It’s hard to say this but no less true, I have been arrogant, many times in my life.
But it’s also no lie to state arrogance is a cover up for insecurities, self-defense mechanisms and a huge red-light of immaturity and of low E.Q.
Arrogance was perhaps my childhood weapon against any potential bullies or any other form of marginalization, but it was also living up to the expectations of many of my neighbors’ perceptions of me. I’d often heard of how labels such as “anti-social”, “stuck-up” , “snobbish”, “Oreo”, “coconut”, “she-thinks-she’s better” had gone around and so instead of trying to conform, create harmonious living space, make everyone around me comfortable and achieve a more “kinder and like-able opinion” , I felt that “If they were already thinking I was “stuck-up”, it was their problem and It wasn’t my responsibility to make people less insecure around me”. So I continued to ride solo, choosing rather to befriend characters in Enid Blyton adventures or Roald Dahl fantasies when I was home. The only form of social life that existed in my childhood was merely a by product of the many extra-mural activities I participated in at school and Church Youth Club. I was doing fairly well at school, an all-rounder, school leadership positions, involved in youth leadership at church and a self-righteous christian and perhaps it created in me a demigod complex.
But in all honesty,outside school and church, I was not a fan of people, was distrusting and very self-protective. Living in a busy city didn’t help either as it meant being raised to constantly be in a state of paranoia, be distrusting and not ever be timid. Arrogance was my armor, my defense and a second skin I wore for many years into my adulthood.
I’m grateful for the rich friendships I have, the honesty and love we share. I have people in my life who can, with lots of love and in the most dignified way, correct me and help me to remember who I am instead of defend my character . We love each other enough to be able to call each other to order and are reminded about what matters the most.
Growing up, travelling and reading has also expanded my mind and ability to appreciate mankind so much more. I honestly believe there’s more goodness in people than not and the fear (the opposite of love) is the reason there’s so much conflict in the world.
Fear leads to arrogance.
Arrogance is nothing more than a weakness disguised in strength. And the fact that I can describe it as a defense mechanism proves just that.
I’m grateful for what growth and life experiences does to one’s development. The older I get, the more confident I’ve become about everything I am. I don’t fall into a specific mold (never have really) and I’m comfortable with that. I’m a critical thinker and don’t necessarily accept things at face value. I’m highly opinionated, but I’m also content enough not to impose. I am more curious about people’s different perspectives on life, current affairs,history, religion etc and I appreciate the differences. I’m curious about what informs the different beliefs and values of individuals. I’m open to learning often just listening and questioning , seeking more to understand. I’ve learnt to only engage in debates with people who are keen on different perspectives as much as they are willing to share theirs. I’m happy to educate, but I’m also open to unlearn and receive new learnings.
I see no reason to impose my own beliefs but just to respect those of others.
Growing up has exposed me to my own imperfections. I’ve learned I don’t know it all, I’m not always right and I’m certainly not perfect and for some reason, knowing these flaws about me has made that much more confident and I see little reason to assert myself or prove myself in anyway.
My friend Jax says it’s enlightenment.
I’m not perfect. Discovering that ( yes, I “discovered”) was rather hard once upon a time, now as I write it feels so liberating. Because knowing I’m not perfect has made me less anxious. It’s not to say I’ve lowered my standards of being, it’s to say I’m more mature about what I expect of myself and of others.
Just reading this and all I see is “I”, “I”, “I” has made me wonder if anything has changed at all and if you don’t know me and saw me walking you’d probably conclude with conviction that I am indeed arrogant ( Jax says it’s my walk). We also need to separate confidence from arrogance. And I hope from one human to another, if we ever ran into each other and engaged in a conversation, you will walk away feeling great, inspired and empowered because that’s what separates the confident from the arrogant. Confident people see and add value in others and not in themselves at the expense of others. That’s all I ever hope to do – inspire and empower, because therein lies the the magic of true connection.
Yes, I’m am imperfect and that in itself is perfectly human.
As I continue to learn.