The Line Between Arrogance and Self-Worth

We’ve all been there. At a place where we want to feel confident yet we are afraid of appearing prideful. We want to be humble, yet we want to feel valuable. For example, as a freelancer, I work for a variety of sites and YouTube channels. I accept critiques and I must bend to my client’s requirements.

Sometimes I get offers that I’m not sure whether I should accept. This is usually because the pay is too low. When I come across one of these jobs I always face this battle. Is turning it down wrong? Am I overconfident? How valuable is my work as far as money is concerned?

It’s not that I think I’m too good for them, but rather that I have other work to do and can only accept a certain number. Besides, as my experience grows, so does my rate. On the other hand, if I were to exaggerate rates or demean clients, that would be crossing a line.

The balance is tough, finding self-worth without appearing ungrateful. This scenario is exactly what inspired this article.

Pride vs. Arrogance


Is there a difference in pride and arrogance? Absolutely! Let me ask you a question. Can you take pride in someone else? You betcha! Can be be arrogant in someone else? Exactly! See, that’s one of the biggest differences. Arrogance is purely selfish and egotistic.

There’s nothing wrong with being proud of one’s accomplishments. In fact, it helps us strive to do better and be more of who we’re meant to be. Without pride we wouldn’t have shame. Both are important to our existence. Although one definition of pride is very synonymous to arrogance, the root of the word is completely different. Definitions are added when people use words incorrectly long enough. That’s because words are meant to be a tool for communication. When people use a word for a certain meaning it is only natural that it develops that meaning.

However, while the right kind of pride is beneficial, arrogance is purely harmful. Arrogance is just a way to hide low self-esteem.

Key differences in confidence (good) and arrogance (bad):

  • Arrogant people want to belittle you while confident people want you to succeed
  • Arrogant people exude negative energy while confident people beam positivity
  • Arrogant people appear to ignore their own faults while confident people comfortably admit theirs
  • Arrogant people are self-absorbed while confident people acknowledge the needs of others
  • Arrogant people will try to debate constantly simply to prove they are right while confident people don’t need conflict
  • Arrogant people won’t listen as they force their own ideas on you while confident people are good at listening and enjoy hearing the opinions of others

Bonus: Confident people like eye-contact, arrogant people like looking past you, and insecure people look at the ground.


Confidence and Self-Worth


So, there’s nothing wrong with taking pride in your work, yourself. If you aren’t proud of yourself, there’s a reason. It could be because others who are insecure have made you feel this way, as I’ve spoken of in You Weren’t Born Insecure.¬†Or it could be because you really are, rightfully ashamed of yourself.

Now, let’s exclude the fact that most people are 99% more likely to find flaws in their own work than others. They see every fault and weakness just as they do in themselves.

But, what I’m talking about is that line between being arrogant and knowing your own worth. It’s hard to find sometimes. You don’t want to appear arrogant (the key is in appearance) yet you know (hopefully) you should value yourself. So how do you find the line between arrogance and confidence, between¬†self-worth and humility or humbleness?



For starters, know that you are not above anyone else. Even if you happen to be more proficient at a given skill etc. Know that everyone else is equally skilled. In my opinion, we all have the same amount of potential, it is simply that those who appear more skilled were given the right exposure/opportunity.

Think about the fact that there are sixteen personality types and nine types of intelligence. Each of these have a completely different skill set. If you put a monkey in the ocean, he’ll appear dumb and inadequate compared to the fish. However, if you put a fish in a tree, he’ll appear the same to the monkeys. Also…they will both die in minutes.

We’re each given a different personality and skill set. So be confident in yours without letting it go to your head so to speak! Confidence is healthy, arrogance is weakness.

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