he needs it to feel better about himself. Sometimes you have to be able to indulge.

  2. Do not contradict.

    How do you think someone reacts to suggestions for improvement who is absolutely convinced that they are doing the best job in the world? Exactly, not exactly pleased or even open. You can save yourself contradiction with these people. In the best case scenario, you will achieve nothing with it, in the worst case you will swear a conflict. Smarter acts if you let your own (better) idea look as if it were the result of the intellectual superiority of the other: "Your great idea makes me think that we also ..."

  3. Be factual.

    If it doesn't work that way and you really want to say something (or criticize) about it, then by no means get involved in lengthy discussions. An arrogant person will only listen to a limited extent anyway. Please do not make any reproaches either, but formulate so-called during the conversation I-messages - garnished with understanding and a dash of praise. Feel free to use the feedback rules as well.

  4. Dodge.

    If all else fails, avoid your colleague as much as possible. As a rule, sooner or later such people stumble upon their own bad habits. Meanwhile, you prove Greatness and sovereignty. Always parry arrogance with kindness, ignore clumsy attacks and take the wind out of the sails of the guy. Remember: Often, his behavior is all about insecurity and a measly personality.

  5. Keep a record.

    Of course, you don't have to put up with everything. If the arrogance becomes unbearable, you should consider insults, condescences, and false accusations document exactly. If there is an open confrontation later, you have evidence in hand.

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