Comebacks for CONDESCENDING people

There is nothing worse than being around a condescending person who thinks they are superior to those around them.

Condescending people lack the awareness that they alienate people when they talk down to others and assume people are less intelligent than they are. They offer unwanted advice and think that they can dictate to others how something should be done.

A friend of mine had returned from a trip to Indonesia; he shared with a girl at work how he felt tired and that he had crossed the international date line while traveling. His coworker condescendingly replied that he shouldn’t be tired and the international date line was only a 12-hour time difference even though she had never traveled outside of North America and had no idea what she was talking about. Her superiority came across loud and clear.


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If you’ve had enough of someone talking down to you, try a few of our snappy comebacks below and let them know that their behaviour is not OK. If you get really lucky, maybe they will move on and bother somebody else.

What to say to a condescending person

1. I am sure that you didn’t mean to sound so arrogant, right?

2. I don’t appreciate it when you make belittling comments towards me.

3. The way you treat others is a statement about who you are.

4. How you make others feel says a lot about you.

5. Being condescending is an unintelligent way to make yourself feel superior.

6. I try to treat everyone the same way, whether they are a janitor or the President of a country.

7. Healthy, happy people don’t go around putting people down using negative criticisms and insults.

8. You should really take a look at the way that you speak to other people. 

9. Being smug and condescending doesn’t make you important. It makes you unkind.

10. Insecure people put others down to lift themselves up. Strong people don’t put others down, they lift them up.

Definition of a condescending person

A condescending person behaves in a way that indicates that they are more knowledgable about a subject matter or superior to others. You may notice personal slights, belittling comments or a condescending tone when they speak to you. The way that the person speaks to you make indicate that they believe that you are beneath them.

Condescending behaviour can be intentional or a person may have been raised to believe that they are right and others are wrong. When someone acts in a condescending way, the people subjected to the bad behaviour are left feeling disrespected, humiliated and insulted.

Condescending behaviour can take place at work or in personal relationships. When a person is condescending it can betray trust, and leave the insulted person questioning if they want to have a relationship or friendship with such a rude individual.

More comebacks you might like

Why are people condescending?

There are many reasons someone may act in a condescending manner. It may be a defence mechanism that they use to make themselves feel superior or in control. Other times, it may be a result of their upbringing or cultural background, where being condescending is seen as a way of showing respect or authority.

Some folks are condescending because they are insecure or lack confidence in themselves. By putting others down or belittling them, they may be trying to deal with their own personal feelings of inadequacy.

Being condescending is not a not a healthy or productive way of communicating with others. It can damage relationships, end friendships and create a negative atmosphere. Try to treat others with respect and kindness, even if we disagree with them or feel frustrated. By being empathetic and by actively listening, we can create a more positive and supportive environment for everyone.

When you are dealing with a condescending jerk

Famous people who have been accused of being condescending

Here are a few examples of famous people who have been accused of being condescending:

1. Gwyneth Paltrow: Gwyneth Paltrow has been criticized for her lifestyle brand, Goop, which many people feel is condescending and out of touch with the average person. The truth is her target audience has a high income, and her brand is not focused on someone who can’t afford her products.

2. Elon Musk: Elon Musk has been known to make condescending comments about other people’s ideas and intelligence. He has also been criticized for his treatment of employees and his tendency to micromanage others.

3. Martha Stewart: Martha Stewart has been accused of being condescending towards her fans and followers, particularly when it comes to her cooking and entertaining advice. She has also been criticized for her treatment of her staff and her tendency to be demanding and difficult to work with.

4. Simon Cowell: Simon Cowell has built his career on being a harsh judge and critic, and many people feel that he is condescending towards contestants on his shows. Simon knows that conflict creates ratings, and he doesn’t hold back from creating controversy.

Again, it’s important to remember that these are just examples and that it’s not always fair to label someone as condescending without knowing all the details of their behaviour and actions. We don’t know these people, but if you hear someone is condescending repeatedly, there probably is some truth in what people are saying.

The Role of counselling and self care

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When you are dealing with someone condescending who thinks they are superior and you find it stressful, consider getting support from a professional. Talking to a counselor is a great way to work through a challenging situation, and help you find some strategies to work through the person’s behaviour.

Better Help is a great resource where you can talk to a counselor from the comfort of your own home.

Taking care of your own needs isn’t selfish, and you will feel better in the long run.

Got any comments, questions or tips for dealing with someone who is condescending? Share them in the comments below.

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  1. Being shy and very caring and considerate of others feelings has at times left me speechless when people have deliberately been rude to me. Thank you for your site. It made me laugh and I hope from now on, I am better with the comebacks.

  2. I have just come across @ishoulhavesaid, just as I wished how awesome would it be to know such a site which specialises in providing epic comebacks. Turns out, this crossed the limits of my expectations and proved to be extremely competent! Thank you for providing me with an amazing site, @Bryn!

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