Hey guys,

Came to the AoM community a few months ago for some relationship advice and was very pleased with what feedback I received!

Now I come to you with another query: Ive been reading a lot of the articles lately and they talk about being proud of yourself as a man.

I like to think Ive accomplished a lot in my 21 years, and Im happy where I am. But I often wonder to myself: have I crossed the line from being proud to being arrogant?

I want to know your opinions on the subject. Where is the line, and how can I avoid crossing it?

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Pride comes from accomplishing something you believe in. Arrogance is achieving or doing something just to show off. It's healthy appreciating your strengths and victories, but always keep in mind your limitations; that should keep you grounded. Being aware of the bad habit of arrogance is the first step to avoid it.

I think they're both names, with positive and negative feel, for the same thing.  There's a whole series of things like this, going from negative to positive IIRC, that show just how empty connotation is:

He is mulish, you are stubborn, I am resolute.

He is fanatical, you are religious, I am spiritual.

He is arrogant, you are prideful, I am proud.

I think none of us has any reason to be proud of ourselves as men, Americans/Britons/Japanese/whatever we may be, smart people, etc.  I didn't make myself male, American, or smart.  I did contribute to being a man as opposed to merely a male, but it's hardly a world-shaking accomplishment, and I had help.

At the same time, I need not be ashamed of these things either.  They're good things.

Both pride and shame are all about me.  Maybe I could focus on something else?  Now that _would_ be an accomplishment.

My first opinion on this would be, if you are asking the question "Am I being arrogant?" you aren't.

I personally think of pride as something where you have done something, etc. and you "hang it on your wall" for others to see, but you don't really talk about it, unless it comes up. Arrogance would be like hanging those things on the wall, and then pointing out to everyone that they are there.

If that makes any sense?

Okay, below is my interpretation of dictionary definitions on the terms pride and arrogance.

Pride is a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from achievements, qualities or possessions that do one credit. This is a personal feeling and I think choosing to share your pride with others is egotistic - not a positive or negative suggestion just an observation. Egoism isn't necessarily bad and it is certainly a fact of human nature.

BUT it is also the quality of having an excessively high opinion of oneself. Hence the saying "pride comes before the fall".

Arrogance is having an exaggerated sense of one's own importance or abilities. Basically the same as the second description above. I think the main difference is the word pride is used more according to the first definition while arrogance is used for the latter two.

Just remember to not be excessive or exaggerated with your pride. I think the best way to achieve that is to ask yourself how highly you'd rate your achievement if it was someone else who achieved it. Try and apply a bit of empathy. 

I haven't read the other responses but here's what I have to say about this.

To be arrogant is to be smug. To not know (or ignore) your limits- not only to your detriment, but to those around you as well. To think you're "all that" and you're above everyone for no reason. In simple terms, to be arrogant is to lose control of your ego. 

To be proud is to appreciate the work you've done and recognize when others have helped you (give credit where credit is due). Appreciate yourself and the fruits of your labor, but keep your ego in check. 

So if you accomplished something important to you (say, you got a promotion at work) you should feel proud of that. You worked your butt off to get it and your work didn't go unnoticed. But don't take all the credit yourself- if a coworker covered for you one day, thank him. If someone threw a good word in for you with your boss, be appreciative. And so on. Don't claim everything for yourself. When you do, you've crossed the line. 


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