How to deal with snobs

Written by james holloway Google
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How to deal with snobs
The wine snob is only one of the many subspecies of snob. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

No matter what you do in life, it seems that there's someone prepared to look down on you for it. Wine snobs sneer at you for drinking what they consider paint thinner, film snobs scoff at your enjoyment of rom-coms, etiquette snobs think the way you hold your fork should be a crime, and general purpose snobs look down on everything from the school you went to to the shoes you wear. Even though it's easy to recognise that snobbery is ridiculous on an intellectual level, snobs can still make you feel bad about yourself if you aren't prepared to deal with them.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Talk to the snob. Some people aren't trying to come off as condescending; they may be expressing themselves poorly or not be aware of how they sound. A few polite words in an apparent snob's ear can sometimes stop the whole problem at the root.

  2. 2

    Change the subject. Some people are snobs about everything, but many are only snobbish in one particular area. If your music-snob friend considers everyone who doesn't love Bach a barbarian, switch the topic to something you do have in common.

  3. 3

    Ignore them. If you can't get a persistent snob to change either his ways or the subject, tune him out. Smile, nod, and bow out of the conversation at your earliest opportunity. Sadly, this isn't always an option; you can slip away from a stranger at a party, but it's harder if the offender is a co-worker or relative.

  4. 4

    Don't let snobs get to you. Snobs attempt to boost their self-image by presenting themselves as superior to others. Sometimes their taste or knowledge is genuinely very refined, but their mistake is in assuming that this is the only important quality a person can possess. They often fail more important tests of compassion, friendliness and social generosity.

  5. 5

    Maintain a healthy self-image. Having self-confidence means being able to acknowledge that perhaps your tastes aren't as elevated as some snob's. More importantly, it means being comfortable with that fact. When you're comfortable being who you are and liking what you like, the prejudices of snobs will seem like amusing quirks rather than crushing judgements.

Tips and warnings

  • No matter what you do, don't let a snob provoke you into anger. This kind of overreaction is as thrilling to a true snob as allowing yourself to be meekly crushed.

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