How to Deal with Arrogant People at Work?

Last article, i wrote about 4 Areas you can focus to boost your Self Confidence. Here i will explain the difference between confidence and arrogance and how to deal with arrogant people at your workplace. Let’s start with describing the difference between confidence and arrogance. Both the traits are considered as strong topics of debate as they contribute a lot in controlling human behavior. There is a thin line between confidence and arrogance as one attracts and the other resists. The difference between both traits can be defined by saying “arrogance requires advertising and confidence speaks for itself “.

Confidence vs Arrogance

For understanding whether you are confident or arrogant you should ask self some questions and a yes to the below questions means that you are part of the negative trait.

• Do you feel insecure by success of peoples around you?
• Do you like praises and seek everyone’s consent on situations?
• Do you have the “only me and I am right” attitude while having discussions?
• Do you like interacting to new people or enjoy working in your own network?

There is a strong relationship between these two traits and excess confidence can lead to arrogance sometimes. Below are some key differences:

1. Arrogant people are least approachable whereas confident people will help others.
2. Arrogant people would not want to come out of failures whereas confident people learns from failures.
3. Arrogant people do not entertain anyone while debating on topics whereas confident people will value thoughts of others too.
4. Arrogant people have the “I am the best” feeling and hate other’s success whereas confident people value and celebrate success of others.

If we talk about being confident or arrogant at work , it starts from the job interview session itself as interviewers are always looking for confident candidates with strong mind rather than who are just talking about their experience and awards. Below is a small example for better understanding:

Interviewer: How is your present job and why do u want to leave?
Confidant candidate: The job is really great, I am happy but want to leave for better exposure and learning.
Arrogant candidate: The job is really great and I am the best in the team. But want to leave because of monetary benefit.

Interviewer: Why should we hire you?
Confidant candidate: I have good amount of experience in my field and i would want to contribute towards your organizational growth.
Arrogant candidate: I have got many awards & appreciations for the work which I do so it would be good for you if you hire me.

Interviewer: How much salary hike would you want?
Confidant candidate: I am currently holding a salary package of X amount. You can give hike as per market standards.
Arrogant candidate: I am currently holding a salary package of X amount and 25 % hike would not be a challenge for your company.

Interviewer: Where do you want to see yourself after 5 years?
Confidant candidate: I want to learn as much as in can so that I can become an asset to the organization and also an inspiration for others. My growth in 5 years will be a reflection of my learning and sincere hard work.
Arrogant candidate: My goal is to become CEO or director of any company so that I can be on the top and grow in life.

Here, i have given some key ways to project confidence instead of arrogance at your workplace.

• Admit and accept mistakes
• Communicate effectively by respecting views of others
• Be open to learning
• Ask for feedback and work on improvements.

Ways to Handle Arrogant People at Work

Arrogance is a defence mechanism and people having this trait are a serious threat to the organization/team as they feel insecure. They can be easily judged by their body language, voice / expression and words. There might be few such people around you in the work area and dealing with them might be frustrating sometimes. You can follow below approach to deal with such people.

Listen Patiently

During a discussion with arrogant/overconfident people one can often be in a situation of argument. The common factors could be the topic of discussion and our professional relationship with that person. The best practice can be:

• Listen patiently
• Summarize the whole discussion and ask questions as arrogant people do not like questions and often try to run away from the situation.

Cross Question by Asking How To Do

Arrogant people have a tendency to divide and conquer so whenever you are in a situation when things are put on you then you can simply ask a quick question “How do you think we should do this?” This will leave the other person in a situation of confusion as he / she was not prepared for cross questions.

Remain Calm

While dealing with a negative and gossiper person at work it is important to remain calm and be good to them. The discomfort you are facing from them should not reflect in your behavior and your anger will only provide that person opportunity to trouble you more.

Understand Intentions

Try to understand the other person’s intention for identifying the below points:

• Why is he / she acting in this manner?
• Is anyone trying to change his mind?
• Possible ways to resolve that situation.

Be Interactive

We usually interact through emails, chats, calls but sometimes person available on the other side may misunderstand your thoughts and words. So it is important to also have face to face discussion in order to avoid misunderstanding and to increase the impact of conservation.

Perspective from Others

Share your discomfort with your peers, friends and managers if you trust them. They might have gone through the same situation during their professional career and would have some golden advice for you.


This is the last best possible effort which you can put from your side to control the situation and avoid argument.

Escalate to Higher Authority

Incase all possible efforts have failed in controlling arrogant coworker, then the last step is to escalate it to the management for intervention. This should not be followed all the times as excess use of this might force your manager to think that you are incapable of handling situations. This is effective in controlling arrogant people who often refuse to cooperate.

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Article Name
How to Deal with Arrogant People at Work?
Let's first define the difference between confidence and arrogance. Both the traits are considered as strong topics of debate as they contribute a lot in controlling human behavior. There is a thin line between confidence and arrogance as one attracts and the other resists.

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