How to Converse With an Arrogant Person

Written by julia kitlinski-hong
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How to Converse With an Arrogant Person
Learn to practice patience and empathy toward arrogant people in your life. (peacock image by PP from

There is a fine line between arrogance and confidence. While confidence is generally a positive trait, arrogant people do not listen to others, do not think before speaking, and tend to believe that they are always right. Arrogant people can be hard to talk to, but you can learn to communicate with them in an appropriate manner. Whether you are dealing with an arrogant family member or co-worker, the most important thing is to understand that the other person's arrogance can often be blamed on a lack of self-confidence. Some people use arrogance as a defence mechanism to cover up their insecurities.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Exercise patience when speaking to an arrogant person. Remember to be the bigger person and be empathetic toward him or her.

  2. 2

    Remain calm. Avoid taking their attitude and behaviour personally. You may feel like you want to correct the arrogant person when they exaggerate, or fire back a response that proves them wrong, but it will only make matters worse if you lose your temper.

  3. 3

    Learn to separate the person from their behaviour. You probably do not know all of the reasons behind this person's arrogance, so try not to judge them too harshly.

  4. 4

    While you may be tempted to ignore the arrogant person completely, pay attention when they speak, though you should still probably take what they say with a grain of salt. This is especially true when they are boasting about themselves and you may feel frustrated with their behaviour.

Tips and warnings

  • If you feel comfortable enough with the idea of confronting the arrogant person, speak to them privately and tell them the truth about how their behaviour comes off as rude.
  • Do not accuse the arrogant person of being arrogant; they will only feel cornered and will not be able to listen to your advice clearly. Never try to compete with them, or egg them on by displaying arrogant behaviour of your own; this will likely make them feel threatened, leading them to act even more arrogant.

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