It is important in any career to be confident in your job, skills, and abilities, and more importantly, in yourself. However, there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. The two can be mistaken for one another, so it’s important to recognise the difference.
If you see a few of the traits below in yourself, take it as an opportunity to change your behaviour; it could lead to a promotion and much better relationships with people at work. Or you might notice these traits in others and be able to approach them in a different way, improving your relationship with them by being open and honest.
Confidence stems from positivity and optimism
Often those who act confidently aren’t really concerned by other’s perceptions of themselves. Their confidence comes from within so they don’t feel like they need constant affirmation, nor do they need to be the best at everything.
Arrogant behaviour is often a result of insecurities and a fear of criticism
Always needing to feel above everyone else, arrogant people go out of their way to put others down so that they feel better about themselves. They act arrogantly to make sure they’re seen as superior in the eyes of their peers, and they care a lot about what other people think of them.
A major difference between arrogant and confident people is how they view blame
A confident person isn’t afraid to admit when they’re wrong, as they are aware of their own flaws and willing to correct and learn from their mistakes. However, an arrogant person will rarely (and reluctantly) own up to a mistake, as they would rather push the blame onto someone else than admit they’re flawed.
Arrogant people will try to act like your boss, rather than a leader or team player
Confidence is taking the lead when your skills and strengths match the requirements of the project, but also openly accepting help and suggestions from others. Arrogance is wanting to take the lead all of the time, regardless of whether another person would be better for the role. An arrogant person won’t take anyone else’s ideas on board, either by rejecting them or through criticism; instead they will act upon their own ideas and expect everyone to follow them unquestioningly, as they feel that they should be treated as a superior.
A confident person has all the time in the world for you, unlike their arrogant counterpart
Confident people will actively listen and make time to do so, showing an interest in the conversation and adding to it where appropriate – whereas an arrogant person has no time for anyone else’s ideas as theirs are more important. They’re a lot more likely to interrupt a conversation to one-up the other person, or simply talk about themselves.
Can you tell the difference in a real-life situation?
It can be difficult to tell if a person is being arrogant, or if they are simply overly confident. If you recognise four or more of the traits above in a colleague then it’s more likely they are behaving arrogantly. However, it is always good to view each situation objectively; e.g. is the person being overly critical, or are they providing constructive feedback? Whenever it comes to defining the difference between the two, remember to take a step back and try to be open-minded, particularly if you notice arrogant behaviour in yourself. Nevertheless, don’t let it stop you from being confident at work – if you are the best person for the job, don’t be afraid to say so!
Do you know of any other differences between the two?
By Genieve Crump