10 traits of an overconfident person (and how to deal with them)

Confidence is definitely a good trait to have. But how do you know if someone is crossing the line from having healthy self-esteem to toxic overconfidence?

If you want to learn more, let us share with you the 10 traits of an overconfident person. And here’s a bonus: read until the end to see how you can deal with this type of person!

1) They always have something to say

Overconfident people always feel the need to give their opinion on everything, especially highly controversial topics. Even if their advice is unsolicited, you know that they’ll want to share with you everything that they possibly know about a topic.

And if they’re not strongly debating with you on the latest news update, they might use the time to brag about themselves. This can include information about their accomplishments, family background, social status, education, and basically anything else that would make them look good.

When they talk, most people usually find them extremely loud and noisy.

They like raising their voices to make sure that they can be heard by a lot of people. And they can also spend hours and hours talking about something they’re passionate about, even if their words don’t necessarily have any value.

2) They will go to great lengths to prove that they’re right

They will do just about anything to get you to admit that they are right. And yes, this is still applicable even it comes to just petty and trivial discussions.

Ultimately, they delight in “winning” arguments because it makes them feel better about themselves.

Does this sound familiar?

Even when the group is already done discussing an issue, there is always one guy that will keep bringing it up and supporting his stance. He might even do further research on the topic and share it with the group over and over again.

All of these are definitely signs of an overconfident person.

3) They always seek external validation

These people also thrive on hearing compliments and praises from other people. They absolutely live for this kind of validation and support.

They might also have the habit of manipulating situations in such a way to increase their worth in people’s eyes. Remember that groupmate who swoops in at the last second to “save the day” and get credit on an assignment? Yup, we’re talking about those people.

This trait gets very toxic because overconfident people are often never satisfied. They’re always craving more validation and this leaves them very unhappy and discontent in the long run.

4) They can be very critical of other people

Overconfident people also easily jump to conclusions when they’re judging people. They may see this one grammar typo that you made and immediately assume that you’re sloppy and unprofessional when it comes to your work.

These types of people also like to constantly make fun of others and bring people down. Sadly, the reason why they do this is so that they can feel superior. Deep down, though, they are just incredibly insecure.

It becomes even worse when they do it under the guise of helping people improve. But in reality, their real intention is to point out another person’s flaws. Basically, their ultimate goal is to make others feel bad in order to boost their own self-esteem (needless to say, this is a huge lie!).

5) They are very sensitive when other people are criticizing them

This is what makes it very ironic: They can be very insensitive when it comes to other people’s feelings. BUT if they’re the ones being criticized, they think that they’re being unjustly attacked.

It doesn’t matter whether or not they are given criticism that is constructive and is delivered in a respectful way. An overconfident person will think that his critics are always in the wrong.

They do not like listening to other people because they can’t bring themselves to accept that they are flawed human beings, just like everyone else.

6) They believe that they are always the best person for the job

It’s common that overconfident people will think that they’re always the smartest person in the room. In reality, though, they are often not as knowledgeable and skilled as they like to think they are.

On the off chance that they admit that they’re not the most experienced, they will also always point out that they can easily catch up to other people’s knowledge levels.

Overconfident people would also usually underestimate the amount of time, effort, and skill level that they need to complete a task. This might lead them to miss important deadlines or deliver poor work.

Another lie that these types of people believe is that they should never be forced to give up control. For instance, micromanagers may find it difficult to delegate tasks to others even if they already have so much on their plate.

This may even result in unsatisfactory output because they’re already spreading themselves too thin.

7) They think that the whole world is in love with them

Overconfident people are natural people-pleasers. Because of this, it’s very convenient for them to believe that everybody likes them even if this is not always the case.

They tend to exaggerate people’s compliments and minimize any negative opinions others may have of them.

Overconfident people may also think that any person is at their disposal. They feel entitled to the service of others because they may think that the whole world revolves around them.

8) They take a lot of unnecessary risks

These kinds of people may have an unhealthy relationship with risk.  Overconfident people may spend above their means because they are positive that they’ll be able to earn back the money somehow.

They may also think that they are somehow exempt and safe from any negative consequences that their actions can bring.

And if they do get caught in a sticky situation, overconfident people feel that they’ll always find a way out of it. In their minds, that’s just how good they are.

9) They’re not the type to ask for help

To an overconfident person, asking for help means admitting that you are not good enough to accomplish a certain task.

For them, this is a sign of weakness and deficiency, which is the absolute last thing that they want people to see in them.

They also subscribe to this false view that they can figure out absolutely everything on their own, even if it’s out of their current capabilities and knowledge.

