People who give off an arrogant vibe without realizing it often display these 8 subtle behaviors

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There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance, and sometimes we don’t even realize we’ve crossed it.

Arrogance, unlike confidence, often pushes people away. It’s subtle, unintentional, and can be easily missed.

We all know someone who seems arrogant, but they may not necessarily truly be like that. They may just be giving off that vibe, without even realizing it.

In this article, I’ll share 8 common and subtle behaviors of those who unknowingly give off an arrogant vibe. Stick around, and you might discover some surprising (and very useful) things about yourself or others!

1) Dominating conversations

We all love a good chat, but there’s a huge difference between being a great conversationalist and monopolizing every discussion.

Arrogance often slips in when we become so engrossed in our own ideas and experiences that we forget to acknowledge the other person’s input. It’s easy to fall into this pattern without realizing it, especially if we’re passionate about the topic at hand.

Do your own conversations look like this? How much did you learn about the person you were talking to? Remember, conversations are about give and take.

Start a habit of keeping an eye on how much you’re speaking compared to others. If you find yourself dominating the conversation, try to open your mind up to curiosity and put yourself into the mindset of listening instead.

2) Barely listening to others

I recall a time when I met up with an old friend for coffee. We hadn’t seen each other in years, and I was eager to catch up.

As we sat down to chat, I noticed something off about our conversation. It seemed like every time I started to share a story or an update about my life, he would quickly divert the conversation back to himself.

At first, I thought it was just excitement from catching up. But after a while, it became clear that he wasn’t genuinely interested in what I had to say. He was barely listening and only waiting for his turn to speak to turn the spotlight back on him.

Of course, he did have plenty of interesting things to share. And I was glad that he had so much going for him. But what my friend was unknowingly displaying was a subtle sign of arrogance.

By not actively listening, he gave off the impression that his stories mattered more than mine.

3) Excessive name-dropping

In the world of psychology, there’s a term called “basking in reflected glory“. This refers to the act of associating ourselves with successful and high-status individuals or groups to improve our own image.

One common way people do this is by name-dropping. It’s human nature to want to impress others, and mentioning that you know influential people can seem like an effective way to do so.

However, excessive name-dropping can easily come across as arrogant. It gives the impression that you’re using others’ accomplishments to boost your own status, rather than letting your own actions speak for themselves.

Being aware of how often you’re name-dropping can help curb any unintentional arrogance. Remember, your worth isn’t determined by who you know, but rather, by who you are as a person.

4) Constant need to be right

We all have a natural desire to be right. It’s a basic human instinct that helps us navigate through life. However, when this desire turns into a constant need, it can come off as arrogant.

Those who unknowingly give off an arrogant vibe often display a subtle yet consistent need to be right. They argue their point of view even when it’s not necessary, and struggle to accept when they’re wrong.

It’s important to remember that being wrong isn’t a sign of weakness. On the contrary, admitting when you’re wrong shows humility and willingness to learn.

So next time you find yourself in a disagreement, consider whether your need to be right is worth the potential cost to your relationships.

5) Lack of empathy

At the core of any strong relationship is empathy. It’s the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. It’s about seeing things from their perspective, not just your own.

When we fail to show empathy, it can often come across as arrogance. We might appear self-centered or dismissive of other people’s experiences or emotions.

I’ve seen friendships strained and connections lost due to a lack of empathy. It’s heartbreaking to see, especially when the person doesn’t realize the impact of their behavior.

We must never forget that everyone is fighting their own battles. A little empathy can go a long way in showing others that you care and respect their feelings as much as your own.

It’s a small change that can make a world of difference in how you’re perceived.

6) Always needing to have the last word

I’ve been guilty of this more times than I’d like to admit. Whether it’s in a heated debate or a simple conversation, I used to feel the urge to always have the last say. It was as if having the final word meant I’d won.

But over time, I realized that this habit wasn’t helping me win; instead, it was pushing people away.

They felt like I was more interested in “winning the conversation” (though there’s no such thing in a true friendship) than understanding their perspective.

Be honest with yourself: do you feel the need to have the last word? To always come out on top? Do you gain anything with this attitude?

I know it can be hard to resist at first, but next time this urge comes up, hold back and let the other person be right for a change. Who knows, you may even end up learning something new. 

7) Constantly comparing themselves to others

We live in a competitive world, and it’s natural to compare ourselves to others occasionally. But when it becomes a regular habit, it doesn’t just come off as arrogant — it’s also extremely unhealthy.

Science shows that constantly comparing yourself can lead to anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. 

Unfortunately, this can only worsen the toxic environment that comparison creates, because you may use comparisons to try to boost your self-esteem back up and prove your superiority or downplay others’ achievements.

It’s tough in the world of highlight reels and picture-perfect feeds, but recall that everyone is on their own unique journey. Comparisons never tell the full story, and they won’t make your life any better either. 

Instead, strive to celebrate your achievements and those of others without turning them into a competition. It’s a healthier and more respectful approach that fosters positive relationships.

8) Unwillingness to learn from others

The world is full of knowledge, and no one person holds all the answers. The most successful people understand this and are always open to learning from others.

However, when someone feels they have nothing to learn from those around them, it can come off as arrogance. This unwillingness to learn can limit personal growth and create barriers in relationships.

Never underestimate the value of learning from others, regardless of their status or experience. Everyone you meet knows something you don’t.

Embrace that, and you’ll not only avoid coming off as arrogant, but you’ll also enrich your own life with new knowledge and perspectives.

Final thoughts: It’s all about self-awareness

The beauty of human behavior lies in its complexity and diversity. No two individuals are the same, and our actions, consciously or subconsciously, shape how others perceive us.

The notion of arrogance is a subjective one. What might be perceived as confidence by some can be interpreted as arrogance by others, depending on the context and the observer.

That said, self-awareness is a critical element in managing our behavior. It’s about recognizing and understanding our actions, how they affect others, and being open to change if needed.

If you’ve recognized any of these behaviors in yourself, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re arrogant. Instead, consider it an opportunity for introspection and growth.

And remember that it’s never too late to adjust the sails of your behavior. As Maya Angelou wisely said, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

So let’s strive to know better and do better. Not just for ourselves, but for those around us too.

Lucas Graham

Lucas Graham, based in Auckland, writes about the psychology behind everyday decisions and life choices. His perspective is grounded in the belief that understanding oneself is the key to better decision-making. Lucas’s articles are a mix of personal anecdotes and observations, offering readers relatable and down-to-earth advice.

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