Difference Between Arrogant and Conceited

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Arrogant and Conceited

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Arrogance and conceited are two terms that are often used interchangeably and are actually very close in meaning to each other. Both these terms are used for negative connotations whilst describing someone who might be very rude and overconfident. However, they differ in the contexts they can be used in because they have different elements that make them up.

Arrogant vs. Conceited

The main difference between the terms arrogant and conceited lies in their definition. An arrogant person is someone who carries extreme pride in themselves with an overbearing superiority over others that has been manifested by themselves whereas a conceited person is someone who has an extremely favorable opinion of himself, his worth, or his skills.

Difference Between Arrogant and Conceited in Tabular Form

Parameters of Comparison Arrogant Conceited
Definition Arrogance can be described as the quality of possessing excessive pride in oneself that comes with self-manifested superiority over others. Conceit can be described as the quality of having excessive appreciation and favor for one’s own opinion, skills, worth, appearance, etc.
Attention-seeking Arrogance does not always come with wanting to be the center of attention always. Conceited people always tend to try and stay the center of attention in a room.
Nature Arrogance often originates from insecurities that one tries to over-compensate with self-manifested superiority. Conceit produces overconfidence, no sign of self-doubt, and ignorance of others’ opinions.
Behavior Arrogant people often disrespect others since they seem themselves above everyone else. Conceited people keep idolizing themselves along with their capabilities, merits, opinions, ideologies, etc.
Interaction Interaction with arrogant people might be full of exaggeration and boastfulness. Interaction with conceited people will seem more like a one-way conversation since they believe their opinion stands the most accurate.
Elements Arrogance is one of the several elements that sum up conceit. Arrogance, vanity, and a few relevant qualities make up conceit.
Example He arrogantly dismissed her request and walked away. He was conceited about his expertise in paleontology.

What is Arrogant?

Characteristics of An Arrogant Person:

  1. Constant Interruption: One of the subtle but a surefire signs of arrogance, or at least ignorance is the quality of talking over others. Not only does it also represent a lack of empathy or patience but also points toward the fact that you are above everyone else in the room and thus, your opinion will be of the utmost importance. It is also during the display of this quality that you see traits of conceit as there is the element of center of attention that links with this characteristic i.e., they might go ahead and try all sorts of antics and go to great lengths to divert the attention to themselves.
  2. Everything is a Competition: You can see the need to win for someone to feel valid and ‘in-check with their superiority and the self-posed authority they have over people. While adjustment is a constant in life, in every aspect at some point in time,  arrogant people would much rather win than stay put, adjust or collaborate. With the constant need for admiration, that winning or ‘being right’ in an argument would achieve, arrogance can bring out darker, more aggressive traits than one expects.
  3. Zero Self-awareness: Arrogant people often tend to stay in their little bubble of superiority where they are ‘holier than thou’, but in a more dictatorial sort of way than angelic! Again, there are clear traits of conceit when we say they assume they are better and thus, only want to hear what pleases their ears, much like all the Disney villains we keep hearing about. The villain’s sidekick is forced to appreciate him/her and the villain wants to hear nothing else. Very similar to what we are explaining but only here, the world is their sidekick! All they need is a reality check, similar to holding a mirror up to their face, showing them what their behavior looks like and how it affects them and the people around them. However, just like the Disney movies, some might be so arrogant that they choose to be so after a reality check!
  4. Constant Need for Admiration: arrogance can also be looked at as an intense need for validation. This intense urge might also be one of the major causes of why arrogant people are the way they are. It could all just be the need for validation that makes ‘reverse-engineer’ the whole situation. Some people are superior because of their skills, worth, wisdom, etc. which makes people talk about them. Arrogant people start boasting about themselves in the hopes of people automatically rewiring their brains to consider them superior, sometimes unknown to themselves.
  5. They’re Always Right: Again, as mentioned previously, being right in a debate or an argument is typically seen as a ‘win’ over the opposite team. Arrogant people tend to apply the same concept and constantly try to win in every situation, no matter how small or big it is. They often project their opinions to be the right ones in an argument and do not let go until they win or the other person stops. This might also be signs of ‘fragile ego’ that doesn’t let them accept that they can be wrong sometimes and that it's okay to apologize and correct yourself.
  6. Only Rude, Nothing Else: Arrogance often comes with contempt and disdain for others. They have already decided in their head that they have the right opinion and thus, nothing else matters and thus, the constant interruption. While talking over others with absolutely no empathy for them is one thing, talking back to look down on them is something entirely unacceptable. Even if someone talks back to remind them, even if with politeness, they can be very impolite with nasty comments here and there. This indicates how inferior they think of other people, constantly looking down on them.
  7. They Often Brag: Oftentimes tied with ‘need for validation’, bragging is one technique that arrogant people use to display their superiority to others. You might notice that some people cannot bear your wins in life. They cannot feel happy for you or celebrate with you, but instead create a mess by engaging in conversations that might ‘remind’ people of how they or their wins are ‘insignificant’. To curb and withhold this stuff they think is ‘insignificant’, they might very well start gloating about their wins, sometimes that isn’t even relevant!
  8. Un-exaggerated Amount of Exaggeration: Another trait of conceit, arrogant people often indulge in the image they create for others and thus, overestimate their abilities. While confidence is the key to success in life, no matter how incapable one person might be, arrogant people have an unreasonable amount of overconfidence that keeps them deluded of their abilities and skills. Eventually, without any effort to add reality to these skills, arrogant people might build a path to their downfall.
  9. No ‘agree to disagree’: As previously mentioned, they need to win arguments and thus, will not agree with anyone who will even slightly contrast their own. A conversation with an arrogant person will be like talking to a wall since it is pointless to try and express your opinion to them. It is almost transparent that they do not care about the rights and wrongs of the debate, even if they realize it mid-way. They just want to assert their ‘right’ opinion to create an intellectually superior image.
  10. Defensive? No! Why?: While most people tend to stay away or subconsciously bend to arrogant people’s will, some might stand up to them. This can be perceived as a threat by the arrogant and the first and the most common response to such threats would be to get defensive. While there is a lot of insecurity involved, they would rather push away others than accept or communicate about their weaknesses.
  11. My Way or Highway!: A bad role model for a leader, arrogant people will assert their way through everything. They will establish that whatever they are doing is the supreme. This means that anyone who feels that they might be doing something wrong most slightly will trigger them immensely. It is extremely difficult to deal with them since any suggestion of alternative methods will be immediately put away. They are almost always closed to advice or anyone who tells them that they are wrong. They stay stubborn and thus, you will need to bend to their will.
  12. Lack of Empathy: Another reason why they might talk over others or look at them with disdain is the lack of empathy. Compassion seems far-fetched since they are too stubborn to even look at what's going on around them. They can find it incredibly hard to stand in someone else’s shoes to see their perspective since that can lead to them eventually being right. This again seems like a threat.
  13. Unreasonable Enimity: When arrogant people come across someone more abled and capable than themselves, in actual skill more than just talk, they can get very intimidated. The only way their brain is wired to feel in such situations is in threatened and thus they will automatically consider them as an enemy or competition that they must overcome. They cannot handle the fact that someone might be better than them since they might assume their position of superiority even though the other person has no plan to do so or that they might capture the attention of other people around them who will shift their attention towards the newcomer. Threat, threat, threat!

