My best tips for learning how to be less arrogant

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Kevin Mangelschots

Arrogance is a negative personality trait that can become one of the most prominent features of one’s personality. That’s why we should learn how to stop being arrogant.

The reasons why people become proud can differ greatly. But what we can say for sure is that it’s not a desirable trait to possess.

Fortunately, it is curable. I’ve compiled a list of things you can do in order to learn how to be less arrogant.

How to cure arrogance: Tips and tricks you should use

Goal, plan, action text on light box on desk table in home office. Business motivation or inspiration, performance of human concepts ideas.

  • Realize and admit that you’ve got a problem

    You can only cure arrogance once you realize and admit that you’ve got a problem.

    It’s hard to fix something when you don’t even realize that it’s broken.

    Thus, before attempting to fix our arrogance, we must admit to ourselves that we have a difficulty and that we are not as good as we could be.

    Don’t underestimate how hard it is to admit that you’ve got a concern, either. It hurts our ego to admit that we are not perfect and that, just as everyone else, are mortal and have weaknesses like all other people.

  • Identify the origin of your pride

    To fix the concern, we’ve got to pinpoint where the origin of our arrogance lies.

    Often time, it’s a combination of a multitude of different things that lead to and maintains our arrogance. However, it is possible that one main catalyst is the source that led to the arrogance in the first place.

  • Seek feedback

    Image of a circle of arrows with the word “feedback” in the middle.

    Another cure for arrogance is to seek the feedback of others.

    The “know it all” mindset is a sure-fire way to become arrogance. No person, no matter how smart, knows it all. It’s simply not humanly possible.

    The same can be said about our behavior. Our personal perception of our own behavior is not necessarily the same as what the public, like our friends and family, think about us.

    It’s especially hard to stay objective when it involves ourselves and when we’re this close to the problem. Sometimes, this closeness can be an advantage to figure out the issue and consequently, the solution. But sometimes, this closeness can make it too personal and, thus, too hard to stay objective.

    This means that we should consult the people close to us in order to find out if we really do have an issue with arrogance. Not to mention that they can pinpoint exactly when this particular negative behavior arises and what we can do in order to change it.

  • Don’t make it all about yourself

    The world doesn’t resolve about you, even though we sometimes think it does.

    In the grand scheme of things, we are insignificant. Thus, we should try to realize and accept that other people are just as important as we are.

    Not to mention, your life will become enriched due to not solely living for yourself, but doing something for others. In other words, giving back to the community.

  • Acknowledge when you’re wrong

     

    Sign saying right to the right and wrong to the left with a blue background.

    We have to admit to ourselves and other people when we’ve failed, and when we’re wrong.

    Admitting when you’re wrong is never an easy thing. It’s in human nature to avoid pain and suffering. Not only that, we unconsciously try to protect our ego as good as we possibly can, going to great lengths to accomplish this feat.

    Thus, acknowledging that we’ve made a mistake means admitting to ourselves and others that we’re not perfect and are prone to failure/making mistakes.

    Yet, growth can only occur when we admit we’re not perfect and if we can admit to ourselves and others that we’ve made a mistake. We can’t learn new things if we live with the mindset that we know it all.

    Acknowledging when we’re wrong will aid greatly to temper your arrogance due to showing that you’re not as perfect and “mistake proof” as you perhaps thought you were.

  • Don’t take yourself too seriously

    Image of a dog lying down with sunglasses with the quote in front reading, “don't take life too seriously, you will never get out of it alive.”

    In order to learn how to stop being arrogant, you need to stop taking yourself, and others too seriously. Don’t take yourself too seriously, as it is seriously (no pun intended) off-putting to others.

    Not to mention that we are all quite insignificant in the grand scheme of things, no matter how intelligent, good-looking and skillful we might be.

    Like always, humor is very important in life, as it serves as a coping mechanism and to make the tougher parts in life more bearable. Laughing at yourself shows you’ve got humility. That you acknowledge and are unafraid to show and laugh at your own “inadequacies”.

    Instead of pretending to be perfect, you remind yourself and others that you’ve got your own unique strengths, but definitely also your own personal weaknesses. This will serve as a tool to keep you humble.

