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How To Deal With Arrogant and Condescending People

Updated on June 2, 2011

I'm taking a break from my usual style of hub to talk about how to help you deal with any arrogant, condescending and down right rude people that you may have to deal with in your life.

I knew somebody who I had to deal with on a nearly daily basis. She would listen to your first sentence or two decide if she was interested then just completely cut you off and start loudly talking to everyone about something unrelated. Whenever anybody said something she disagreed with, or that was perhaps worded a bit funny (but you still get what the person meant) or just something that SHE misunderstood, she would laugh at you and say to the people standing around you something like, "Did you here what [Random name] just said? how stupid are they?" while laughing at the other person like they are an idiot.

I think almost everybody knows a person like this. The kind of person who almost seems out to make you look foolish or to get under your skin. They are rude, arrogant and condescending.

Me and a friend of mine started discussing it and said we had both noticed it. We decided to deal with it by doing the same thing to her. When this person at work interrupts you, let them talk for a second and then just cut them off and talk a little louder. When they are condescending toward you or saying that something you said was stupid be sure to tell them, "Actually you're completely wrong. You have no idea what I was talking about/ that isn't what I was saying at all/ just because you can't understand doesn't make me stupid."

If you can get any other people in on it too, that would definitely help. Even if it is just you, the message should get through. Don't be afraid to be obvious about it either. Also, make sure to always speak louder when doing any of this. It helps to get the message through. It worked with the women that I was having the problem with.

From my experience, this approach works much better than directly telling this person to stop. People like that will usually deny everything and then try to tell you that you're being over dramatic. People who are arrogant don't tend to respond to direct criticism and confrontation well, however polite you might be. This path will not only make them aware of when they are being annoying, but will annoy them right back. It is like a reward system. Every time they interrupt you, you interrupt them louder and more obnoxiously. Every time they wait their turn, you listen patiently. Every time they are being condescending, you very clearly tell them they are wrong and make them seem perhaps even a little foolish if you can. When they are polite and friendly, you be polite and friendly right on back.

In the end, they will just stop being so much of a prick towards you because they will realize with time that whenever they do, you disregard what they say. In the end you are left with a relationship where you are mutually polite, friendly and always give each other a chance to be heard and listened to!

Just remember to NEVER tell them directly what you are doing. Be obvious but still keep a certain amount of subtlety. If you do directly TELL them what you think of the way they act, it will not work as well. They will probably not accept the criticism (no matter how polite you try to be about it) or not do anything about it and they will be bitter towards you for bringing it up. I can't say for sure why, but those types of people respond MUCH better to this kind of passive-aggressive/ get the message through loud and clear without ever directly saying it, kind of approach.

The women who me and my friend did this with over not that long a period of time just stopped being so obnoxious and inconsiderate. Now I can actually have good conversations with her and even consider her a friend!

Good luck!


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    • profile image

      2 years ago

      Thank you. Finally, some sensible advice for dealing with the kind of person who exploits any weakness you show.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I was hoping this wouldn't involve stooping to their level.

    • profile image

      Carmen Teresa 

      4 years ago

      Excellent insights. I couldn't agree more.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Thanks so much, these comments are great. I do not like conflict but, I am tired of someone I run into occasionally always talking down to me only when others are not around. I have gone out of my way to always speak and be kind. As an example , yesterday she inquired about my husbands car which he was having difficulties with. As I begin to answer her she interrupted me and said, " I don 't need to hear anymore that is enough" I was shocked and responded, "are you serious?" "Yes" I am serious , I have heard enough" you do not need to speak anymore . I have no idea why, what or when would ever make her say this. Thought it might be a control issue. I will still see her in a group setting but I never want to get in a one on one conversation with her ever again.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Bullies. Not anyone important enough to pay attention to. Just ignore them for they are spoil brats that never receive proper counseling in developmental stages of childhood. Grew up to be adults, but still living in a bubble desiring all the attention and gratitude that belongs to other people.

    • profile image

      Georgia Matthews 

      6 years ago

      This has really helped. Can't wait to see more of your work.

    • Jennifer Grana profile image

      Jennifer Grana 

      7 years ago from Plainfield, New Jersey

      This helped me quite a lot with what I've been dealing with lately. Kudos to you to be able to do that one. Looking forward to reading more of your work.

    • tammybarnette profile image

      Tammy Barnette 

      7 years ago

      That is a great idea:) I can't take rude! I think of myself as apretty patient person, but rude is the one thing I can not tolerate. I like your idea, it gets the point across very effectively, giving them a little of their own medicine. I had a friend who would interupt me in the middle of a story with something completely foreign to the subject at hand, I started just walking off and ignoring her. She would say, where are you going, what's wrong, and I would say, oh nothing is wrong just don't want to waste my breath. A couple of walk offs fixed our communication problem. I love your idea and will find ways to use it, sometimes people just don't realize how they sound till it's played back for them:)

    • jtyler profile image


      7 years ago



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