9 habits that will make you less affected by people who think they’re better than you

I think we all know someone who acts as though they’re better than us. I know I do.

And while it’s true that knowing people like that can have a negative impact on our self-perception, it’s also true that we can overcome it if we’re willing to put a little work in.

I’ve had to come to terms with this myself, and so in this week’s article, I’m going to go ahead and share what I’ve learned. And so without further ado, here are the habits that can help you to be less affected by people who think they’re better than you.

1) Self-confidence

Having self-confidence is one of the most important habits you can develop in your life in general.

But more specifically, being able to maintain self-confidence will make you much less affected by people who think they’re better than you. It’ll leave you with the attitude of, “Who cares what they think? I know they’re not better than me.”

Self-confidence can also come into play if you’re brave enough to challenge people by pointing out that no single person is better than anyone else. The whole point of our modern society is that everyone is equal, at least on paper.

And besides, let’s face it. It’s not as though having self-confidence has any negative side-effects.

2) Self-awareness

Self-awareness and self-confidence are similar but also different enough that I think they deserve their own points.

The idea behind being self-aware is that you understand what makes you unique and different to everyone else. We’re all unique, and that’s why no one of us is better than anyone else. It all comes down to your point of view.

For example, compared to Roger Federer, I suck at tennis. But I’m pretty sure that I’m a better novelist than Federer is.

Practicing this kind of self-awareness isn’t easy and it doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but you can think of it as being like a muscle that needs flexing and exercising. The more you work at it, the better you become.

3) Self-talk

Self-talk is all about the way that you talk to yourself, and you can think of this as the third side of the triangle that also includes self-confidence and self-awareness.

The idea here is that if people think that they’re better than you, you can counter that with the way that you talk to yourself. You’re never going to be able to ignore them if your self-talk consists of you saying, “They’re right, they’re better than me.”

Instead, turn that on its head and use your self-talk to remind yourself how awesome you are. It’s much easier for you to ignore other people when you’re listening to yourself because you can trust yourself and you know whether you have a vested interest in putting yourself down.

4) Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence skills build upon the triangle that we talked about above and are all about being able to understand and process your own emotions.

People with a high level of emotional intelligence are able to understand why they’re feeling what they’re feeling and to better manage the negative emotions when they occur.

For the purposes of this article, emotional intelligence skills are important because they allow us to overcome the self-doubt that other people can cause.

In a nutshell, if you have a high level of emotional intelligence, you’re less likely to be affected by people who think they’re better than you because you’ll understand where they’re coming from. They’re probably just jealous.

5) Assertiveness

Assertiveness is a vital skill to master because it’s what allows us to stand our ground when something’s important.

In this case, if someone is acting as though they’re better than you, it’s your assertiveness that will allow you to put them in their place. You’ll be able to stop them in their tracks and say, “You’re being disrespectful and if you don’t change your tone, this conversation is over.”

Some people think that being assertive is being rude, but there’s a middle ground where you can be assertive without causing offence. And honestly, if someone’s acting as though they’re better than you then who cares if you cause offence, anyway?

6) Humility

kind people never say 9 habits that will make you less affected by people who think they're better than you

Humility is all about being humble, and if you’re able to foster it as a habit and a personality trait, you’ve already won the battle.

That’s because if you’re humble, it won’t matter to you whether people act as though they’re better than you. If they want to believe that, that’s their prerogative – and you’ll be humble enough to know that it doesn’t matter anyway.

Humility is a rare commodity these days, mostly because we’re all so used to showing off on social media. But if you’re able to make humility a habit that you feel in your heart as much as in your head, it’ll serve you well throughout the rest of your life.

It’s something that I’ve been working on myself for the last year or so, and with mixed results. But I definitely find it helps with people who are too full of themselves.

7) Composure

When someone’s acting as though they’re better than you, it can be easy to react automatically and with negativity, throwing shade their way to make yourself feel better.

The problem with doing that is that while it might scratch a metaphorical itch, it’s not going to do you any favors in the long run. In fact, if you lash out at people, they’ll just take that as proof that they were right.

And so instead, it’s important to stay composed and to remain civil to people, even when they’re treating you like a piece of dirt on their shoe. Like my mum used to tell me when I was a kid, it’s important to show that you’re the better person.

8) A sense of humor

This one might just be because I’m British and we’re known for dealing with adversity with a sense of humor.

Still, I find that if people think and act as though they’re better than you, the best thing to do is to crack a joke about it and then move on. If you do that every time they try to act high and mighty, they’ll soon stop trying.

This also comes with an unexpected positive side-effect, which is that if you crack a joke about it, it’s going to make you feel better about things, too. It’s a great way to take a negative and to turn it into a positive.

9) Visualization

Visualization is a super powerful tool that can help us to envision where we want to be in life and to make sure that we get there.

In this case, I find it useful because even when we practice humility, self-love and everything else that we’ve talked about, sometimes people still get to you. When that happens, you need something that’s going to help you get through it.

And so if someone is acting as though they’re better than me and I genuinely believe they might be right, I ask myself what my life would look like if I was better than them. Then I take that visualization and make it a reality.


Now that you know the habits that have helped me to be less affected by people who think they’re better than me, you’re ready to start applying them to your life.

You should also bear in mind that this is an ongoing process, and so you should keep on looking out for new ways to overcome the negative vibes from people who like to act all high and mighty.

The good news is that as long as you remind yourself that people only think they’re better than you because they’re insecure about themselves, it’s going to be a lot easier for you to move forward.

Good luck out there.

Picture of Dane Cobain

Dane Cobain

Dane Cobain is a published author, freelance writer and (occasional) poet and musician with a passion for language and learning. When he’s not working on his next release, he can be found reading and reviewing books while trying not to be distracted by Wikipedia.

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