Can Arrogance Be Mistaken For Confidence?

While arrogance and confidence appear similar on the surface, there is a definitive line that divides the two. Confidence is an intrinsic value, involving inner trust, assurance, and faith in one’s ability to deal with the situation in front them. Arrogance, on the other hand, is a false sense of superiority over others that comes from an unacknowledged lack of confidence. At its extreme, arrogance can be seen as an ego-maniac with an inferiority complex. We’ve all met them. Maybe we’ve seen one in the mirror. I know I have. And when you give this person a leadership title where they can use their positional power to show everyone how insecure they are, it never ends well.

When you are truly confident, you don’t have a need to appear superior over others.

Arrogance is a coping strategy, a learned response to feel safe and powerful when you are lacking confidence. Insecurity, self-doubt, and fear are all part of being human. But when it’s not safe to acknowledge these parts of ourselves, we learn to cope in a variety of ways. One coping strategy is to cover up our insecurity with arrogance. Another is to withdraw and quit. The authentic way is to develop the self-awareness and courage to acknowledge to ourselves when we are feeling a lack of confidence and make appropriate choices to walk bravely through what we are facing. The authentic way ultimately leads to confidence and trust – both in ourselves and in those around us.

How do you view the difference between arrogance and confidence?