Pride and Arrogance


The new World Trade Centre lighted up. Arrogance destroyed the twin towers; the City now radiates with pride with its new building.

Picture kind courtesy Jafar Shameem

Is there a line between pride and arrogance? Arguably there is really a very thin line between the two.

Listen to those who radiate, are happy to talk about their achievements, their experience, and their viewpoint easily without any hesitation. Notice their confidence, high-mindedness, with feel good without a desire to offend others.  They usually see people’s potential and can help them succeed in something. They do something great or note-worthy relative to what you believe in. They feel proud when they complete something. You take pride in their achievements and extol it.

Compare with those single-minded who either think that they are superior to others or inferior to them. You observe them covering their feelings of inferiority when they tear others down. You hear them saying  “I can do the best for you because I AM the best.” Primarily an  exaggerated feelings of themselves, making themselves believe that they will always do perfect. They often use their rhetoric to cover their sloppiness and inability to cope with the task. Deep inside, they know they are not able to do the things they are doing. They are full of doubts.  Arrogance begins to form when we start to think thoughts like them and behave accordingly.

I looked around observed and also read primarily to ascertain the differences between those who genuinely are proud and reach out to us with pride and those who pervert pride through arrogance. I noticed the overwhelming feeling in a few of my friends and deciphered it in the achievements of the inventors, discoverers and various achievers. Their bottom line had a common denominator viz humility.  I heard the criminals ranting, the politicians extolling, the soothsayers preaching and the doomsayers magnifying their virtues and achievements with wanton pride; sadly their common denominator remains distinctive viz arrogance. Let me share a few of my observations,

  • Proud people always remain confident as they know what they do, are usually masters of their profession and always like to do things properly. The arrogant are often insecure due to their social and professional shortcomings.  
  • Proud people use their language wisely as they  talk from their own experience and regularly work on themselves, controlling their thoughts. It is natural for them to speak positively and inspiring to others. While arrogant people usually use strong language as arrogance has its seeds in an inability to control the mind. If an arrogant person wants to make an impression on others he will most likely use strong language, including swearing.
  • Proud people think all people deserve to be treated equally while arrogant think they are better than others.
  • Proud people have their inner peace, they know how to control their emotions so they seem to be always in control of the situation they are in. When does a dog bite? It bites when fearing someone because it wants to protect itself. And that is the same situation when some people are using their arrogance: in the moments of fear of losing something.
  • Proud people are achievement-oriented viewing their hard work as the key to their success. They highly rely on themselves whilst always prepared to listen to other people’s advice. On the other hand, arrogant people view success as pure luck so they are always on the run for the next best opportunity.
  • Proud people always praise their team. They know that by doing so they lose nothing but only empower the people around them. The arrogant think only of their own success.When they work in a team, after the task is completed they are first on the stage to take the prize for it.
  • People with pride have genuine self-esteem coming out of knowing themselves well. They know what they are capable of and how to control their emotions. Arrogance is actually ignorance of knowledge.
  • When persons with pride find out they are wrong, they will have no problem of confessing their mistakes and trying to correct it, while arrogant people will do just anything to prove they are right.
  •  Proud people do not have a need to impress anybody while arrogant people have a constant urge to do so. People with pride  are not starving for other people’s attention, they simply attract it with their presence. Arrogant people work hard to impress others so they are usually the loudest ones in the group. They do not have any boundaries for achieving their goal: if there is a chance to make a joke about someone they will not think twice to do so.
  • Proud people respect others, so they can work with many different people. They do not fear somebody will take their position because they strongly believe in themselves. On the other hand, arrogant people need a safe place to work from such as in any hierarchical system where roles are well defined. We do know of  few of our bosses who yelled at us only because of their position.

In the present global scenario in most countries the arrogant are prospering through their willful and obstreperous actions and rhetoric while persons filled with genuine pride mere spectators. Though the masses who placed them on a pedestal are reconciled being led by such persons  Why and how do the arrogant succeed in acquiring positions which they should not?

  • They express anger, are very intimidating and intimidation is unfortunately, a dark approach to success.
  • Arrogant people are difficult, are not always exactly popular with the intellengicia, however, they have advantages. I will never get into an argument with a truly difficult person who is a pain. However, the arrogant person benefits as a result.
  • They are socially dominant which can have all kinds of benefits. Socially dominant people have a leg up when it comes to obtaining power. 
  • Arrogance shares some features of narcissism, feeling superior to others. Arrogant people seem like they think they are superior, and it’s true! Such an inflated sense of self can often lead to various social benefits 
  •  Arrogant people attack individuals. Sounds familiar to me. They try to argue or propagate an issue  and it suddenly gets personal. While we find such vicious attacks at the person to be nasty, we also experience them as intimidating, empowering arrogant people along the way.

The arrogance of a few has resulted in enormous destruction and loss of lives in the past and it continues even now. While the pride of a few has made our lives easier and healthier. 

The choice is ours! Be proud and take pride in our and the achievements of others or promote arrogant persons to destroy our lives!




6 thoughts on “Pride and Arrogance”

  1. Lovely snaps.
    I feel you have put the ‘proud’ on a pedestal. But where is she? It’s mostly shades of grey.
    If an arrogant man is elected to high office, it is a reflection on the frustrations of the populace who are prepared to be led without much thought.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! Jafar my son has his blog where his pictures are displayed. He has taken up photography as a hobby quite seriously.
      Yes, we after all are mortals! Wish to add, frustration should not lead to disaster! In any case ‘every country has the government it deserves’, Joseph de Maistre


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