Monday, April 12, 2010

Arrogance and Insecurity

Topic: Philosophy and Psychology

"Arrogance is but a closet for those in denial of their low self-esteem."

Why do arrogant people refuse to consider other points of view? It's not because they don't think they're worth listening to. A truly confident man would have no problem with exploring opinions that differ from his. An arrogant man on the other hand, would rather stay away from them. They block themselves from anything that disagrees with them, in fear of having to accept their own weakness. They will deny that they care about what you think of them or their opinions, but their denial is a compensative reaction to their insecurity. They may adapt a sarcastic attitude, which is, at its core, nothing but a response to a threat to their self-image. You may become a target of their sarcasm – or negative speech in general – for a while, which would indicate a lingering sense of insecurity, triggered by something you said or did—sarcasm is an easy method for self-assurance.

In most cases, sarcasm as an attitude is a manifestation of arrogance. Of course, sarcasm nowadays is an art that people enjoy learning, but that's largely because they enjoy the attention sarcasm is capable of generating, and that desire for attention also leads back to insecurity. Often, sarcasm is done for mere amusement – and such is the case with comedians – and that's what most sarcastic people would like to convince themselves they're doing, but that's rarely the case in mean-spirited sarcasm. The difference between the two types of sarcasm is in the target. Arrogant sarcasm focuses on specific targets, and therefore is usually hostile and crude. "Fun" sarcasm focuses on the art of sarcasm itself, and not a specific target, and hence is usually more tasteful and clever.

There's nothing wrong with feeling insecure, but what's wrong is letting it affect you. Weak people allow their insecurities to make them miserable. Arrogant people deny their insecurity, directly or indirectly, and the more they emphasize on denying it, the clearer it is. The healthy attitude, of course, is to find ways to keep it under control.

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