Last week we examined the difference between self-esteem and confidence, why introverts can be just as confident as extroverts, the benefits of confidence, we dispelled the stereotypes of what it is to be truly confident and explored what genuine confidence looks like. This week we examine the difference between confidence and arrogance and explore how to develop external confidence as a means to encourage internal confidence in the long term.
Difference between confidence and arrogance
Often confidence and arrogance are thought to be close relatives however there are several key differences.
Whilst confident people acknowledge that there are those more capable and gifted than themselves, they also realize that this doesn’t diminish what they can offer. In contrast, arrogant people believe that they are superior in their abilities to almost everyone, with any indication to the contrary considered very threatening.
The confident person feels no need to exclaim their accomplishments, the arrogant individual will seek to brag about their achievements to anyone who will listen.
Likewise, the confident person will feel no cause to put others down or compare whereas the arrogant will use put downs or come out with superior remarks all too often.
The confident openly admit to their mistakes, the arrogant will tirelessly work to place the blame and responsibility elsewhere.
Whilst the confident are receptive to learning opportunities from others – and hence are more considerate and respectful towards other people – the arrogant think they already have the answers and often lack diplomacy and tact.
The confident are comfortable in having differences of opinion and see it as no cause for conflict whereas the arrogant will seek to impose their opinions on you and won’t hesitate to enter into conflict to do so.
How to develop external confidence as a means of cultivating lasting internal confidence
Whilst in an ideal world we would all magically have inner confidence we know this is not the case. I struggled for years to gain inner confidence, my early twenties were filled with insecurity. Although I have inner confidence now there are still situations when I feel I lack true confidence.
One situation particularly comes to mind that I touched on earlier in the series. I was on Eharmony (an online dating site to the uninitiated) and I saw a profile. This guy looked hot, really hot. We exchanged messages and soon after arranged our first phone date. I was nervous to say the least.
Although I was no stranger online dating I hadn’t had loads of phone dates before. What if we ran out of things to say and there were awkward silences? In a bid to feel more confident that this wouldn’t happen I Googled ‘fun first date questions’ and wrote down the ones I most liked. In short, I prepared, which both helped to calm my nerves (even though they were still there in the background) and feel like I was ready for however the conversation unfolded. Preparing for situations that have the potential to make you feel unsure or nervous does wonders for cultivating external confidence.
Although I hadn’t had many phone dates before I had engaged in plenty of conversations over the phone and so I was comfortable making conversation. If you find that you don’t have much practice for the situation you are lacking confidence in seek out ways of gaining experience in similar situations where you will utilize the skills you will need in advance of the real deal.
Rather than acting your way through a situation you find yourself nervous in be sincere, be you! If you are softly spoken don’t feel the need to appear loud. If you are serious by nature don’t feel the urge to appear funny and crack jokes all the time. When we present a false self to the world it can be quite transparent and even if it isn’t (if so an Oscar is on its way to you now by the way) we invariably get found out in the end when our true self emerges.
Around eighty percent of all communication is non-verbal, a shocking statistic if ever there was one. What is perhaps just as surprising is that when we change our body language we not only communicate differently but we feel different too.
Stand up straight, point your feet towards people to show interest, tilt your head to the side to show you are intently listening and don’t cross your arms or use items of clothing to hide behind. Not only will these simple gestures make you appear more confident, you will feel more confident too.
Have you ever confused arrogance and confidence? Do you find knowing you can develop external confidence as a means of fostering greater internal confidence reassuring? Did it surprise you that when we change our body language our feelings can change too? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, insight and support from our community, we’d love to hear from you.
Stay tuned – next week we will explore how to develop lasting internal confidence!