Don’t Be that person: Be Confident, Not Arrogant

Have you ever had a friend who ruined a perfectly good conversation by being overly arrogant?

Or worse: Have you ever been that person?

You know, the one who suddenly makes an outrageous, cocky or totally awkward comment that leaves everyone wide-eyed.Then the people you’ve been talking to give each other that look, make an excuse, and walk away, never to return. And you’re stuck with a bad feeling in the pit of your stomach…

Yeah, that person.

While working to build confidence, it’s important not to go over that thin line into the world of arrogance.

Here are a few arrogant behaviors, in case you need to know where you stand:
· You think that you are always right.
· You believe you’re superior to the people around you.
· You correct everyone’s method of doing whatever it is that they do.
· You believe that your ideas are the best ones in the room/building/city/world.

If all these hold true for you, then you’re either overconfident or deeply insecure, and you’re going to want to spend some time working on some inner game material.

However, for those who feel like only one or two of those might apply, here’s a little tune-up for reducing your arrogant tendencies:

1. Be upfront about your knowledge. When you don’t know something, admit it. Recognize that you can’t do everything and that anytime someone knows something you don’t know, it’s an opportunity to learn. A short but helpful sentence to remember: “Tell me more about it.”

2. Make the choice not to be offended. If you’re the kind of person who takes offense to just about everything, then try this: Next time someone teases you, take a breath and ask yourself why you’re reacting so strongly, and then ask, is it worth it? We all have idiosyncrasies, and we all make mistakes. You ability to make a choice rather than to react can make just about any social situation more effective.

3. Give honest (non-generic) compliments. This can be achieved easily: Step 1, pay attention in conversation. Step 2, when someone says or does something that you honestly feel good about – let them know. Step 3, tell them why that thing they did was so impressive/important to you.

Example: Someone tells you a story about traveling. Being well-traveled is a quality you like about people, so you compliment them by saying, “I love how well-traveled you are, I’m always happy to be around people who’ve seen the world because they tend to have more open minds and great stories. Cheers.”

4. Give people credit. If someone says or does something awesome, give them credit. Simple as that.

Example: If a friend suggested a bar that you’re visiting and the person you’re speaking with says, “This place is great!” Then you would simply give credit to the friend who suggested it, “Yeah, Meg recommended it, make sure to thank her.”

Be interested, be curious, be courteous.

Don’t be that person…

Be the exception.

Want all the social intelligence lessons from Neil Strauss?

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