What is arrogance and how to cure it


Kevin Mangelschots

Every single one of us probably knows someone who’s too proud for their own good. Not to mention, it’s not exactly a desirable, or generally positive perceived trait, either.

I’ve come to realize that most of us are at risk of becoming too prideful and that ignorance and arrogance are closely related and often linked together.

That’s why I’m going to explain what arrogance is, and how to cure it by employing the following tips.

What is arrogance?

The differences between confident and arrogant explained.

Arrogance is having, or revealing, an exaggerated sense of one’s importance or abilities.

Proud people portray an insulting attitude of superiority. This show of supremacy is often preceded by haughtiness or an arrogant reply.

Prideful people tend to act unpleasantly and exaggerate impressively. They typically also behave as if they are more important than other people.

What is intellectual arrogance?

Intellectual arrogance can be defined as a set of qualities that tends to blind an otherwise intelligent person from recognizing the truth.

This can lead to making the wrong conclusions as a result.

Image of the word “example” being written with a blue marker by someone's hand.

Characteristics that mark intellectual arrogance include:

  • Dismissing the opinions of others without giving them a thought because the opinions didn’t sound like yours
  • refusing to acknowledge another person’s position and thus, arrogantly assuming that their argument is inferior. This leads to a failure to listen to opposing views
  • Falling back to preconceived notions or what one thinks they learned in school
  • A lack of logical hardship
  • assuming one is always correct without having sufficiently studied an opposing position
  • Thinking that one is adept and an authority in every discipline
  • A double standard to avoid admitting personal error. Or, in this case, to avoid a personal, intellectual mistake
  • Asserting a doubtful argument is true, or follows from common sense rather than proving or providing evidence for the argument

The link between ignorance and arrogance

Image of a blindfolded man with the word “arrogance” written on the blindfold.

There is most definitely a link between ignorance and arrogance. That’s because ignorance is the absence of knowledge, and confidence without knowledge can be defined as arrogance.

Ignorance can be one of the most obvious signs of being too proud. And since people can be ignorant about various subjects in their lives, so can their arrogance. That’s why you should go from blissful ignorance to becoming self-aware in life.

Have you ever wondered why smart, knowledgeable people regularly seem so doubtful and unsure of themselves? It is because they know how much they don’t know despite being incredibly insightful and well-informed about a subject and thus, they tend not to be ignorant.

That’s not to say that they can’t be arrogant, as everyone can potentially fall prey to it.

Image of three men sitting against a wall with a mask. The first one is covering his mouth, the middle one is covering his eyes, and the last one is covering his ears, depicting willful ignorance.

Even worse is willful ignorance, which means you are deliberately ignoring information to prevent yourself from becoming knowledgeable, and competent to block out undesirable, or anxiety-provoking truths.

How to prevent yourself from becoming arrogant?

There are some key ingredients to fix arrogance or to prevent becoming overly prideful, such as:

  • Humility
  • Being open-minded
  • Being well-informed and wise
  • Recognize your insecurities
  • Reflect on your actions


Image of a lock pointing towards humility, instead of arrogance.

The best way to prevent yourself from becoming arrogant is by remaining humble.

Humility will help to prevent one from feeling superior due to being aware of our weaknesses, and the sometimes uncomfortable fact that other people are better at some things than we are.

An open mind

An open mind is needed to see things from another person’s perspective. There isn’t necessarily only one right way to view a thought, idea, or opinion.

Sometimes, multiple roads can lead to the same destination, albeit typically at different speeds.

Being well-informed and wise

Being well-informed and knowledgeable will give people more insight into how much they don’t know.

This means that the more one knows, the more one often recognizes how much they don’t recognize or understand. This usually leads to people remaining humble with both feet planted firmly on the ground.

Recognize your insecurities

The quote, “confidence is silent, insecurities are loud” written on an orange background.

Recognizing your insecurities can help you to cure arrogance since you’ll be able to figure out what it is you’re trying to hide, or overcompensate.

We know that we oftentimes try to act supremely confident to mask our doubts, and because we want to be seen as powerful and self-assured.

However, concealing an issue that has been bothering us does not solve the concern. It only makes matters worse in the end since the problem keeps growing larger until it gets so big that it’s impossible to ignore anymore.

That’s why we should make it a point to tackle our issues head-on to prevent them from wreaking havoc at a future point in time.

Reflect on your actions

Introspection is a powerful tool that can help us to reflect on our behavior, values, and thoughts. It works by allowing us to gauge how we’ve been doing in the past, and how we’re performing in the present.

We can’t change negative actions when we don’t even realize there’s something wrong with what we’re doing. That’s why knowing when, and if we’re being overly prideful is required to be capable of changing this toxic behavior.


Lessons Learned statement on paper note pad. Office desk with electronic devices and computer, wood table from above, concept image for blog title or header image. Aged vintage color look.

Confidence is great, but being arrogant is not.

Working toward an open mind, being well-educated on the subject at hand, and an adequate amount of humility will go a long way, effectively acting as an antidote to pride.

These are skills that must be acquired through hard work and determination. Even extremely smart and knowledgeable people can still fall victim and become too proud in the process.

Wisdom is the hidden ingredient that keeps it all together. The wisdom to know that despite how skilled and smart we might be, we are still small and insignificant in the grand scheme of the world.

Furthermore, wisdom allows us to be aware of how much we don’t know in addition to being incapable of understanding.