Day 91: The difference between arrogance and confidence

I am writing about this topic  because I dealt with somebody today, in a position of some power,  whom I  experienced as arrogant.  “Arrogant” was the adjective that occurred to me several times during the interactions I had with this person and the interactions I witnessed with other people.

And that had an effect on me, especially because I spent a lot of time in the hospital, as a child, dealing with all sorts of medical people, who were in positions of power.  I found it particularly challenging — and painful, at times — to deal with arrogance in that setting.

I will look up a definition of “arrogance” shortly, but first I want to say that my definition of arrogance definitely includes the following: a disinterest in listening to and learning from others.

I hesitated to write about this topic today, because I am, obviously, being judgmental here. To a certain extent, I am mind reading — assuming I know what is going on in the mind of somebody else.  How do I know whether somebody is disinterested in learning and listening, really?  I’m just guessing.

Here is an on-line definition of arrogance:

n.  offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride; haughtiness.

Looking at that definition brings to mind something else.  I also hesitated to write about this topic today because I see so many people who are afraid of being arrogant — to the extent that they are afraid of being confident in themselves.

That concerns me. I often want to encourage people’s confidence and their belief in themselves. And it’s tricky, because how do we know if our pride and our sense of our own importance is “offensive” or “overbearing”?  Fear of being too confident often results in “playing small,” as described in the Marianne Williamson poem I included in a post, here.
I don’t know if this will help, but here’s another of my own personal definitions of arrogance:


If you are afraid of being arrogant, chances are you are not.

That’s a nice simple rule, isn’t it?


I also wanted to take this space to respond back to another blogger’s kind wish to connect with me and other bloggers by asking a series of questions.  And, as I’ve written before in this blog, I love questions! (See here for more about that, plus a tres cool special about Jackie Chan.)

Caliwow asked me to answer the questions she posed in this blog post.  I will now do my best to answer them authentically (while also sleazing out of answering some of them):

Q.  How old are you? *muwahahaha!*      

A. I  made it to 60!  

Q.  What is your favorite country and why?              

A.   I will pass on that question, because I don’t want to hurt any country’s feelings.

Q. If you could be any other race, which would it be and why?          

A.  See above for not wanting to hurt any feelings.

Q.  How do you make decisions?    

A.  Very reluctantly.  According to my Myers-Briggs test results, I have a high level of Perceiving (vs. Judging), which means I love collecting more and more data before actually making a decision.

Q. Share one moment in your life where you legitimately thought you were going to crash and burn; end up either losing all your friends, becoming homeless, have to move back in with your parents, etc…

A.  I’ve dealt with a couple of severe — although thankfully short-lived —  depressions in my life.  I definitely had some fear of “crashing and burning” during those.

Q. What are some of your top things to blog about?

A.  Questions and answers!!!

Q.  Who you pick from history to sit down and explain McDonald’s to?

A.  I have trouble explaining most things, much less McDonald’s.

Q.  Would you rather wake up naked and sore with no memory of the night before next to the Burger King telling you “you had it your way” or next to Ronald McDonald who told you how much you were “loving it”?

A. See above regarding my difficulty making decisions.

Q. Which TV show would you like to be a guest on?

A.  The Daily Show.

Q.  If you HAD to be a dangerous criminal from history in your next life, whom would you choose?

A.  I’m not coming back, if that’s my only choice.

Q. What type of utensil do you prefer while writing? Pen, pencil, marker, crayon, calligraphy brush, etc…

A.  Oh, man. Those were the good old days.  These days, I’m writing with a keyboard.  When I do use a utensil, it’s a pen.

Thanks, Calliewow, for including me in this question tag,  and for your inquisitive mind.

And thank YOU, for reading.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Day 91: The difference between arrogance and confidence

  1. Thanks for answering! And I loved your simple rule for discerning the diff between arrogance and confidence daily.

  2. Thank you, thank you!

  3. Pingback: Day 496: Fun with Phobias (Part III*) | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  4. Pingback: Day 766: The Terminator | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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