Arrogance versus Confidence


There is a thin line between Arrogance and Confidence, it is called Competence.

Early in my career, I would hear it often mentioned that ‘I should not be arrogant,’ be open-minded. Take other views and listen to experience.

This is indeed true but very difficult to do, even more, complex to understand.

For years I listened to everyone willing to give advice and would continuously ponder this question.

Years later I would come to my conclusion.

I do not regret taking advise, the son of a doctor and grandson of a businessman I had many opportunities to benefits from the wisdom of others and embraced it.

I was educated very early in life, to respect my elders, listen and take advise from those experienced. In an Indian community, the psychological construct of bearing knowledge onto others in the family is unequivocally strong.

Now before I write any further, this was by no means a bad experience.I was very fortunate to have access to people even outside my family or community with differing views; as such the variety of advice I received was quite educational. It thought me that at a philosophical level most people advise on the same things, be good, be kind, be smart, don’t make the mistake I made, be better than me, etc.

I do not regret ever taking advice.I did, however, question the input received from people who did not tread the same path as me.

We all can learn from the experience of others even when not related to ourselves, however, at times we should reserve our comments, which are often expressed as advice when a sincere lack of knowledge exists in any particular area.

I learned there are a lot more people willing to give advice than there are people to receive it.

Often when people give advice, and it is not received well, they linger or default to the ‘arrogance of the individual” being young in most of the corporate, educational circles I function in – this was and is a frequent mention – something I have pondered over for years.

To everyone I propose this:

Advice is like a jug of water, take from everyone but drink sparingly as your thirst is satiated.

  • When you are young, you need advice and should access it in immense quantities, not only do you need it but you are more receptive to it. Drink lots of advice.
  • As you get older your thirst is satiated to a certain extent, should you not accept advice?… No, not at all. You should still receive from everyone, and every means you have available. However drink sparingly.

In the real world what this means:

  • When you are young, listen and absorb all the advice you get. You will make mistakes however you will learn very quickly how to measure and extract the maximum value from advice. You will even learn to judge when advice has a bias or no bias. When you are young, you have the energy to do both the thinking and the receiving around the advice.
  • When you are older it’s not that you lack energy, however, the energy you use is more concentrated. The advice you require as you get older becomes much much more intricate; At this stage, if you have experience? (I assume you will); you will learn by now that good advice is very expensive and allowing yourself to receive and ponder about specific advice is exceptionally expensive. As such the older you get, the more selective you get about what advice you actually follow through on.

   Warren Buffet says “ Good advice is very expensive, do not expect it from cheap people.” [paraphrased]

Now coming back to arrogance. Arrogance is often understood as over-confidence in one’s abilities, in other renditions it is one’s importance. I am specifically straying away from addressing arrogance as it pertains to importance as it is obvious to me that importance is a superficial and subjective construct which is not worth discussing in this article.

In my personal experience:

  • while some have called me arrogant at the beginning of our relationship;
  • they have called me confident not long after;

if their perception of my abilities has changed due to positive performance.

This has led to my eventual understanding of competence.

  • If someone has heard of my prowess knowing who I am, what I do and what I can achieve, refers to me as confident.
  • If somebody has just met me, perception based on their judgment of me might suggest I am arrogant.Since arrogance is often related to a person’s belief in your abilities, a way of resolving this is with competence.

Which leads me to my hypothesis:

There is a thin line between arrogance and confidence it is called … competence.

Your thoughts and views appreciated, should you wish to share them.

Much Appreciated

Zaffy – qualified and experienced in technical and business, hoping to combine them to make a difference.

Tech | Business | Enable = Capable

Extra mentions: after writing this article I found a simple piece related to another hypothesis around arrogance and confidence, related to humility. Click Here

Link to LinkedIn Pulse Article: Click Here

Be the first to like.

This entry was posted in Personal Development. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *