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Have you ever thought highly of someone, only to have them let you down? Or have you judged a particular action, thinking it was the wrong thing to do because it did not align with your beliefs? I certainly have. More often than not, things are not always the way it seems. Especially in a world full of grey areas, lines between opposites have often been blurred. So, in this article, we will learn to distinguish between characteristics that many fail to differentiate.
Arrogance vs Confidence
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Just like a peacock, both arrogant and confident, people can portray their skills and knowledge in a form that leaves everyone around them in awe. Both types of people are very sure of their abilities. But, this is as far as similarities go.
The distinction between the two characteristics starts to show when we observe how they react to certain situations. An arrogant person is often loud and talks about themselves, they try to take every single opportunity to prove their brilliance. As said by Casey Imafidon, they would appear interruptive as well. In a group work setting, they would try to control the work of everyone, as they do not trust the abilities of others. Moreover, they do not take criticism well, owing to the belief that they are better than others.
On the other hand, a confident person would show their abilities through actions and never flaunt with their mouths. In a group, they often ask for input from everyone and lead the group by example. They know their abilities are enough, but not better than others. In terms of criticism, they receive it well and take it as a learning opportunity.
2. Self-love vs Selfish
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Another dilemma for many of us is rejecting someone’s request for help, especially our close friends and family members. We are afraid that we may seem selfish for declining someone’s offer. For instance, when you are already exhausted from your responsibilities, here comes your close friend asking you for help with their work. You agree to help because you do not want to hurt your friend and appear selfish to them. But, it would help if you kept in mind that saying no and having boundaries does not mean you are selfish, it is self-love.
A selfish person is someone who prioritises their needs and wants without any consideration for others. Things always have to go their way, because they have to come out on top. Another telltale sign of a selfish person is their deceptive nature. Since they always need to come out on top, selfish people can often manipulate us into thinking the way they want us to, so be wary of that. For example, a friend that says things like “If you’re my friend, you wouldn’t say no to me”.
On the flip side, a person who has self-love prioritises their well-being. Not to say that they would not help others; they have boundaries when it comes to self-sacrifice. They know when to say no, especially when the requirements are too taxing on their mental health. Just think about it, how can we help other people when we are too exhausted? Instead of thinking “I will help others so that they will help me,” try thinking the way yinovacenter recommends, “I will take care of me for you if you take care of you for me.”
3. Fearless vs Bravery
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“Why so scared? Be brave”. Familiar with this saying? I know I am. Growing up as a boy, I would often get this advice from my parents telling me to be brave and stop being so scared. From this, we believe that being brave means to not have fear at all, so we never thought that we could be brave. However, having no fear means you are fearless; it does not determine whether you are brave or not. On the other hand, being brave means having fear but still choosing to do the right thing and confront that fear.
Imagine having a friend who is afraid of talking to strangers, and another who is not. Both of them approach a stranger and strike up a conversation. Who is braver? The friend with the fear of speaking with strangers or the friend without any fear? Clearly, the one who has a fear of speaking with strangers, as courage is needed to face their fears.
With the lines drawn, the distinctions should be clear enough to recognise. So with this, before you judge people for their actions, you should consider looking at their reactions in other situations. This also includes looking within, if you find yourself having the characteristics you dislike, don’t beat yourself over it. Take these signs as a wake-up call to better yourself! Remember to love yourself; try to fear less, be brave and confident.
By Choo Chon Jeat