How To Stop Being a Condescending Person: 12 Best Ways

This new article will show you everything you need to know about how to stop being a condescending person.

Speaking down to people and behaving as if you are more superior or intelligent than them, known as condescension, can drive people away. This kind of attitude can leave one friendless and lonely.

However, you can avoid being condescending by prioritizing others, being humble, and keeping a check on your body language. Actively listening to others, considering their opinions, and speaking at a normal pace without impatient body language are ways to prioritize others and practice humility.

How To Stop Being a Condescending Person:

1. To avoid dominating conversations, it is essential to listen more and give others an opportunity to express their opinions.

Active listening involves focusing on understanding the speaker’s point of view rather than formulating your response. It is crucial to take a few minutes to digest the information and then provide an appropriate response.

Active listening can be practiced by maintaining eye contact, nodding occasionally, and asking clarifying questions to the speaker once they have finished speaking. For instance, acknowledging the speaker’s viewpoint and expressing interest in their perspective can demonstrate that you are actively listening.

2. While it is natural to feel good about your accomplishments, it is important to acknowledge that you did not achieve them alone.

In most cases, someone, such as a friend, family member, mentor, or coworker, played a role in supporting and enabling you to achieve your goals. It is essential to give credit where it is due and recognize your supporters’ contributions.

You can acknowledge them by expressing gratitude and recognizing their support. For instance, you can say, “I am grateful for my friends and family who supported me throughout my law school journey. Without their constant encouragement, I wouldn’t have made it this far.”

3. It is important to respect and acknowledge other viewpoints in a positive way.

To do this, it is best to avoid being judgmental and allow the speaker to finish their point without interruption. Attacking or belittling the speaker adds no value and may harm your relationship with them.

Instead, when responding, it is important to be honest, open, and candid. For instance, you can acknowledge their viewpoint and present a different perspective for discussion.

For example, “I find your point interesting, and it raises an important issue. However, some people believe that dog aggression is not inherent and depends on socialization and training. What are your thoughts on that?”

4. Instead of feeling superior to others because you excel at something, focus on helping them improve.

Lending a helping hand can not only benefit others but can also foster lasting friendships. For instance, if a coworker struggles with writing, offer to read and edit their work, and provide constructive feedback. This act of kindness can help them improve their writing skills and make them appreciate your support.

5. Condescension often stems from feelings of insecurity and fear of rejection.

To overcome these feelings, it is important to recognize and know your self-worth. By doing so, you can feel more secure and less likely to put others down.

You can start by making a list of your strengths, weaknesses, accomplishments, and failures. This exercise can help you assess your self-worth and find your inner confidence and humility.

For instance, you can list your strengths such as being highly motivated, while acknowledging your weaknesses like being quick to dismiss opinions that differ from yours. If needed, you can seek the help of a friend or family member to identify your positive traits and areas that need improvement.

6. Comparing oneself to others can lead to condescension, often arising from feelings of envy and the desire to feel superior.

It is essential to remember that each person’s life experiences, strengths, and weaknesses are unique to them, and comparing oneself to others is unproductive. It is crucial to focus on personal growth and development rather than seeking validation by comparing oneself to others.

7. It’s common to develop a sense of superiority towards others when you are skilled at something or have admirable qualities such as good looks, intelligence or talent in a particular area.

This phenomenon is known as illusory superiority (1). Acknowledging this doesn’t mean that you should undermine your own good qualities or feel negative about yourself.

It’s essential to understand that many others possess similar traits, and it doesn’t make you inherently superior to them. Putting yourself in perspective helps you avoid condescension and maintain healthy relationships with others.

8. It’s important to acknowledge that you don’t have all the answers and that your perspective is just one of many.

It’s essential to respect others’ opinions and not dismiss them simply because they differ from your own. Having an open mind means being willing to consider different viewpoints and looking for common ground rather than focusing on differences.

For instance, if you hold prejudices towards a particular culture or religion, take the initiative to have a conversation with someone from that community. The goal should be to understand and learn from them, rather than to argue or prove your point.

9. Being condescending towards others can harm your ability to work and connect with them, and create a negative and tense environment.

Therefore, it is important to monitor your words (2) and actions and be aware of any condescending language and its impact. Avoid using phrases that belittle others such as “Oh, you just figured that out,” “Let me put this in simple terms for you,” “We already thought of that,” or “What she is trying to say is that…” Instead, opt for more respectful and open-minded phrases like “Maybe I wasn’t clear enough,” “Can you clarify your point about vegetarians and environmentalism?” and “That’s a great point. We’ll definitely take it into consideration.”

10. In order to avoid making others feel inferior, it is important to speak at a normal pace when communicating with them.

Speaking slowly can be perceived as patronizing or condescending, and it may not necessarily help the listener understand better. Rather than assuming that the listener is the problem, try to ensure that your explanation is clear and easy to follow.

For example, instead of saying “I. will. be. studying. the. way. humans. interact. in. groups,” speak at a normal pace and say “I will be studying the way humans interact in groups. Let me explain what I mean by interact.”

11. Avoid referring to yourself in the third person, as it can come across as arrogant and superior.

Instead, use first-person pronouns, such as “I” and “me,” to speak about yourself. Avoid overemphasizing these pronouns in your speech, as it can also make you appear self-centered.

For instance, instead of saying “She won a prestigious award for her paper,” say “I won a prestigious award for my paper.” Similarly, instead of saying “My opinion is that my book is the better book,” say “I believe that my book is better.”

12. Keep your head and chin level while engaging in conversation with others.

Avoid tilting your head back with your chin up and looking down your nose as this signals a sense of superiority and implies that your opinions and ideas are more important than others. Additionally, impatient body language such as loud sighs, eye-rolling, checking your phone or watch constantly, drumming your fingers, and yawning should be avoided.

In summary, to stop being a condescending person, there are several things you can do. First, know your self-worth by making a list of your strengths, weaknesses, accomplishments, and failures.

Second, avoid comparing yourself to others, recognizing that your life experiences, strengths, and weaknesses are unique to you. Third, put yourself in perspective and recognize that your opinion is just that – an opinion.

Fourth, have an open mind and avoid looking down on others who have different opinions or beliefs. Fifth, monitor your words and avoid condescending phrases. Sixth, speak at a normal pace and don’t refer to yourself in the third person.

Lastly, level your head and chin and avoid impatient body language such as sighing, eye-rolling, and constantly looking at your watch or phone. By practicing these tips, you can avoid being a condescending person and create a more positive and respectful atmosphere in your relationships with others.

I want to thank you for taking the time to read my article about how to stop being a condescending person. I sincerely hope its contents have been a good help to you.

Przemkas Mosky
Przemkas Mosky started Perfect 24 Hours in 2017. He is a Personal Productivity Specialist, blogger and entrepreneur. He also works as a coach assisting people to increase their motivation, social skills or leadership abilities. Read more here