Being Confident Without Being Arrogant

We naturally assume that when someone has problems with confidence, it’s that they don’t have enough of it. But this isn’t always true.

Confidence, like most other traits, is a spectrum. You can have too little, which results in a low self esteem, or you can have too much which results in arrogance.
You can say hubris if you want to sound polite and fancy.

The key is to have a healthy confidence. Like the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears you shouldn’t have too much or too little, but just enough.

Having a low self esteem can make you hate yourself, but being arrogant can make everyone else hate you.

Having a low self esteem can lead to:
Self sabotage, poor relationship and social skills, lack of assertiveness, neediness or dependence, and when it gets really bad it can lead to things like eating disorders and self harm.

But on the other end of the spectrum, arrogance can lead to:
An inability to handle criticism, a lack of empathy, having unreasonable expectations of favourable treatment and delusions of grandeur.

Which are all pretty undesirable personality traits.

Maintaining a healthy confidence is a fine line to walk and you need a lot of qualities. It’s accepting yourself even if you aren’t perfect. It’s having a healthy self-esteem, and it’s having the ability to go through life knowing deep down that for better or worse, you are who you are and that is okay.

So what are the three main qualities you need in order to walk that fine line between self deprecation and delusions of grandeur?

Humility

It can be hard to walk that fine line when you are really good at something. When you are winning your first reaction might be jumping up in the air screaming “Yes! Who’s the best!? I’m the best!”

But that is a sure fire way to look arrogant.

When you win, use humility to make others around you feel good. When you lose, use humility to know that you can always improve next time.

Respect

If you respect yourself and the people around you a healthy self-confidence is sure to follow.

Don’t put yourself in situations you don’t feel comfortable in and try not to put yourself down too often. Respect yourself in this way, as well as the people around you.

It might take time to develop this trait, but start by catching yourself whenever you aren’t showing respect to yourself or the people around you.

Generosity

We tend to have negative self-talk constantly. We spend so much time beating ourselves up that it’s no wonder we don’t have a healthy confidence.

Be generous in giving yourself compliments and pats on the back. And while you’re at it, be generous with others in this way.

A few kind words can go a long way to making your day—or someone else’s—a thousand times brighter.

With these three tips, we can feel good about ourselves without becoming arrogant in the process. We often tend live in one extreme or the other, but true happiness and lasting confidence comes from balance.

So exercise humility, show yourself some respect and be generous with kind words—you’ll build a foundation of self-confidence that will carry you throughout life.

11 thoughts on “Being Confident Without Being Arrogant

  1. “If being an egomaniac means I believe in what I do and in my art or music, then in that respect you can call me that… I believe in what I do, and I’ll say it.” ― John Lennon

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  2. Humility, yes, and I like that you extend the respect and generosity to others, too, because we don’t exist in a vacuum.
    How others perceive us depends on their filters, as well as what we demonstrate. But behaving like someone we’d like to be around – and being a good friend to ourselves – is a good and grounded place to live, in my view.

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  3. I work in a field where arrogance can run rampant and I hope to not contribute to that. It’s a fine line some days to balance feeling confident versus incompetent. Thank you for a helpful article.

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  4. I love the last one. Being kind to, and doing things for, others is a great way to feel better in your own skin, as well as radiating positivity. After all, you get what you give.

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  5. I actually went from too MUCH confidence to too LITLLE over the period of several years and am only just becoming a more rounded individual from my experience.
    It is a very tough call to deal with but you write very nice words to highlight the issues.

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