“Confidence is believing in yourself. Arrogance is telling others you’re better than they are. Confidence inspires. Arrogance destroys.” – Simon Sinek
There is nothing wrong with being confident. You should be proud of your skills and abilities and be unafraid to show the world what you’re good at.
But be mindful of the thin line between confidence and arrogance.
Celebrate your strengths but keep both feet on the ground. Because once you make the mistake of being high and mighty, arrogance kicks in.
And if there’s one thing arrogant people attract, it’s disrespect from the people around them.
Here are 10 things arrogant people do which loses them respect:
1) They’re always late.
Mind you, not all people who are late are arrogant. We’ve all been late every once in a while.
In fact, I’ve been guilty of having “better late than never” as my mantra during my teenage years.
But as I matured, I learned that being on time is a sign of respect for the time and effort of whoever you’re meeting. Of course, the story changes when we’re late because of unavoidable circumstances.
In other words, being intentionally late could be a sign of disrespect but not arrogance per se.
Arrogance comes when you have no remorse for being late. Arrogant people believe that their status, expertise, or what they offer is enough to justify their tardy behavior.
It’s an attitude that completely disregards other people’s time.
It’s as if they’re saying, “I’m that good, so suck it up and wait.”
2) They show up unprepared.
Whether they show up on time or not, another arrogant behavior undeserving of respect is coming unprepared.
For example, someone shows up for a basketball tournament without having shot hoops, done any dribbles, or done any workouts for a week. Even the GOATs Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant are big advocates of constant practice to work on their craft.
Another example is showing up for a client pitch without reviewing the presentation slides or going over any last-minute preps with the team.
Both these scenarios display arrogant behavior that undermines the hard work that your teammates put in.
I think it’s also a display of disrespect for the opposing team and the clients. It’s as if saying to them, “You’re not that important to deserve the best version of my skills.”
3) They expect all ears on them.
People who are full of themselves want everyone’s full attention – all the time.
Of course, it’s rude not to listen when someone is talking to you.
However, in the case of arrogant people, it doesn’t matter if they’re directly talking to you or not or whether the topic concerns you. It doesn’t even matter if you know them or not. And yes, what you’re doing also doesn’t matter.
As long as they’re saying something, they expect everyone inside the room (yes, that includes you in the corner) to be listening and looking at them.
You often hear them intentionally magnifying their voice loud enough that even the room next door can hear.
Be careful. If you’re caught not turning your attention towards them, you may be called out by name along with the words “Are you listening?!”.
4) They won’t lend you their ears.
Although they want you to focus on them when they’re talking, arrogant people will not show any interest in what you’re saying.
They will intentionally cut you off when you’re saying something.
They will disagree with you to prove their opinion is the only right one.
They can also talk over you like you weren’t talking in the first place, just so they can direct the conversation back to themselves.
When they’re not interrupting, you will see them scrolling on their phone or computers while you’re talking.
These are such disrespectful behaviors, it’s as if they’re sending you the message: “I have nothing to learn from you, so I won’t bother listening to you.”
5) They use condescending language.
In the unlikely event that an arrogant person chooses to listen to you, you will often hear them using underhanded comments.
Here’s what some of these snide remarks sound like:
“I don’t think that was your best game, but congratulations!”
“I’d like to discuss it more with you, but I don’t think I can simplify it enough for you to understand.”
“That was a nice pitch. But I doubt you’ll end up getting that account. Good job, though!”
“Love your dress! Although I hope the client takes us seriously with that makeup.”
Arrogant people are skillful at making you think they want to listen and they care.
Truth is, they’re just looking for an opportunity to swing you some backhanded comments to make you feel insecure and feed their own insecurities.
6) They refuse to work within a team.
Don’t get me wrong, some people like working alone, but that doesn’t automatically make them arrogant.
The difference is that non-arrogant people would be happy to work within a team environment when needed.
Self-absorbed people, on the other hand, will blatantly refuse to work with anyone. There’s no valid reason for their refusal. It’s just their extremely high levels of arrogance in play.
They have this self-perceived “superiority” over other people that they think no one is good enough to be on their team and be their equal in tackling a project.
The only exception is when the team is working for them.
Take note of the operative word: FOR (as opposed to with), which asserts a certain level of superiority – something that arrogant people crave.
7) They’re on a constant power trip.
As I said earlier, arrogant people prefer to have an entire team at their disposal instead of having equals to work with.
Let me clarify that having a team working under you does not make you arrogant. It’s normal to have people working under people. That’s how the hierarchy works, after all.
Arrogance comes when power play is involved.
These people ask their juniors to buy coffee from the shop 2 blocks away from the office.
Worse, they do this without saying “please” or “thank you.”
These can also be the people who think their social standing gives them the right to belittle others in public.
There are so many more examples of power trip that comes to mind, but you get the gist:
The way of the arrogant is to affirm their superiority at all times.
8) They will not wait in line.
Apart from power tripping, arrogant people also earn people’s disrespect by displaying how entitled they can be.
These are the type of people who skip the lines because they think they deserve preferential treatment.
These are also the same people to immediately hop on the escalators, even if they just got there, ignoring the others waiting before them.
They are the same people who will expect to be seated at a restaurant even without prior booking, regardless of whether the place is packed.
Don’t even bother expecting arrogant people to know the rules of common courtesy because, as far as their world is concerned, these do not exist.
9) They name-drop.
Name-dropping can organically pop up in a conversation, and that’s perfectly normal.
But if someone constantly uses the names of famous people, even if the conversation’s context does not require this, it becomes a red flag.
Arrogant people like to name-drop to show their social connections and, in a way, reaffirm their self-proclaimed superiority.
What they don’t know is this annoying habit only attracts disdain from other people.
What’s worse is, according to narcissism expert and psychology professor W. Keith Campbell, name-dropping can often be a symptom of an over-inflated sense of self. In other words, narcissism.
On that note, have you ever noticed that most people who actually hold power or are distinguished in society are the least likely to name-drop?
10) They will only accept positive feedback.
I may have to correct my earlier statement that arrogant people tend not to listen.
Because now that I think about it, ther’s a couple of things that arrogant people will give their attention to:
It’s people giving them praises and compliments.
But be careful. Once your words turn sour or you drop even the slightest hint of criticism – whether constructive or not, you will be shut off (and possibly shunned).
Because to an arrogant person, pointing out flaws in what they say or do is a big no-no!
The best way to deal with arrogant people
Arrogant people make it extremely easy to dislike them, and often, their behaviors cause us to lose what’s left of our little respect for them.
But we can’t permanently avoid arrogance. It can be anywhere (thankfully, not everywhere).
So here’s the secret to coping with arrogant people:
Don’t let them get to you.
Remember, if you let them occupy half of your thoughts and emotions – they win.