How to deal with people who think they are better than you
No matter how smart you are, you’ll need to know how to deal with people who think they’re better than you. You are bound to meet people like this in your life. This is even if you are an internationally recognized scientist or a member of MENSA, because when people think they are better than you, it is about them, not about you.
Achieve some understanding
In order to adequately deal with people who think they are better than you, you need to take a closer look at them to understand what made them so arrogant. Often the reasons are deeply rooted in childhood.
By learning more about the person’s motivations and background, you may discover that they actually lack self-confidence and therefore need to make you look worse than they do. It is also possible that they grew up with domineering parents and this is the behavior pattern they learned.
Whatever the guy’s reason for thinking he’s better than you, once you reveal it, you’ll feel less intimidated by him and probably feel sorry for him. Their arrogance will have lost its hold over you.
It’s a two-way street. If you have high self-esteem, you will not be bothered by people who think they are better than you. You will be completely satisfied with your own capabilities and realize that life is not a competition.
It’s also possible, if you lack confidence, to mistake confidence for arrogance. Maybe the other person has the confidence you wish you had and you’re jealous. You don’t control how the other person acts, but you do have complete control over how you react to them.
Also, the last thing you might want to do is further boost the self-esteem of the person who thinks they know you better, but that might just be what they need. Perhaps they are arrogant because they feel neglected and want their achievements to be recognized.
If they feel confident in their abilities, they will have less need to brag and make you feel inferior.
However, if they continue to brag, you might try a different tactic:
Downplay their achievements
Just treat the person who thinks they are better than you as I treat any other person. Pay attention to them, but if they make exaggerated claims about their achievements, play with them. Mention how other people also contributed to the achievement, if applicable, or how what they did was simply part of routine work duties.
If necessary, move away
People who think they are better than you need an audience to show off to. Don’t be part of the audience; you have better things to do. This should help remind the arrogant person of his or her duties and position.
So in order to learn how to deal with people who think they are better than you, you must first fight your natural instincts to deflate them. Get to know them better and understand why they feel the need to humiliate others. If they need a boost in self-esteem, help give it to them while protecting your own self-esteem and self-respect. If this fails or even worsens them, they try to show the arrogant person for what they are: people like everyone else, with strengths and weaknesses. This will help you deal with them, even if it doesn’t help them change their behavior.