9 signs you’re dealing with an arrogant person who thinks the sun shines out their backside

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Are you dealing with an arrogant person?

An arrogant person can cause a lot of problems in your life.

They typically don’t value other people in the same way that they value themselves, and their actions reflect that. That usually means you wind up as a sacrificial lamb when an arrogant friend or family member needs to look good.

It’s not that they are unable to empathize or try to grow into a healthier person; it’s just that they choose to lock themselves into that false sense of smug superiority.

It’s best to keep a distance from arrogant people because they will damage your life sooner or later.

But to do that, you need to understand the signs that you’re dealing with an arrogant person.

1. Their world seems to rotate around them and only them.

The arrogant person often has a sheltered worldview that makes sense for them. This is the result of their self-focused thinking that those other people cannot possibly have different worldviews or experiences.

It’s never about how other people feel, think, or choose to act. It’s always about how things impact, inconvenience, or benefit them.

What this may look like:

– The person is constantly late because they don’t respect other peoples’ time or responsibilities.

– They take the last bit of food or over-serve themselves with no consideration for others.

– Tragedies and benefits are always about how they impact the arrogant person, not about others.

2. They do not like having their worldview challenged.

One way that you can sniff out an arrogant person is to carefully question their worldview. Some people might get agitated or frustrated, but an arrogant person will usually get enraged.

Arrogance is a self-preservation method for fragile self-esteem and self-worth. They build the fictional world around themselves, so they don’t need to deal with reality. So when reality intrudes, they usually get angry about that.

What this may look like:

– The person is enraged that you would dare question their perspective or worldview. Not just annoyed or frustrated, but raw anger.

– They are dismissive or demean other worldviews, sometimes in nonsensical ways. They have no time and make zero consideration over differing views.

3. They have few close friendships.

Arrogant people have a hard time with close or sincere relationships. They often opt for a quantity over quality approach. They want to appear to be well-liked and have a broad group of friends without making any of the sacrifices or doing any of the work required.

The arrogant person holds people at arm’s length because if they let anyone get too close, then the outsider will be able to see their fakeness.

What this may look like:

– The person doesn’t have any or very few good friends.

– The person brags about the large circle of friends they have or how they are well-liked by so many people, but you never meet those people.

– Their romantic relationships don’t last for very long, or they constantly hop to different partners.

4. They talk badly about the friends they do have behind their backs.

Arrogant people do not like sharing the spotlight with anyone else. The few friends they do have, they will usually talk badly about behind their backs and spread rumors.

This is often the reason they cannot maintain friendships. Sooner or later, they get found out, and people with healthy boundaries pull away from them.

What this may look like:

– The arrogant person will demean the accomplishments of their friends or chime in with ways that friend has failed or looked foolish.

– They may tell outright lies about the friend to undermine the perceptions of other people in the group.

– They will try to shift the conversation to themselves and their own accomplishments to one-up their friend.

– They will rarely offer neutral support or cheer on their friend behind their back, but to their face may appear supportive.

5. They may seem charming but have a cruel side.

Arrogant people can be charming and appear thoughtful when it serves their purpose. They may also do it to ingratiate others to them to make themselves seem like better people than they actually are.

This behavior also serves as a useful tool to get other people to fall into line. After all, “How could you say such mean things about the arrogant person! They’ve always been nice to me!”

But the moment you stop toeing the line and question them, they will turn their viciousness onto you because you’re now the enemy.

What this may look like:

– They are superficially, excessively nice when interacting with other people.

– They talk badly about their other friends or family members to you. It may not be entirely direct either, it could be language like, “Ugh, she thinks she’s so much better than everyone else. Isn’t she just the worse?”

– They outright lie about the person or situation.

6. They have a need to be right.

An arrogant person must be right at all costs. A mentally and emotionally healthy person may have a hard time with being wrong because it can hurt to be wrong. It can be embarrassing to make a mistake or appear foolish in front of other people.

But for an arrogant person, making a mistake or accepting responsibility for their mistake is a threat to the private world they have crafted for themselves.

Mistakes cannot run counter to how great the arrogant person perceives themselves to be. A mistake is a suggestion that they are fallible. They usually react with anger, offense, or feigned disbelief.

What this may look like:

– The person cannot accept that they made a mistake. They will refuse to talk about it, listen, or shift blame to someone else.

– They never accept responsibility for negative things, but constantly look to take credit for good things that happen.

– They will get angry to try to bully you into silence or agreeing with them if you push hard.

7. They have a need to look good, even at the expense of others.

If there is any way the arrogant person can make themselves look good, they’ll take it. They will usually step on anyone they can to make themselves look good. They may even use a favorable opportunity and circumstance to tear down other people involved.

What this may look like:

– In the workplace, they may take credit for the good performance of a team or their subordinates.

– In private life, they may downplay other peoples’ accomplishments or chime in with “how they helped,” even if how they helped was extremely superficial.

– They may subtly undermine others. “It’s too bad that Susan didn’t show up to the meeting, but we managed to pull through.” Particularly if Susan had a legitimate reason to have missed the meeting.

8. They treat people who aren’t like them, or they perceive to be beneath them poorly.

A person who is not like the arrogant person is a threat to their worldview and the safe space they have crafted for themselves. They will treat “others” as though they are less than, even more than the people they claim to be friends or family members with.

That other person is a reminder to the arrogant person they may not know what’s best or that they aren’t living their life in a right way. Remember, arrogance is often a series of many choices. It’s not that they cannot empathize. It’s that they choose not to.

What this may look like:

– Treating subordinates, waitstaff, or other people who cannot benefit them poorly. This is a popular piece of advice for judging a person’s character, but, unfortunately, it’s now so popular that even mediocre liars know about it. They may treat their waitstaff or subordinates well to make you think they’re a good person. Look for excessive niceness just as much as rudeness and disdain. They may also leave a massive tip for no real reason other than to make themselves look like a generous person.

– They may be hateful, racist, or sexist. The target of their ire will not be good enough or even humanized in their eyes. They may simply feel that these people are beneath them.

9. They are more concerned with looking good than doing a good job.

Doing a good job is often hard, dirty work. An arrogant person will often think of themselves as being above the dirty work that gets a good job accomplished.

They may balk or back out of doing tedious activities that they feel are beneath their perceived station, even if it’s required to get the job done. They will show up when it’s time for credit to go out or upon completion of the job, though. They definitely won’t miss that!

The arrogant person may also lie about the results of the thing to make themselves look like they did a better job than they did.

What this may look like:

– The person disappears when it’s time to do work. They will likely have a flimsy excuse, like needing to go to the bathroom, and then they will disappear for hours.

– They may exaggerate or outright lie about the results of the things that they were doing. If you did it well, they did it twice as well. If their target was 100%, they did 150%. They’re always bigger and better.

– They will blame everyone else for failure or shortcomings. If the team didn’t make the mark, it’s because everyone else was slacking off, and they were held back by the group.

About The Author

Jack Nollan is a mental health writer of 10 years who pairs lived experience with evidence-based information to provide perspectives from the side of the mental health consumer. Jack has lived with Bipolar Disorder and Bipolar-depression for almost 30 years. With hands-on experience as the facilitator of a mental health support group, Jack has a firm grasp of the wide range of struggles people face when their mind is not in the healthiest of places. Jack is an activist who is passionate about helping disadvantaged people find a better path.