6 Ways To Deal With Arrogant People

3. Communicate directly. 

Sometimes it is advisable to tell the other person how s/he came across. It is good to remind an arrogant person that no one knows that much-considering life’s mysteries and that no one can claim absolute truth. As long as it does not harm you later, do not suppress yourself.

Use disarming sentences such as, “Forgive me for interrupting, but…”, or “Maybe you did not mean to sound arrogant/hurt my feelings/come across as if you are 100 percent right, but… .” If you need more tools for communicating effectively, see A Unified Theory of Happiness.2

4. Involve a mediator or a greater number of people. 

Sometimes direct communication backfires, which is why you might want to include a third party to help diffuse the situation. Without being vindictive, stand up for yourself under the guidance of someone else.

Seek the support you need. Sometimes you might have to find allies and stand together against a particularly harmful arrogant person or persons.

5. Reduce the harm by setting limits. 

We cannot always choose with whom we work and must deal with, but we can set limits. Before meeting with an arrogant person, decide how much time you will spend together and about what subjects you will or will not speak about.

Be disciplined and resist biting any hooks that would prolong the allotted time or cover more territory. If you cannot keep distance despite great effort, maybe it is time to plan to sever the ties. Nobody should remain silent and endure abuse, whether in a personal or professional relationship.

Related: 10 Types of Toxic People You Should Avoid At All Costs

6. Be mindful. 

Whatever you decide to do, do things deliberately, thoughtfully, and with as much love as possible. Arrogant people cause others to lose their temper and become their worst selves.

Observe your reactions with self-compassion and your long-term interest in mind. Play the game of your life instead of trying to fit into someone else’s. Stay true to yourself, always.

© 2020 Andrea F. Polard, PsyD. All Rights Reserved.


1) https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/arrogance

2) See Polard, A.F. (2012). A Unified Theory of Happiness: An East-Meets-West Approach to Fully Loving Your Life. Boulder: Sounds True, Chapter 6 "Connection", p 91-125.

Written By Andrea F. Polard 
Originally Appeared In Psychology Today
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6 Ways To Deal With Arrogant People
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6 Ways To Deal With Arrogant People
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Andrea F. Polard Psy.D.

Andrea F. Polard, Psy.D., founded and teaches Zen Psychology and Zen Psychology Therapy. She derived the approach from her book, A Unified Theory of Happiness. Her work is rooted in science and Western thought as well as in Eastern thought, especially Zen Buddhism, reflecting her multicultural background. After having started with humanistic approaches, she subsequently trained in self-psychology, system-oriented therapy, cognitive-behavioral psychology and mind-body work. Polard studied at the Freie University Berlin, focusing on creativity and non-verbal expressions, using the Facial Action Coding System to analyze the smile. Her dissertation examined the phenomenon of emigration: Leaving the Circle. She is now an independent researcher and scholar of wisdom traditions, aspiring to revitalize Zen Buddhism in the form of Zen Psychology.View Author posts