How To Cope With Arrogant People?

Arrogant people seem to think that they know everything and they can really get on your nerves. This is an approach to coping with them.

- Assess the situation. Why do you feel that a person is being arrogant? Have they been condescending to you or have they never spoken to you? If there has not been an incident that showed you this person feels superior to you, don’t assume he or she is arrogant too quickly. You might wrong him or her.

- Listen to their conversation. Is it always about them? Do they get mad or irritated if the center of attention moves to someone else?

- Know that arrogant people are really quite insecure. They seek to dominate and control because they are afraid of being dominated and controlled.

- Enter an encounter with an arrogant person with the strong and confident realization that you are well and strong. There is nothing they can say or do that can undermine you. Your sense of confidence and self-worth will prohibit you from being vulnerable to an arrogant person’s total inability to relate to others and the sometimes noxious or cruel things that come out of their mouths.

- Try to ignore the arrogance of the person you encounter. Instead, probe for something you can enjoy about your encounter. Perhaps they do have some knowledge to impart. Perhaps they can tell an interesting story. Perhaps it’s just enjoyable to find humor in their arrogance.

- Find humor in their arrogance. This is a big one. Often, the arrogant are too self centered to realize that others are making fun of them. Pretend that you don’t understand simple concepts, and watch them swoop in and try to prove their superiority.

- Use the encounter as an opportunity to improve your listening skills or tolerance.

- Try to ignore anything that they say or how they act, and they will probably stop bothering you eventually.

- Be honest. If this isn’t working and the arrogant person is still getting on your nerves, tell them that you think they are being arrogant and really tell them how you feel. Don’t shout or swear or insult them more than is necessary, because then you will just look evil.

- If possible, ignore the arrogant person completely (not just their behavior).
If you must acknowledge them, generally speaking, in a group setting you can get away with addressing the group as a whole rather than speaking to the arrogant person specifically: For example, instead of saying, “Hi there, Wendy,” say, “Hi there, everyone.” Also, don’t ask, “How are you?” as this might evoke a rude response.

- If you work with a consistently rude and arrogant person, whenever you see them coming, suddenly be incredibly busy. Pick up the phone and pretend to be having a conversation. If they are specifically wanting your attention, keep them waiting for as long as you can get away with it. Have a column of figures handy to be added up three times over. When you finally do acknowledge them, do so in a distracted, brisk, impersonal way whilst commencing yet another task. For example, say something like, “Right, what can I do for you,” as you pick up the telephone receiver. This technique often works very successfully because you are, in effect, “putting the arrogant person in their place.” This is the opposite of what they want.

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