Dating: How to Spot Mr. Conceited in No Time Flat

Young handsome male model with arms up in tank top against modern background with green stripe

You want to go out with people who are confident yet ego-quelled, but somehow you often end up dating a conceited jerk. It isn’t hard to feel anxious when it comes to navigating being single and finding the right mate. How can you avoid Mr./Ms. Conceited before even agreeing to go out on a date, or at least weed him out quickly on that first meeting?

Here’s how to assess who’s positively confident, and who’s just out to use others to feed their insecure egos.

Now Enough About Me…

One of the key means of differentiating between confidence and conceit is to assess the level of interest a person has in you, as opposed to themselves.

The confident person conveys interest in others, while the conceited person focuses mostly on themselves. Typically, the core of conceit is insecurity, male or female. Beneath a veneer of confidence, the conceited person (a.k.a. narcissist) feels insecure and therefore seeks constant approval and reassurance from others.

By contrast, the confident person of both genders knows who they are and doesn’t seek constant approval from others. When in a conversation, s/he is interested in who they are speaking to, and may not be the most polished conversationalist. Their goal is not your approval, their goal is to meet someone they like.

S/He Never Shuts Up

Conceited people of both genders generally talk a lot, and can be entertaining and magnetic to a listener. At the same time, they are guarded, and don’t ever say too much about themselves.

Confident people on the other hand understand that to be interesting is to be interested, and so they engage easily with people around them, asking questions of you and remembering your answers later within an exchange. They do not need to redirect every conversation back to themselves, nor do they require your approval. This frees them to follow a conversation naturally, and not drive it. Confident people tend to listen as much as they speak.

Is S/He Really, Actually Funny?

Conceited people’s humor is usually at the expense of others or sarcastic. By contrast, confidence allows for honesty about their interests and often the luxury of humor at their own expense. Confident people celebrate other’s successes, and their humor is more situational (think Chris Rock, Steve Harvey or Jerry Seinfeld).

Watch His/Her Posture

Conceit demands constant vigilance to audience approval, leading conceited people often to display closed and guarded body posture. Many conceited people struggle to stay focused on their audience, easily distracted by other actions around them.

By contrast, the body language of a confident person is open and engaged, and eye contact and attention during conversations are easily maintained. Confident people do not require constant monitoring of others around them.

View Her/His Online Profiles

Online profiles of conceited people are polished, and well-marketed to catch a reader’s eye. Their email communication is practiced and engaging – remember, they are professionals at getting your attention.

In contrast, online profiles of confident people are easy to read, straight-forward, and even unpolished. They don’t try too hard, because they don’t need to.

How Confident Do You Feel in His/Her Company?

People in the company of a conceited person often report feeling invisible, and desirous of that person’s attention and approval.  By contrast, a confident person is an engaged conversationalist (as opposed to an entertainer) and easily makes people in their company feel heard, stimulated, and often more confident themselves.

Listen To How They Speak About Others

Conceited people tend to speak poorly about others. They are judgmental and will point out all the mistakes/flaws in others – especially when others excel. Conceited people are very uncomfortable when the spotlight is on anyone other than themselves.

A confident person can celebrate other’s successes and let the other person have the attention for a job well-done or an accomplishment. This doesn’t mean that a confident person never feels disappointment when s/he doesn’t achieve their goal first. What s/he does differently is looking at personal improvement instead of criticizing, blaming or judging the other person.

Listen To How They Speak To Others

Conceited people tend to be arrogant. They think they are better, more important and more worthy than others. Because of this, they will frequently speak disrespectfully to others. (They will also regularly treat others disrespectfully too.)

On the other hand, confident people know that people are people. No one person is intrinsically better than another. Confident people tend to speak to people in ways that are appropriate and respectful.

What Is A Conceited Person?

You may have noticed as you read through the descriptions above that you were thinking of other words to describe the behavior. There are many other words with which we might choose to label a conceited person: narcissist, egotist, princess, prima donna, self-centered, vain, spoiled, self-absorbed, mean-spirited, jealous, judgmental, arrogant.

Regardless of the word you choose to label the behavior, a conceited person by any other name is still conceited. And certainly not worth spending your precious time to date.

How Can You Tell If Someone Is Conceited?

Let your gut speak to you. Determining whether your date is confident or conceited is critical before moving forward. Thankfully, the answers are usually within us.

The charm of a conceited person can be deceptively attractive – sometimes we just don’t want to see what we are seeing. Be honest with yourself by using the above guidelines to take the broad look.

In the end, go with your gut to determine yay or nay on whether to move forward in dating this person. By allowing yourself to assess the person with your instincts and thoughts, rather than just your feelings, you’ll gain more relationship self-esteem. Tapping these deep-seeded truths are always your best source of knowledge.


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Alicia H. Clark, PsyD


  1. Samuel Hasselbring on July 28, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    Thank you Alicia, I wanted to analyze Dean, but the way you wrote it I ended up analyzing myself, because I’m conceited. Hahaha

    I don’t know about your paragraph with regards to a funny guy. I do plenty of both. Does that mean everytime it’s sarcasm I’m secretly voicing an insecure moment? Sometimes I’m coping with a undesirable situation or event I’ve witnessed in the most efficient way possible, laugh it off and don’t get involved in what I’ve learned is a waste of time.
    When I read sarcasm = insecure, I thought “Geez, ruin my dating pool Dr. Clark.”

    What brought me here (if it’s ever useful to your psychology research)?
    I said, “I’m a little bit excited to hang out.”
    He said, “I want you to understand I’m not looking for anything. I don’t want you to get excited, I’m just a regular dude.”

    “…I’m just a regular dude.”

    • Alicia H. Clark, PsyD on August 13, 2018 at 12:10 pm

      Hi Samuel,
      Thanks for your comment and your sense of humor. Glad you found the post helpful!