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How do you deal with someone with a superiority complex?
Friendship / 5:10 AM - Monday September 13, 2010

How do you deal with someone with a superiority complex?


I know someone who constantly talks down to everyone and somehow justifies anything he does wrong. He feels as though he can walk around and point out and discuss everyone's flaws, and says that he is trying to help them. He is a nice person overall, but he just thinks way too highly of himself in comparison to other people. How do you deal with someone who thinks that they are better than everyone else?

- Asked by asia032483, A Thinker, Female, 29-35

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There are two ways I confront them. I call them out. I let them know that their so called positive criticism is not so positive and tell them if they want to point things out be polite about it and have some cooth. Sometimes those type of people don't even hear themselves talk and you have to let them know of their flaws. That way if you stand up to them, they will back off. You so called friend is very insecure of themselves more so then you think. That is why I suggest confrontation. They don't want to be challenged. Second thing I do if they don't seem to get my first confrontation, I just simply ignore them. Again your friend only knows negative attention and can't be praised on bad behavior. So people have to let them know that their action will rub people the wrong way. Once that is done, they leave me alone. It works every time. More likely they will talk behind my back and if I catch them doing so, I use my last straw and confront them again and put them in their place that I truly know where I stand with them and I tell them in their face where they stand with me. That usually happens then they really stay away from me because I have confidence and respect for myself.

- Response by womanv, A Career Woman, Female, 36-45, New York, Self-Employed

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When I come across a person like that I just take what they say with a grain of salt. But the reality is this..he's actually a very insecure person because those who talk about and point out others flaws do so to take the attention off themselves.

- Response by phenomenal1woman, A Thinker, Female, 46-55, Chicago

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Run! I stay away from people like that. They are extremely insecure and they take power from others to feel good about themselves. Don't allow these type of people to take your power away and hang with people that build you up instead of tearing you down. Unfortunately, these people are everywhere. Remember it is not you. :)

- Response by blossoming1, A Thinker, Female, 46-55, Seattle, Civil Service

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Personally, I stay far away from people like that. I figure they're their own best friends and they don't need me around.

Usually someone like that is just trying to convince everyone AND themselve how great they are. They're probably actually pretty insecure.

Life is too short to be around that.

- Response by mrscleaver16, A Married Girl, Female, 56-65

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Sounds like a megalomaniac to me.
How do you deal with him, stay far away from him, for he is the one with the mental illness!!!

- Response by kismet331, A Thinker, Female, 36-45

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You have to know that it's he who is suffering from the complex and not you , you are normal and he is not,in my view the best way you can do is just smile at him , that's it, don't say anything , keep on smiling , this will make him wonder what you are smiling about, even if he asks the reason for smile, come up with some vague answer, this will rattles his ego, which is most of the time quite fragile, since his ego will not be fed he will remain normal with you

- Response by orgasmic007, A Life of the Party, Male, 46-55, New Delhi

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everyone has flaws maybe they are insecure so put people down as a way of defense. If someone justifies what the have done then question the premises of the justification. Some people are superior in some skills but weaker than in other. There is always someone who is better than you at something. Don't take it so seriously.

- Response by mrsussex34, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 36-45, London, Science / Engineering

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No one could be "Superior" to you, if you don't
"allow" it. The majority of the people I've met
that think their so superior to everyone else, are
usually very "insecure" people. They try to point
out the flaws of everyone else, so this way no one
is looking at them. Just be who you are, and don't
let his ways get on your last nerve. If he points
out any of your flaws, look at him straight in the
eyes and tell him, and what makes you so perfect?

- Response by helpful5714, A Thinker, Female, Who Cares?, Self-Employed

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'No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.'
--Eleanor Roosevelt

'The most humiliating gesture toward anyone who is trying to humiliate you is to simply ignore them.'
--drumboi2


- Response by drumboi2, A Guy Critical, Male, 56-65, Retired

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I mostly ignore them. But,on occasion,I'll set them up and humiliate them publicly. That's some good entertainment right there.

