5 Tips for Dealing with Self-Righteous People

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or What to Do When the Buttinski’s Pay a Call
(dealing with self-righteous people)

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Dealing with self-righteous people can be terribly taxing on one’s soul.

Tom and Callie had been friendly with James and Edith for several years. Their children were friends. They had mutual friends. They attended many of the same social events. Tom and James especially hit it off and enjoyed the same sense of humor and music.

While Callie had some reservations about Edith early on, in time she began to appreciate her, despite Edith’s tendency to speak negatively towards others and her strong displays of self-righteousness.

The couples spent many happy hours together in both homes visiting, fellowshipping, and celebrating life events.

While Edith had developed a close friendship with mutual friend Ally, Callie kept Ally at some distance from her heart.

There came a time when Ally and Callie said goodbye for good. It was not pretty, it was hard and sad, and heartbreaking for Callie.

Sign: DEALING WITH BUTTINSKIS none of your business

Edith, however, was pretty excited by this turn of events and jumped into the fray with great gusto and unrelenting insistence.

dealing with drama queens self-righteous don't ignore your instincts sign

Tip # 1 Trust Your Gut Instincts, if someone is displaying hurtful characteristics keep your boundaries high when dealing with self-righteous people.

Have you ever been through something really hard only to have someone not directly involved in the situation make it about themselves? Decide they are the fount of wisdom all should take advice from? These self-righteous people make everything more difficult.

I recommend reading Listening in the Dark: Women Reclaiming the Power of Intuition and Intuition: Access Your Inner Wisdom; Trust Your Instincts; Find Your Path if you want to learn how to trust your gut or intuition.

Over time Edith chipped away at Callie to get her to really open up to her, and after resisting for quite a while…Callie did.

manipulated puppet tips for dealing with self-righteous people

There is nothing more disheartening than being manipulated into sharing your heart honestly only to find out it is for the other person’s nefarious, self-serving purposes.

Perhaps attention-seeking drama queens, narcissists, and self-righteous people know they have no place unloading their list of wrongs they have been keeping – without first manipulating you to admit you have some frustration with them also. It is a self-serving strategy the self-righteous often use to get their way.

However, once you open the door (after they beg you to open it) they have a toe in the door and gleefully let you have it with both barrels.

Tip # 2 If someone’s insistence is making you uncomfortable, don’t give in, stand up to them and say no.

Edith appeared to walk away feeling satisfied and happy.

She got to have her say finally. Now she was ready to act as if everything was great. It didn’t matter a bit that Callie, who was already down before Edith pushed the door in, is now bleeding profusely. Edith feels pretty righteous, kicking Callie when she is down was beside the point. Callie needed to hear Edith’s carefully curated list of wrongs. Now that Callie has heard them, Edith is ready to be generous and forgiving. Maybe even willing to let her list of wrongs go. Obviously, she is the wiser and more mature woman.

I love Brynn’s courses and her Verbal Self-Defense Bundle is gold.

Tip # 3 Drama Queens, Narcissists, and the Self-Righteous Make Everything about Themselves

If you have these people in your life, don’t ever allow yourself to expect compassion or understanding from them. Dealing with the self-righteous, self-serving types requires confidence and strong boundaries.

The truth is dealing with DIFFICULT PEOPLE isn’t easy.

Join The Better Boundaries Challengehttps://bryn-todd.teachable.com/p/the-better-boundaries-challenge?affcode=787387_98_uiwqm

It’s incredibly frustrating if you have someone in your life who repeatedly violates your personal boundaries. You try to draw a line in the sand, yet they trample all over you again and again. 

If you grew up in a household where you were not taught personal boundaries it can be scary to set limits with the difficult people in your life.” Brynn

Tip 3.5 if you have never seen them display compassion or empathy – run.

Edith continued pursuing a shallow friendship with Callie and didn’t understand why Callie was keeping her distance.

Tip #4 This kind of personality is never going to understand the pain they cause.

But what if you are wrong and we are misunderstanding them?
Certainly, we should not burn bridges unjustifiably. True.

Tip # 5 How to Know if Someone is Looking for an Authentic Friendship

  • If they really want to understand and show you love – you will know.
  • Trust your instincts.
  • There will be some willingness to understand you and your perspective.
  • There will be some humility in them to understand they have had a hand in the hurt.
  • They will be willing to set aside their preconceived judgments and try to hear/understand you.