  • Don’t be too hard on yourself

     

    Image of the quote, “don't let it break you. No matter how hard it gets, life goes on.”

    Treat yourself with kindness. Being too hard on yourself can lead to perfectionism. And perfectionism can lead to arrogance, since you always want to win and be the best.

    Striving to be better is good, and even desirable. But perfection is unattainable and, thus, should not be something we should get overly obsessed with.

  • Don’t obsess over winning the argument

    One should forever aim at the truth, but always trying to prove you’re right can lead to becoming prideful.

    People are unique, with each their personal ethics and morals. Thus, no two people think exactly the same. It would make for a very boring and one-sided world if all people thought precisely the same. But unfortunately, this means that one person’s truth might be different from another person’s truth.

    Trying to get your point across and aiming to get a better understanding of each other and each other’s different views is great, but just attempting to win the argument by imposing your own truth is not. People are entitled to their own opinion. But, in my opinion, it should always be an educated and well-researched one.

    Remember that it’s impossible to change another person or how they view the world. If someone wants to change, they have to do it themselves by opening up their mind for change.

  • Don’t obsess over taking the lead

    Illustration of multicolored clip arts being spurred on by the leader signifying leadership.

    Leadership qualities are greatly valued and are always in high demand.

    Obsessing over taking the lead goes back to one of our previous points in regard to always having to win and proving being the best. Desperately aiming to be the best all the time can lead to arrogance and feeling superior to other people.

    Sometimes, following other people’s lead is perfectly fine. Not to mention that everyone should get their chance to shine and prove themselves as well.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help

    The act of asking others for help shows humility in itself.

    It shows that one is unafraid to show their own vulnerability. It pictures that one can admit without fear that they are not perfect and do not know the answers to every question.

    Life is too complex to understand and know it all in just one lifetime. Asking for help will help you to improve much faster, since other people can teach you the gist of the topic at hand.

  • Truthfully compliment others and share the credit

     

    Young woman giving a double thumbs up.

    Complimenting others when they do something good, be it at work, in their private life or because they are nice to you as a friend, is a great way of showing affection.

    Sharing the credit with other people shows that working together as a team is important to succeed, and that each individual contributed as well.

    It shows that you are not above others, don’t feel better than others, and appreciate what they do as a whole.

  • Show respect to all people

    No matter what color people have, what job they occupy or what age they are, always treat other people with respect.

    Despite our differences, we are all the same in the end. We might have different interests, different jobs and lead different lives, but at the end of the day, we are all human with human feelings and with each our individual strengths and weaknesses.

    Showing respect goes a long way in life. It allows us to bond with each other and live together peacefully.

  • Be cheerful

    If you are constantly stuck in a negative mindset, then it’s very possible and even likely that your negative personality traits come to the forefront. Remember that what you focus on and feed, will grow.

    Thus, it is possible for our arrogance to become more prominent if we are always nagging and in a bad mood. Aim at better things. Try to stay optimistic and to look forward to the future.

  • Practice active listening

    Active listening shows respect and engagement to other people.

    You would be amazed what people tell you, and how much you can take away from a conversation if you truly listen.

    Yet, a lot of people are not really fully engaged in the conversation. A lot of times, we’re looking for the best time to chime in and take some of the spotlight instead of actively listening.

  • Get away from the temptation

    Depending on what the cause of your arrogance is, it can be possible to flee from the temptation and, thus, not become seduced by the attraction itself.

    Let’s say that some particular friends feed your arrogance due to kissing your ass and being a people pleaser all the time. You might like it, but it isn’t good for you nor for the development of your personality in the long run.

    Thus, you should attempt to explain to these people what the problem is and what you want them to stop doing. If they can’t or won’t, cut those people out of your life. This way, the source of the temptation is gone instantly.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

What is arrogance?

Image of a lock pointing towards humility, instead of arrogance.

Arrogance can be defined as an exaggerated interpretation of one’s own self-worth and abilities.

Arrogance is different from confidence because confidence is an accurate interpretation of one’s self-worth and abilities, while arrogance is not.

Why is arrogance so addictive?