What is Conceited?

Since we have already described how arrogance makes people behave and how arrogance is one of the many elements that make up conceit, we can now describe the additional characteristics that define conceit.

  1. They are ‘indifferent’?: Conceited people want to stand out by making others believe that they stand the highest of the lot. It may be their skills, their worth, or their appearance but they believe they are the best. In absolute contrast to humility or modesty, conceited people want to not just establish their supremacy but also constantly know what others think of them. Yet, they try and hide any traces or the slightest curiosity by appearing indifferent to everyone else, to make it seem so that nothing really affects them.
  2. Narcissism: Love thyself, but not too much, please? The obsession with self that slowly creates a tiny, sometimes unbreakable, bubble around the conceited can make them quite pretentious since they start believing they’re the most successful. Sometimes, conceited people can be a walking oxymoron. While all their characteristics point towards ignorance of the outside world, they certainly are more aware than ever.
  3. Megalomania: A bit more intense, no, a lot more intense than narcissism, megalomania is an actual disorder that involves switching on a behavioral pattern that is based on fantasies relevant to superiority, greatness, and success. They extremely over-estimate themselves, making irrational assumptions and decisions regarding the same.
  4. Judgemental: A conceited person wants to remain the best in everything and be regarded as the same. Since they tend to judge themselves based on their image, they likely do the same to other people. Thus, more often than we think, conceited people might even rank the people around them which can affect their decisions. However, this is not in any one clear prospect but just lack respect for anyone else overall.

Main Differences Between Arrogant and Conceited In Points

  • Arrogant people have excessive pride that comes with self-invested superiority whereas conceited people have excessive favor of their own opinion, worth, image, etc.
  • Arrogant people might not always want to be in the center of attention but conceited people will always want to be in the center of attention.
  • Arrogance often arises from overcompensating insecurities whereas conceit comes from overconfidence, vanity, ignorance, etc.
  • Arrogant and conceited differ in their behavior as arrogant people disrespect others frequently whereas conceited over-idolize themselves and all their abilities.
  • Arrogance, vanity, and narcissism make up the quality of conceit.


From the above discussion, we can conclude that while both these terms are used to represent negative qualities in people that may lead to irritable behavior, there is a thin but definite line between both these terms and one must always be careful when employing the same in conversations.



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"Difference Between Arrogant and Conceited." Diffzy.com, 2024. Fri. 17 May. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-arrogant-and-conceited-694>.

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