None of us are perfect, but most of us have times when we get a bit full of ourselves.
But none of us really want to look egotistical or arrogant, especially when it’s really not a big part of who we are.
That’s why the following behaviors are so important:
If you do this, you’ll look much more arrogant and self-centered than you are and could give off the wrong impression even if you don’t mean to.
Here are behaviors that instantly make you look self-centered and egotistical without you realizing it.
1) Showing off
There are many ways to show off, and they often come from being insecure deep-down.
When you go through the world looking for attention it often makes you come across as self-centered.
Even if you don’t mean to come across that way, the fact that you seem to want the spotlight on you or focus conversations on you, can make others feel you’re trying too hard.
They may get the feeling that you only care about yourself.
2) Getting jealous
Jealousy is another behavior that can make you seem really self-centered.
I believe that some jealousy is a natural part of the human experience and is inevitable.
But when it gets to the point that jealousy is burning you up inside and people see that, they may feel that you’re simply too self-absorbed.
Instead of thinking of the many less fortunate than you, you seem focused on those you perceive as doing better than you.
For some people, this makes you seem to be too focused on your own status.
3) Engaging in credentialism
Some of us have more degrees and educational credentials than others. A lot may have gone into obtaining those certifications, and it’s nothing to sneer at.
But if you tend to talk a lot about your level of education and the credentials you hold, it can, unfortunately, be interpreted the wrong way.
A lot of people who don’t have the kind of credentials you have may interpret this as you having a big ego or trying to show off.
Even if that’s not your intention, it can certainly be taken this way by others.
4) Being overly controlling
Are you overly controlling?
I assume you’d say no: I’d certainly say no.
But would it be true?
Many of us engage in controlling behaviors and habits without even realizing it.
This can be something as simple (but annoying) as pressuring others to go along with your schedule even if it doesn’t really work for them.
Even something small like that can be a controlling behavior.
5) Interrupting frequently
Interrupting other folks can be necessary when they’re saying something harmful or you just thought of something crucial that you’ll forget in a second.
But if you’re the type of person who often interrupts, you need to be aware of how it can come across.
It may just be your style. For me, for example, I interrupt a lot.
It wasn’t until recently that I started to become more self-aware and realize that me interrupting others (and especially finishing their sentences a lot) was coming across as dismissive and arrogant.
By acting like what I had to say was always the priority, I was subtly indicating that what they were saying didn’t need the time or attention to be heard out.
This ties into the next point…
6) Talking without letting others talk
When you like to talk a lot or have important things to say, it’s not always easy to let others chip in.
As a prolific talker I understand this fully.
But it can come across as being self-centered.
When you talk without someone else contribute to the interaction, you come across as only focused on yourself.
It’s the flip side of pretending to listen to someone or giving them only a portion of your attention when you’re actually ignoring them.
7) Downplaying the feelings of others
The feelings of others are important even when we might find them exaggerated or off base.
If you find that you tend to react right away to how others feel and sometimes downplay them, you should be aware that it can come off the wrong way.
They may be unreasonable, and other people’s emotions aren’t always justified.
But our reaction to them should try its best to be moderate and reasonable, in order not to give off a rude or dismissive vibe.
8) Refusing to accept disagreement
Disagreement is just a part of life. It’s not always going to be easygoing or no big deal.
Some disagreements are a big deal. We can see how disagreements over land, religion and history are leading directly to physical violence in various parts of the world, for example.
But on the individual level, one has to become accustomed to accepting disagreement and sometimes letting it be.
In other words: “OK, you and I strongly disagree. But I respect you and I ask the same in return.”
This may not work on the group level, but it can and does work on the individual level.
Give respect, get respect.
9) Pressuring others to agree with you
This relates to the previous point:
Pressuring others to agree with you does no good.
If they do agree, it’s only under compulsion. If they continue to openly disagree, the interaction is likely to become even tenser and degenerate into a personal conflict.
The key is in not pressuring in the first place.
State your view and your experience and leave it at that. If somebody else can’t see what you’re saying, clarify.
But if they simply refuse to see what you’re saying or listen, leave it at that.
10) Trash-talking others behind their backs
Gossip and negative rumors inevitably come up.
But if you engage in them it makes you come across as immature and vindictive.
You may just be trying to work your way through some gossip, and it may even affect you or those you know (i.e. it’s not always random rumor mongering).
But even if that’s the case, it’s important to be careful who you mention it to. Just keep in mind that talking about the lives of others can be taken the wrong way, even when you try your best to do so respectfully.
11) Putting your own needs first and prioritizing yourself
There’s nothing wrong with self-interest. You can’t take care of others without taking care of yourself.
But when you always put yourself first, it can be taken as arrogance and self-centered behavior.
For example if your first question in a business proposition or a budding relationship is always “what do I get?” it just rubs people the wrong way.
Seeing everything through the lens of self-interest makes people feel that you’re only interested in transactional relationships and have no real loyalty beyond yourself.
12) Using peer pressure to get others to copy you
Peer pressure is rarely a good thing, unless it’s peer pressure to get people not to jump off a cliff or do something stupid.
That’s why using peer pressure to get others to agree with you or copy you is rarely a good call.
Even when it works, it tends to lead to the perception that you use intimidation and pressure to get your way.
People may feel alienated and alone who don’t agree or want to do something when you point out that “everybody else” does or that they should because certain people or figures of authority are doing so.
13) Finding pretentious ways to demonstrate wealth and excess
There’s a reason that people perceive many celebrities to be self-centered and full of themselves:
It’s because show business (and the music business) often include a high element of performative excess.
I’m talking about things like:
- Wildly expensive and eye-catching outfits
- Huge amounts of jewelry
- Expensive cars, jets and homes
There’s nothing wrong with wealth. In fact it can do a lot of good.
But whatever your income level, if you’re the type who flashes money around or wants others to see you as glamorous it can come off the wrong way and create the impression (fair or not!) that you are kind of full of yourself.