How to Stop Being a Condescending Person

Two Methods:Look InwardLook Outward

Condescending people consider themselves superior to others. Does this describe you? If it does, and you'd like to change your behavior, here's what you need to do.


It might not be easy letting go of the habit of condescension, but if you wish for it wholeheartedly, your aspiration will not be too far.

Method 1
Look Inward

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    Think about the things that make you behave as if you are superior to others. Often there is a deep-seated fear of rejection pushing condescension. For example, it's easier to belittle a person than it is to really get to know them and let them into your world. By rejecting someone first, you avoid rejection, mockery, and disappointment yourself. If you carry around such a fear, confront it and root out the reasons for it.
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    Stop assuming that you know more than everyone else. This is not necessarily the case. As a whole, we know a great deal. As separate entities, while we may be expert in one small part of our field/hobby/profession/passion, we don't know it all and we have a great deal to teach and learn from each another. Instead, treat each encounter as an opportunity to learn more, to expand your own knowledge and to gain an ally.
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    Be compassionate, not condescending. Condescension can leave you lonely and turn you into an outsider, which, in its own vicious way, only serves to make you feel less secure and therefore internalizes the need to remain condescending. Try compassion instead; see others for all the struggles, triumphs, achievements, doubts, fragility, and strengths that they are really made of. We all possess unique perspectives. Every person you see is a wealth of information and ideas that you haven't come across. Learn how to approach people and find the hidden gem in them. Look for that unique thing in them that makes them special.

Method 2
Look Outward

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    Try something new. Do something you have never done before, something that requires you to rely on somebody else's knowledge and abilities. Let yourself trust them and keep your mind and ears wide open. Learning is a process of being humble and in being humble, you unlearn condescension.
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    Be assertive, not biting. If you have long used wit as a form of undermining others, it may come as a surprise to learn that your behavior is seen as aggressive, or even passive aggression. Instead, make your points using the skills of assertive speaking. If you are afraid that people won't respect you or listen, think again – people respect the differing views of others when they are put calmly, clearly, and with a view to discussion rather than cutting off further communications.


  • Don't wait for someone to accuse you of being condescending before taking action. You can initiate the change on your own.
  • Instead of saying 'you', use 'we' instead. This way you are including yourself and putting yourself as an equal to them. You are saying that you also might make that mistake and whatever you say includes yourself as well and that you should do them as well. It can be very effective.

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