How to Describe a Cocky Person in Writing (21 Tips + Examples)

Creating a cocky character can add a dynamic edge to your narrative.

Here is how to describe a cocky person in writing:

Describe a cocky person in writing by highlighting their overconfidence, lack of empathy, and self-centeredness. Use arrogant speech, domineering behavior, and a tendency to dismiss others’ ideas. Show them patronizing others, flaunting their achievements, and refusing advice.

In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to describe a cocky person in writing.

How to Describe a Cocky Person (The Elements You Need to Know)

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Digital image of a cocky man - How to Describe a Cocky Person in Writing
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When describing a cocky person in writing, you’ll need to know certain elements:

  • Physical Appearance
  • Speech Pattern
  • Body Language
  • Attitude
  • Interactions with Others
  • Internal Monologue
  • Smirks and Grins
  • Big Ego
  • Overconfidence
  • Personal Beliefs
  • Arrogant Actions
  • Reactions to Failures
  • Handling Compliments
  • Name-Dropping
  • Frequent Interruptions
  • Pseudo-intellectualism
  • Lack of Empathy
  • Self-Serving Bias
  • Ignoring Advice
  • Patronizing Others
  • Dismissive Attitude

Now, let’s get down to brass tacks and break these elements down into 21 chunky, bite-sized tips for writing a cocky character.

Tip 1: Dressed to Impress

Nothing screams confidence (and overconfidence) like a sharp, impeccable, maybe even a touch flamboyant wardrobe.

Cocky individuals often use their outfits as a way to show off their status and make a bold statement about their perceived superiority.

They might pick flashier brands, favor trendy styles, or make extravagant choices that others wouldn’t dare.

It’s not just about looking good—it’s about looking better than everyone else in the room.

Their clothing becomes a symbol of their inflated self-image, their need to stand out and be noticed.

Example: “Clad in his neon, slim-cut suit that screamed more ‘look at me!’ than any neon sign ever could, Robert strutted into the room. His Gucci loafers clicked against the marble floor, a symphony of conspicuous consumption.”

Tip 2: Talkin’ Big

Cocky characters have a way with words—and by that, I mean they tend to big themselves up every chance they get

They’re the heroes of their own stories and they’ll let you know it, often by exaggerating their achievements.

Or embellishing stories to make themselves look better.

Their speech is peppered with self-references, constantly steering the conversation back to themselves.

They love using big words, whether or not they fully understand them, in a misguided attempt to appear more intelligent or cultured than they really are.

Example: “‘That’s cute,’ John said, a self-satisfied smile playing on his lips. ‘When I was in Paris last year—did I mention I vacationed in Paris?—I ate at the most divine Michelin-starred restaurants. But your homemade spaghetti does look… quaint.'”

Tip 3: It’s All in the Body Language

Body language can be a powerful tool in painting a picture of a cocky character.

These folks strut rather than walk, puff their chests out, keep their chins high, and generally occupy space as if they own it.

They’re the kind of folks who lean back in their chair and put their feet up on the desk during a meeting.

They act like they own every room they’re in.

They often use body language to establish dominance, either by looming over others, getting too close for comfort, or engaging in classic “power poses.”

They may also cross their arms a lot, signaling a closed-off and defensive stance, reflecting their resistance to other people’s ideas or criticisms.

Example: “Tom swaggered over, a smirk pulling at the corner of his lips. He draped an arm over Jenny’s shoulders without asking, leaning into her personal space as though it was his right.”

Tip 4: Attitude Is Everything

The way a cocky person views the world says a lot about them.

They often approach every situation with a sense of entitlement and an expectation that they’ll come out on top.

Their worldview is distinctly skewed towards themselves, a looking glass that blows their significance out of proportion.

They don’t just see the glass as half full—they see it brimming to the top, filled with all their self-perceived brilliance. This self-centric attitude is a constant in their behavior, defining their actions and reactions across various situations.

