There are people out there who truly believe they are superior to everyone else. They have an inflated ego, a need for control, or a deep-seated insecurity that they mask by putting others down.
Whenever you’re interacting with such people, something always feels off. And if you don’t understand what you’re dealing with, you can come out of a conversation with them feeling belittled and even emotionally exhausted.
This is why I’ve compiled these 12 signs to help you quickly spot them to avoid emotional turmoil. Understanding the signs, you can remain calm and approach them from a clear-headed and empathetic position.
Without further ado, here are 12 signs someone thinks they’re better than you. (You’ll also learn how to deal with these types of people at the end of the article.)
1. They frequently interrupt while you’re speaking
It is a mark of wisdom and humility to understand there’s a lot in this world you still don’t know – no matter how much you think you’ve learned.
This is why Socrates, after being pronounced the wisest man in Athens by the Oracle of Delphi still didn’t believe he was the wisest. He even had to look for someone wiser himself just so he could prove the Oracle wrong.
But for people who believe they’re better than everyone, it’s different. Their default assumption is that nothing you have to say is better than what they have in their heads. And for this reason, they’ll cut you off and impose whatever they have to say.
You can easily spot people like this by how impatient they are when you’re talking. They love the sound of their voice and they’re always eager to talk about themselves and their grand ideas.
2. They dismiss or belittle your opinions
When someone thinks they’re better than you, none of your opinions makes sense to them.
In fact, they can decide to not even listen to you when you’re talking. But when it’s time for them to speak, they’ll expect your full attention. Why?
Their ideas are the best. People like this think their way of looking at the world is absolute.
One way to spot someone belittling your opinions is by how they act when you have an idea. Oftentimes, if you pay attention, you’ll realize that they don’t dismiss your idea because it’s wrong, they dismiss it because it came from you.
But once they hear that idea somewhere else, they suddenly have a change of heart about it. If you see this sign, it’s a sure way to tell someone thinks they’re better than you.
[Related: 6 Signs Someone is a Narcissist]
3. They refuse to apologize when they’ve wronged you
Apologizing to someone often demands that you put yourself at their mercy. They can decide to accept or reject your apology.
Sure, it can be a bit difficult sometimes but it shouldn’t be that much of a big deal if you don’t feel you’re bigger than the person you’re apologizing to.
But when someone thinks they’re better, apologizing is a whole new level of painful experience.
Oftentimes, they won’t even bother to acknowledge the wrong they did. Instead, they’ll try to sweep it under the carpet and come say “hi” to you the next day like nothing had happened.
Even when they acknowledge that they did you wrong, their apologies will be ingenuine with a mark of ego.
For instance, instead of looking you in the eye and telling you they’re sorry for what they did, they might send someone else to apologize to you, or just buy you a gift without any form of acknowledgment for the wrong they did to you.
4. They act condescending or patronizing toward you
This is when someone addresses you as “honey” or “dear” when they should be addressing you more formally and respectfully like sir, ma, or by your name.
Most people have been in this situation. I once watched a movie where a man addressed a police officer he wasn’t even familiar with as “sweetheart” because she was a woman. That’s condescending. Woman or man, a police officer should be addressed as one.
When people act condescending or patronizing towards you, they’re indirectly saying “I’m better than you, you’re fragile, and I’m going to be your savior and boost your sense of self.”
Sometimes they may even sound sweet. But you won’t be able to shake the feeling that they’re looking down on you with their condescending comments.
[Also read: 6 Small Things That Say A Lot About Someone’s Character]
5. They always try to one-up you in conversations
Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and shared a personal story or achievement, only to have them immediately respond with a similar story or accomplishment that outshines yours?
This is a classic example of someone trying to one-up you in a conversation, and it’s a telltale sign that they think they are better than you.
When someone constantly tries to one-up you, it shows that they are not really interested in what you have to say.
Instead, they are more concerned with showing off their accomplishments and making themselves look good. It’s as if they are saying, “Your story is nice, but let me tell you about my even better one.”
In a way, trying to one-up you is a form of competition. The person is trying to show that they are more successful, more experienced, or more interesting than you are.
They may feel that they need to prove their worth to you or others, and the best way to do that is by making themselves seem better than you.
6. They never acknowledge their mistakes to you
When you’re able to admit your mistakes, it shows that you’re humble and self-aware.
It means you can put your ego aside and see things from another person’s perspective. But when someone can’t do that, it shows that they believe they’re too big to make mistakes.
For instance, you’re in an argument with someone and you start winning. But instead of quietly admitting defeat, they start raising their voice and getting violent.
As much as this is a sign of a big ego, it’s also a sign of fragility. Sure, they strongly believe they’re better, but their fragility is also why they can’t admit defeat.
And the fact they can’t stand being wrong also shows insecurity and emotional immaturity.
