Are You Confident or Arrogant?

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Today I am not talking relationship rather I’m talking about something that affects how lots of young people around me relate with other young people around them.

In this time and age where we read lots of motivational books about self-confidence and we are constantly being thought that our thoughts and actions define us, it is important to understand the differences between being arrogant and being confident about yourself. Knowing the difference between arrogance and confidence is one of the hardest things to do, if you lack confidence, you’ll submit to the will of people who are confident. If you’re full of arrogance, you’ll chronically overestimate your own ability and piss people off because no one likes to deal with arrogant people. Arrogance and confidence have many overlapping qualities. They both inevitably involve believing something that many others do not.

But it is good to know that both arrogant and confident people entail a strong belief in their own abilities. Those with confidence can easily overcome fears and uncertainty. Moreover, they have a positive and optimistic vision that makes them strong and admirable. But sometimes over-confidence turns into arrogance and it is a big weakness. Arrogant people usually view themselves as superior and never admit their mistakes.

When you are confident, you build true self-confidence from within and project it to the world. Confident people have a realistic picture of their own traits and abilities and trust themselves enough to respond to life authentically. They learn from failure rather than letting it define them, and they forge ahead a bit wiser. At the same time, cocky and arrogant people do have confidence too, but it comes from a different place than true self-assurance. Arrogance is the result of building self-esteem from outward sources such as financial privilege or constant self-praise and other external support. However, yank the external support system away, and the person’s sense of self-worth goes with it.

In my line of work, I have met people who are confident about what they do, who know their onions as they say; and I have met people who are plain arrogant because they feel they are on top of the world and everyone around them should listen and take notes whenever they are talking. But I am not going to attack any person in particular, I am just going to talk about some facts that will let you do some self-examination and maybe you might just discover that instead of coming across as ‘confident’, you are just plain arrogant.


  • Condescending Remarks and Superiority Mindset


Superiority mindset is the main quality of an arrogant person. Arrogant people are single-minded; they either think that they are superior to others or inferior to them. When they come across someone who they believe is superior to them, they become the nicest person around, but once they are around people who they believe are below them ‘in all ramifications’ It seems they just feel better when they tear them down with their remarks and actions. This is why that very nice person you think you know will get to a restaurant and scream on the waiter unnecessarily, and then talk and smile to his/her dates very respectfully. On the contrary, confident people are high-minded, because they can feel good without having a desire to offend others. They usually see people’s potential and can help them succeed in something, even if those people are obviously below their ‘rank’ or status.


  • Attitude


Arrogant and confident people treat others in a different way. An arrogant person thinks they are better than others, while a confident person knows they are just as good as others. When you’re arrogant, you believe only a certain type of person will be able to share your goal(s). This is an innocent seeming difference, but it ultimately becomes something that will warp your ability to make good decisions. An arrogant person will meet people and instantly create a category that they fit into, and after assessing a new person, they turn attention to themselves. And instead of sitting down with someone to search for common ground, they sit down with them and try to rapidly figure out whether they have a predisposition to understand anything that they’re telling them. They feel they are so good and every other person comes far second at best or just plain stupid at worst.


  • Warped Self-Perception


The major difference between confidence and arrogance has everything to do with empathy. Confident people are aware of their weaknesses and know how to deal with them, they are aware of their privileges and support system and therefore don’t perceive others as lazy or incompetent simply because others have not arrived at the level where they are. I have met people who believe they are far superior to others just because they have rich parents, schooled abroad and have dual citizenship to go with it. But in reality, if not for their parents’ direct/indirect influence, they wouldn’t be different from every regular person jumping on ‘okadas’ and ‘danfos’ to work everyday. Arrogant people brush their own shortcomings aside and perceive themselves as having none.


  • Ruthlessly Ambitious


Ambition is not a crime. Confident people relish achievement and they simply contribute their talents to the world. They don’t feel threatened by others’ successes, but instead they try to learn from them. Cocky and arrogant people on the other hand need to believe that they are on top of the world even if reality says otherwise. And this most times leads to unnecessarily manipulative or callous behavior as they focus on defending a power base at all costs. They don’t care if they sacrifice friendship or other relationships to achieve or retain any form of success just to brag about.



  • Sheer Ostentation:


Confident people enjoy all the good things they have without defining themselves by their possessions. They have a strong and giving spirit whether they have more money or less money. And their sense of self remains constant even if they possess everything there is to possess materially or lose whatever there is to lose materially. But arrogant people are more often emotionally devastated by material losses and may constantly struggle harder to define their core values in the face of adversity. Their sense of worth is only tied to having or possessing material things, and they worship those things. However, not everyone who flaunts “stuff” is cocky or arrogant, (They could be models… LOL) but constant ostentation suggests a distorted self-image

To conclude, know that arrogance is a level of confidence in itself, but it is a level of being ‘too’ confident. It’s a place where pride gets the best of people and they think they know it all and walk all over others because they feel they are superior. Also, there is such a thing as having too low of confidence, and being on either end of the spectrum is harmful. As having no confidence at all may lead to low self-esteem and paranoia due to failure of being able to trust. So, you might want to be in the middle ground called self-awareness; which is, knowing your boundaries and possessing the ability to think positive, but being cautious at the same time as to make it easier to deal with others and yourself. It’s all about balance. Stay Safe.


Christopher Bamidele

Christopher Bamidele

Chris Bamidele is a passionate and unapologetic Nigerian; an amateur writer and aspiring TV director who holds a first degree in Mass Communication, but majored in Radio and TV Broadcasting. He is cool headed, a realist, and an optimist to the core. Chris Bamidele blogs African stories on and tweets @degreatest2. He currently lives in Lagos.


  1. This article makes too much sense. Truth is so many people confuse arrogance with confidence, problem is while a confident person is comfortable in his/her skin, more often than not an arrogant person is defined by something be it money, beauty or brains. Take this out of the arrogant person and he/she can’t cope anymore.

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