How to Tell the Difference between a Confident and an Arrogant Man


Last week’s article about the things women find most unattractive about men triggered an interesting debate. After surveying 25 women, I discovered that the top trait women dislike about men is arrogance, however several guys responded to this by saying they are always more successful with women if they behave arrogantly.

This got me thinking – do women state that they dislike arrogant behaviour but then unintentionally and inevitably fall for it every time? Why are arrogant men perceived to be more successful with women? Also, most importantly, how can we tell the difference between arrogant and confident behaviour?

The old saying goes: ‘there’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance’ – but where exactly is that line?  To find out, I decided to look further into this and explore the differences are between confidence and arrogance.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, arrogance is defined as: ‘unpleasantly proud and behaving as if you are more important than, or know more than, other people.’

Confidence is defined as: ‘the quality of being certain of your abilities or of having trust in people, plans, or the future.’

So arrogance is when you think you’re better than those around you, and confidence is when you’re sure of yourself but don’t have to show-off to get others to notice you. To understand the differences between Mr Confident and Mr Arrogant, let’s imagine a date with each of these guys.

So first up, a date with Mr Arrogant…

He walks in to the room and you notice him straight away. Talk about making an impact; he looks sharp, his head is held high and he’s not afraid of anything or anyone. He walks with swagger and everyone looks at him as he passes by. He greets you with a kiss on the cheek and you smell his exotic and expensive aftershave – this guy has certainly got it going on.

You browse the menu and he asks what wine you’d like. You make a suggestion but he mocks you and calls it a terrible choice. How humiliating. The waiter comes to take your order and you notice your date is rather blunt in his communication; there’s no ‘please’, ‘thank you’ or any other pleasantries.

As you chat to him over dinner, you see that he’s wearing an expensive watch, but before you’ve had a chance to compliment him on it, he’s already asked if you’ve heard of the watch brand and boasted about how expensive it is. He’s also told you about his Ferrari, his promotion at work and the expensive restaurant he was at the previous night where he sat on a table next to a famous celebrity. Hold on a minute, has this guy actually listened to anything you’ve said yet?

He did ask you about your job, but was looking around vacantly as you answered and quickly interrupted your story with a better one of his own. You try to tell him about your recent holiday, but he corrects the way you pronounce the foreign city and then dismisses the area as being ‘low-class’. You listen to him talk about friends and colleagues, but he seems to be putting everyone down; you start to wonder if there’s anyone he actually likes.

The waiter brings over your food, but your date doesn’t say thank you. Before long, he’s clicking his fingers to invite the waiter back, and raising his voice as he talks about the ‘utter garbage’ on the plate in front of him. This is embarrassing. People are staring and your date is shouting that he’s got a villa on the Amalfi coast so knows how this Italian seafood dish should be cooked properly and it ‘just isn’t good enough’. You’ve got the same dish as him and it tastes fine.

Time for dessert. You look at the menu and say you quite fancy the sticky toffee pudding. You expect your date to agree on how good this looks, but instead he quips in with: “do you realise how many calories that is? Seeing as it’s beach body weather, I thought a girl like you would be focussing on losing a couple of pounds.” “He just orders coffee. You sheepishly agree and feel deflated and embarrassed, and somehow like you’re not meeting his expectations. On the other hand, you might have already concluded that this guy is a complete jerk and you never want to see him again!

The date ends, and you’re left feeling a bit miffed by the evening’s events, however, you soon get a text from him saying what a great date it was.

So what just happened?

Arrogant guys often look good, but they value material goods extremely highly as these possessions fulfil their self-worth; life is all about bragging rights to them. They name-drop (often out of context) as an attempt to prove their supremacy and will only hang out with people of a certain status who they can gain something out of (whether that’s a ‘trophy girlfriend’ or a business associate who could propel them up the corporate ladder).

Arrogant men may pretend to listen but really they love the sound of their own voice and are just waiting for their next monologue to commence. As for the dismissing of menu items, correction of pronunciation and putting down the waiter; arrogant guys only feel clever if they make someone else feel stupid. They are constantly putting other people down to make themselves feel better. Highlighting other people’s flaws (whether this is physical or intellectual) helps boost their own confidence and raises their own status, proving they are ‘always right’.