Example: “Kathy always knew she was destined for greatness, a belief bolstered by every minor success. When she clinched the school’s math prize, it wasn’t a win—it was a destiny fulfilled.”

Tip 5: Playing the Social Game

Cocky characters are masters at playing the social game, and they play it for one reason only—to assert their superiority.

They’re constantly looking for ways to dominate the social hierarchy, whether that’s by making others look bad or by elevating themselves.

Their social interactions often involve one-upmanship, where they constantly try to outdo others with tales of their prowess or achievements.

They’ll cut others off, dismiss their experiences, and do whatever it takes to be the center of attention.

Example: “Every time Mike opened his mouth, it was to share an anecdote that would ‘top’ the last speaker. He was the king of his social castle, and he’d make sure everyone knew it.”

Tip 6: The Sound of Inner Swagger

A cocky character’s inner monologue can provide a rich insight into their inflated ego.

They tend to interpret events and other people’s actions in ways that reaffirm their high self-regard.

These inner thoughts may include constant self-praise, comparisons where they always come out on top, and denigrating thoughts about others.

The internal chatter is always buzzing with a monologue that portrays them as the star of the show.

Example: “Amy’s internal dialogue was like a never-ending awards ceremony. Every action was met with applause, every setback was a rigged game, and every person was an extra in the grand movie of her life.”

Tip 7: Master of Smirks

A smirk, a smug grin, a cocky half-smile—these are the trademarks of a self-important character.

Their facial expressions often reflect their inner smugness, giving readers a visible sign of their arrogance.

These expressions not only serve as constant reminders of their overconfidence but can also be used to belittle others, establish superiority, or mask insecurity.

This physical manifestation of their self-assuredness can speak volumes.

Example: “Whenever Bill was challenged, a lazy smirk would spread across his face. It was as if the idea of someone questioning him was both amusing and absurd.”

Tip 8: Ego as Big as a Planet

A cocky character often has an ego that’s through the roof.

They believe themselves to be the best at everything they do and they’re not afraid to flaunt it.

This self-importance is a defining trait of their personality and colors their interactions with others.

Their ego isn’t just big—it’s the sun around which their whole world revolves. They believe that they’re entitled to success, admiration, and respect, simply because they think they’re exceptional.

Example: “Sam’s ego was so immense, it practically had its own gravitational pull. It was the sun in his universe, with everything and everyone else relegated to mere planetary status.”

Tip 9: Confidence or Overconfidence?

One of the hallmarks of a cocky individual is their overconfidence.

They have an inflated belief in their own abilities and tend to overestimate their competence.

While confidence is generally seen as a positive trait, overconfidence can lead to rash decisions and unrealistic expectations.

These characters believe they’re capable of handling any situation, regardless of whether they have the necessary skills or experience.

They rarely doubt themselves, and when they fail, they’re quick to blame external factors rather than acknowledge their own shortcomings.

Example: “Jenna was certain she could run the project single-handedly. Her overconfidence was a blazing torch, leaving a trail of unmet expectations and disbelief in its wake.”

Tip 10: Beliefs that Bolster the Ego

Cocky individuals have personal beliefs that support their high opinion of themselves.

They may believe they’re superior to others, entitled to certain privileges, or that they’re always right.

These beliefs are deeply ingrained and shape their perception of the world.

These characters view their successes as proof of their brilliance and their failures as anomalies or the result of others’ incompetence.

Such beliefs further inflate their already bloated ego and perpetuate their arrogant behavior.

Example: “In his mind, Mark was God’s gift to the tech industry. Every successful code was his genius on display, and every bug was someone else’s blunder.”

Tip 11: Arrogant Actions Speak Louder

Cocky characters don’t just talk the talk—they walk the walk.

They flaunt their perceived superiority through their actions, which can range from belittling others to assuming authority they don’t have.

Their behavior is often domineering and dismissive, reflecting their belief that they’re superior.

These actions help cement the impression of them being cocky and full of themselves.

