Being confident is a Good Thing.
You can quote me on that.
You can write it down on a slip of paper and bring it out when you hear someone say that confidence is a Bad Thing. “No way!” you can shout, “look, I have proof on this piece of paper right here in my hand that’s it’s not a Bad Thing. At all. Came from this Steve guy. English dude. Balding. Yeah, him.”
But what about arrogance? Arrogance (sometimes mistakenly called over-confidence) is another kettle of fish entirely. So much so that it isn’t even a kettle and doesn’t have any fish in it.
Let's look a little closer, with five clear signs that you're an arrogant ass-hat.
1. Nobody else gets a word in
It's not simply that you love to be the centre of attention. The hard truth is that you're more interesting than the other people in the room and have more to say.
Whether at a party or in a meeting or hanging out in the coffee shop, the stuff that other people say never really seems to hit the mark. It’s never astute enough, clever enough, insightful enough, funny enough or valuable enough, right? If you can add all that value and hit the mark every time, wouldn’t it be a waste, or a crime, not to?
Think of it as a public service. You're speaking up and being interesting so others don't have to.
2. You’re right. Period.
You know your way is the right way, you just know it.
Everyone else wants to go round the houses, cover all the bases or do their due diligence. They seem determined to go about things in a way that’s nowhere near as efficient and effective as your way is. So you state your case, let people know they’re wrong and even get into arguments because you know full well your way will get the best result.
If only they’d listen to you more of the time, they’d get great results all of the time.
3. You can’t date just anybody
You can have your pick of partners, but if you dated the first guy or gal to come along not only would you be settling, but you'd be selling yourself short too. You'd be dooming the relationship to failure before it’s started.
No, you’ve got to be sure that your date—whoever the lucky soul is—is capable of keeping up with you (even if they can’t match you) as well as recognising what a catch you are.
Maybe you should hold auditions...
4. You can deliver the moon on a stick
You’re damn good. You really are. Other people are content to go for reasonable challenges or to push themselves just a little bit. You’re different. You’re better than that. If you need to deliver something in a week, you can likely deliver it in half the time or deliver twice as much. Double the fun.
Limits are for wimps, so don't you dare settle for what other people can do; you know that you can go further, stronger, longer and faster than them.
Let the world know.
5. People don’t “get you”
You do and do and do, and still people never seem to grasp how good you are. Friends have come and gone, romantic dalliances seem to be short-lived and even colleagues and bosses criticise you for tiny things that have no bearing on the results you get.
But it's okay. You don’t need other people and it’s probably nothing more than petty jealousy on their part.
The fact that other people don’t get you doesn’t mean that you need to lower your standards. Stay strong.
I’m being facetious.
If you find yourself doing any one of these things then there's a danger that you're an arrogant ass-hat. Make sure you recognise it.
(Oh, and if you find yourself doing all of them, then I have an emergency coaching session on standby with your name on it…)
What to do instead...
Instead of being an arrogant ass-hat, try the following instead:
- Face your insecurities. Because that arrogance is likely masking the fact that you're terrified to be out of control, or wrong, or vulnerable. Facing those things is where you develop natural confidence.
- Practice compassion. Don't just listen to other people, but be generous in hearing them. Connect with people in ways that respect the fact they're already whole and already enough. We're all in this together.
- Do the work. Instead of using arrogance to bluff and bluster your way through, do the work that's needed to engage with what matters, build your skills and experience, and add value as you always wanted to.
Do these three things, and you'll no longer be an arrogant ass-hat, but someone who everyone wants to be around.