I read a great book last year which raised to me the issue of arrogance in women; that we should embrace it every now and then. It really got me to thinking, and since reading it I cant help but notice the following -
First of all, The definition of arrogance is as follows:
To reveal an exaggerated sense of one's own importance or abilities.
Now let's think about this for a second. Having a sense of ones own importance and abilities? ... Well that's a good thing, isn't it? To be commended and celebrated, yes? it should mean that you are able to get on with life. I think so. More than that, I love it. I feel it, and I wish that other woman in particular could begin to view this trait as being a good thing and relish the feel of it; openly portray it instead of hiding it; and accept it more in each other. Men do, so why can't we?
Okay, so perhaps it's the 'exaggerated' part of the definition that causes the negative problem. But who defines the exaggerated bit? Who gets to measure this part? Where does confidence end, and exaggeration begin? And who says it's exaggerated anyway?
I'm talking solely about self-importance. I'm talking about having a healthy dose of self-esteem, inner-stability and self-love, which are qualities so often confused and labelled up negatively as arrogance.
And THAT drives me crazy.
How about we start to see arrogance as a strength? How about we flip arrogance on its head for a second - I think that arrogance is much like beauty: It's entirely in the eye of its beholder. I say this because I know for a fact that my own 35 year old arrogance (self assured confidence) is often taken in one of two ways ...
There are those who applaud it, are comfortable with it, and openly respect me for it. (Those are the people that I surround myself with)
And there are those that will happily knock and criticise it because it bothers them. My confidence and self-assurance is considered too high for these people and leaves them feeling uncomfortable. To this group my confidence is not confidence, it's definitely seen as arrogance. And I absolutely spend less time with these people.
So, should I dampen my self-confidence to suit the second group? Should I play down the concise knowledge of my own mind that I have earned in life; pretend it's not there? If I want to fit in across the board, then yes. That's what I have to do. I have to temper it for some, yet I can be open about it with others. Sometimes, this feels a bit exhausting. Tell me I'm not alone here?
But men don't have to worry about this, they openly massage each others egos, boosting each others brilliance. ALL OF THE TIME. Why do we girls have to play down our qualities?
Because It's tricky for us girls isn't it? there is a very fine line between feeling and displaying humility, empathising with those who have not achieved contentment lets say, and in getting held back entirely by a negative and sometimes destructive mind-set. Ladies, humility and confidence needn't be mutually exclusive, we can still show our softer, feminine side as well as being a tough, self-assured force to be reckoned with, we can. And we must in order to get ahead and be taken seriously.
Here is what I know to be sure:
I am important, because I recognise that the other people in my life are important. Ergo, any sense of personal self-importance that we may wish to display can totally signify a huge compliment to those around us.
It means that you openly love and are loved in return.
It means that you recognise your loved ones' brilliance; that they therefore deserve the best ever you.
It means that you openly and happily strive to shine because the people around you deserve it (No one thrives in the dark, so stop switching off the light for everyone in the room!)
It means that you are strong enough to openly hold yourself accountable for all that you fail AND achieve.
It means that you know your own mind; you will not play games with anyone.
It means that you trust and love your own decisions, therefore you rely less on others loving them too; that you are able to self-validate.
It means that you have learned what you like in life, and also what you don't like.
It means that you can be loyal to those around you, as well as to yourself.
None of these are bad qualities. These are the very qualities that allow people to cut through life's nonsense; to see the wood for the trees, and to just crack on and live the best life.
And If this knowledge is labelled up as being aloof with arrogance, then fine. I will drink to that ...because since entering my thirties, I feel all of the above and more. And actually, I just don't care how I come across anymore.
We girls are fantastic at talking about lifes problems. We excel at it. But what about the excellent stuff ... we feel less comfortable homing in on theses things for fear of coming off as arrogant. If we have carved out a great life for ourselves, we feel compelled to put it all down to 'luck'. Bollocks. Its not luck, its our own navigational genius at play. So please stop apologising for it.
Ladies, feeling a tad arrogant every once in while may leave you looking harsh, too strong (for a woman) and unlikeable to some, but to those on the same page as you, there will be no issues. No games. No need for self-sabotage.
Confidence helps to inspire, lighten, and simplify everything for everyone around us. So lets not hide it our confidence for fear of arrogance, lets 'ave it!
Oh, and one other thing that occurred to me ... interestingly, I think that my newly recognised (35 year old) seemingly conceited stance on life, actually stems entirely from being at my most un-conceited point of life so far. You see, I couldn't be more loving and humbled by life and other people if I possibly tried. I'm at my most maternal for those around me too. But that doesn't mean I'm not strong, articulate, decisive, confident and pretty f***ing sure of myself...
But you know ... as I type this I realise just why all of this is such a feared concept.
I'm thinking that as we woman get older, we gain a perfect storm of qualities. No wonder its unnerving.