There is a thin line between confidence and arrogance

confi1We are taught from our childhood to put our best foot forward; walk straight, have a good eye contact, give a firm shake hand, speak confidently, dress up properly etc, etc. And, when you do all that and you know what you are talking is right your confidence is mistaken many times as arrogance. I have been on the both sides of tables as a panelist conducting interviews and as a candidate answering interviews. I think confidence is perceived as arrogance by people who feel threatened by your confidence and when that happens, perception of arrogance serves as a defense mechanism.

There is really a very thin line between the two, and especially in a job interview situation. Confident people radiate, they are happy to talk about their achievements, their experience, and their view point easily without any hesitation; which is not perceived positively always. When the listener – it could be your teacher, interviewer, your friend, your colleague, your sibling, your neighbor anybody, if the listener disagrees with your view points, or they dislike you, or are jealous of you it’s an easy way to dismiss you as arrogant person. Many times people feel intimidated in presence of confident people.

Superiority 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. This arrogance may be nothing more than a way to cover the feelings of inferiority they experience when dealing with someone else. It seems they feel better when they tear others down. 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. It is always nice to have confident boss at work.

confi2Remember this – it is all in your tone and the words you choose when you speak to others. If you are negative towards others to talk down to them then you come across as arrogant. If you are positive and more inclusive then it seems to be confidence. Confidence is certainly a wrong belief that one is always right in every situation. A confident person welcomes alternative perspectives and opinions. A confident person rarely will be found lecturing or preaching to others on how they are wrong. Believing you are always right and unable to accept influence from others can make one detestable to be around. Confident people are humble enough to accept to be wrong and are ok with it. A truly self-confident person is able to show openness and admit to past mistakes.

confi3An arrogant person feels smart when someone else feels stupid. Their sense of pride depends on thinking less of someone else. You will see them correcting other’s grammar, punctuation, pronunciation, in short, showing flaws of others. As if it’s the only way they can feel an approximation of confidence. Arrogance is about intent; it is the tendency of a person to look down on others.

But, 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.

Eye contact is crucial part of any conversation. When a confident person talks he will make eye contact with you and make you feel as though you are the most important person in the room. On the contrary, an arrogant person will all the time be looking past you for someone else to talk to.

confi4Before he became one of America’s ultimate success stories, the great inventor, scientist, diplomat, and the expert connector of people and ideas, Benjamin Franklin was convinced that he was a moral mediocrity.

The truth is that no one is naturally humble. Becoming humble, in fact, is an laborious process. Do you know that George Washington, for example, had to struggle his entire life to become and stay humble. As a young man, his ego was enormous. Like the young Benjamin Franklin, his ambition outstripped his accomplishments.

Napoleon Bonaparte who created the great citizen army and swept through Europe, in fact refused to acknowledge that his forces were getting to thin and he was defeated. This shows his arrogance. Similarly, Hitler, Catherine the great, Cleopatra, Stalin all of these pretty much interesting historical figure were totally arrogant actually.

Power goes to head. Even the smallest dose of power can change a person. You must have seen it in so many people around you. Someone gets a promotion or a bit of fame and then, suddenly, they’re a little less friendly to the people beneath them.

Bear this in mind always – while you are busy in creating your enduring brand, your ability to understand and adapt to the varied realities around you is very important. You might find it difficult to serve in your job while still remaining true to who you are and what you believe.   Trying to achieve this balance means that you are more interested in getting it right than being right.

Hope you have become aware of the fine line between arrogance and confidence. Try to be confident, because everyone wants to hang around people who make other feel secure and positive. If you try to become confident, your relationship skills will be your greatest asset. Since the line in confidence and arrogance is thin; always be sure that you don’t sound or look arrogant. Confidence smiles while arrogance smirks.



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A Professor with 15 years of teaching and 20 years industry experience. My core teaching areas are Marketing Strategy and General Management. While I am a Professor of Marketing and General Management, I have also worked as Director of few Management Institutes in Mumbai. I am a research guide in Mumbai University, SNDT University and YCMOU (Yashwantrao Chawan Maharashtra Open University, Nasik) 6 students have got their PhD degree under my guidance so far, and 11 students are registered for their PhD with me. Research is my passion, and I work on live projects from the industry. I strongly believe that the principal goal of research is to discover new knowledge, while that of teaching is to impart well-established knowledge and provide training in problem-solving. At present I am working as a Director for a Center of Excellence with an 80 years old Educational institution in Mumbai. I am a results-driven researcher, qualified with a PhD in Marketing Management from Pune University, a Post Doctoral Degree D.Litt from Mumbai University. I have authored above 100 articles and research which are published in news papers, business magazines and research journals. I have also authored two books. I am appointed as a Senate Member in Swami Ramanand Teertha Marathwada University, Nanded as the Maharashtra Governor’s nominee. Today we need greater industry-academia collaboration in research in institutes of higher education. I am confident that I will be able to facilitate the organizations with my research skills to create, integrate, and apply advancements in tricky areas. Thus, in my own way I could collaborate between industry and academia. I am curious, responsible, knowledgeable person with a scholarly approach.


  1. Good Article. I would like to add the fact that Confidence is in character whereas arrogance is in the behavior. Simplest example is say, when you are doing your make-up after shutting the door of your vanity room. Someone forces you to open the door by knocking at it. If you are arrogant, you will loose your temper. If you are confidant, you will smile at that person, leave the door open and continue your make up. Also, pay attention to the nature of knocking by the person. A disturbing & intrusive knocking is by an arrogant person whereas a confident person’s knocking is “Excuse me” type and gentle.

  2. वाचून आनंद झाला. अतिशय उदबोधक लेख. प्रयत्न सुधारणा करण्याचा असेल.