11 clever phrases that instantly humble an arrogant person

Ever been in a situation where you’re stuck with someone who thinks the world revolves around them?

Yep, we all have. It’s like they’ve got this unshakable belief that they’re the center of the universe and everyone else? Well, we just exist to admire their greatness. 

Annoying, right? But don’t fret, because I’ve got your back. 

I’ve come up with a list of 11 clever phrases that will help put these overconfident souls in their place – and no, we’re not talking about insults or put-downs. Instead, these are subtle yet powerful statements that’ll get the job done with grace and style.

Let’s get started. 

1. “I value your perspective.”

This phrase is simple, yet it can do wonders. When someone’s acting all high and mighty, it’s often because they’re used to people not challenging them.

By saying, “I value your perspective,” you’re not directly opposing them, but you’re also not just nodding along with whatever they say.

It’s a polite way of saying that you hear them, but also implying that there are other perspectives – including yours – that are valuable too.

This can sometimes be enough to make them realize that they don’t have all the answers and cause them to tone down their arrogance a notch.

2. “Let’s hear from others.”

When dealing with an arrogant person, it can often feel like they’re hogging the entire conversation.

This phrase is a subtle way to deflate their ego and open up the floor to others. It’s a reminder that everyone in the room has valuable insights and ideas to contribute.

This isn’t confrontational, but it gently nudges the person to step back and let others shine.

After all, a conversation isn’t a monologue, and everyone should get a chance to speak their mind.

3. “That’s one way to see it.”

This phrase has been my personal favorite and has worked wonders in many situations.

For instance, I once had a co-worker who was extremely self-centered and would often dominate team meetings with his “brilliant” ideas while dismissing ours.

One day, in the middle of his usual monologue, I calmly interjected with, “That’s one way to see it.”

The room fell silent, and all eyes were on me. I continued, “Your idea is certainly interesting, but I believe there could be other perspectives we might want to consider.”

Just this simple phrase was enough to take him aback. He wasn’t used to being challenged in this way.

From that day onwards, he started considering our ideas more and became more open to different viewpoints.

This phrase didn’t belittle him but rather widened his perspective. It humbled him enough to realize that he wasn’t the only person in the room with valuable ideas.

4. “Everyone makes mistakes.”

This phrase is a gentle reality check for anyone acting too big for their boots. It’s a universal truth – no one’s perfect, and we all make mistakes.

Even the most successful people in the world mess up from time to time.

Did you know that Thomas Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb? When a reporter asked, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”

Using this phrase can remind the arrogant person that making mistakes is part of life, and it’s how we learn and grow.

It’s not about shaming them but about bringing them back to the human level where we all belong.

5. “We’re all in this together.”

This phrase gently reminds the person that they’re not alone in the world, and we’re all connected in one way or another. It’s about fostering a sense of community and togetherness.

When someone is acting arrogantly, it’s often because they’re isolating themselves on an imaginary pedestal.

This phrase helps dismantle that pedestal and brings them back into the group where everyone is equal.

Remember, we’re all human beings trying to navigate through life as best we can. No one has all the answers, and no one is superior.

By saying, “We’re all in this together,” you’re creating a space of empathy and understanding, which can be a humbling experience for anyone.

6. “I appreciate your confidence.”

This phrase has served me well, especially in situations where I’ve had to deal with overly confident people who border on arrogance.

During my first job, I had a team leader who was incredibly confident, so much so that he often dismissed other team members’ ideas without giving them a second thought.

One day, when he was particularly dismissive of a suggestion I made, I responded by saying, “I appreciate your confidence, but I believe my idea has its merits too.”

I said this calmly and respectfully. His response was surprising. He paused, looked at me for a moment, and then agreed to revisit my suggestion.

This phrase acknowledges the person’s confidence (which is often a cover for their arrogance) but also asserts the value of your own thoughts.

It’s a gentle yet powerful way to stand up for yourself without being confrontational.

7. “It’s okay to not know everything.”

Look, we all have our moments of ignorance. Nobody knows everything, and that’s perfectly fine. Life is a constant learning process, after all.

But this phrase is like a splash of cold water for those who think they’ve got it all figured out. It’s your way of saying, ‘Hey, it’s okay to not be a walking encyclopedia. It’s okay to be unsure sometimes.’

This can be a real game-changer in a conversation with an arrogant person. It might even make them pause and realize that they don’t have to know everything.

And honestly, it’s pretty liberating to accept our own unknowns. We’re all just figuring things out as we go along.

8. “Success is a journey, not a destination.”

Arrogant individuals often consider themselves at the peak of success, leaving no room for further growth.

This phrase reminds them that success is not a final destination, but rather a continuous journey filled with ups and downs.

Did you know that Walt Disney, the creator of the happiest place on earth – Disneyland, was once fired from a newspaper because he was told he lacked creativity? Talk about a journey of success!

Disney didn’t reach his destination overnight. It was a journey filled with failures and learning.

This phrase can help humble the person by reminding them that there’s always room for improvement, and no one is ever ‘done’ when it comes to personal or professional growth.

9. “Your perspective is unique, just like everyone else’s.”

This is a phrase that holds a special place in my heart because it taught me a lot about dealing with arrogant individuals.

I remember using this phrase during a family gathering where one of my relatives was boasting about his achievements and experiences, making everyone else feel small.

I calmly said to him, “Your perspective is unique, just like everyone else’s.” He looked at me, surprised. I continued, “Everyone here has their own unique experiences and achievements. It would be wonderful to hear about theirs too.”

That day, the family gathering took a turn for the better as everyone shared their own experiences and achievements.

My relative listened quietly, humbled by the realization that he was not the only one with a unique perspective.

This phrase can work as a gentle reminder for an arrogant person that every individual has their own unique journey and experiences to share.

It emphasizes the value of diversity and equality in a subtle yet powerful way.

10. “Respect is earned, not given.”

You can’t demand respect just because you think you’re superior. Respect isn’t something you just hand out like a flyer; it’s something that’s earned through actions and behavior.

This phrase is a straightforward reality check for those who think they’re entitled to automatic respect because of their status or achievements.

It reminds them that true respect comes from how you treat others, not from boasting about your accomplishments.

11. “Everyone has something to offer.”

Everyone, regardless of their status or achievements, has something valuable to bring to the table.

When someone’s acting all high-and-mighty, they’re usually overlooking this fact. This phrase serves as a reminder that everyone has their own unique skills and experiences that are worth recognizing.

Remember, no one person holds all the knowledge or skills in the world. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and acknowledging this brings humility. There’s always something to learn from others if we’re willing to listen.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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