Confidence vs. Arrogance

Often I will address the principle of humility and its importance. Personally, I try to keep it at the forefront of all I do for a couple of key reasons. The first being because it keeps the importance of God and His influence on your life in perspective. If anyone is constantly reminded of that, it will be difficult for them to raise themselves higher than they should in their own minds… and it may actually make you a nicer person. 🙂 The second reason is because humility keeps you in a place where you can always relate to those in need. As a Christian, it’s important to always be able to be there for someone who needs hope or guidance; and you can’t provide that if you can’t relate.

Some people are naturally humble. Others have to practice humility. Then there are some who have to be taught through experience. It doesn’t matter what category you fall under, because all three categories have to find balance between confidence; and that’s the end of the spectrum that I want to explore. Let’s say before you get to the point of reaching humility, you have to sort through the differences of confidence and arrogance — How do you tell them apart?

This is something that I come across from time to time when balancing my views of myself. I tried to define the two, confidence and arrogance, before actually looking them up to see what I thought they were. This is what I came up with…

Confidence: The sense of knowing that you have good qualities or abilities; proven through history, repetition and practice.

Arrogance: The sense of knowing that you have good qualities or abilities with the intent to flaunt them; based on the vanity of being seen or praised

Now this was just what I thought as a standalone mind without other contributing perspectives, so there could actually be a whole lot to argue here.

I feel as though confidence lies within a person, where it can quietly stay because it does not have to be proven. Confidence is solid and synonymous with sure, having little need of reassurance from anyone. Think about an area in which you talented. Now how often do you show it off? I guarantee it’s rarely. Even if you have a reputation for being good at it, you don’t flaunt it; you just do it. Now you will be proud of whatever it is because it is appreciated by your peers, customers, audience or whomever your work reaches.

Talents of an arrogant person, on the other hand, looks to be expressed and pushed onto others. Arrogance feeds off praise, being seen, and even “haters”. I feel as though arrogance is based in vanity. For example, if you have two talented painters, one arrogant and the other confident, and ignore both their works, giving neither negative nor positive remarks to either, the arrogant artist would stop painting. Their rewards are different. One seeks praise, while the other appreciates praise.

The other thing that I realize too, is that a completely untalented person can fall in to either one of these categories. I’m not addressing delusional people at the time.

Then I looked up the actual definitions of each words.

Confidence: 1) The state of feeling certain about the truth of something

2) A feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s own abilities or qualities

Arrogant: Having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities 

I feel as though my definitions were close enough to still get my point across. Confidence was nearly the same. In my definition of arrogant, the word “exaggerated” was missing from my equation. However, I don’t feel as though all arrogance is exaggerated. Some people are extremely good at what they do, but will not be satisfied until they rub it in someone’s face. Michael Jackson was a pretty confident guy. He always thanked his fans for coming to see him though. Flip the script and JJ Ice Fish has “haters”! So that tells me that you can have misplaced arrogance, but someone who has the space to be arrogant, can dispel that option, which layers them in humility.

Now all of this has been completely subjective to my perspective. Let me know if you agree, disagree or somewhere in between.

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