Example: “Sarah commandeered the team meeting without a second thought, bulldozing through anyone else’s ideas. In her world, her plans were always the best.”

Tip 12: Failure? What’s That?

A cocky character rarely acknowledges failure.

They’re so convinced of their abilities that they can’t fathom the idea of falling short. When they do encounter setbacks, they’re likely to pin them on external factors, refusing to take personal responsibility.

They might blame others, make excuses, or minimize the significance of their failures.

This denial helps them maintain their inflated self-image, shielding their ego from the reality of their shortcomings.

Example: “Despite losing the chess tournament, Jack simply brushed it off, blaming his defeat on the ‘distractions’ around him. Failure was a foreign concept to his fortress of self-confidence.”

Tip 13: Handling Compliments Like a Pro

For a cocky character, handling compliments is a walk in the park.

They’re not just good at accepting them—they expect them. Compliments are seen as the natural response to their greatness.

When they receive compliments, they might respond with false modesty or even agreement.

They take compliments as a matter of course, reinforcing their belief in their superior abilities or qualities.

Example: “When praised for her presentation, Lisa just smiled and said, ‘Well, of course. I always deliver the best.’ Compliments were merely facts to her, not flattery.”

Tip 14: The Name-Dropping Pro

Cocky characters love to flaunt their connections and drop names into conversation whenever they can.

They use these connections as a prop to bolster their status and imply their importance.

Their conversations are often peppered with casual mentions of the “influential” or “famous” people they know.

The underlying message is clear: they’re important because they associate with important people.

Example: “David casually slipped into the conversation that he was having dinner with the CEO next week, a subtle name-drop that was as loud as a thunderclap.”

Tip 15: The Interrupter

Cocky characters often show little regard for others’ thoughts or opinions, frequently interrupting them or dismissing their ideas.

They’re usually more interested in voicing their own opinions than listening to others.

Their penchant for interruption shows their lack of respect for others and their belief that their ideas are inherently more valuable.

This habit can make their conversations one-sided and highlight their arrogance.

Example: “Karen barely let anyone else get a word in, her voice bulldozing through the meeting. If she wasn’t speaking, she wasn’t interested.”

Tip 16: The Pseudo-Intellectual

Cocky characters often strive to appear more intelligent or cultured than they really are in reality.

They might use unnecessarily complex vocabulary, reference obscure works of literature, or feign understanding of topics they don’t know.

This pseudo-intellectualism is a façade, a way for them to maintain their perceived superiority and belittle others.

They often use it as a tool to dominate conversations and assert their “intellectual superiority.”

Example: “Henry threw around words like ‘symbiosis’ and ‘confluence’ with wild abandon, hiding his ignorance behind a smokescreen of five-dollar words.”

Tip 17: Absent Empathy

Cocky characters often lack empathy.

They’re so caught up in their own world that they fail to understand or care about others’ feelings.

They’re generally more focused on their own experiences and struggles than those of others.

Their lack of empathy can manifest in different ways: dismissing others’ problems, showing little interest in their stories, or failing to recognize their emotions.

This lack of empathy underscores their self-centeredness and disregard for others.

Example: “When Emily shared her struggles, Steve just shrugged. ‘Sounds rough,’ he said, his attention already drifting back to his own world.”

Tip 18: It’s Always About Them

Everything’s about them when it comes to cocky characters.

They have a knack for twisting any situation or conversation to revolve around them. Their stories, their experiences, their opinions—everything else is secondary.

This self-centeredness can be exhausting for others around them.

It also serves to reinforce their inflated self-image and disregard for others.

Example: “Even in a discussion about climate change, Alex somehow managed to steer the conversation towards his recent vacation to Bali. There was no topic that couldn’t be about him.”

Tip 19: Advice? No, Thanks

Cocky characters typically dismiss advice from others.

They’re convinced that they know best and see little value in others’ input. Their refusal to consider advice is a testament to their arrogance and belief in their infallibility.

When given advice, they might respond with defensiveness, dismissal, or even ridicule.