We all make mistakes. We’re human, after all. But when someone thinks they’re better than you, they can’t bring themselves to admit that they’ve messed up. It’s like they believe it’s beneath them to take responsibility for their actions.
[Related: How to Deal With Someone Who Disrespect You]
7. They consistently ignore your boundaries
People who think they’re better than you may believe that their desires are more important than your boundaries.
They’ll feel entitled to your time and attention, regardless of what you have going on in your life. And if you try to assert yourself and enforce your boundaries, they may get defensive or even aggressive.
For instance, you have a friend who always invites themselves over to your house, even when you haven’t extended an invitation.
They may show up unannounced or even bring other people with them without asking. start rummaging through your fridge or making themselves at home without your permission.
However, in some cases, some people may not even realize they’re doing anything wrong. They may be so wrapped up in their own needs and desires that they don’t stop to consider how their behavior is affecting you.
If you find yourself in this type of situation, it’s best to speak to your friend, coworker, or whoever it may be.
8. They constantly talk over you
Someone who talks over you doesn’t care about what you have to say. They just want to hear themselves talk and make sure everyone else knows how smart and knowledgeable they are.
And it’s not just that they interrupt you occasionally. They do it all the time, even when you’re in the middle of a sentence.
When someone talks over you like this, it’s a sign that they don’t value your opinion.
They think that what they have to say is more important or more interesting than anything you could contribute to the conversation. They see you as a lesser being, unworthy of sharing the spotlight with them.
But if you understand what’s going on, you can see them for what they are and not get so worked up about their annoying/immature attitude.
[Interesting: How to See Through Fake People ]
9. Taking credit for your ideas
Taking credit for ideas is a classic power move. It’s a way for someone to assert their dominance and make themselves look good at your expense.
When someone takes credit for your ideas, it sends the message that they think their contributions are more valuable than yours.
Sometimes people just do it because they think they deserve credit for your idea better than you do. Or, in some cases, they feel the idea will be more relevant and useful coming from someone important as them.
10. Never listening to feedback or suggestions from you
People who think they are better than others often have an inflated sense of their abilities and knowledge.
They believe that they are always right and that their way is the best. As a result, they may not be open to feedback or suggestions from others.
For instance, you work with a colleague on a project, and you notice a flaw in their plan. You share your feedback with them, suggesting an alternative approach that you believe will be more effective.
However, your colleague dismisses your feedback and continues with their original plan, ignoring your suggestions.
Later on, the project runs into issues and doesn’t turn out as well as it could have. When you try to discuss what went wrong with your colleague, they blame outside factors and refuse to take any responsibility for the project’s failure.
[Read: 5 Defining Traits of Highly Toxic People]
12. Making snide comments about your lifestyle choices
Everyone has different tastes and interests, and there are a million different ways to live your life.
But when someone starts making snarky comments about your choices, it can feel like they’re saying that their way is the only right way.
For example, you’re an introvert who loves spending quality time alone. But this particular friend of yours always uses your personality to make fun of you, saying your life is boring.
These types of comments can be hurtful and demoralizing, and they often come from a place of insecurity.
The truth is, people who make snide comments about your lifestyle choices are often trying to elevate themselves by putting you down. They might think that their way of doing things is better or more virtuous than yours, and they want to make sure you know it.
It’s a form of social signaling – they’re trying to establish themselves as the “right” kind of person, and you as the “wrong” kind.
But here’s the thing – there is no one “right” way to live your life. Everyone has their preferences and priorities, and that’s what makes the world an interesting and diverse place.
How to Deal With People Who Think They’re Better Than You
Now that you understand the signs that someone thinks they’re better than you, here are some ways to deal with these types of people effectively.
Don’t take it personally
Remember that their behavior is a reflection of their insecurities, not your worth as a person. Try not to internalize their negative comments or allow them to make you feel inferior.
Instead, stay calm and collected in their presence, and don’t engage in their negative behavior.
Let them know that their behavior is not acceptable and that you won’t tolerate being treated poorly. Be assertive but not aggressive, and don’t let them walk all over you.
Don’t engage in their games
These types of people thrive on drama and conflict, so don’t give them the satisfaction. Don’t argue or try to prove them wrong. Just calmly state your position and move on.
Choose your circle wisely
Sometimes the reason why we have such people around us in the first place is because of our poor choices of friendship.
Make sure you have a support system of friends and family who uplift and encourage you. Being around positive people can help counteract the negativity of someone who thinks they’re better than you.
Rise above it
The best way to deal with someone who thinks they’re better than you is to rise above it. Don’t stoop to their level, but instead, show them through your actions that you are confident and capable. You don’t need their approval or validation to be successful and fulfilled in your own life.
Remember, you are worthy and deserving of respect and kindness, no matter what anyone else thinks. Stay true to yourself and don’t let anyone else bring you down.
6 Sure Signs Of Low Self-Esteem We Often Don’t See