10 Characteristics of a Self-Righteous Person

In an ever-evolving society, understanding human behavior and characteristics is of utmost importance.

One particular trait, self-righteousness, has always stood out due to its pronounced effects on interpersonal relationships.

In this article, we delve deep into the ten characteristics that define a self-righteous individual.

What Does it Mean to Be a Self-Righteous Person?

To be a self-righteous person means to have an exaggerated sense of one’s own righteousness, often accompanied by a strong belief that others are wrong and should conform to one’s opinion.

This kind of behavior is usually seen in people who think they know better than everyone else and want to force their beliefs on other individuals. Self-righteous people can be opinionated, arrogant, and judgemental.

10 Characteristics of a Self-Righteous Person

1. Unyielding Conviction in Personal Beliefs

A self-righteous individual holds firm to their beliefs, often believing their perspective is the only right one. They tend to dismiss other viewpoints, demonstrating an inability to consider alternative perspectives or the nuances of different arguments.

2. Critical Judgement of Others

One of the hallmarks of self-righteousness is an overwhelming need to judge others. Such individuals often perceive themselves as morally superior, leading them to criticize those who do not align with their beliefs or standards.

3. Inability to Admit Wrongdoing

For a self-righteous person, admitting they are wrong is a rarity. They often go to great lengths to justify their actions, even when evidence points to the contrary, as they believe they are perpetually in the right.

4. Lack of Empathy

Empathy involves understanding and sharing the feelings of another. A self-righteous individual often struggles with this, as they prioritize their views and feelings over those of others, leading to strained relationships and misunderstandings.

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5. A Desire for Moral High Ground

Always wanting to be perceived as morally upright, these individuals often engage in virtue signaling. They tend to showcase their good deeds more than necessary, seeking validation and admiration from peers.

6. Resistance to Feedback

Feedback is essential for growth. However, for the self-righteous, any form of critique is seen as an attack. They are averse to criticism, often dismissing or retaliating against those who offer different viewpoints.

7. Frequent Use of Absolutes

Phrases such as “always” and “never” are common in the vocabulary of a self-righteous person. They see the world in black and white, lacking the ability to appreciate the grey areas of life.

8. A Need for Validation

Despite their outward show of confidence, many self-righteous individuals constantly seek validation. They have an underlying need for approval, often becoming defensive or aggressive when their beliefs are challenged.

9. A Narrow Social Circle

Due to their judgmental nature and inability to accept differing viewpoints, self-righteous people tend to surround themselves with like-minded individuals. This leads to a lack of diverse perspectives in their lives, further reinforcing their beliefs.

10. Overemphasis on External Appearances

While everyone cares about appearances to some extent, for the self-righteous, appearances often take precedence over substance. They are more concerned about how they are perceived rather than the authenticity of their actions.

How to Deal With a Self-Righteous Person

Dealing with a self-righteous person can be difficult. It is important to remember that such behavior often stems from an underlying insecurity or fear of being wrong.

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Rather than engaging in a power struggle, the best way to approach such a situation is to focus on communication and understanding. Be patient and open-minded, maintain eye contact, and take time to listen to what they have to say.

It is also important to remember that you are not obligated to change your beliefs or opinions just because someone else disagrees with them. Respectfully disagreeing can help a self-righteous person understand the nuances of different perspectives and help them challenge their existing beliefs without feeling threatened.

Final Note

Understanding the characteristics of a self-righteous person aids in navigating interactions and relationships. Recognizing these traits in ourselves provides an opportunity for introspection and growth. While it’s easy to point fingers, self-awareness is the first step towards positive change.

Remember, the world thrives on diversity, and it’s only by embracing different perspectives that we can truly grow and prosper.