Arrogance is a trait people have when they have more confidence than they really should. They think they are better than they really are, and fail to see their own faults.
Arrogant people tend to be hard to get along with because they often assume they’re better than everyone else. As a result, they fail to listen to other people’s points of view.
An arrogant person might also boast about themselves a lot. This is because they think they’re amazing. People generally find this sort of behavior annoying, so an arrogant person might not have many true friends.
Quick Arrogance Examples
- Refusing to admit when you’re wrong.
- Interrupting others while they speak.
- Talking over someone in a meeting.
- Assuming you’re the smartest person in the room.
- Dismissing others’ ideas without consideration.
- Refusing to ask for directions when lost.
- Taking credit for someone else’s work.
- Looking down on others because of their job or income.
- Not accepting feedback or criticism.
- Bragging about personal achievements unsolicited.
- Ignoring advice because you believe you know better.
- Not waiting your turn in a queue.
- Mocking someone for not knowing something you do.
- Not apologizing because you believe you’re always right.
- Treating service staff disrespectfully.
- Showing off expensive possessions to make others envious.
- Name-dropping to gain status.
- Thinking rules don’t apply to you.
- Always trying to one-up someone’s story.
- Ignoring or dismissing experts in a field you know little about.
- Not listening in a conversation, just waiting for your turn to speak.
- Making decisions for others without consulting them.
- Assuming everyone is interested in your opinion.
- Patronizing someone for their choices.
- Refusing to acknowledge others’ successes.
- Giving unsolicited advice.
- Thinking your way is the only right way.
- Overestimating your own importance.
- Treating certain people differently because of their background.
- Boasting about connections or networks.
- Thinking you don’t need to study or prepare because you’re naturally talented.
- Looking down on others for their taste in music, art, or literature.
- Not valuing other people’s time.
- Belittling someone’s feelings or experiences.
- Making fun of someone’s accent or way of speaking.
- Assuming you’re a preferred guest and inviting yourself to events.
- Correcting minor mistakes just to show superiority.
- Using complex jargon to confuse or belittle someone.
- Judging someone’s worth by their attire.
- Taking the largest portion for yourself without considering others.
- Being dismissive of someone’s problems because you think yours are bigger.
- Laughing at someone’s dreams or ambitions.
- Not giving others a chance to speak in a group setting.
- Thinking you’re too good for certain tasks or chores.
- Dismissing someone’s concerns without truly listening.
- Speaking about a topic without proper knowledge, but acting like an expert.
- Taking up more than your fair share of space in public areas (e.g., manspreading).
- Never considering you might be the source of a problem.
- Ignoring someone’s boundaries or personal space.
- Regularly making conversations about yourself.
Best Examples of Arrogance
1. A person who steps into a boxing ring without practice
Stepping into a boxing ring without practice is arrogant because it shows a lack of respect for the sport or the competitors. You’d have to be very arrogant to think that you can win without even practicing.
It’s also dangerous and foolish. If you’re going to box against someone who is trained and has had a lot of practice, chances are you will lose.
A good boxer will know the correct combinations of moves, have strong defense and offense, and will have studied their opponents. Without doing these basic preparations, you’re probably going to lose. It would be arrogant to think otherwise.
Related Article: 25 Humility Examples
2. A Person who thinks they know better than experts
Ignoring experts is arrogant because it discounts the hard work and expertise of others. Experts have put in many years of practice to get to where they are today.
They know the fine details of a topic and can use that expertise to make good predictions and assumptions.
So, if a person ignores the experts and assumes they know better, they’re probably a little too arrogant for their own good. They are assuming their limited knowledge is more important and valuable than the depth of knowledge of the expert.
Ignoring experts can also lead to bad decision-making. If you are sick and you ignore a doctor, chances are you’ll just get more sick over time because you haven’t listened to expert advice.
3. A person who thinks they are too important to wait in line
A common time we come across arrogant people in real life is when waiting in queues in public.
Arrogant people don’t like waiting in line because, generally, they believe they are more important than everyone else.
For example, you might see a person walking to the front of the line to have a one-on-one conversation with the staff member at the front. They may try to talk the staff member into letting them push to the front, or explain to the staff member that they don’t need to wait in line because they are rich or famous or otherwise better than everyone else.
4. A person who thinks they are always the smartest person in the room
Often, an arrogant person will assume that they’re always the smartest person in the room. This can be particularly annoying in the workplace!
For example, if you have an arrogant coworker in a meeting, they might speak over you and never let you contribute. They will think that any comment you have is not worth nearly as much as theirs, so they don’t care!
This makes it difficult to collaborate with that person, and you’ll never be able to convince them to stop, listen, and learn something new. Their ideas will, in their mind, always be the best.
5. A person who won’t listen to criticism
Arrogant people won’t listen to criticism because they think they’re the best. Other people’s opinions don’t matter – especially if their criticisms are critical!
For example, if a person who is arrogant is told that they aren’t good enough at something, or need to practice more, the arrogant person will dismiss the criticism by saying they don’t know what they’re talking about.
This is a result of the person’s over-confidence. They’re unable to see their faults because of their overinflated ego.
6. A Boss who doesn’t listen
If you’ve got an arrogant boss, life can get pretty tough. Your boss won’t listen to your input and will have an overinflated sense of their leadership skills.
For example, you may have a suggestion for improvement that you and the whole team agrees upon. But the boss has the perspective that they know best and the workers aren’t competent at their work.
Likely, the boss will also have poor leadership skills because they can’t self-reflect, support their staff, and encourage the staff to have ownership in the workplace.
7. A coworker who can’t work in teams
Another key trait of arrogant people is that they find it hard to work in teams. This is because they think their ideas are always better than the ideas of their team members.
Most people will have worked in teams with someone like this. Chances are, any work you submit to the team is seen as not good enough, and that person thinks they could have done better – no matter what.
This over-inflated sense of self can be damaging to teams and lead to a toxic workplace and lower-quality outputs.
Arrogance is a negative trait that people develop when their view of themselves is out of touch with reality. They think they’re better than they really are. It’s closely related to the concept of self-confidence, but it’s taking self-confidence to an unrealistic extreme. A common example of arrogance is a person who thinks they can do anything better than other people, regardless of their skills, personal strengths, experience, or expertise.
Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]