The Difference Between Confidence and Arrogance

The Difference Between Confidence and Arrogance

Dr. Darlene Treese

“The fragile line between confidence and arrogance is humility.”

-Norman E. Bowie & Meg Schneider, Business Ethics for Dummies

There’s been a lot of focus lately on confidence and self-esteem – and confusion blurring the lines of confidence and bullying.  I’ve always promoted self-confidence and self-awareness as being essential to authenticity.  When you know who you are and who you are not, you can express your unique self with an ease and comfort that allows for diversity. Some have asked if this wasn’t dangerous in creating self-centeredness and arrogance that disregarded others.  Others said that they (or their child) once had a good self-image but now is being bullied.  I thought it would be interesting to look at both sides of this.  In this newsletter, we’ll define the difference between confidence and arrogance and then next time I’ll offer some tips if your child (or you!) are being bullied and what to do if your child (or you!) has become the bully.  

There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance since both are based in a strong belief about one’s own competence and abilities.  However, perception is reality and the responses and reactions the behavior creates is often the best indicator that one has crossed that fine line.  Here are some examples:

*Arrogance has to “one up” everything you say.  It demands all others accept only this point of view

*Confidence allows for other views, looks for common ground and workable solutions

*Arrogance belittles and disrespects others with condescending phrases, name-calling and put downs

*Confidence is respectful even in disagreements

*Arrogance interrupts frequently, has a quick answer for everything and finds someone to blame

 *Confidence listens, responds thoughtfully and accepts responsibility to improve

*Arrogance believes it is always superior to anyone else and take every opportunity to show it

*Confidence is high-minded in seeing potential in others and helps them succeed as well

*Arrogance is negative thinking that creates confusion, fear, contempt, uneasiness and conflict

 *Confidence is positive thinking that creates vision, clarity, trust, loyalty and teamwork

*Arrogance is “I”

*Confidence is “WE”

If you’re unsure if you’ve crossed that fine line, examine your attitudes, behaviors and beliefs.  For tangible evidence you can record conversations or read emails you’ve sent and see if they are more “arrogant” or “confident”.  Ask others – especially those you disagree with – how you are coming across to them.  The best honest feedback you can receive will come from someone in a subordinate position who has nothing to gain and possibly something to lose.  Their openness and honesty in highlighting your “blind spots” may well be the best gift you’ve ever received!

Realize that the current loud and rude political discourse and media attention amplifying it are at an extremely dangerous level.  When we engage in this, there are no positive outcomes.  When we are closed off from hearing and discussing other opinions and problem-solving solutions, we can only stay entrenched in our current situation with no positive action forward.  But also notice that there are positive conversations taking place and emulate those.  The bully demands the spotlight, blind loyalty and power.  The sage respects different perspectives and works for solutions that build on WE rather than US vs THEM.

One person who is connected to their Source and their authentic self is more powerful than a million who are not.  Tap into that higher wisdom, knowledge and perspective for problem-solving that benefits all. 


Need to lighten up and let go of stress, tension, depression, fear and regrets?  Dr. Dar Treese offers individual assistance to get and stay on track, overcome adversity or find your passion. She has been in private practice in hypnosis, coaching, counseling and consulting for over 30 years. Dr. Dar has been internationally acknowledged for her positive action and solution-based techniques with individuals, couples, groups and corporations. 

“A person for the people,” Dr. Dar is always available to help you get a grip on life, health and happiness to take that next step forward in creating the life you truly desire. She now offers telephone and email sessions to accommodate your busy schedule and allow you to do the sessions in the privacy and comfort of your own home.  Office visits are also available two weekends per month.  These sessions fill very quickly so schedule your time slot today.

Life is too short to be unhappy and the answers and clarity you seek may be only a phone call or mouse click away.

Call Dr. Dar today at 407-278-1598 or email her at or visit her website –