Arrogance can be seen as a form of self manipulation. It exploits the screwed perceptions of oneself and other people in order to avoid hurting our self-esteem.

Thus, pride can have a protective function that serves to defend and maintain our personal image of our ego.

Being prideful has the ability to make us feel powerful and superior. Hence, why it’s so addictive.

What causes a person to be arrogant?

Arrogance is the result of feeling better than other people. It can be caused by a wide variety of factors such as intelligence, power, knowledge, and wealth, among many other things. Remember that knowledge talks, but wisdom listens.
 

This sense of superiority over others can lead to multiple issues such as having problems seeing eye to eye with coworkers, friendships, and romantic relationships.

Can you fix arrogance?

A young woman giving a smug look.

Yes, you can fix arrogance. It is at the very least treatable.

The key to fixing haughtiness is remaining/becoming humble.

Not taking yourself too serious and being more kind to yourself is a start. We’re not perfect. In fact, nobody is. Laughing at your own imperfections and insecurities from time to time can aid to keep you grounded in reality.

It can also help to compare yourself occasionally to people who are better than you. Again, this helps because you’ll end up recognizing that others are better than you in some areas, which keeps us humble and rooted in reality.

How do I know if I’m arrogant?

You know you’re arrogant when you constantly feel superior to others, and if you have a strong desire to be heard rather than listening to what the surrounding people have to say.

Even more, you know you’re arrogant when you perpetually feel like you’re right, and the other party is wrong. It’s normal to feel certain that you’re right sometimes, but feeling like you’re correct all the time might be a good indicator of arrogance.

Also, when you don’t even consider the fact that you might be wrong is when you can almost say for sure that you’re arrogant. Because the truth is that everyone, even the smartest of people can, and will, be wrong at times.

Are arrogant people insecure?

Illustration of a cloud with a variety of possible insecurities

Arrogant people can feel superior out of insecurity, but also due to feeling too good.

Arrogance due to insecurity

Arrogance is rooted in insecurity most of the time. It can be considered a defense mechanism due to desperately trying to hide any feelings of weakness and inadequacy that is deemed unacceptable.
 
Rather than making themselves more competent and remaining humble, yet confident, arrogant people try to put up a brave facade that paints a warped perspective of reality.
 

Arrogance due to feeling too good

A minority of people might be arrogant because they truly believe themselves to be better than others. That’s because they have a warped perspective of reality, and their own capabilities.
 
The difference with insecurity is that these types aren’t trying to hide any weaknesses, but that they sincerely consider themselves superior and above others.
 

Is arrogance a personality disorder?

Arrogance itself is not necessarily a personality disorder, but it can be a symptom of one.

For example, narcissistic personality disorders involves egocentric thinking and behavior, and a gross lack of empathy for others. Furthermore, there’s typically an unreasonable desire and need for the approval and attention of those around them.

In short, they deem themselves superior to others and their actions reflect their thinking.

How to humble an arrogant person?

Illustration of a man scratching their head while holding a yellow question mark.
 
The best way to humble an arrogant person is by remaining confident and neutral, all the while refraining from confirming to their beliefs. Like always, it’s best to lead by example.
 
Be assertive, yet not aggressive when you’re interacting with an arrogant person. Don’t change and confirm to their wrong attitude in addition to their point of views. However, don’t start personally attacking them, or enforcing your own perspective on life and how to behave.
 
Yet, keep in mind that you can’t change an arrogant person if they don’t want to.
 
So to summarize:
 
  • Remain neutral
  • Be assertive
  • Lead by example
  • Refrain from getting aggressive
  • Don’t change your beliefs
  • Abstain from confirming to their attitude and beliefs
  • Don’t make personal attacks
  • Refrain from enforcing your own perspective

Final note

“Stop wishing start doing” written on a bottle.

The above tips can learn you how to be less arrogant.

It will be particularly challenging if being proud has become a habit that has maintained itself for multiple years. But, remember that new routines take about 2 months of careful monitoring and conscious thoughts before they become unconscious habits.

This means that although it can be difficult, it is still possible to fix this issue. Your relationships with others will most certainly improve as a result.