A Fine Line between Confidence and Arrogance


It is quite peculiar how confidence and arrogance get confused. Most often, we are vulnerable to misjudgment when assessing our own traits, and tend to evaluate others better. This is an indication that we all possess a bit of arrogance, and that it can be constrained. Also, it points out that knowing the difference even when the lines are blurred is paramount to achieving excellence in life. Namely, confidence is not some silver lining in the cloud of arrogance. Likewise, arrogance is not just some unwanted outcome of confidence.

Common ground

The underlying problem is that the two have some common characteristics. For example, both confident and arrogant people have a strong belief in their abilities. This allows them to dispel the shadows of doubt and overcome uncertainty in life. However, while confident individuals have faith in surmounting a challenge, arrogant ones think they are the only people who can do it. Sometimes, this is rooted in a struggle to cover up a feeling of inferiority and hide them under the layers of emotional disarray.

Furthermore, both traits lean towards an optimistic vision of life, yet confidence is more likely to be admired and cherished. Arrogance, albeit enjoying temporary approbation, eventually falls from grace and is recognized for what it is. People are quite naïve when it comes to many social matters, but they have a surprisingly good ability to see through the veil of fake entitlement. Then, arrogant individuals resort only to tools that are left at their disposal: fear and intimidation.

The other side

Confidence makes you feel good in your skin. You are able to recognize the good in people because you are aware of the goodness in you. What guides you is an urge to establish meaningful connections with others, not to rule with an iron first. And here we come to the crucial point: we cannot take a peek into someone’s soul, but what reveals the truth is the fact that confident and arrogant people treat others in a different way.

The haughty are driven to preach and lecture others even when they are obviously wrong. Their self-perception is distorted, and this spills over into all areas of their life, including relationships with friends, family, partners and colleagues. They only add fuel to the fire by not accepting relationship tips from others and good advice and positive critique when it comes to professional life. Nobody knows better than them.

Slips and falls

On the contrary, confidence is a true source of greatness, a virtue allowing us to reach our goals and succeed in life. Alas, it is also a slippery slope. Once it reaches a certain level, it clouds our judgment and cunningly reveals its dark side only when we are blinded by ego. You lose your respect for others and there are no internal checks and balances that stop the cart from going downhill. And once they are pushed off the cliff, arrogant people still feel the ground beneath their feet, just like a coyote after another failed attempt to catch the roadrunner.

In a sense, confidence is the herald of inner peace and stability. It demonstrates the kind of pride that can be described as “good”. It brims with dignity and emanates self-respect. On the other hand, “bad pride” is the reflection of the deadly sin of superiority. It reeks of bitterness and sheer arrogance. A confident man sees that pride always comes before a fall, and weighs decisions carefully. Arrogance is terrified by the mere notion of imperfection, and any possibility of a mistake.

Consequently, it never admits its flaws, being single-minded to the bitter end. Everything is seen through the lenses of superiority and inferiority, and the world seems black and white. Opposed to that, confident people grasp the opulent richness and vivid diversity of existence. They know they cannot always be the best of the best, but the constant quest of self-improvement allows them to reach their full potential.

Play your cards right

Arrogant people are like paper tigers. At first, they seem awe-inspiring, but once they sink deeper into arrogance, they become pitiful. On the contrary, confidence is consistent with its dignity and is capable of withstanding vicious blows both from the inside and the surroundings. Confident people are impossible to bring down because they know their strengths and weaknesses. They do not allow the latter to push them into conceit and tame the former in order to accomplish positivity and mental steadiness.

Evgeni Asenov

For the last 4 years I've been enthusiastic about men's style, lifestyle and fashion. Trough trial and error I've learned some things in this area and now I'm here to share with everyone who might be interested.

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