Pretentiousness is often viewed as a negative quality, and while it can be taken to excess, there is a certain art to being pretentious.

It can be useful for impressing others, getting what you want, and feeling superior. It can also backfire, making you look foolish, pompous, and arrogant. Used in moderation, pretentiousness can be a valuable tool.

What Does Pretentious Mean?

A pretender is someone who makes false claims about his or her identity or accomplishments, hoping to pass himself or herself off as something greater than he or she really is.

To be pretentious is to show off or display a lack of modesty by claiming qualities or talents one does not have.

Pretension can be a negative trait in any profession, as it suggests that someone is misrepresenting themselves or their work.

It is also used pejoratively to describe someone with an inflated sense of self-worth or importance.

What Is a Pretentious Person?

A pretentious person is someone who acts as if they are more important than they really are. They might be rich, but they define themselves by the things they own and the places they go.

Pretentious people often think their opinions should be taken seriously because they have money.

A pretentious person is someone who acts as if they are more important than they really are. They might be rich, but they define themselves by the things they own and the places they go.

Pretentious people often think their opinions should be taken seriously because they have money.

Am I Pretentious?

Pretentiousness isn’t a trait that you can exhibit in isolation. It’s more like a state of mind. If you’re pretentious, then chances are you’re also arrogant, self-centred, and fake.

To know whether or not you’re pretentious, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do I ever feel the need to exaggerate my achievements?
  2. Do I talk down to other people’s ideas because they aren’t as good as mine?
  3. Am I quick to dismiss someone else’s opinion as “wrong” because it doesn’t jibe with my own?
  4. Do I brag about how much better everything is where I come from?

If your answer to any of these questions is a YES, you might be pretentious.

6 Signs of A Pretentious Person

  1. They always think they are better than the rest.
  2. They brag about their accomplishments and try to one-up other people.
  3. They have an inflated sense of self-importance, which means they think it’s okay for them to act like they’re better than everyone else — even though they might not be.
  4. They use words you’ve never heard before in an attempt to sound smarter than everyone else around them.
  5. They don’t respect others’ opinions and will talk over them when they disagree with what they’re saying or are just annoying.
  6. They see themselves as above everyone else because of their wealth or status (even if it isn’t real).

How to Not Be Pretentious

Here are some simple ways to avoid being pretentious:

Don’t use big words if they don’t mean anything. If you’re using big words just because they’re “difficult,” then you’re probably being pretentious.

Don’t try too hard to sound smart; just be yourself.

Confidence is key here; if you don’t actually know what something means but want people to think that you do, then that’s not good either because then it’s obvious that you’re putting on an act.

Don’t talk in circles around simple concepts; instead, be straightforward in your language and thoughts so that people can understand what you’re saying without having to guess what it means or ask questions about it later on down the road (which could come off as annoying).

Don’t use obscure references and inside jokes with friends in private conversations; if there’s no one around who gets them, those references will get lost and misunderstood over time.

How to Stop Being Pretentious

If you’re a pretentious person and you want to stop being pretentious, then here’s how:

Step 1: Recognize your behavior. Pretension is a type of behavior that can manifest itself in many different ways.

It might be your attitude toward other people and the way that you talk about yourself or others. It might be the books you read or the movies you watch.

It might be the music you listen to or the things you say when answering questions from other people.

Step 2: Stop comparing yourself to others and stop judging others based on their appearance or status.

Pretension stems from insecurity, so if you don’t have much confidence in yourself, you will constantly seek validation from others (e.g., by trying to impress them).

Psychology of A Snob

In one form or another, snobbery has been around since the dawn of time. It’s a natural human trait that can be both beneficial and destructive.

Snobbery is the feeling that you’re better than others. You think you’re better at something than other people are, and it makes you feel good to have those skills.

But it also makes you feel bad when other people have those skills too. It’s the difference between being proud and ashamed of your accomplishments.

Snobbery can get in the way of progress in many ways:

It keeps people from doing things they might be good at because they don’t want to seem stupid compared to someone else who knows more about it than they do

It keeps people from learning something new because they think they already know everything there is to know about it

It makes people feel bad about themselves when their friends catch up with them on their favorite topic and ask questions that show that they haven’t been paying attention (or worse)

It leads to conflict between groups of people who believe they’re different from each other (and therefore can’t possibly work together)

How to Stop Being a Snob

The first thing to do is to understand the roots of your snobbishness. Snobbery comes from two sources:

  • A sense of superiority over others and/or a desire to distance oneself from them.
  • Fear that one is not good enough or has not achieved enough, and/or a desire to prove one’s worth.

If you identify with any of these reasons, it may be time for a change. Here are some strategies to help you get started:

  • Stop comparing yourself with others and feel good about what you have achieved so far in life.
  • Learn to see the good in others instead of focusing on their shortcomings or flaws.

How to Deal with Pretentious Friends

The best way to deal with pretentious people is to avoid them altogether.

If that’s not possible, here are some tips:

1. Don’t let them get under your skin

It only encourages them. Pretentious people thrive on attention and criticism, so the more you react to them, the more they’ll try to provoke you into reacting.

If you keep calm and ignore their attempts at provocation, they’ll eventually give up and go away.

2. Don’t take their criticism personally

it’s just their way of trying to control you. Pretentious people often use criticism to control others; if they can make you feel bad about yourself, then they will have an easier time controlling you through guilt trips and manipulation tactics.

The trick is not giving them what they want — don’t let their words affect how you feel about yourself.

How to Tell if Someone Is a Snob

Snobs can also be seen as arrogant, rude, and egotistical people because of their self-righteous behavior. If you want to know if someone is snobbish, here are some signs to watch out for:

  • They judge others without getting to know them first.
  • They criticize other people’s opinions even though they have no experience discussing the subject matter.
  • They disdain to talk with people who do not share their interests or beliefs.
  • They look down on others because they believe they are better than them in every way possible (looks, intelligence, etc.).

The Benefits of Being Pretentious

Pretentiousness has its advantages. First, it can help you get what you want. If you come across as confident and successful, people will be more likely to give you what you want.

Second, it can help you impress others. If you can convincingly appear to be something you’re not, people will be impressed by your bravado.

Third, it can help you feel superior. If you convince yourself that you’re better than others, you’ll start to believe it.

The Drawbacks of Being Pretentious

Pretentiousness also has its disadvantages. First, it can backfire. If you’re not careful, you may look foolish, pompous, and arrogant.

Second, it can alienate others. People may not want to be around you if you come across as too pretentious.

Third, it can be exhausting. Maintaining the pretence of being something you’re not is hard work.


Being pretentious allows you to show off how you think you are superior to everyone else and that everyone should bow down to your amazingness.

There is no reason for this kind of behaviour; it does not help you achieve anything worthwhile.

Being well-spoken is much more prestigious and comes across as intelligent, humble, and professional. Be genuine in your intentions and let lessons stand on their own merit.

Disclaimer: This article, other beauty and fashion tips on SheBegan are contributed by experienced fashion professionals, beauty & cosmetics experts. Read our full research and editorial process here. Also, our posts may contain affiliate links, read our full affiliate disclosure

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