Mr Arrogant will brag about his car, his money, his elite gym membership and his career. He’s selfish and in love with his own reflection and completely focussed on his own achievements. He’s aware of all his strengths, but never recognises any weaknesses. If someone doesn’t have the same opinion, they are wrong, not different. An arrogant man never considers an opinion that is different to his own. He has an answer for everything and will never admit to a lack of knowledge on any topic.

He will criticise others (friends, family, colleagues) and when relationships are strained and fragile, he will never consider himself as the problem. Belittling a woman on a date is a way of trying to make her feel lucky to be with him. He thinks he’s superior because of his money and status and therefore treats others badly around him. The problem is the self-admiration and self-entitlement, arrogant men have such a high opinion of themselves that they think they deserve the royal treatment.

Now for a date with Mr Confident…

He enters the room, and just like Mr Arrogant, he stands tall, chest puffed out and looks devilishly handsome. He politely greets you and compliments you on how nice you look. Swoon…this guy is already a hit.

You sit down and start to browse the menu. Mr Confident admits he doesn’t know what one of the Italian words on the menu is (neither do you), so he politely calls the waiter over to asks for his help. He admits he doesn’t know much about the wine on the menu so asks if there’s a wine you prefer and let’s you choose, commending you on your choice.

You notice he has a nice watch, so compliment him on it, but he modestly says it was a gift from a relative and changes the topic of conversation. He asks about your work and congratulates you on your recent successes. When you ask him about his work, you’re astounded by his high status and how humble he is with it.

The main dishes arrive and your date asks the waiter to send compliments to the chef. He’s charming everyone around him and you just can’t get enough of this guy. When it comes to dessert time, you mention how good the sticky toffee pudding looks and Mr Confident suggests you both get a different dessert so you can try a bit of both. The date ends and Mr Confident leaves a generous tip and shakes hands with the staff on the way out. What a charmer – this guy’s got class.

So what just happened?

Confident people are full of positive energy and are a joy to be around. They walk into a room and shine; radiating self-belief and positivity. They make others feel special and this is the reason people love to be around them. They have a genuine interest in others and can speak to anyone; no one is insignificant or below them. When it comes to things like not knowing what a foreign word means on a menu, Mr Confident is happy to admit to a lack of knowledge. He doesn’t need to belittle others to feel better about himself, he’s self-deprecating and always has a sense of humility. He can connect and empathise with others and will happily welcome other people’s beliefs and views.

Mr Confident may have the same wealth and power as Mr Arrogant, but he’s got there by working hard, accepting his flaws, learning from his mistakes and believing in and supporting others. He has an encouraging attitude and is humble enough to know there is always more to learn. He knows how to make a woman feel like the only person in the room and always make her feel good about herself rather than insecure.

To sum it up…

Even though both guys may seem attractive at first because of the assertive way they carry themselves, when a woman gets to know the true person within, Mr Arrogant will repel her and Mr Confident will attract her. Admittedly, a man’s good looks can sometimes affect a woman’s rationality, but she’ll soon see his true colours. The big difference between these two men is the way they treat those around them – the arrogant guy puts people down and the confident guy lifts people up.

An arrogant guy is defensive, belligerent, self-righteous and obnoxious. He talks first, then thinks later so constantly offends those around him. He has to be the best at everything – the best looking, the richest and the most successful at work, but often his success is through bluffing rather than hard work and he’ll happily knock others down to climb to the top. Others will always be to blame for things that go wrong, but actually, all of this negative behaviour is overcompensating for Mr Arrogant’s own insecurities. Underneath his ostentatious exterior, Mr Arrogant has a low self-esteem so puts on an obnoxious front to cover this up. Making other people feel insecure is his way of coping with his own shortcomings.

The confident guy on the other hand is good at what he does and knows what he wants in life. People love to be around him because he’s a motivator and makes them feel good about themselves. He’s modest, sincere and is interested in helping others and hearing their contrasting views. He’s like a bright shining light who other people love to be around and this is how he becomes so successful with the ladies. He radiates positivity and a sense of self-assurance that women find irresistible.

Think of Mr Arrogant like an item of costume jewellery; from a distance, this ‘diamond ring’ looks fantastic; you’ll probably be fooled and enticed by it. However upon closer inspection, you’ll realise there’s nothing precious at all beneath this flashy and false exterior.

We all like men who are strong, powerful and assertive, but it’s the way they carry themselves and treat others that creates people’s lasting impressions. So guys, make sure you display the traits of Mr Confident, not Mr Arrogant and you’ll go far.

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