Arrogance vs Confidence: Knowing the Difference

arrogance vs confidence

We all know that a lack of confidence can harm you and that being confident is a healthy goal.

Holding your head high can help you get through tough times and brush off criticism.


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So, how will you know if you’ve crossed the line from confident to cocky?

In the realm of arrogance vs confidence, it’s a careful balancing act.

Here are some signs that you’re headed toward arrogance, and how to pull yourself back from the brink.

Everything’s a Comparison

Real confidence comes from within. If you can only feel up by putting others down, you’ve pushed dangerously past the confident zone.

This kind of brash behavior has two big, fat downsides.

First, you’re hurting the people around you.

Do you really want to surround yourself with people you think are “worse” than you just to build yourself up? Can you even gain anything from the kinds of people who are okay with being in those relationships?

Talk about a surefire way to stunt your personal growth. Not to mention, that’s an unhealthy power dynamic. When you act that way, you may find yourself with a lack of meaningful relationships.

Second, you’re setting yourself up for failure – big time.

You can’t always be the smartest, best dressed, most talented person in the room. What will happen when you’re around someone you think is “better” than you? You’ll miss out.

You won’t be appreciating what that person brings to the table or learning from them. You’ll be too busy watching your false confidence crumble.

This doesn’t only happen in real life.

When we play the comparison game on social media, we’re more likely to become depressed.

When it’s arrogance vs confidence, you can’t let arrogance win.

What to Do Instead: Find the Things You Love About You

Say healthy affirmations in the mirror, go for a walk, or take time out of your day for reflection or meditation.

Sweep self-negativity out of your life, and focus on the things you can do.

Remind yourself how powerful your legs are when you’re out on your next stroll. Recall how you came up with a clever solution in that work meeting today.

Celebrate those little wins.

Be kind to yourself when you stumble, and know it’s all part of the personal growth process. We all do it.

The best part? When you create a positive self-image, no one can take that away from you. That’s the real difference between arrogance vs confidence.

It’s All About You

It’s easy to mistake boldness for confidence. When you make yourself the center of every conversation, you’re hitting the arrogance zone full force.

Are you constantly boasting about your achievements? Do you respond to other’s stories with stories about a time you did something similar?

If you find that you’re turning conversations into a self-pep talk, you’re being arrogant.

What to Do: Be Mindful

Show that it’s not all about you.

Take care to be an active, empathetic listener.

Asking relevant questions becomes a lot easier when you’re paying attention.

When you truly lend an ear, you’ll notice a change. Your banter will flow. You’ll be in the moment, and your body language will match.

Your conversation partner will be able to feel that you’re engaged. That kind of focus shines through. Together, you’ll be able to forge a deeper, more fulfilling relationship.

Your Posture Is Poor

Your speech isn’t the only thing to check.

Even if your words aren’t oozing arrogance, your body language might be.

Do you find yourself crossing your arms during conversation? How about sighing? Maybe you hold your chin a little too high?

All these postures signal to the people around you: Whoa, this person is full of themselves.

What to Do: Check in with Your Body

Notice how you’re standing and what your hands and arms are doing during a conversation.

Crossing your arms out of nervousness? Try a sneakier relaxation tactic.

Press your thumb between the webbing of the index finger and thumb on your opposite hand.

This pressure point can help you relax, and you can even do it unnoticed, under the table.

Remember what we said earlier about listening?

If you’re paying attention, you won’t end up sighing over your to-do list in the middle of a conversation because you won’t be thinking about it. Score!

But, what about those power poses?

There’s no need to throw them out altogether. There’s a time and a place for them.

In fact, the Wonder Woman pose can help you muster up extra confidence for a stressful task.

Just make sure you do it before that big meeting, not during it.

You’re All Talk

Arrogance likes to make promises that it can’t keep.

Why? Because of course arrogance can do it!

Arrogance is the best at everything, haven’t you heard?

Confidence is realistic.

When you aren’t wrapped up in what other people think of you, you’re more likely to be honest about your strengths and weaknesses.

You’re not afraid to tell someone no because you’re not afraid of their perception of you.

Confidence lets you look at your schedule and your talents to see if you can commit to this task.

If you find yourself falling through on obligations, beware.

You might have crossed the arrogance threshold.

What to Do: Be Authentic

Nothing is worse than someone who can’t keep their promises.

You might believe that saying you can conquer the world builds you up.

It doesn’t. You’re only setting yourself up for disappointment when you come up short.

Authenticity is true confidence. Don’t worry about what others think of you. Instead, focus on the task at hand. Can you realistically rise to this challenge?

Answer honestly and you’ll be confident in your answer.

Bonus: People will see you as more confident too!

Arrogance vs Confidence

With the patience and practice, you can be the confident person you’ve always dreamed of being.

All it takes is a little bit of mindfulness and perseverance.

Stay aware of these negative behaviors, focus on your wins, and above all be kind.

With these tips, you can win the arrogance vs confidence battle.

Still struggling?

We’ve got even more tips and tricks in Conversation Confidence, our program that helps you discover and project self-love.

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