16 Behaviors That Reveal Someone Has A Superiority Complex

16 Behaviors That Reveal Someone Has A Superiority Complex Shutterstock

Ever met someone who always seems to think they’re a cut above the rest? Maybe they have a knack for making you feel small or constantly have to prove they know more than anyone else in the room. It can be a bit of a drag, right? These people might be exhibiting what’s known as a superiority complex, and it’s not always easy to spot.  Here are some of the behaviors that can give away someone who believes they’re inherently superior to pretty much everyone else.

1. They constantly interrupt people and talk over them.

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People with a superiority complex often believe their thoughts and opinions are more valuable than anyone else’s. As Medical News Today explains, this can manifest in a tendency to interrupt people mid-sentence or talk over them, essentially dismissing their contributions to the conversation. They might see it as their right to dominate the discussion and steer it in the direction they deem most important.

2. They dismiss the other people’s ideas or opinions.

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Not only do they interrupt, but they also tend to belittle or outright ignore other people’s POV. They might roll their eyes, scoff, or make condescending remarks like “That’s not how it works” or “You clearly don’t understand.” This behavior stems from their belief that their own knowledge and perspective are inherently superior and therefore more valid.

3. They brag excessively about their accomplishments and possessions.

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It’s normal to share our successes and achievements with friends and family, but people with a superiority complex take it to the extreme. They might constantly boast about their career advancements, material possessions, or social status, often embellishing their stories to make themselves appear even more impressive. They seek validation and admiration from other people to reinforce their inflated self-image.

4. They name-drop and associate themselves with influential people.

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To further elevate their perceived status, people with a superiority complex might frequently drop the names of famous or influential people they’ve met or claim to be friends with. They might even go as far as fabricating connections to boost their own social standing. This behavior is an attempt to bask in the reflected glory of other people and create an illusion of importance.

5. They criticize and belittle people to make themselves feel better.

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One of the most unpleasant traits of someone with a superiority complex is their tendency to put people down to make themselves feel better. They might criticize people’s appearance, intelligence, or achievements, often masking their insults as “constructive criticism.” This behavior is rooted in their insecurity and need to feel superior by comparison.

6. They have a know-it-all attitude and rarely admit they’re wrong.

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People with a superiority complex often act like they have all the answers and never make mistakes. They might offer unsolicited advice, correct minor errors in other people’s speech, or insist on their own version of events even when presented with evidence to the contrary. Admitting they’re wrong is a blow to their ego, so they’ll go to great lengths to avoid it.

7. They lack empathy and have difficulty understanding other people’s perspectives.

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A key characteristic of a superiority complex is a lack of empathy. These people struggle to put themselves in other people’s shoes and see things from their perspective. They might dismiss other people’s feelings or struggles as unimportant or exaggerate their own problems to garner sympathy and attention. This self-centeredness can make it difficult to form genuine connections with them.

8. They are overly competitive and always need to be the best.

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Whether it’s in their career, personal relationships, or even trivial games, people with a superiority complex are driven by an intense need to win and be the best at everything. They might sabotage people, cheat, or resort to other underhanded tactics to ensure their victory. Their competitive nature stems from their deep-seated insecurity and fear of not being good enough.

9. They take credit for other people’s work or ideas.

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People with a superiority complex often feel entitled to recognition and success, even if it means taking credit for other people’s work or ideas. They might present someone else’s contributions as their own, downplay the efforts of their colleagues, or simply fail to acknowledge other people’s contributions. This behavior stems from their belief that they are more deserving of praise and recognition.

10. They have a hard time apologizing or admitting fault.

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For people with a superiority complex, apologizing or admitting fault is seen as a sign of weakness. They blame other people, make excuses, or minimize the impact of their actions. This refusal to take responsibility stems from their inflated ego and their belief that they are always right.

11. They surround themselves with people they perceive as inferior.

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To maintain their illusion of superiority, some people with a superiority complex may choose to surround themselves with people they perceive as less intelligent, successful, or attractive. This allows them to feel better about themselves by comparison and reinforces their belief that they are above everyone else.

12. They have difficulty forming meaningful relationships.

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Due to their self-centeredness, lack of empathy, and tendency to belittle everyone, people with a superiority complex often struggle to form genuine, lasting relationships. They might have many acquaintances but few close friends, as their arrogance and constant need for validation can be off-putting to the people around them. They may also have difficulty maintaining romantic relationships, as their need for control and admiration can create an imbalance in the partnership.

13. They are quick to anger and hold grudges.

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When their ego is threatened or their authority challenged, people with a superiority complex can become easily angered and defensive. They might lash out verbally or emotionally, resorting to insults or personal attacks. They also tend to hold grudges, harboring resentment towards those who have crossed them. This anger stems from their fragile self-esteem and their inability to handle criticism or perceived slights.

14. They often feel threatened by other people’s success.

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Other people’s achievements can trigger feelings of insecurity and jealousy in someone with a superiority complex, per WebMD. They might downplay or dismiss the accomplishments of their peers, spread rumors, or even try to sabotage their success. This behavior is rooted in their fear of being surpassed or outshone, as it challenges their belief in their own superiority.

15. They are resistant to feedback and personal growth.

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People with a superiority complex believe they are already perfect and have nothing to learn from other people. This makes them resistant to feedback, even if it is constructive and well-intentioned. They might reject suggestions for improvement, refuse to acknowledge their weaknesses, or become defensive when their behavior is questioned. This closed-mindedness can hinder their personal growth and prevent them from building meaningful relationships.

Sinitta Weston grew up in Edinburgh but moved to Sydney, Australia to for college and never came back. She works as a chemical engineer during the day and at night, she writes articles about love and relationships. She's her friends' go-to for dating advice (though she struggles to take the same advice herself). Her INFJ personality makes her extra sensitive to others' feelings and this allows her to help people through tough times with ease. Hopefully, her articles can do that for you.