This resistance helps them maintain their illusion of superiority and autonomy.

Example: “When offered a suggestion, Carol just chuckled. ‘Thanks, but I think I’ve got this,’ she said, her tone suggesting that she thought quite the opposite.”

Tip 20: Patronizing as a Pastime

Patronizing others is second nature to a cocky character.

They use condescension as a tool to belittle others and elevate themselves. Their speech is often laced with belittling comments, thinly veiled insults, or unnecessary explanations.

These patronizing behaviors showcase their arrogance, giving readers a tangible example of their inflated self-image.

They often undermine others to maintain their perceived position of superiority.

Example: “Aaron had a way of explaining things you already knew as if you were hearing them for the first time. His patronizing tone was a bitter pill that everyone was forced to swallow.”

Tip 21: The Art of Dismissiveness

Cocky individuals often dismiss others’ ideas, opinions, or feelings.

They don’t value input from others because they’re so confident in their own.

This dismissiveness extends to all aspects of their life, from personal relationships to professional situations.

Their dismissive attitude reinforces their belief in their superiority, further establishing their cocky persona.

It’s a clear sign of their disregard for others and their inflated sense of self-worth.

Example: “When Rachel proposed an idea, Tom just waved it away. ‘That’s been done before,’ he said, offering no room for discussion. Her ideas were merely whispers in the storm of his self-assuredness.”

Here is a good video about how to describe a cocky person in writing:

YouTube Video by Jaime IsReading – How to Describe a Cocky Person in Writing

Words for Describing a Cocky Person

To learn how to describe a cocky person in writing, you’ll need a bevy of good words.

Here are some of the best words:

  1. Arrogant
  2. Boastful
  3. Presumptuous
  4. Brash
  5. Condescending
  6. Overconfident
  7. Pompous
  8. Smug
  9. Superior
  10. Domineering
  11. Egotistical
  12. Haughty
  13. Pretentious
  14. Overbearing
  15. Audacious
  16. Impertinent
  17. Insolent
  18. Ostentatious
  19. Swaggering
  20. Vain
  21. Impudent
  22. Narcissistic
  23. Braggart
  24. Supercilious
  25. Self-important
  26. Blustering
  27. High-handed
  28. Vainglorious
  29. Imperious
  30. Self-assertive

Phrases to Describe a Cocky Person

  1. “Thinks he’s God’s gift to the world.”
  2. “Can’t tell him anything.”
  3. “Loves the sound of his own voice.”
  4. “Thinks the world revolves around him.”
  5. “Always needs to be the center of attention.”
  6. “Believes he’s always right.”
  7. “Has an answer for everything.”
  8. “Never admits when he’s wrong.”
  9. “Talks down to people.”
  10. “Acts like he’s better than everyone.”
  11. “Never takes no for an answer.”
  12. “Know-it-all.”
  13. “Believes he can do no wrong.”
  14. “Thinks he’s the smartest person in the room.”
  15. “Always needs to have the last word.”
  16. “Won’t listen to advice.”
  17. “Sees himself as invincible.”
  18. “Refuses to acknowledge mistakes.”
  19. “Constantly flaunts his achievements.”
  20. “Makes everything about him.”
  21. “Looks down on others.”
  22. “Acts like he’s untouchable.”
  23. “Sees himself as the alpha.”
  24. “Uses big words to sound smart.”
  25. “Always trying to one-up everyone.”
  26. “Turns every conversation into a competition.”
  27. “Treats opinions as facts.”
  28. “Walks with a swagger.”
  29. “Dismisses others without a second thought.”
  30. “Acts as though he’s royalty.”

Final Thoughts: How to Describe a Cocky Person in Writing

While portraying a cocky character can be challenging, understanding their traits and behavior can help create a compelling, realistic persona that adds depth and tension to your narrative.

Remember, sometimes the most disliked characters are the ones that stick with readers the longest.

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National Institute of Health (NIH) – Evidence for Arrogance