Arrogance: is it a sign of high intelligence

Arrogance: is it a sign of high intelligence

We all know toxic people who overestimate their ability to solve problems and stick it in everyone’s face. Be it bosses, coworkers, or even close relatives, arrogant people are everywhere. Sometimes we fall victim to this behavior, too especially if we get lucky and succeed early in our careers. Arrogant behavior can ruin a person just as severely as underselling yourself can. Let’s learn about the types of arrogance and what we can do to counter them.

Arrogance is not a sign of high intelligence

Actually, this is self-defeating behavior. Studies have shown that the less a person knows about a subject, the more likely they are to overestimate their abilities.

“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”

Charles Darwin, “The Descent of Man”

Types of arrogant colleagues and how to defeat them

There are four types of arrogant colleagues that you need to be aware of.

Low intelligence, low arrogance – poor decision makers who are incompetent and lack the self-esteem to promote themselves. They hardly accomplish anything.

High intelligence, low arrogance – problem solvers who contribute a lot to an organization. You want as many of these on your team as possible. The danger is that they may need encouragement to perform. Supportive. Often they won’t promote their work because they think it speaks for itself.

Low intelligence, high arrogance – very dangerous. If they get lucky and reach the top, they can destroy an organization. They have a chance to make a big splash early in their careers.

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High intelligence, high arrogance – Interesting people caught between danger and potential. They tend to oppress or demand too much of their subordinates. People quickly learn to keep their heads low around such bosses. They will enjoy seeing their arrogant boss burn, so they will hold back help in critical situations. Nobody likes arrogant people.

How to defeat an arrogant boss? You can pull them aside when no one is around them and give them some constructive feedback, supported by logic and facts. It may work. But chances are low and you most probably need a new boss. Getting a new boss is easier than paying for coaching and playing psychological tricks on him hoping he will change. Arrogant people don’t fall for this stuff.

Outside of the office, arrogance can be a sign of insecurity and a brittle ego.

What to do about your own arrogance?

Keep learning new stuff – the more you learn about a subject, the more you find out how little you actually know

Ask others for feedback – get as much constructive criticism as possible from people around you.

Seek out challenging information – go for things that challenge your beliefs.

Share in the comments how you deal with arrogance in yourself and others.

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