50 Condescension Quotes on Patronizing Behavior

If you’ve ever had someone talk down to you, you will relate to these condescension quotes.

According to dictionary.com, condescension means “behavior that is patronizing” or implying that you are superior to others.

The word condescension was first recorded between 1635 and 1645 and derived from the Latin descendere.

In simple terms, condescension occurs when someone treats someone else like they are unimportant or are below them.

The use of condescending behavior leaves the other person feeling like they have little value and that they and their thoughts or opinions have little or no importance.

Some places where people feel they experience the most condescending behavior are:

  • School
  • Work
  • Parent relationships

Take a look at these condescension quotes to learn how condescension makes others feel.

Understanding Condescension Quotes

These quotes will help you better understand what it means to be condescending.

1. “Condescension is the enemy of progress.” John Legend

2. “Condescension is the mark of an inferior person.” Carl Jung

3. “Condescension is the ugly cousin of confidence.” — Carly Fiorina

4. “You’d be surprised how condescending people can be.” — Peter Dinklage

5. “Condescension is arrogance wrapped in false humility.” — Anna Kendrick

6. “Condescension is a form of bullying that’s often overlooked.” — Samantha Power

7. “Condescension is a subtle form of abuse that’s hard to recognize.” — Brené Brown

8. “Don’t be condescending to unskilled labor. Try it for half a day first.” — Brooks Atkinson

9. “People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.” Isaac Asimov

10. “Don’t underestimate your kids. Don’t be condescending, because they’re children, but they’re not stupid.” — Steve Carell

Condescension Quotes About Politics

The following quotes show that condescending attitudes are a problem in the political world.

11. “Condescension is a powerful tool of tyranny.” — Peter Singer

12. “The problem with political jokes is they get elected.” — Henry Cate VII

13. “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” — Martin Luther King Jr.

14. “Condescension breeds resentment, and resentment breeds contempt.” Lyndon B. Johnson

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15. “Those who are the most condescending are often the least informed.” Christopher Hitchens

16. “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies.” Groucho Marx

17. “Aaron Sorkin is why people hate liberals. He’s a smug, condescending know-it-all who isn’t as smart as he thinks he is.” — Alex Pareene

18. “You all look like happy campers to me. Happy campers you are, happy campers you have been, and, as far as I am concerned, happy campers you will always be.” Dan Quayle

19. “Liberals are some of the most arrogant, condescending smart alecks, but they’re just pure ignorant, and they fit the bill of people who have no love and no respect for the founding of this country.”  Rush Limbaugh

20. “It’s not easy, especially in our politically polarized world, to recognize both the structural and the cultural barriers that so many poor kids face. But I think that if you don’t recognize both, you risk being heartless or condescending, and often both.” — J.D. Vance

Condescension Quotes About Treating Children Well

Being condescending to children harms them, as shown in these quotes.

21. “The opposite of condescension is respect.” — Sheri L. Dew

22. “The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.” — Peggy O’Mara

23. “Children are not things to be molded, but are people to be unfolded.” — Jess Lair

24. “Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.” — C.S. Lewis

25. “My parents were never condescending to us. They treated us like adults from a very young age.” — Isaac Hanson

26. “Don’t speak to children as if they are a species that you have never encountered before.” Madeleine L’Engle

27. “Never talk down to your children. Treat them as the equals they are, maybe even the superiors they are.” — John Boyne

28. “Children are not empty vessels to be filled with knowledge, but are individuals with their own thoughts and feelings.” John Dewey

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29. “Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future.” Maria Montessori

30. “The worst mistake you can make with children is to talk to them in a condescending, patronizing way and think that you can teach them something. You have to understand that it is you who will be learning from them.” — Magnus Scheving

Wise words about being condescending

Learn from these wise words about condescension.

31. “Condescension is not a sign of strength; it’s a sign of weakness.” — Claire McCaskill

32. “Generational thinking has always been reductive and condescending.” — Adam Conover

33. “It’s not what you say to people; it is the manner in which you say it that counts.” — Eva Peron

34. “I don’t believe in condescending to children. I don’t change any writing technique.” — Stephen Schwartz

35. “When you’re being condescending, you’re really just trying to make yourself feel better.” — Heather Armstrong

36. “Being condescending is an ineffective way to assert superiority because it only serves to reveal the arrogance of the speaker.” Epictetus

37. “We should always treat people with respect, regardless of how much we may disagree with them.” Barrack Obama

38. “Arrogance is a creature. It does not have any senses; it has only a sharp tongue and the pointing finger.” — Toba Beta

39. “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. And that includes rising above condescension.” — Nelson Mandela

40. “I would rather walk with a friend in the dark than alone in the light, but that requires treating others as equals, not talking down to them.” Helen Keller

More Condescension Quotes and Sayings from People

Here are a few more quotes about why people shouldn’t be condescending.

41. “Condescension is the language of fools.” — Philip Sidney

42. “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” — Mother Teresa

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43. “Condescension is a way of compensating for one’s own insecurities.” Maya Angelou

44. “The truly wise person is not one who speaks with authority, but rather with humility and understanding.” Confucius

45. “I have no patience with those who pretend to be superior to others because they have had better opportunities.” — Edward Wilmot Blyden

46. “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. And that includes treating others with respect, not condescension.” — Steve Jobs

47. “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And that can only be accomplished by treating them with kindness, not condescension.” Dalai Lama

48. “There’s something about me that suggests I don’t have an intelligent atom in me at all, so people say things to me that they wouldn’t say to other people Insulting, condescending things.” Jennifer Coolidge

49. “The absolute worst thing that you can ever do, in my opinion, in bringing science to the general public, is to be condescending or judgemental. It is so opposite to the way science needs to be brought forth.” — Brian Greene

50. “It takes a lot of courage when everyone is asking you what you want to do; if you say that you want to be a musician or an actor, people can be very condescending and say, ‘Oh, that’s so sweet, good luck with that!’ It can be very frustrating.” — James Norton

Condescension Used to Be A Good Thing

Actually, the use of the term condescension has changed over time.

During the 18th century, it was considered a positive term by reflecting how a respectful person of superior breeding would speak kindly to those that society felt were beneath them.

The term’s use quickly changed, though; when starting in the Victorian era, it began to refer negatively as a way to assert superiority over another person.

Please share these Condescension Quotes with your friends and family and post any comments about condescending behavior in the comment section below.

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