What’s the difference between confidence and arrogance?

This is one of my favourite questions.


As soon as you realise that you already know the difference, you will never come across as arrogant again.

I believe the primary difference between confidence and arrogance is… intent.

If your intent is to make you look good, to be the big I am, cleverer than you, the ‘special one’ (remember him?) then it’s easy for you to appear to be arrogant.

If your intent is to serve, share and improve lives, then it’s more likely you will come across as confident.

Two people can say the same words at the same time in the same situation.

They can even act in similar ways.

And yet, one still appears to be confident while the other one is arrogant.


What do you want to be known as?

I would love to hear your comments below.

Be Brilliant!


  1. April 13th 2023 by Tim Brownson

    There’s a guy called Dr John Eliot who had a cd set on Nightingale Conant called The Maverick Mindset. It’s my all-time favourite audio program. Er…..after How to Be Brilliant, of course.

    He talks about the difference between performance arrogance and social arrogance. He’s a psychology professor and he encourages performance arrogance because it’s needed to hit peak state. But it becomes a problem when you transfer that arrogance about what you know you can do in a situation to who you are as a person.

    IOW, being brilliant at public speaking doesn’t mean you’re brilliant at pronouncing the word book correctly. (It’s buck btw. Just because it’s spelt book doesn’t mean you can run around saying book).

    I’m arrogant in my belief that I’m funnier than most people, can write better than most others and I’m a really good coach.

    Other than that, I suck at almost everything.

    And I do mean everything.

    Ask the wife.

    Please don’t.

    1. April 13th 2023 by Michael Heppell

      Defo going to find John Eliot’s work.

      And it is boooooook with 7, yes 7 o’s

  2. April 13th 2023 by Judy Brulo

    An arrogant person has a veneer, they pretend they know things. A confident person definitely knows things.

  3. April 13th 2023 by John Peters

    Sometimes I think I appear to be arrogant just because I know I am right. The difference is not my choice to make but other peoples interpretation depending on their experience of me. Some see me as confident and have trust in my knowledge. Others dont know I am right so think I am just being arrogant. Like I say, its not my choice to decide how they perceive me.

    1. April 13th 2023 by Michael Heppell

      Know you are right? Or believe you are right?

  4. April 13th 2023 by David Palmer

    As someone quotes, “What you are shouts so loudly in my ears, I cannot hear what you say.”

  5. April 13th 2023 by George Henderson


    I’ve been answering this question for years. It first came up during interviews whilst living in the UK.

    From a personal standpoint in this context…

    Arrogance – someone who thinks they can!

    Confidence – someone who knows they can!

    There are many variables from here, like off the trunk of a tree and it’s branches, but the root message to me is clear.

    Thanks for posing the question.

  6. April 13th 2023 by Ken Linnecor

    Being arrogant, you want the world to know what a bright spark, intelligent clever dick you are. Being confident your knowledge and intelligence becomes apparent without you having to force or advertise it.

  7. April 13th 2023 by Mark Ollard

    Confidence is being sure you might be right. Arrogance is being sure everyone else knows you’re right.

  8. April 13th 2023 by Zoé Pawson

    Confidence is being right but sharing it in a way that helps, quietly.
    Arrogance is sharing but being clever about it and making sure everyone knows your right.

  9. April 14th 2023 by Alan Reed

    I love how the apostle James describes the difference in chapter 4

    He resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.

  10. April 19th 2023 by Gaynor Cherieann

    HUMILITY is the difference no other answer to this question

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