Monday, March 05, 2007

What's the Difference Between Arrogance and Self Confidence?
(A question asked about the previous post)

After the previous post, the following comment was posted:

"Anonymous said...
I love the concept of Applied Irony especially when related to nice guys finishing first, for a change. However, I often struggle with the very two points you mentioned. In finding ones voice and power to make a difference, how does one avoid becomming arrogant or being perceived as arrogant? "

This indeed is a serious question. Traditional Jewish literature, like the Bible and the Talmud, values humility and modesty. However, contemporary society places an enormous value on self esteem and self confidence. And to me (and a lot of people), the value of self confidence and self esteem is self evident.

(By the way, this is a question that Rabbi Dr. Abraham J. Twerski , a psychiatrist and Hassidic Rabbi, has grappled with in his book Let Us Make Man.)

Personally, I think any distinction between arrogance and self confidence will depend on one thing: honesty. Arrogant people don't like to acknowledge the truth: that their talents come from God, that others, such as parents, spouses, and partners play a critical role in their success. They also cannot except the truth that no one is perfect, even them. And the arrogant have a bloated self image that doesn't allow them to honestly see the strengths of others.

That's a preliminary thought. But it is an important question, and I thank you for posing it.

1 comment:

Marcia, Your Confidence Coach said...

very insightful. many people ask this question. is there a thin line between arrogance and confidence? i do not think so. i think they are two differnt concepts. arorgant people brag, confident people impress. arrognant people are interested in themselves, confident people are interested in others. ellie drake describes confidence as "being bold on the outside and being humble on the inside." i really like that definition.