Why Arrogance is Not Self-Esteem

Arrogance does not refer to self-esteem. Arrogance is a mental and emotional attitude best expressed by the statement, “I’m incapable of error or wrongdoing. If I do, think or say something, it’s automatically right.” Isn’t this an indication of “too much” self-esteem? No. It’s an indication of no self-esteem at all. Why? Because self-esteem is not possible without an orientation to external reality. Even the most minimal orientation to objective reality involves a rational belief that human beings live by reason, and while reason (when mistaken) is ultimately self-correcting — and in the long-run gets the job done — reason is subject to error. Human beings, who use reason to survive and thrive — and have nothing else to go with, if they evade its use — is fallible. Arrogant people are perfectly aware of this fact. But the arrogant individual believes that somehow, it doesn’t apply to him or her.