9 body language gestures that make you seem conceited and snobbish

Has anyone ever told you “You have a snobbish vibe” or “You seem so intimidating”?

And this baffles you because, as far as you’re concerned, you’re approachable, and hey, you actually really care about others!

You ask them what made them say these things, and they can’t ever seem to give you a clear answer.

Well then, it’s probably your body language!

Find out if you display any of these body language and gestures that make people look conceited and snobbish.

1) Pulling away

Do you step back a couple of inches when someone joins in on your convo?

Well, yeah… that’s perfectly normal! It may even be an automatic response on your part. 

Everyone does it because we’re always subconsciously adjusting to what distance feels comfortable to us.

But if you pull back a good couple of feet away—and you’re not all that subtle about it—well that just screams to the other person: “I don’t like you!” 

Even if that’s not how you really feel, even if you actually DO like them…it still makes people think you’re a real snob.

What to do:

If you know that you get really uncomfortable when you’re too close to people, then make up for it.

How?

Be engaged in what they have to say, and show through your other gestures that you indeed like them.

Maybe close that gap with eye contact, or by turning your body towards the other person to show them that you’re interested in being around them, even as you keep your personal space. 

2) Avoiding eye contact

Not looking someone in the eye while they’re talking just means one thing: you’re not interested—or that’s what it would seem like to other people, at least.

That’s body language for you—people read you based on the signals you put out.

Yes, there are many reasons why you don’t, or maybe even can’t, look at someone—maybe you’re intimidated, anxious, caught up in your own thoughts, or you’re neurodivergent.

All of these reasons are valid, of course. 

Unfortunately, everyone has ideas of how to act with good manners and what’s socially acceptable. And at the end of the day, that’s how they interpret your gestures, and get a read on how you FEEL about them.

What to do:

According to psychology, people are most comfortable with 2-5 seconds of eye contact, so try to do at least that.

It might also be useful to figure out why making eye contact is difficult for you, and see if you can come up with a solution or an alternative for this. 

If making eye contact is truly too difficult, perhaps it’s useful to tell the other person directly about it.

3) Staring too long and doing the“head to toe” scan

While making occasional eye contact tells the person that you’re interested in what they have to say, looking at someone for too long, as if they’re under examination, can make anyone uncomfortable.

When you look at someone from head to toe, or if you gaze at one body part for so long, it gives them the impression that you’re sizing them up, or judging them.  

If you do this, it can make others feel like you’re deliberately trying to be intimidating—that yes, you’re conceited, judgmental, and overall, not so nice.

Sure, you may just be keenly observant and curious, but again, that doesn’t matter in a lot of social situations. What matters to the other person is how you make them feel.

What to do:

Unless you already have a close relationship with the other person, try not to stare too long. 

The best thing to do is just focus on the convo, make just the right amount of eye contact, and ask follow-up questions. This shows them you’re interested, without making things awkward. 

Definitely, don’t look at someone’s disability or strange features, because that would obviously make them feel uncomfortable. And in general, that’s just impolite.

4) Smirking at what someone says

It could just be your habit, but don’t do it if you want others to like you!

This gesture shows arrogance, and some people may find that hard to forgive. 

Then you’d complain, “But I’m not a bad person. Why does everyone think I’m a snob?”

Well, if you do this, then there’s your answer. 

What to do:

Avoid smirking, especially if you’re talking with an acquaintance who knows nothing about you, because it will definitely give them the impression that you think that you’re better than them.

It’s hard to break habits, I know. But there are proven ways to break a habit, and you should give it a try.

5) Raising an eyebrow

Raising an eyebrow can be playful sometimes… but generally, it’s seen as a b*tchy and snobbish gesture.

In fact, this is what you should do if you want to instantly intimidate (or annoy) others.

Do you raise an eyebrow when someone says something that you don’t agree with?

Do you raise an eyebrow when someone fumbles with their words?

Then, don’t be surprised if people don’t exactly gravitate towards you.

What to do:

You’re probably not really conceited, and raising an eyebrow is just one of your mannerisms. 

It may even be something you do unconsciously, at this point. 

But if you want to make a good impression on others, then it’s worth unlearning this habit. 

6) Tapping your feet or fingers

Tap, tap, tap.

Do you notice that it’s okay when you’re the one doing it, but absolutely annoying when it’s someone else?

This audible gesture of impatience can make other people feel pressured and uncomfortable, especially if they’re people-pleasers.

They’d feel bad that they seem to be keeping you, or boring you… and they’d want to do something—anything—just to make you feel okay.

And you know what else?

It also makes you seem bossy and conceited—as if you expect other people to wait on you and entertain you and make you happy.

Needless to say, this won’t get you a lot of social invites. 

What to do:

Be conscious of this habit. When you feel the urge to start tapping away, maybe find something else to do—rub your fingers, or cross your legs instead. 

Obviously, it’s not easy to break a habit, but not impossible

7) Holding your chin up too high

I’m sure you’ve been told that confidence is important, and that one of the best ways to show it is by holding our head up high.

And this is absolutely true. 

But if you’re holding it up too high, well… not only would you look a bit uptight and funny, you’d also give the impression that you’re conceited and snobbish.

What to do:

Know the best chin level to communicate that you’re friendly and approachable, and try to practice it as much as you can.

Add a smile to that, and you’re golden!

8) Having a stoic facial expression

This is more than just a rest*ng bitch face (because having a “b*tch face” is not really a gesture).

Having a stoic facial expression is deliberately toning down (or eliminating) facial reactions such as fear, worry, shame, anger, joy.

Think of the iconic 90s cartoon character, Daria—yeah, that’s basically it.

If you show very little emotion, trust me—people would assume you’re just a snob, even if deep down, you’re one of the most compassionate people around.

Yep, body language matters more than you think…especially facial expressions.

What to do:

Even the subtlest changes in facial expression can go a long way! 

Smile, move your lips, or furrow your brows. You can even look at yourself in the mirror and practice making more dynamic facial expressions. 

9) Raising both arms to show frustration

If you’re having a discussion with someone and you think they’re making a st*pid point, how do you express your frustration?

Do you raise both arms to show how annoyed you are—as if to say, “That’s it, I give up. I’m too smart for this kind of convo?”

Then, people probably think you’re conceited and snobbish.

They’d be scared to talk to you and get close to you, because they don’t want you to treat them that way—like they’re not worthy of your attention and respect.

What to do:

Even when you don’t agree with someone, give them the chance to say their piece. And if what they say frustrates you, take a breath before you respond. 

Maybe instead of throwing your arms up in the air in resignation, verbalize how you feel. Politely tell the other person that you disagree, and change the topic, if necessary. 

Final thoughts

There are a lot of social interactions wherein you’re judged by what you do and how you act. 

This might not always be a positive thing, but it’s just one of those facts of life you can’t escape. 

So, it’s useful to know how others perceive you, not because you need everyone to like you all the time, but because it can be a way to find and build more meaningful connections. 

This could also work to your advantage. 

If you’re generally perceived as nice and approachable, you might find that others are more accommodating towards you, and more opportunities open up. 

So, if you find that you do the things that are listed above, well, at least, now you know! Then you can slowly change your habits so you’re not seen as conceited and snobbish when you really aren’t.

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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