Confident and Arrogant

This is a clone of a nice article written by Jennie ("Be one in a million, not of a million")


In certain cultures, acknowledging how special we are is oftentimes considered pompous and arrogant. There is, on the other hand, a thin line between being “confident” and being “arrogant.” In most Asian countries, it is always preferred to keep a low-key profile and not to outshine others. There is an Indonesian adage that says, “The higher you have become, the more you need to bow down.”

Sure, it makes a lot of sense because there is no doubt humility will go a long way, even in this highly wired modern world. Still, many people misunderstood it as “lowering ourselves as low as others or lower than others, so we do not threaten other people by being ourselves.” That is a total misconception.

The fine line between being “confident” and being “arrogant” is an awareness of self and how one relates to the environment. A confident person accepts accolades with grace, strives to better themselves and their surroundings with dignified efforts. They do not take things, either tangible or intangible, from others. They know where they stand and how to get where they are heading in life. An arrogant person behaves differently: they do not accept things with grace, even take things that do not belong to them, and tend to belittle others in order to elevate themselves.

One thing that we should not forget as special beings is that we are all born with multiple intelligences. According to Howard Gardner, there are at least eleven types of intelligence:

1. Linguistic intelligence
2. Logical-mathematical intelligence
3. Spatial intelligence
4. Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence
5. Musical intelligence
6. Naturalistic intelligence
7. Interpersonal intelligence
8. Intrapersonal intelligence
9. Spiritual intelligence
10. Existential intelligence
11. Moral intelligence

What we need to be aware here is that everybody has a concoction of special intelligences. We all have our strong and weak traits. Simply do not focus on what you do not have, but instead hone whatever you have at hand. I personally prefer, however, focusing on what I can do best because that is my “niche” in the world. Whatever is easy for me might not be that easy for other people, which is awesome.


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Anonymous Tuesday, 02 October, 2007  

Anymatters, you are correct, to avoid misinterpretation that we are arrogant we need to find an appropriate place where we can acknowledge how special we are.

On the other hand, the term, "Semakin berisi padi, maka ia semakin menunduk" most of the times does not match to western culture. They might think something else about yourself, such as you are hiding something, or you are "stupid", etc. That's why, appropreate place and situation are the keys to acknowledge yourself. Wednesday, 03 October, 2007  

Thanks for this clone posting, Jef. It's sometimes so astonishing to compare differences between cultures. In one culture, it is negative, in the other is positive.

But I believe in universal values. Compassion is universal. :)

Anonymous Wednesday, 03 October, 2007  

Beni, thanks. I do realise our blogs are the media sets to acknowledge ourselves. Although, for some times I think it's a kind of arrogance. But actually not! We just have some things to share and offer.

Jennie, thanks. You just open my mind that I have to show off everything I'm capable of to my bosses, coworkers and the relevant ones. So that I can go forward from there with understanding that showing off means proving.

Like our hi school maths and physics teachers used to say, "showing all of your calculations!" :)

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