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You Know You’re Arrogant When…

You Know You’re Arrogant When…

…You use bluster and cheap tricks to demonstrate your confidence and mastery
…You think that fear is for pussies
…You pursue the things that will look the best
…You despise the weak
…You have something to prove to the world
…You go out of your way to be right
…You think that success is an outcome that will provide you with the lifestyle you deserve
…You always answer “Yes” to the question “Can you do it?”
…You know it would work out better if people just did it your way
…You think status is more important than contribution

It won’t come as a surprise to you that there are a lot of people who bumble through life mistaking arrogance and hubris for confidence.

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There’s a good chance you’ve met some of them. Swell company, aren’t they?

Truth is, arrogance and hubris are simply a front, a mask, a way of hiding the deep fear that you’re not good enough and not deserving enough by acting as though you’re better and more deserving. Of course, it’s nonsense. We all know it. Even those who hide behind it know it’s nonsense, way down deep.

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As hard as they might try, the give-away signs listed above easily blow the cover of those who use arrogance and hubris to mask insecurity. Perhaps the saddest part is the perceived need to put that mask on in the first place in order to satiate the desire to have the world see you as being good enough. It’s a need that we all feel from time to time in our lives (and it’s arrogant to claim that you don’t), but there’s a better way to go about life that doesn’t involve building walls or hiding behind a mask.

Natural confidence.

Real, natural confidence couldn’t be more different if it tried. And, of course, it doesn’t have to.

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So how do you know if you’re confident or arrogant? Here’s how:

…You find it difficult to say “No
…You sometimes feel lost or afraid
…You don’t have all the answers
…You’re willing to give it your best shot
…You know you’re on to something when you’re both scared and excited
…You would rather be happy than right
…You go about what matters to you even though it’s sometimes easier not to
…You feel like running and hiding sometimes, but know deep down you’ll be okay
…You’re ready to make a new choice if the last one you made didn’t work out
…You understand that it’s not a competition
…You feel good when you get recognition or validation, but those things don’t drive you
…You embrace the change and flux as much as you do the certainties in life
…You don’t need to impress
…You choose to engage with what matters to you over perceived safety or comfort

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Real, natural confidence is founded on the understanding that you’re enough, right now, just as you are. You don’t need to pretend. You don’t need to be validated. You don’t need to play a role. You don’t need to do what’s expected. You don’t need any frills. You don’t need to prove anything.

Stripping away the need for the status, validation, and recognition that feeds arrogance, you’re liberated to go about things knowing that your doubts and fears about not being good enough are natural, and that they only have power if you give them power. Suddenly, you’re free to make choices based on what you want rather than what you fear.

With natural confidence, all you have to do is what matters to you.

So tell me, what’s your experience of arrogance and confidence?

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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