Just like everybody else, you probably want to be the big guy in the room. The guy everyone likes, respects, and looks up to. The guy who has so much self-esteem, it’s almost blinding! And there's always this guy somewhere in your life. At work, he's the big achiever who gets things done and is often praised by the boss. At the gym, he's the ripped dude who just crushes every work-out he does. Even amongst your friends, he's the life of the party who everyone wants to hang-out with. If you want to be that guy, you just need to be one thing: confident!
To be the man that you want to be—the man everyone likes and respects—you have to instill more confidence in yourself. But be careful as at times, your confidence can come off as arrogance and you wouldn't want that! It's very easy to confuse one for the other, but what are the differences that set them apart? Here are a few important points.
Although confidence is about believing in yourself and trusting in your own capabilities, you also need to be empathetic. Medium writer Cody Brown highlighted that empathy has everything to do with the difference between confidence and arrogance. He noted that confidence with empathy is understanding that there are people out there with different skills, mindsets, outlooks, perspectives, and more. And the important thing is that you treat them equally and value what they bring to the table.
Let's imagine you're a personal trainer at the gym. Seeing as you're a fit person yourself, you can do most of the heavy work-outs, but some of your clients can't. Confidence is still believing that your exercises do work but giving your clients enough time to ease into them. Arrogance, on the other hand, is automatically dismissing your clients as weak simply because they're unable to work-out the way that you do.
Looking at the bigger picture
Arrogance often expresses itself in the face of criticism. Imagine that you have a cool new idea for an app. You get so excited that you tell your friends about it. But one of them tells you that he doesn't think your idea is all that great. And instead of aiming to prove him wrong, you simply dismiss him for not understanding your concept at all. This is a sign of arrogance.
You have to understand that you are not the center of the world. The bigger picture here is that some people simply won't get you nor agree with you and that's okay. A confident man will respect the differences of opinion while an arrogant man will believe himself to be superior and put down others who don't subscribe to his beliefs.
Others' opinions don't matter, but their feelings do
Look, as already stated, people will always have different views, different perspectives, and definitely different opinions! Some will think your self-confidence is arrogant even though you're being extremely careful of towing that line. You can't control what they think, but you can control what they feel. Another big difference between the two isn't necessarily how you appear yourself, nor what other people think about you, but rather, how you make others feel around you. And arrogance can often make you oblivious of your own effect on others.
At work, for instance, excelling at your job shouldn't just be about how well you do but also how much your great work will benefit both you and the company as a whole. You celebrate your success not just for your own win, but for the win of the team you're leading as well. Arrogance is only focusing on your own progression, leaving your fellow co-workers behind to feel inferior about themselves.
Focus on yourself internally, not externally
Everyone has their own self-esteem issues. You're not human if you don't have any. And if you refuse to accept your own weaknesses, that is a surefire sign of arrogance right there! Confidence isn't just expressing pride at what you’ve accomplished and what you can do. It's about continually working on yourself internally and letting the benefits seamlessly show externally.
Monster perfectly illustrated this with a quote from Dr. Frowsa´ Booker-Drew. "A wise friend told me this: Arrogance is the need to convince yourself and others that you're good at what you do. Confidence is being convinced of your strengths but fully aware of your weaknesses (which you know how to address),” she said. Just because you're confident doesn't mean you have to shove aside or even be oblivious to your own short-comings. Confidence is still taking to account your weaknesses and looking for ways to turn them around or actually using them to your benefit. At the end of the day, no one is perfect!So, are you confident or did you just realise that you've actually been arrogant all this time? Whichever it is, know that you can always change for the better. If you've been confident with yourself, continue striving for self-improvement and your self-esteem will follow. If you found out that you need to tone it down a little, work on yourself to avoid being arrogant!