Signs of a Condescending Person

Signs of a Condescending Person

Signs of a condescending person

In life, we come across many types of people. Each one’s personality trait is different. We only have to know how to handle these different characters and lead our lives with integrity. The main challenge is to identify the trait of the person you are dealing with. At home and at work, you would have come across a condescending person many times.

In this article, we will help you understand who a condescending person is and some signs you have to watch out for, to know if a person is condescending or not.

Who is a Condescending Person?

Are you dealing with a person who thinks he is above everything else? Does he always think he is far more superior and smarter than the rest of you? Does he put you down at every possible chance by not accepting the new ideas you are giving him?

Does he give you unsolicited advice every time he meets you? Does he make you feel bad when you don’t know about something?

If you have answered “yes” to one, some or all of these questions, you are dealing with a condescending person. Some highly condescending people even go to the extent of thinking that flaunting their superiority everywhere is good.

Here is a disclaimer for you right at the beginning of this article – being called a condescending person is definitely not a compliment for you. When the people you interact with (at home and at work) call you condescending, it should ring an alarm bell in your mind to mend your behavior right then.

When do you know if a person is condescending or not?

Sometimes, people may display a condescending attitude even without them realizing it. It is easier to give your feedback to these people.

They will immediately realize their mistakes and become more empathetic than before towards the people they interact with. On the other hand, people who show off their superiority deliberately are quite stubborn. You cannot change these people easily.

Signs to Watch out for

When you notice these signs in a person, it is a clear signal for you that he is a condescending and arrogant person. It is highly recommended that you stay away from such people for your own good:

  • The person keeps talking about his intelligence levels always; he never misses a chance to tell the world how intelligent he is.
  • In addition to thinking too highly of his intelligence levels, he always thinks too little about others. He always criticizes others and chides them for not being as intelligent as him.
  • He is never happy with what others have communicated. There is a constant urge in him to correct others’ comments. This is because he feels that nobody is more qualified than him to speak on any topic.
  • When people point out to the flaws in his statements, he cannot take it with an open mind. He cannot handle criticism properly. When somebody criticizes him, he uses his position to belittle that person and humiliates him extensively.
  • He acts arrogant and self-centered all the time. He expects everyone around him to dance to his tunes. He thinks he is too intelligent to be ignored by anybody.
  • He puts up a brave-front and tries to act confident & smart so that his ignorance doesn’t get exposed. He tries to flaunt his superiority on the outside; however, he is totally insecure within him. He is always scared if a more intelligent person would overtake him. He wears a mask of fake self-confidence to hide his insecurities and ignorance.
  • He thinks he has a certain class, elegance & charm to him, but in reality, this is anything but true. He acts very cheap and doesn’t value anybody’s time except his own.
  • He gives his opinion on every single matter, but the worse problem is that he orders everyone to listen to his opinions, regardless of how silly they are.

When you spot these signs in a person, you can try explaining the situation to that person. If he isn’t in the mood to listen to your feedback, you can try talking to his manager (at work) or other elders (at home) to intervene. If nothing seems to work out, you just have to walk off. That’s the best decision.

Interacting with a condescending person will not help you learn anything that you don’t know already. On the contrary, it will only add to your stress and impact your health – physically & mentally.

Being Condescending without Intending to

From the above, it is easy to judge a condescending person as one who is egoistic, arrogant and insecure. However, sometimes, you exhibit these signs, even when you didn’t intend to. Some everyday things that you do at home and at work can be qualified as condescending, though you may not have realized it yourself till now.

Here are some signs of subconscious condescending behavior that a person exhibits:

  • When you aren’t polite to the salesperson who calls you or when you talk rudely to the security man or cashier or the workers at a supermarket that you visit
  • When you have ignored a new co-worker when he tried to learn something from you; you didn’t mean any harm, but you refused to spend time for him citing time constraints
  • When you didn’t feel empathetic when your friend or family member or team member shared their problems with you; at the end of the session, you couldn’t comfort them because you never put yourself in their shoes
  • When a friend shared a relationship problem with you, you jumped in to give your suggestion/advice, without ever pausing to know if your friend needed advice or just a listening ear
  • When you comment on others’ outfits or physical appearance as if to judge them or make fun of them
  • When you cannot accept the advice given to you by people at work or at home, because you think you know everything

You would all have exhibited one or more of these behaviors sometime in your lives. Yes, you didn’t mean to be arrogant or harsh; you just did what came to your mind.

That’s the reason we told about these sings. This will help you take control of your actions every single time you exhibit these and correct them before you turn out to be condescending.

What a Condescending Person Says and How it Turns out to Be

Whether at home or at the office, you may want to tell something, but eventually, tell something else. For example, you may want to compliment your subordinate for a good job, but you are designed in such a way that you cannot compliment him directly.

You eventually tell him that he has done a good job but he can do better next time. In one second, you have crushed the morale of the subordinate by uttering these words.

If the sings that we mentioned above aren’t enough for you to know if a person is condescending or not, watch out for his words and the way he tells them. These should give you ample clues to plan your next action:

1. Using the Words “Actually” and “Just” Many Times

According to experts, even if a person doesn’t display arrogance always, he could just give away his condescension by making use of the words “actually” and “just” in his speech.

When you make a presentation, if he says, “I actually think that’s a good presentation”, it means, he is surprised that an average person like you could make a presentation like that.

When he gives you an unreasonable deadline to finish a tough job, he would say, “you just have to do smart work and do it by tomorrow”. By making use of the word, “just” he will try to underplay the complexity of the tasks that he has assigned you.

2. Giving Backhand Compliments

This is similar to what we explained a few paragraphs ago. When a person doesn’t compliment you directly but uses some words to slightly put you down, it is known as a backhand compliment.

For example, when you submit a tough project to your boss, he may say, “Good that you didn’t delay your submission like the last time”. Here, the focus isn’t on complimenting you; he is trying to remind you of your past mistakes.

After reading all this, it is highly recommended to do a self-assessment to check if you have been condescending at any point in your lives. Being humble always, being empathetic to others, having an open mind to accept criticism and not judging anybody are some key points to work on if you want to get rid of your condescending character.

While it is good to have self-respect, it is not right to be self-centered always. Whether it is at work or at home, you should be understanding and accept people as they are, without forcing your opinions on them.

You can always tell them your feedback or suggestions in an interactive way. This will help you maintain a healthy relationship with all your stakeholders.

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