These people are independent to a fault, so much so that they don’t realize that it’s actually hurting them big time.

10) They like taking all the credit in group projects

After a project has been accomplished, an overconfident person may brag about how he was the one carrying the whole team. These people would always assume that they executed more than what they actually did.

People like this lack the proper empathy and awareness to understand how others have been instrumental to the success of a project.

This may be particularly obvious when it comes to overconfident leaders in a group. Because they’ve been appointed as the head of the project, they automatically diminish other people’s contributions and efforts.

So how do you deal with overconfident people?

It is definitely not a walk in the park when you’re surrounded by overconfident people. But with the following tips, we hope you can get more insight into the different ways that you can try out:

1) Try to understand why they are overconfident in the first place

To clarify, this doesn’t mean that you have to absolve them of any wrongdoing on their part. But as a starting point, it is helpful to have a better understanding of why these people act the way that they do.

It’s important that you don’t fight fire with fire. Just because overconfident people don’t want to practice empathy doesn’t mean you should return the favor.

Perhaps these people were praised excessively since childhood. Maybe they were always in the presence of people who told them that they were exceedingly skilled in everything that they do.

Another reason may be because they are using this mask of overconfidence to hide their own self-doubt and insecurities. When they feel the slightest notion that they’re not good enough, their whole self-identity might start to crumble.

Because of this, they might choose to be in denial of the way in which the world actually works.

2) Remind them of the truth

But we shouldn’t stop at just trying to understand overconfident people. We must also talk to them and make them aware of these toxic traits, especially if you are a close friend or a trusted colleague to them.

First, remind them that they shouldn’t believe everything that they hear. Just because someone constantly tells them that they can do no wrong doesn’t make it true.

It seems like a harsh truth, but an overconfident person should learn to be critical of the information that is given to them, instead of accepting everything as gospel.

Also, you should debunk the advice that “faking it ‘til you make it” is always a good strategy. Yes, to some extent, this can be beneficial if you’re trying to put yourself out there and build more trust in yourself. But, there are some instances where “faking it” just cannot serve one’s community well.

You should also remind them of how they should stop placing their worth in the wrong things. If they keep equating their self-worth to reputation and people’s approval, they can never be truly fulfilled and happy.

Encourage them to do the right thing instead, which is, to be honest, and realistic with themselves.

What does this honestly look like? On the one hand, everyone has the right to be confident and to stand tall. This is because we all have the potential to improve and grow in the different aspects of our lives.

Even if we don’t get things right the first time or even the 100th time, we can still hold on to the hope that we can eventually succeed if we keep trying. There is definitely power in perseverance, and this is a truth that we should all believe.

But on the other hand, overconfident people should also recognize that with strengths also come various limitations. They must take into heart the fact that we are all human and are thus, imperfect.

This means that we are all prone to making mistakes.

One person can’t possibly know everything and have the solution to every problem. In this world, we are all made with different gifts and inborn talents, and overconfident people have to learn to respect that.

3) Don’t take it personally

When overconfident people bring you down, this may not necessarily reflect anything about you. In other words, it may not be about your skills or about anything that you did, although they might intentionally make you feel this way.

More often than not, it’s because they’re dealing with their own internal battles. As mentioned above, they may be struggling with their self-worth and self-identity.

4) Keep your cool

It may be tempting to lash out when you feel frustrated with overconfident people.

But giving them a piece of your mind may just make the situation even worse. Overconfident people might just retaliate in an even more toxic way.

So what should you do? When this happens, take a deep breath and remember that your worth is not dependent on what they say about you.

Be patient and understanding, and when the time is right and you’ve calmed down, then you can start holding them accountable for their overconfidence.

5) Stand your ground

If you are in the right, you should also stand your ground and be assertive. You can’t let overconfident people have their way all the time, especially if it would be detrimental to the community or to the business.

The key here is to argue with these people in a factual manner. To support your claim, share with them hard data, statistics, and insights that they can’t possibly argue with.

6) Distance yourself

Dealing with toxic people can get very draining and exhausting. With this, sometimes the best course of action is to simply remove yourself from the situation.

This may also come in the form of changing the topic when you feel tension arising from your overconfident colleague or friend.

There is still hope

At this point, you’ve probably sensed a pattern of how an overconfident person actually thinks and feels. All in all, these people lack self-awareness and they usually have a warped view of reality.

It may be extremely challenging, but we have to believe that there is still hope that overconfident people can change and improve over time.

In our own little ways, I hope that we can all choose to help these people become more conscious of their mindset and actions. After all, we are also imperfect and we rely on others to guide us towards the right path as well.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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