How to Deal With Arrogant People at Work

stressedEverybody who works with many people has great chances to deal with at least one arrogant colleague. In case there’s such a person in your surroundings, you were probably in a situation to postpone your job or not doing it properly, just because you had to cooperate with an arrogant colleague. If you’re really not so lucky and you sit in the same office with such person, your working time probably becomes an annoying experience. Also, it can be really exhausting and stressful when you have to spend 8 hours working with someone like that. I know how it feels because I was in the same situation.

While I was working 8 hours a day in some big private company, I had couple of colleagues who were more or less arrogant. At first I reacted on their arrogance as others.  Such behaviour quite irritated me so I myself was arrogant which made the communication almost impossible. However, later on, when I realized the form of mindset of such people, I decided to change the tactics and our relation significantly changed.

The manner I shall describe in the following lines worked very well for me. I succeeded to establish good relations with almost all arrogant people and we functioned very well. However, in case the manner I’ll describe doesn’t function, the second step would be to talk with arrogant colleague and explain him/her that the arrogance bothers you. The reason that this is not the first step is the fact that arrogant persons usually have strong ego and even if you carefully explain them you don’t like their behaviour, things may become worse.

In the end, if nothing of the above-mentioned gives results, you can talk about your problem with someone from the management.

Mindset of arrogant people

Arrogant people often underrate other people; they’re cold and stubborn, always wanting to be like they wish. This makes the communication hard, which makes all the work a real nightmare.

People usually believe that such persons possess high level of self-esteem and self-confidence, but that’s just an illusion. Those are the persons with low self-esteem whose arrogance came as a consequence of frustrations, rage, anxious states, or depression. Their arrogance is actually a compensatory behaviour, which is the consequence of insecurity. 

Arrogant people continuously fight with their ego, wanting to satisfy it at all costs. However, as ego has its limitless needs for self-assertion, such persons are often not being aware of the fact that it is a losing battle.

What you are supposed to do?

aroganceFirst, if that person tries to humiliate you, be cold and react with the ridicule. For example, if such person tells that some of your proposals are absurd and worthless, you should simply smile and say something like “You must have been sleeping bad, or maybe you were drinking last night”.

So, be cold as nothing happened and at the same time behave as if you thought him as being an unserious child. In this way you will become superior. You will show that you’re cold and self-esteemed, and that person craves for those features. That’s how you’ll gain his/her respect.

You also must know that their ego is quite vulnerable, and that they always search for other people’s approval. Most people create negative attitude towards them at the very beginning, and that’s how they make their arrogance more conspicuous. For you is important to take a different view and gain the confidence of him/her.

If an arrogant person does some work properly, approve his/her work. Tell him/her that it’s very well done and it wasn’t easy. Such persons crave their work to be approved. Here I don’t say you should be insincere but you should simply speak highly of such person whenever he/she deserves that even if you don’t usually do that.

If there’s some team work to be done, you should voluntary apply to work with arrogant person. I know this may sound incredible and you’re telling yourself “No way” but just tray and you’ll see what’ll happen. This will be quite a surprise for an arrogant person and he/she will be pleased. Arrogant people wish all the people to support them, but their behaviour causes opposite effect.

As arrogant persons strongly wish the approval of other people, they will actually start looking at you as someone who respects their work and provide support to them. Soon you will see that their behaviour towards you is gradually changing, and they will become kind and closer to you. By showing that you’re above their provocations, you will get the respect of such persons.

This all will help you to deal with hard days at work in an easy way. Who knows, maybe such a colleague will become your best business partner. 

Image courtesy of  Ambro (first photo)  Stuart Miles(second photo)/”


Marko Peric (24 Posts)

Marko Perić is blogger and owner of started with his personal development journey 12 years ago. Since January 2013, he began writing articles on self-esteem, motivation, mind power…Read more about Marko here .