Have you ever dealt with a patronizing person?
Someone who belittles you and makes you feel like garbage?
We’ve all been there.
These people act like know-it-alls and treat you like mud on their shoes.
If you’re having trouble with someone who is condescending towards you, you shouldn’t have to put up with it.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 9 perfect comebacks for dealing with a patronizing person.
1) “Thanks for your opinion, but I can handle this myself”
Have you ever had someone try and take over something you were doing and do it for you?
And their reason was that ‘they have more experience’ and have been ‘doing things longer’ than you?
They assume you’re incapable or would be ‘lost without them’, so you should step back and let them do the work for you.
Well, this comeback is a nice way to let them know you’ve got it covered.
While this comeback is a friendly start to the list, the next point is a little more direct.
2) “Instead of putting me down, why don’t you try and be helpful instead?”
Patronizing people can often put you down without even realizing it.
When that happens, sometimes they need to be told.
This comeback is for those who nitpick at something you do. And for people who pick you apart because you made a mistake and make you feel terrible about it.
The next time someone criticizes you, instead of giving constructive criticism, hit them with this comeback.
3) “Instead of belittling me, why don’t you focus on yourself?”
You also have those patronizing people who are all up in your business and personal life.
Telling you what you should and shouldn’t do and judging you for your choices.
And treating your life like a soap opera they can give unwarranted commentary on, instead of focusing on their own life.
You’ve also got the people who make you feel small for having a different opinion than theirs and always correct you.
Keep this comeback handy for those moments.
4) “If you could stop talking down to me, maybe we could actually have a proper conversation?”
And then we have patronizing folks who won’t let you get a word in when you’re trying to talk.
Every time you try to bring up a valid point, they interrupt, talk over you and make condescending remarks while they’re at it.
They may also dismiss your opinion, make you feel stupid for thinking differently from them or try to tell you what you’re thinking.
You won’t get anywhere while they act this way, so a comeback like this can help open up the conversation.
5) “It would be great if you could let me finish talking instead of interrupting me”
Alternatively, you can use this phrase for someone who won’t let you talk and talks over you.
And for someone who shuts your views down because your side of the story is not important enough for them to hear (and because they love the sound of their own voice!)
This phrase should hopefully get them to stay schtum and actually let you speak.
6) “I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you were the expert of everything”
There’s always that one person who feels the need to exert their authority and act like they know everything.
I’ve experienced this at work, where people who worked in the same position as me would act like they were in management.
Then you have the people who have to one-up you.
Everything you’ve done, they’ve done bigger and better.
And everything you know? Of course, they know more, and they have to let you know it, too.
When faced with this type of person, try this comeback. Hopefully, they’ll catch onto the sarcasm!
7) “If I wanted to hear a condescending opinion, I’d ask for it”
This comeback is a good way to let people know they’re being condescending while also being sarcastic about it.
Let’s say at work, for example. Your colleague mentions that you should stick to your current position because you just ‘wouldn’t cut it in a management role.’
If someone makes a similar patronizing remark to you, this phrase should put them in their place.
8) “Do you realize how condescending you are?”
While some of the other comebacks on this list lean more towards being passive-aggressive, this one is a little more confrontational.
As I mentioned, some people don’t even realize how patronizing they’re being. So, this comeback calls them out on it by asking them directly.
In an ideal world, this comeback would make the said patronizing person come to their senses. But you may also be onto a losing battle.
9) “Why don’t you try treating others how you’d like to be treated?”
Now, onto our final comeback on this list.
Nice people treat others with respect. This is not what a patronizing person does when they talk down to you.
So, this comeback is a kind reminder to the patronizing offender not to treat people like they’re beneath them and to treat them with respect instead.
How to deal with a patronizing person
Dealing with a patronizing person is not a pleasant experience. It can be upsetting and make you feel awful – often the desired effect of someone who is patronizing
Other than hitting them with a comeback, there’re a few ways to deal with these people.
Condescending people often do so to get a reaction out of you (and to make you feel bad).
Don’t give them that satisfaction and ignore them instead.
If they try to speak with you (aka, talk down to you), stay quiet and go about your business.
That way, they won’t have the opportunity to make a patronizing remark to you in the first place.
Of course, this isn’t always possible.
For instance, you might have to work closely with this person, so you have no choice but to interact with them.
In that case …
When they say something patronizing, it’s easy to get upset or riled up at their comments.
But try not to rise to the bait and stay calm.
Reacting in any other way would give them the response they want.
After all, patronizing people tend to be insecure, so it makes them feel better talking down to others.
So, stay calm and adhere to this next step.
Think before you respond
When influenced by feelings like anger, it might tempt you into making nasty comments in retaliation and lashing out verbally.
But doing this will do little to help the situation. It will only start arguments, and believe me. It’s not worth it.
You can’t fight fire with fire.
Instead, stay calm and be honest about how they make you feel.
If that still doesn’t help, do what you can to interact with this person as little as possible and keep it moving.
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