Being confident doesn’t necessarily make you arrogant, but there is a thin line between those two that you must be aware of to avoid becoming arrogant instead of confident.
In this article, I want to talk about a few ways you can be confident without being arrogant, those might not be the most popular ways out there, but they will help you become truly confident. That is actually a big difference between a confident person and an arrogant one, a confident person is just that, confident. In contrast, an arrogant person seems to be confident, but that doesn’t mean they are.
Can you be confident without being arrogant?
You can be confident without being perceived as arrogant if you pay attention to people around you, and you are not selfish and always want to show how good you are at everything or how many things you know.
Confidence can come from many places, not only from the appreciation you get from others. An arrogant person will always want to show what they are good at, no matter the circumstances, to gain respect and be perceived as confident. In many cases, they will even lie or exaggerate things to make sure that people around them think they are confident.
I have an article about arrogance being attractive in which I got into more detail about arrogant people, why they are not confident, and the actual disadvantages of being arrogant.
Now, let’s get to how you can be confident without arrogance.
5 Ways to be confident without being arrogant
1. Be honest and admit your weaknesses.
Being able to say, “I’m not good at that” or “I don’t know the answer to that” is actually a sign of confidence as long as you don’t feel embarrassed for not knowing. The secret is to confidently admit it when it is the case, not to try to hide it or avoid the topic since that will feel weird.
This is a skill like many others, the first time when you have to admit you don’t know something or you are not good at a certain task, it might feel weird, but when you do it more often, it will come naturally, and you will easily realize that it is impossible to be good at everything or have all the answers.
Also, being able to admit it gives the person in front of you the opportunity to explain more, which will make you more knowledgeable in the future.
I notice many people think that they should have the answer for everything because they think this is what makes them look more confident. It can work a few times, but you end up in awkward situations more often than you would like when you are contradicted, and you have to prove that you know what you are talking about.
Knowing your weaknesses and not being ashamed of them is a sign of confidence, most people will respect you for that. We rarely see people that are aware of their weaknesses, and I’m not talking about things that people say because they think it makes them look good, like”I’m too stubborn” or “I work too hard, and I care too much” and other silly things like these.
2. Listen to others
Actively listening to people around you is something that will make you more confident and less arrogant because you learn more about the person you are talking with, and you will know better what to talk about and when.
If you don’t listen to others and you only want to brag or show how confident you are, it’s easy to end up being arrogant and not confident because you don’t know what the other person appreciates, respects and so on.
Make sure you don’t end up being passive and just listening but never talking since that is not a sign of confidence, and it can be perceived as being shy or timid.
3. Be coherent
Communication is a big factor when we talk about confident people. We will also talk about body language, but for the moment, I want to talk about the importance of being coherent.
If you want to be confident, it is crucial that when you talk, it makes sense, it’s logical, and you have a reason to say what you are saying.
We all know people who talk, and it feels like what they say is unrelated to the discussed topic. Even the sentences seem unrelated to each other, you know, those people that make you want to ask, “What are you talking about?” and not because you are curious but because you don’t see the point or the logic when they are talking.
So, to be seen as confident, you have to train your communication to make sure you are coherent and don’t confuse people when you are talking. You might know certain things, and you are confident when you talk, but if they don’t sound coherent, you will not get your point across.
4 Body language
As I said, communication is key when we talk about confidence, having a good body posture is very important when sending a message.
If someone is tall but hunched when talking to you, there is little chance that you will see them as confident, no matter what they say.
So exercise your body language, I learned this when I worked in sales, it was face to face sales, and my boss told me that I always bend when I talk to shorted people, and that looks bad and told me that a tall guy that stands straight looks way more confident. He was right, my sales increased when I had a better body posture and, with that, my self-esteem as well, which led me to be more confident even in casual situations, not only at work.
5 Be emphatic
This is a bit more than just listening to others, it is about being able to put yourself into their shoes, understanding what makes them say certain things that you might not agree with, and so on.
There are situations in which someone says something I don’t agree with, but when I think about their circumstances, friends, education, and so on, it makes total sense, and even if we don’t see things the same way, we are both correct at the same time.
For example, when we talk about branded clothes with friends, even if I don’t like to spend money on branded clothes, I understand why some of my friends do that and what brings them. Here is my article about branded clothes and why they might matter, to see what I’m talking about.
If you have a circle of friends where you get more respect for wearing branded clothes, or this might even help you at work somehow, you can argue that paying more for those is worth it, even if the material might be the same.
So you have to put yourself in the other’s shoes to understand why they make some decision before drawing a conclusion.
The difference between being confident and arrogant is that you care about other people around you, and you don’t want to be the one that monopolizes the discussion at any price if you are truly confident.
So if you want to be perceived as confident, you have to pay attention to people around you, to listen to them and understand when is the right moment to talk and why. Sometimes, even if you know the answer to something, you might have to keep it for yourself, which is not easy.