Recently, I read a short article by Scott Berkum that discusses the difference between “confidence” and “arrogance.” In my experience, most people intuitively know the difference between an arrogant person and a person who exudes a measured degree of confidence. Nonetheless, I thought it might be helpful to share Scott’s perspective. Here it is below:
A long running debate in my own mind is the difference between arrogance and confidence. Here are two definitions:
An arrogant person only feels smart if someone else feels stupid. Their sense of themselves depends on thinking less of someone else. They insist on correcting other people’s grammar or showing them their flaws, as it’s the only way they can feel an approximation of confidence. Arrogance is about intent: its when ability (or perceived ability) is used to look down on others.
A confident person feels competent from the inside out. They use their talents to genuinely try to be of use, or to succeed at the task at hand. They might seek external validation, but they don’t depend on it to define their sense of their ability or nature.
In some cases an arrogant person may have more skill than a confident person, but the confident person will tend to wield whatever abilities they have with more calm control than an arrogant person can.