That’s Pride Talking to You, Or is it Arrogance?

“Some people choose to see the ugliness in this world, the disarray. I choose to see the beauty. To believe there is an order to our days. A purpose. – DOLORES, Westworld/HBO”

Arrogance and pride in today’s terms as well as how I’ve experienced them thrown around at work or play have become to mixed in with one another. Almost as if people are putting the two in the same boat as having the same meaning and context. Neither of which could be further from the truth. I do believe that each have a purpose in our lives and are needed.

I wonder, in the age of disruptors, how did pride itself become such a negative word? Then there’s arrogance. The ugly way it is used and how someone’s blind use of it the wrong way makes them unappraochable. Let’s just take a moment to put the two words in their context as described in Webster.

First up, pride.

As a Noun:

  1. pride – a feeling of self-respect and personal worth Synonyms: pridefulness Antonyms: humbleness, humility – a humble feeling; “he was filled with humility at the sight of the Pope”
  2. pride – satisfaction with your (or another’s) achievements; “he takes pride in his son’s success”
  3. pride – the trait of being spurred on by a dislike of falling below your standards. Antonyms: humility, humbleness – a disposition to be humble; a lack of false pride; “not everyone regards humility as a virtue”
  4. pride – a group of lions
  5. pride – unreasonable and inordinate self-esteem (personified as one of the deadly sins) Synonyms: superbia

As a Verb:

  1. pride – be proud of; “He prides himself on making it into law school” Synonyms: plume, congratulate

Next up, arrogance.

As an adjective:

  1. exaggerating or disposed to exaggerate one’s own worth or importance often by an overbearing manner
  2. showing an offensive attitude of superiority : proceeding from or characterized by arrogance 

With pride it has a definition that focuses on being self aware and aware of those around you. A personal satisfaction and humbleness about where one is in their life. There is also this incredible swell to be a part of something more than and bigger than oneself. Who wouldn’t want to be part of the power of a “pride of lions”?

With arrogance it’s much shorter in definition and it’s focused inwardly. So much so that there is a blindness to it which can prevent you from learning about your surroundings and be open to input. There is a selfish twist for one to be so inwardly focused, you can lose any kind of chance to improve or be self aware of the danger you put yourself in.

Pride will serve you well in a growth mindset and arrogance will serve you well in a static mindset. I don’t think as selfish as arrogance is described and might read you can totally do with out it. You need both at certain times in your journey to get you through. It’s all a matter of how aware you are and if you can keep yourself from being to locked in to one or the other for to long. Here’s some examples of what that might look like to live in each.

For pride…

  • You work for the customer
  • We worry a lot about what we can learn from others
  • We are open to the outside world
  • We are Dolores from Westworld, curious and full of hope
  • We spend the majority of our time listening to and hearing outside views

For arrogance…

  • We work for each other
  • We worry about what others learn from us
  • We practice secrecy at times in dealing with the outside world
  • We are The Man in Black from Westworld, and we we need to defend our position
  • We spend our time improving what we have, finding flaws in others and the outside world

Pride serves me incredibly well in my work and in my writing. Because I do both for others as my motivation. Do I get something out of it? Of course. I keep myself open to learn, draw in, and then share. I am full of hope in this state, which again, gives me something unique to look through as a lens and capture great moments from others with. My “pride of lions” are my peers and my family that surrounds me. They are in a sense my customers.

Arrogance serves to keep me aware of what I am sharing with others and I want them to see me as much as possible at my optimal state. Is it a great example? Or a bad one? I am really inwardly focused in this state trying to find flaws. When I run a race, I cannot afford to worry about what I can learn from others run styles and pace. Nor, be infleunced by what they think of mine. I would burn myself out trying to keep up kind of thought process. In those instances arrogance serves me well with it’s ability to focus inwardly on what I can learn from myself, letting others not impact my style. Sometimes you need The Man in Black to overcome objectives you set for yourself and false ones from others you need to defend against. But not for to long, as we all know what happened in the end to The Man in Black in the story of Westworld.

To recap, I’ve found that neither one is bad when they are used jointly. They can be dangerous in themselves, by themselves when you lock yourself in to one or the other. To long in pride you can become dependent on those around you and for the answer to come from what you can pick up. To long in arrogance you can appear to those around you that you know it all, and quickly can become unapproachable or alienated. Once that happens there will be no one to learn from and no measuring stick to create more from.

You have to have the agility built in to know when to make the switch, an awareness of when to shift gears based on your situation or need. Pride and arrogance working side by side with a balance to them can become powerful tools towards the best version of yourself.

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great week.


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