I know a German man in Australia who is often perceived as arrogant, but I don’t think he is arrogant. He is an efficient character and very task focussed. When he is working on a project he is totally engrossed and will not notice if you are unhappy, crying or even on fire! Hence people think he is self-absorbed and arrogant, but he is really just very good at his work. He is often so focussed that he uses language economically. For example, if you were having dinner with him and he was chewing a mouthful of steak he would not say, “Excuse me but would you please pass the salt”. Instead he would turn to you and just say, “Salt!”. Again Australians perceive him as arrogant, but if you asked him why he didn’t say “excuse me” and “please” and “thank you” he would explain that he had a mouthful of food, you were enjoying your dinner and it made no sense to prolong the interaction with extraneous words like “excuse me”, “please” and “thank you”.
Are you arrogant or do you lack confidence? Where does your self-esteem sit on the Confidence-Richter scale? It is a mighty hard task to appear confident and self-assured, but not conceited. Also different cultures have different views about confidence. In Australia women who are sure-footed are often viewed as conceited, hard and unfeminine. Female friends have told me that a winning combination in business is confidence coupled with friendliness. They are less likely to be accused of being conceited or hard, if they have a smile on.
Confidence versus Arrogance
Confidence and arrogance both stem from a belief in your own abilities, but they elicit totally different reactions from people. Confidence is attractive, arrogance is a turn-off. Confidence gets hired, arrogance gets fired. You need to work on yourself to establish the correct degree of quiet confidence, but any loud-mouthed idiot can come across as cocky and arrogant.
There are 10 key behaviours you should avoid so that you are never perceived as arrogant.
Basically the difference between confidence and arrogance is this. Arrogance is like cheap jewellery. It is inexpensive metal dipped in gold. After a while the gold veneer wears away. But truly confident people are solid gold. They know themselves and are real to the core.