15 Signs You’re Dealing with a Condescending Person

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Have you ever found yourself in a conversation with someone who makes you feel small or inferior? Or know someone who seems to constantly talk down to others?

Well, you might’ve just met a condescending person.

Condescending people can negatively influence your life. From affecting your self-esteem and confidence to straining relationships, the presence of such a person can leave a lasting impact.

Reason why it’s important to know the signs that you might be dealing with a condescending person. Whether it’s a coworker, a friend, or even a family member, understanding these signs can help you navigate these interactions with grace and confidence.

So, let’s dive in and learn the signs of and how to deal with condescending people!

1. They Talk to You Like You’re a Child.

If someone is using a tone of voice or language that you would use with a child, it’s a sign that they don’t respect you as an equal.

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When someone doesn’t let you finish your sentences or constantly talks over you, they are trying to assert their dominance over you.

For example, imagine you’re at work and your boss is explaining a task to you. If they say things like “Now, sweetie, this is how you do it,” or “Let me break it down for you, kiddo,” it’s a sign that they’re talking down to you.

This kind of language is patronizing and implies that you’re not capable of understanding things on your own.

2. They Interrupt You or Talk Over You.

When someone doesn’t let you finish your sentences or constantly talks over you, they are trying to assert their dominance over you.

For instance, if you’re in a meeting and you’re trying to share your ideas, but your colleague keeps interrupting you and talking over you, it’s a sign that they’re not interested in what you have to say.

They’re more focused on making sure their own voice is heard and that they come across as the most knowledgeable person in the room.

3. They Give Unsolicited Advice.

If someone is always giving you advice that you didn’t ask for, it’s a sign that they think they know better than you.

For example, if you’re venting to a friend about a problem you’re having, and they immediately start giving you advice without really listening to what you’re saying, it’s a sign that they’re not respecting your autonomy.

They’re assuming that they know what’s best for you without taking the time to understand your unique situation.

4. They Act Like They’re Always Right. 

Condescending people often act like they’re always right and refuse to consider other perspectives.

For instance, if you’re having a debate with someone and they refuse to listen to your point of view or consider any evidence that contradicts their own, it’s a sign that they’re not interested in having a productive conversation.

They’re more interested in proving themselves right and making you feel inferior.

5. They Use Big Words Unnecessarily.

If someone is using big words that you don’t understand just to show off their vocabulary, it’s a sign that they’re trying to make themselves seem smarter than you.

For example, if you’re having a conversation with someone and they start using complex words that you’re not familiar with, it can be frustrating and make you feel like you’re not smart enough to keep up.

However, it’s important to remember that using big words doesn’t necessarily mean someone is intelligent. In fact, it can be a sign of insecurity, as they may be trying to prove their intelligence to others.

6. They Belittle Your Accomplishments.

If someone downplays your accomplishments or makes you feel like they’re not a big deal, it’s a sign that they don’t value your achievements.

For instance, if you’re excitedly telling someone about a promotion you received at work, and they respond with something like, “That’s nice, but it’s not like it’s a CEO position,” it’s a sign that they’re not respecting your hard work and achievements.

They’re belittling your success and making you feel like it’s not significant.

7. They Make Jokes at Your Expense.

When someone makes jokes at your expense, it’s a sign that they don’t take you seriously and don’t care about your feelings.

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If someone doesn’t listen to what you’re saying or doesn’t take your opinions into consideration, it’s a sign that they don’t respect you.

For example, if you’re in a group of friends and someone starts making jokes about your appearance or something embarrassing that happened to you, it’s a sign that they’re not respecting your boundaries and are willing to make you the butt of a joke for their own amusement.

8. They Talk Down to Service Workers.

If someone talks down to service workers or treats them poorly, it’s a sign that they think they’re better than other people.

For instance, if you’re out to eat with someone and they’re rude to the waiter or waitress, it’s a sign that they don’t have respect for people in service positions.

This kind of behavior is not only disrespectful, but it also shows a lack of empathy and understanding for the hard work that service workers do.

9. They Dismiss Your Feelings.

If someone tells you to “just relax” or “calm down” when you’re upset, it’s a sign that they don’t take your feelings seriously.

For example, if you’re upset about something and you confide in a friend, but they respond with something like, “It’s not that big of a deal, you’re overreacting,” it’s a sign that they’re not acknowledging the validity of your emotions.

They’re dismissing your feelings and making you feel like they’re not important.

10. They Use Sarcasm to Put You Down.

When someone uses sarcasm to put you down, it’s a sign that they’re trying to make you feel stupid or inferior.

For instance, if you make a mistake and someone responds with something like, “Wow, you’re really killing it today,” in a sarcastic tone, it’s a sign that they’re not interested in helping you improve.

They’re using sarcasm to make you feel bad about yourself and to make themselves feel superior.

11. They Act Like They’re Doing You a Favor.

If someone acts like they’re doing you a favor by talking to you or spending time with you, it’s a sign that they think they’re better than you.

For example, if you ask someone to hang out and they respond with something like, “I guess I can squeeze you in,” it’s a sign that they’re not valuing your time or your friendship.

They’re acting like they’re doing you a favor by spending time with you, when in reality, spending time with friends should be a mutually enjoyable experience.

12. They Make You Feel Stupid.

When someone talks to you in a way that makes you feel stupid or inferior, it’s a sign that they’re trying to make themselves feel superior.

For instance, if you’re in a conversation with someone and they start using condescending language or talking down to you, it’s a sign that they’re not interested in having a respectful conversation.

They’re more interested in making you feel bad about yourself so that they can feel better about themselves.

13. They Don’t Listen to You.

If someone doesn’t listen to what you’re saying or doesn’t take your opinions into consideration, it’s a sign that they don’t respect you.

For example, if you’re in a group discussion and someone keeps talking over you or ignoring your input, it’s a sign that they’re not interested in what you have to say.

They’re more interested in making sure their own voice is heard and that they come across as the most knowledgeable person in the room.

14. They Talk Over Your Head.

When someone talks over your head or uses language that you don’t understand, it’s a sign that they’re trying to make themselves seem smarter than you.

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If someone tells you to “just relax” or “calm down” when you’re upset, it’s a sign that they don’t take your feelings seriously.

For instance, if you’re in a meeting and someone starts using technical jargon that you’re not familiar with, it can be intimidating and make you feel like you’re not intelligent enough to be part of the conversation.

This kind of behavior is not only condescending, but it also shows a lack of communication skills and empathy for others who may not have the same level of knowledge on a particular topic.

15. They Use Your Mistakes Against You.

If someone brings up your past mistakes or uses them against you in an argument, it’s a sign that they’re trying to make you feel inferior and gain the upper hand.

For example, if you make a mistake at work and your colleague brings it up in a meeting to embarrass you or make you look bad, it’s a sign that they’re not interested in helping you improve.

They’re using your mistake as a way to make themselves look better and to make you feel small.

Final Thoughts on the Signs of a Condescending Person

Ultimately, being able to recognize the signs of a condescending person empowers you to act with empathy and clarity when dealing with such people. This knowledge helps you navigate encounters in a way that preserves your self-esteem and promotes healthier relationships.

Remember, you deserve respect and should never settle for being treated condescendingly. Set boundaries, address the issue directly, or seek support from others when you need to.

Surround yourself with people who uplift and encourage you, and don’t hesitate to distance yourself from toxic individuals. By staying aware and assertive, you can create a healthier and more respectful environment for yourself.

Keep your head held high and embrace the power to stand up against condescending people!

And if you’re looking for more resources on how to deal with certain types of people, check out the blog posts:

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