A friend of mine recently told that before she got to know me personally, she didn’t like me because she thought I was arrogant. Now that she knows me personally and has talked to me, she’s found (or at least I hope) that it’s not really true.
It was an interesting to know, and it made me think. Where do you draw the line between confidence and arrogance? A lot of times, at least in my opinion, it’s hard to tell the difference. Especially if you don’t personally know the person in question.
Ego is something that isn’t quite well-liked in society. Especially in Singapore, and in Christian circles.. But is ego really a bad thing? Paul Arden, in his book “Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite”, poses the thought that “Presumably we were given egos for a reason. Great people have great egos; maybe that’s what makes them great.”
He tells the story of his father, who was an artist. After Paul’s mother died, his father “no longer had someone to show his work to, to gain approval. Without realizing it, he found his ego. his work became funny, barmy and unique. He even started calling himself a genius…..Without his ego he would never have become the man he was.”
Personally, I don’t really have a problem with people who don’t know me thinking I’m arrogant. I think having an ego can be good, it’s a matter of how you harness it. And having an ego can come across in both ways, arrogance and confidence. The outer signs of it are the same.
So, a couple of things I would encourage you to do. Firstly, don’t judge people before you know them. The same outer appearances can be caused by two (very) different traits. Secondly, don’t be afraid of what other people think of you, especially people don’t know you. Focus on your friends and what you are to them, not what you come across as to people who don’t really know you.
What are your thoughts? Do you make a conscious effort not to come across as arrogant? If so, how do you draw the line between portraying yourself as confident and coming across as arrogant?