Friendship: It’s Complicated: Avoid the Drama, Create Authentic Connection, and Fulfill Your Purpose Together

As Rabbi Weinstein states:

So be brave. Every time you see drama, remind yourself that your role is to ensure that you don’t get drawn in. Then ask yourself if there’s something productive you can do about the situation. If there is, do it. If there isn’t, remain calm. If you are criticized for not caring just smile and remind yourself that you’re walking the longer, shorter road. It isn’t easy but it ends up being much easier.

Rabbi Weinstein, Good Men Project, Why People Thrive on Drama and How You Can Avoid its’ Pitfalls

Dealing with Self-Righteous People is Wearying

In conclusion, it is our duty and delight to forgive all the Ediths of the world. We don’t know what happened to them to make them like they are.
Forgive them and keep your boundaries in place. Move on, be kind, and be friendly, but don’t allow yourself to get sucked back in.
If their heart truly changes, they’ll let you know.

They blessed your life by being a conduit to learned lessons!
Praise Yah, and thank you, Edith, with all sincerity.

Grab Free Cheat Sheet 5 Tips for Dealing
with Drama Queens

Deal with a Self-Righteous Person Logically

While avoiding conflict is often the key to dealing with self-righteousness, sometimes we don’t have a choice, but to respond.

Here are some tips for the next time you have to deal with a self-righteous attitude.

1. Listen To Your Opponent, Self-righteousness, and All

When people struggle with one another, they often interrupt one another. Even if they appear to be listening, they are usually planning what they will say next instead of listening. Although listening may sound counterproductive, one of the best ways to win a disagreement is to listen to your opponent.

This is because there may be weaknesses in their argument, which you can debunk, or they may be saying something which can even help your argument. You never know until you take the time to listen. 

You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters is the book to read if you are ready and convinced this is a great area to grow in!

2. Have Proof and Truth

Tips for Dealing with Self-Righteous People with Logic and Strength

This tip can be challenging if an argument is sprung on your randomly. But if you have time before an argument, or you know a conversation is coming up, which may result in an argument, take a few minutes ahead of time to gather some evidence to support your argument.

This can be data, graphs, or charts. Remember that a picture is worth a thousand words and that images can go a long way in supporting your claim.

3. Tip: Control Your Emotions Positive or Negative

Tips for Dealing with Self-Righteous People with Logic and Strength

The number one way to win an argument that most people don’t abide by is by controlling your emotions. This means you don’t get angry and yell at your opponent, nor do you take something personally and begin crying. If either of these things happens, then you’ve already lost the argument.

The problem with self-righteousness in people is often their narcissism. They often have no understanding that they could be wrong. The self-righteous have a tendency to convince others to agree with them.

Try to understand their perspective, and remain patient and level-headed. If you hear something that catches you off guard, use calming tactics to control your emotions before you open your mouth to respond.

How to Deal with a Self-Righteous Drama Queen Attitude

It’s best if your opponent doesn’t see that you are struggling with controlling your emotions because if they notice this, they may push more on that topic to try and win the argument. Lead the conversation away from the toxic accusations and continue to lead them down a logical, calm path.

Overall, winning an argument is one of the best feelings, but it can also be quite difficult. If you can agree to disagree, count that as a win!

If you want to feel better about these sorts of disagreements, follow a policy that starts by listening to your opponent, having proof, and controlling your emotions during the confrontation.

You may be surprised at how well these tips work in helping you win your next argument when dealing with self-righteous people. 

Tell me what I missed. How do you deal with self-righteous people??

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6 thoughts on “5 Tips for Dealing with Self-Righteous People”

  1. This is something they need to teach in schools!! If only I had listened to my gut instincts more early on, I probably wouldn’t have half the issues I struggle with today.

    However, from being hurt so much, I now feel like I’m hypersensitive to listening to my gut, like it’s not as hard for me to be intuitive!

    I’ve dodged some crazy stuff now that I’m older and am more in tune with my gut feelings.

    • Interesting comment. You are so right. I’m going to work on teaching this to my children. These are important life skills. Thanks!


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