The Thin Line Between Confidence and Arrogance

Why is it arrogant to say you’re good at something? When does ‘one’ cross the line between being confident and being arrogant? I had a meeting with someone, who I think is fairly important, this morning, where I had to convince them that I’m good at something in less than an hour.

Unfortunately, to date their only experience of me is online and well….erm…we all know that my twitter presence and blog doesn’t give off an air of professionalism. Ooops! Short of slapping my CV on the table, subjecting them to my training videos or a list of professional references I was really limited on what I could do.

Funnily, we both found ourselves apologizing for saying ‘I’m sorry if this sounds arrogant but….’

I honestly don’t think that I’m arrogant, but confident. There are loads of things I’m crap at, parenting being one of them, but I’m good at my job. I’ve been doing it for 11 years and can do it standing on my head. I don’t think I’m better than anyone else; there are people who are better than me and some who are worse but I don’t dwell on this. I’ve worked for some rather large organisations and have been invited overseas for work as well.

I don’t know how many times I’ve been told ‘you were so much better than our last trainer’. I’m a very good listener, responsive, accommodating and knowledgeable. I’m always happy when someone points out a better way of doing things and I don’t take it as criticism. I can be very humble and always happy to learn new things. I probably sound like a right tw*t!

However today, the pressure of not coming across arrogant really made me conscious of what I was saying and did make me ramble nervously. I think I barely squeaked by with a passing grade but I do hope they saw a few flashes of brilliance.

I think this quote sums up what I’m trying to say.

‘Unfounded confidence is arrogance. If you are really good at something then you have the right to say so, but if you’re not, then saying you are is arrogant.’

So does this come across as arrogant?  Yup, thought so!