Arrogance should never be confused with having an innate sense of self-respect and healthy confidence. Initially, these character traits may come across as similar, but if you look more closely, you will readily perceive how differently they manifest themselves in real life. With a little effort and insight, you can avoid the mistake of misidentifying a sense of self-importance and superiority with the real deal: a truly confident person with an inherent sense of peace, an openness to others’ thoughts and lifestyles, and with nothing to prove to anyone else. Let’s look at a few major differences between leading a self-assured life and a self-inflated existence.
Arrogance can often come from self-misconception and false perception, an inflated ego that tells the person they are better than all others around them. How a person views themselves is often contrary to how the rest of the world views them. Even if arrogant people truly have more talent than others in a given field, the idea that they are superior to others because of this talent still represents a skewed perception of themselves. After all, no one is perfect, everyone has faults, and there’s always someone out there better than you at your talent.
Arrogance is often an attempt by someone with low self-esteem to gain praise from others through false confidence. Through seeking praise from the outside world, they hope to gain a feeling of worth that they may not otherwise feel in themselves. Conversely, people with confidence are comfortable with their accomplishments remaining under wraps, and have no compelling need to consistently brag about their achievements.
Another aspect of arrogance is that it does not lead to loyal relationships, as arrogant individuals seem to only attract those who are looking to use them for the very things they brag about. Then, too, they might attract others with equally inflated egos, where their main connection is boasting of their accomplishments together and making others feel inferior to themselves. These types of negative relationships do not weather the harder times in your life, when things get difficult or problems arise. When the going gets tough, these fair-weather friends will be nowhere to be found.
Confident people, on the other hand, don’t need to belittle or put down others with less success in their lives in order to feel better about themselves or their accomplishments, as arrogant people often do.
Confidence has humility embodied within it, an inner strength that does not diminish others, but lifts them up with the unperceivable shining of their light – a sort of charisma resulting from a surety in who they are as human beings. Arrogance, on the other hand, has a person claiming, even demanding their proper respect and “adoration” from those beneath them, who they perceive to be cut from lesser cloth.
Confident people tend to be more aware and accepting of those times when they aren’t always in the right. They can live with the idea that no one is perfect and don’t feel unduly threatened when confronted with their mistakes or limitations. In contrast, arrogant people tend to think only their vision is correct, unlike confident people who are able to see other points of view, and if necessary, adjust accordingly.
People with confidence are not upset when challenged by others, whether the debate is regarding ideas, abilities, or opinions. Confident people are open and accepting of different viewpoints, while arrogant people often do not allow much room for debate, insisting instead that their thoughts and beliefs are the only ones that count.
Clearly, confidence and arrogance are on opposite ends of the character spectrum with one emerging as a virtue and the other, a most unpleasant vice.