When someone thinks they are better than you it’s called having a superiority complex.
This often means they’re hiding their own low self-esteem or a sense of inferiority and also means they treat you really badly.
If someone you know is treating you like you’re not as important as they are and making you feel down on yourself, you shouldn’t put up with it.
Here are 15 signs someone thinks they are better than you and what you should do to get out of this toxic situation:
15 Signs Someone Thinks They Are Better Than You
1. They Make a Big Deal Out Of Any Mistakes You Make
One of the classic signs that someone thinks they are better than you is if they point out your mistakes and make a big deal out of them.
They will usually try to make you feel stupid or incompetent for even the smallest mishap and often do so in front of others to try and humiliate you.
People with a superiority complex do this as a way of making themselves feel better by tearing you down, but it’s horrible for you on the receiving end.
Related – 15 signs someone looks down on you!
2. They Criticize You All the Time
If someone is constantly putting you down and criticizing everything you do, it’s also a sign that they think they are better than you.
They might do this in a more subtle way by making backhanded compliments or telling you that you’re not good enough.
Or, they might be more upfront and just tell you that you’re doing everything wrong.
However they do it, it’s not right and it’s something you should either put a stop to or put some distance in between the two of you.
3. They Exaggerate Their Own Opinion of Themselves
This is another blatant red flag that a person thinks they’re better than you are and have low self-esteem.
If they tend to exaggerate and big themselves up a lot to the point where it’s annoying, it’s a way for them to try and compensate for how they’re feeling on the inside.
It might also be their way of trying to make you feel bad about yourself so you don’t challenge them as much.
4. They Have Dominant Body Language Around You
How we carry ourselves says a lot about what we’re thinking and feeling inside, and it’s often harder to hide what we’re thinking via our body language.
If someone is invading your personal space, standing too close to you, or looming over you, it’s a way of trying to assert their dominance and make you feel small.
Just as being closed off and not giving you signals that you can get close to them shows they’re not interested in you as a person.
5. They Talk Bad About You Behind Your Back
Gossiping and talking bad about someone behind their back is a cowardly way of putting them down, and it’s one of the signs that someone thinks they are better than you.
If you’ve caught wind that someone is doing this, it’s best to just stay away from them as much as possible.
There’s no reason to give them the satisfaction of your company if they’re clearly not interested in being your friend!
6. They Always Put Themselves First
When someone sees themselves as better, above, or more important than you, they’ll always put themselves first.
This is called being selfish, as I’m sure you’re aware.
It’s one of the least desirable traits of a toxic person in my opinion and makes me run a mile when someone reveals themselves to me as being selfish.
7. They Take a Lot and Don’t Give Back
Along the same lines as being selfish, when someone just takes and takes and never gives back it’s a drag.
This behavior shows that they clearly think they’re better than you, as well as being selfish.
It might be time to put your foot down and start setting some boundaries with this person so they know that you’re not a pushover.
8. They Never Apologize for Anything
A surefire sign that someone thinks they are better than you is if they never apologize, even when they’re in the wrong.
This is always incredibly frustrating, I’ve been there myself wanting someone to just man up and admit they were wrong.
But if they think so little of you – or everyone else – they won’t feel the need to apologize and won’t care about hurting your feelings.
9. They Talk Over You and Dismiss What You Say
Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and they keep talking over you or dismiss what you’re saying without even really engaging with you?
It’s incredibly frustrating, right?
Well, it’s also a sign that they think they are better than you.
They might not even be aware that they’re doing it, but it’s a way of trying to assert dominance over you and make you feel small.
10. They Say They’ve Done Things You Never Could Do
This is a common one, and it’s one of the most frustrating things a person can say.
If they say things like, “You could never do [task] like I did,” or, “You’ll never be as successful as I am,” it’s their way of trying to put you down.
It might not be said in an overtly mean way, but it’s still incredibly hurtful as I’m sure you’ll agree.
11. They Try and Tell You How To Live Your Life
Telling someone how to live their life is a surefire sign that you think you are better than them.
You’re basically saying you know better than they do what’s good for them, which is crazy.
12. They Make Condescending Remarks
Condescending remarks are another way of putting someone down and making them feel small.
If you find yourself on the receiving end of a lot of these, it’s a sign that the person thinks they are better than you.
It could be anything from the way you dress to the way you speak, and it’s just their way of trying to make themselves feel superior.
13. They Try to Take Your Friends Off of You
One of the most hurtful things a person can do is try to take your friends away from you.
It’s a sign that they think they are better than you and want to prove it by showing you that your friends will enjoy your company more.
If someone is doing this to you, it’s best to just steer clear and fill the space with someone better who won’t try to compete with you.
14. They Boast About Their Achievements
If someone is constantly boasting about their achievements, it’s a sign that they are trying to rub what they’ve done in your face and make you feel small.
It’s obviously a petty behavior, but it’s one that some people engage in nonetheless.
15. They’re Never There When You Really Need Them
This is one that really hurts if you consider someone a friend and put a lot of time and energy into your friendship.
If they’re never there when you need them, it’s a sign that they don’t really care about you and only see you as someone who is useful to them.
It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it’s better to know the truth so you can move on and find someone that would step up when you need them, as you would for them.
What Makes Someone Think They Are Better than Others?
There can be a variety of reasons why someone might think they are better than others, so it’s hard to say without knowing the person.
Maybe they were raised to think that they were special and that they deserved better than everyone else.
Maybe they have a lot of insecurities and feel like they need to put others down to make themselves feel better.
Or, maybe they are just generally self-centered and think the world revolves around them.
Whatever the reason, it’s not a healthy way to think and it often leads to hurt feelings and damaged relationships.
How Should You Handle Someone with A Superiority Complex?
If you find yourself in a situation where someone is behaving in a superior way, it’s important to remember that it’s not your fault and you don’t deserve to be treated that way.
You can try to talk to the person and see if they are open to hearing your side of things, but if they are truly stuck in their ways, it might be best to just distance yourself.
At the end of the day, you deserve to be treated with respect and kindness, so don’t let anyone make you feel otherwise.
Never be afraid to set healthy boundaries with someone who is looking down on you, and don’t tolerate being put down.
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.