People Who Have Inflated Egos Often Exhibit These 15 Behaviors

People Who Have Inflated Egos Often Exhibit These 15 Behaviors Shutterstock

There’s nothing worse than someone with an ego the size of a small planet.

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While confidence is great, there’s a line where it becomes unhealthy. Here are some behaviors that might signal someone’s ego has gotten a bit too big for their britches. Remember, we all have moments of pride, but it’s the consistent pattern that’s telling.

1. They can’t handle criticism.

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Constructive feedback? More like personal attack in their book. People with inflated egos often react defensively or angrily to even mild criticism. They might dismiss the feedback outright or turn it around on the person giving it. This behavior stems from a fragile self-image that can’t tolerate any perceived threats. Watch how they respond to suggestions for improvement – a healthy ego can take feedback in stride.

2. They name-drop constantly.

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It’s like they’re playing Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, but with their entire life. Every story somehow involves a celebrity or important person they know. This behavior is about boosting their perceived status and importance. People with healthy self-esteem don’t need to constantly remind others of who they know. Pay attention to whether they can have a conversation without mentioning their “important” connections.

3. They dominate conversations.

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Listening is a foreign concept to them. They’ll steer every discussion back to themselves, their achievements, or their opinions. It’s as if they’re the star of a one-person show and everyone else is just the audience. This behavior reveals a lack of interest in others and a need to be the center of attention. Notice if they ever ask about others or show genuine interest in topics that don’t directly involve them.

4. They exaggerate their achievements.

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In their stories, every success is monumental and every contribution is crucial, WebMD notes. While it’s okay to be proud of accomplishments, those with inflated egos tend to embellish or outright lie about their achievements. They might claim credit for group efforts or magnify their role in projects. Look for consistency in their stories and whether their claimed achievements align with what you know about their background.

5. They can’t admit when they’re wrong.

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Making a mistake? Not in their vocabulary. People with overinflated egos will go to great lengths to avoid admitting error. They might blame others, make excuses, or even rewrite history rather than acknowledge a mistake. This stems from a belief that being wrong somehow diminishes their worth. Pay attention to how they handle situations where they’re clearly in the wrong.

6. They feel entitled to special treatment.

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Rules are for other people, not them. They expect preferential treatment wherever they go, whether it’s jumping queues or demanding exceptions to policies. This behavior comes from a sense of superiority and the belief that they’re more deserving than others. Watch how they react when they don’t get their way – it can be quite revealing.

7. They belittle people.

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Putting others down is their way of propping themselves up. They might use subtle digs or outright insults to make themselves feel superior. This behavior often targets those they perceive as competition or those who can’t easily fight back. Notice how they talk about people when they’re not around, especially those in lower positions or with less power.

8. They brag… a lot.

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Every conversation is an opportunity for them to showcase their greatness. While it’s normal to share good news, those with inflated egos make it a constant habit. They might humblebrag or find ways to slip their accomplishments into unrelated discussions. This constant need for validation reveals an underlying insecurity. Pay attention to whether they can celebrate others’ successes without bringing up their own.

9. They have a hard time apologizing.

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“I’m sorry” seems to be the hardest phrase for them to utter. When forced to apologize, it often comes with qualifications or deflections. “I’m sorry you feel that way” is a favorite non-apology. This reluctance stems from viewing apologies as admissions of inferiority rather than as healthy parts of relationships. Observe how they handle situations where an apology is clearly warranted.

10. They’re always competing.

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Life is a constant contest, and they always need to win. Whether it’s who has the better car or who can eat the spiciest food, everything becomes a competition. This behavior reveals a deep-seated need to prove their superiority in all areas of life. Notice if they can ever just enjoy an activity without turning it into a contest.

11. They name-check their credentials.

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Their degrees, job titles, or past positions find their way into every introduction. While it’s fine to be proud of achievements, constantly parading them suggests a need for external validation. This behavior often comes from a place of insecurity, using credentials to demand respect rather than earning it through actions. Pay attention to whether they can engage in conversations without referencing their qualifications.

12. They can’t take a joke at their expense.

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Playful teasing sends them into a tailspin. While nobody likes to be the butt of every joke, those with inflated egos can’t handle even light-hearted ribbing. They might react with anger, sulk, or attempt to turn the joke around on others. This oversensitivity reveals a fragile self-image beneath the confident exterior. Watch how they respond to gentle teasing compared to how they dish it out to others.

13. They use the royal “we.”

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“We” think this, “we” believe that – even when it’s clearly just their opinion. This linguistic trick is a way of giving their personal views more weight and authority. It’s as if they’re speaking for a larger group or entity rather than just themselves. This behavior shows a need to bolster their opinions with imaginary support. Notice if they can express personal views without trying to make them seem like universal truths.

14. They have a hard time being happy for other people.

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Someone else’s good news is often met with indifference or attempts to one-up. They might try to downplay others’ achievements or quickly shift the conversation to their own accomplishments. This behavior stems from viewing others’ successes as somehow diminishing their own status. Pay attention to how they react when others share their wins or good news.

15. They refuse to ask for help.

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Needing assistance is seen as a weakness, Harvard Business Review explains They’d rather struggle or even fail than admit they can’t do something on their own. This stubborn self-reliance comes from a fear that asking for help will make them appear less capable or important. It often leads to unnecessary difficulties and missed opportunities for growth. Observe how they handle tasks or situations that are clearly beyond their expertise or abilities.

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.