Read up on Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

- Response by llafsroh, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 46-55, Boston, Science / Engineering

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Dear Asia, First you are going to have to be assertive, compassionate, and have a sense of humor.
If he talks down to you, just say
"Are you talking to me like that?"
"I don't respond to constant criticism."
"You don't have the authority to criticize or talk like that to me."
"I didn't give you permission to help; criticize; gossip; or point out my flaws."
If he justifies his wrong doing: Just LOL!!! And tell him he cracks you up/makes you laugh. That's too funny!! Walk away. Every time!!
Tell him thinks way too highly of himself, because no one seems to see him criticizing himself!! "Joe,(his name) you criticize everyone but yourself, why is that?" If he denies or justifies it, just laugh and walk away.
If he really points his finger: Point out to him that he has 3 other fingers that are pointing at himself.
When he discusses others flaws: Tell him that everybody he gossips too knows that he's a gossip and you don't listen to gossip and walk away!
If he says he's trying to help: Tell him you don't need that kind (name what it is) of help. Walk away if you can without being mad. Just be matter of fact.
You can't be mean at all or he may become a completely broken person. You have to set some boundaries, and address his offense when he crosses the line. It looks like this guy was raised to be highly critical and self-important.
Now, really, if he does this to everyone, then everyone should set boundaries and prepare for their responses to his behavior.
Lots of ways to deal with someone with a superiority complex without compromising you well being!
Be Wise; Be Happy!!


- Response by elevatorup, A Thinker, Female, Who Cares?

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I would feed his ego. You say he is a nice person overall so that means that by accepting him as a friend or a part of your life, that you will accept his ego. Its part of who he is and his personality. As long as he is not harming you, humiliating you, or talking down on you, then you should just accept him for who he is. If not, disconnect yourself from this person.

- Response by 3wiltedroses, A Creative, Female, Who Cares?, Self-Employed

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I say, level with him!

I have a co-worker who talks in an annoying, condescending tone of voice. I said, "Hey, Sal! Why do you talk to people as though you think they're retarded?"

- Response by thundermist04167, A Mr. Nice Guy, Male, 46-55, Who Cares?

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When he starts talking about how great he is, just laugh and say, "Bitch, please!!"

- Response by A Player, Female, 26-28, Who Cares?

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My ex bf was like that. The reason they are like that is because they are deeply insecure and it makes them feel beter about themselves. the best thing to do is avoid him. the second thing to do is tell him that his behavior is not cool and he need to figure out why he does it. the third way is to confront him and be nasty back...drag him down...point out his flaws or ask him, does it make you feel better to put others down so you can build yourself up? do you realize that when you put people down all you are doing is showing everyone how deeply insecure you are? because people like that do it to HIDE their insecurities so this really gets them. Unfortutnatly the only thing that shake them to the core is to confront them, and they'll either stop doing it or go away because you got to the crux of the problem.

- Response by ebm3, A Trendsetter, Female, 36-45, Artist / Musician / Writer

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I was married to one, and I learned over the years that it was his way to make himself feel better about himself. He is a very insecure man. I started to just let him talk, and let it go through one ear and out the other. Nobody has the right to make you feel inferior, unless you give them permission to do so.

- Response by A Cool Mom, Female, 36-45, Tampa, Retail

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A lot of people with problems (fat, addicted, disrespectful) have zero tolerance for anything but what they want to hear. I don't want to surround myself with people who pat me on the back while I dig my own grave. Some types of blunt honesty are are the sign of a good friend.

Then there are the hypocritical preachy types or the people who think that being highly opinionated makes them highly intelligent. This is something different but I wouldn't say it comes from overall nice people.

- Response by A Guy Critical, Male, 46-55, Technical

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Obnoxious people are invariably crying out for help they don't think they need. Whenever he starts pointing out the flaws in others, just say...........
I'm already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

- Response by itsjustme4sure, A Life of the Party, Male, 29-35

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