No Straight Answers: Superiority Complexes And Bad Communication, Lame Teaching, Bad Client and Customer Service

There are several reasons why it can be so difficult to communicate with those who deem themselves "superior", and others "inferior". The term "Narcissist" is often used to describe these folks, but that's more of a blanket term when used in this context. Humans often deem themselves superior to others based on all kinds of superficial comparisons, and also on fantasy-based assumptions, because it can give a person a feeling of confidence and capability, albeit false, but most people like to feel important to some extent no matter how they achieve that feeling.

One of the main reasons behind bad communication with Superiority Complex individuals is that when they have deemed another to be an "inferior", they can't actually comprehend what the person is saying, because they REINTERPRET everything the person says.  They want the person's statements or questions to be indicative of categorical ignorance or stupidity.

For example, if Allison asks a store clerk with a Superiority Complex "Do you carry Thompson's Deck Treatment?", the store clerk will REINTERPRET her simple, straightforward question that requires only an answer of "Yes" or "No", and hopefully where it's located in the store. Instead of hearing the actual question, since the clerk has deemed Allison "inferior" and is assuming she's less intelligent and ignorant, the clerk hears something like:

"Hi there, excuse me, sorry to bother you, hope I'm not interrupting you, can you please help me? I don't know anything about decks, and don't really even know what 'Thompson's' IS, or what a treatment is, or how to do it. I saw something on TV about how you should treat your deck (or~ my husband/brother/neighbor told me I should do this), and so I decided to just go see if I could find it at the store. Can you explain to me how decks are built, and what a treatment is, and what brands are good, and whether I should buy it or not, and if I can do it all by my little self?"

The Superiority Complex-store clerk will answer what he or she HEARD in their OWN HEAD, not what Allison ACTUALLY said, nor the WAY she said it. The clerk will not simply say "Yes" or "No", or "Yes, it's down aisle 7 on the right". He or she will instead see an opportunity to either "educate" Allison on decks, deck care, and deck treatment, because of the assumption that she's clueless, OR he or she will treat Allison dismissively and rudely, like she's taking up their time and space, interrupting them from their extremely important lives. (Regardless of the fact that Allison is a store customer just like anyone else, and their JOB is to treat her with the same respect and courtesy that they'd treat any other customer with.)

Further, if Allison looks or sounds similar to someone else they know, or similar to a stereotype or bias they hold in their imagination, they'll interpret what she says according to THAT, especially if they actually do have Narcissism.

This communication issue can be seen in all fields, all jobs, and all "levels" of jobs. When a person has a Superiority Complex, they assess others to be higher, equal to, or lower than themselves FIRST, and THEN they will interpret what the person says according to their assessment of them. So "straight answers" SANS condescension, pontification, disrespect, outright lying, manipulation, or dismissal are ONLY given to those whom they've deemed above or equal to themselves.

Those whom they deem inferior are assumed to know much less and comprehend much less. Therefore everything they say and do will be assumed as originating from a place of ignorance, experience, education, comprehension, worldliness, or even a lack of intelligence or mental stability, or "bad character", depending on how severe the person's Superiority Complex is.

Those with actual Narcissism will often assume that they can MANIPULATE those whom they've deemed inferior, and will often be utterly shocked, angry, and even enraged when a person whom they've lied to, conned, or betrayed turns out to be aware and more intelligent or worldly than they had assumed. (Narcissists will blame the person they were trying to deceive for their humiliation at getting caught, and often smear them or "retaliate" in some way, as if their TARGET was the one doing something wrong in the first place.)

In summation, those who condescend to others are usually trying to convince others of their "superiority", and are trying to seize an opportunity they think they see to treat another as an inferior.

The short answer for advice on trying to communicate with such a person:
Forget about it, ask someone else. If they're already talking down to you, overexplaining, avoiding answering directly, condescending, etc., they're unlikely to stop.