The fine balance between confidence and arrogance

My parents taught me and my siblings to never be proud of our achievements.

What I think they meant was to not boast or proudly display these achievements in front of others.

But of course, internalizing everything almost to the point of theatrics, I grew up thinking they were the same thing. It may have been one of those generational things that often get lost in translation, but to even feel pride felt wrong.

Actually, it still kinda does. This is despite the fact that I can finally mentally recognize you do need some level of pride in order to have self-confidence, which, not surprisingly, I struggle with. But it’s become almost instinctual to always respond to a compliment with some sort of deflection. “No, no, I’m nothing compared to you and your _____.”

Not being able to acknowledge a compliment, I recently read (although I am not sure I quite agree), ends up offending the one who offered it. Do you agree?

I often go through this exercise where, after having a bad moment (and the resulting obligatory cake), I think of all my blessings. When I do that, I inevitably feel better afterward. But then there’s a part of me that wants to share these enumerations with others – to proclaim that yes, despite my flaws and imperfections I spend too much time obsessing over, I actually am quite proud of some of the things I have done (they’re pretty amazing things, too).

The Best Breakfast Ever – the morning after graduating from Dream School

Is it wrong to feel that way? Is it wrong to want to share it with others?

I attribute all these blessings and achievements to God, don’t get me wrong, but I did also work hard for them. But at what point does pride turn into arrogance? That is the fear that has kept me teetering, unable to just simply say, “Thank you.”

8 thoughts on “The fine balance between confidence and arrogance

  1. I used to compliement a (religious) friend back in the day. And they always used to say Alhamdulilah but it’s God not me. Happened a few times and maybe I have a complex but it irked me. I felt like they crumpled up my compliment and tossed it in the bin. Because of course it’s God- we all know that and after you say Alhamdulilah, there is no harm in saying Jazak Allah, thank you. But like I say; maybe I have a complex 😅

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am like you when it comes to receiving a compliment, always negate it with something else, but I consciously try to add a thank you once I realize what I am doing. And share! We all want to be a part of your happiness and cheer you on!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Not being able to acknowledge a compliment”

    This used to be me and I still feel that way sometimes but I have tried to just say thank and laugh it off or immediately change the subject.

    Keep sharing! Congratulations on your graduation!


  4. Gosh how true is this? I always go like “Thaanksssss, but *insert reason that completely takes away from my effort*” I don’t even know what the word is – too modest? Humble? Unable to accept a compliment? Pfft, sigh. I don’t know where to ever strike a balance. P.S: That’s a MASSIVE mug of (chai?)!


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