PREVIOUS: Humiliation (Part 2)
QUOTE: “Much to learn, you still have.” ~ YODA to Count Dooku, in Star Wars, Episode II
“Do you wish people to think well of you? Don’t speak well of yourself.” ~ Pascal
“Confidence without humility is Arrogance. Humility without confidence is self-deprecation.”
DEF: ARROGANCE (ARR) = inflating, exalting, over-valuing oneself. It’s “bigging yourself up”, whether publicly or just inside your own mind, & often involves knocking others down at the same time.
“The act or habit of making unjustified declarations in an overbearing manner…. exorbitant claims of rank, dignity, estimation, or power”
It’s one of 7 chief features of “dark” personality traits, based on 7 basic fears. These features are the False Self’s primary means of self-preservation. (MORE…..)
Arrogance = fear of vulnerability
Impatience = of missed/lost opportunity
S-Destructiveness = of loss of control
S-Deprecation = of inadequacy
Martyrdom = of worthlessness
Greed= of lack / not having enough
Stubbornness = of change/new situations
ARR. is the result of Negative childhood experiences, then:
a. Misconceptions about the nature of Self, life & others
b. Constant (hidden) terror & insecurity (fear of abandonment)
c. Dysfunctional strategy to protect the Self, from the WIC
d. False Persona to hide a, b & c in adulthood
The opposite poles on either side of ARR are :
+ Pride (healthy): recognizing & valuing all our good qualities, rather than exaggerating them to mask or deny our normal human imperfections
- Vanity: an irrational belief in our superior attractiveness or abilities in the eyes of others – which is what happens when you fall for your own lies (egotism / narcissism)
• We all have the potential for arrogant tendencies, but for people with a strong fear of admitting or showing shared human limitations, it can become a dominant pattern. This character defect comes from a need to be seen as flawless, because exposing weaknesses makes them feel unbearably vulnerable (like Enneagram Type 1, but not exclusively). Hidden belief: “Who I really am will never be good enough for others to accept. So no one must ever see the real me.”
ACoAs are very familiar with this obsession with perfection, because our family punished or made fun of normal childhood needs & behavior, which they treated as unforgivable flaws!
ARR can be built on a wide variety of sandy/swampy foundations, such as:
— family lineage, ‘connections’, money, possessions
— achievements based on natural talents + hard work
— illusions / self-deception about non-existent personal qualities
— being stuck in past glory & accomplishments
HOWEVER - none of these things provide genuine self-esteem, which only has one source: Unconditional love!
ACoAs: Self-Hate & ARR
● On the one hand we see others as superior to us, ‘saner’, more capable, luckier, not damaged – like us….. We nurture the bad habit of “compare & despair”. Many of us have such a poor understanding of what self-esteem is that we’re often duped by people who have created a persona / False Self which makes them seem confident, but are actually arrogant, narcissistic & grandiose. Just because someone has a career, family, education, a social life…. doesn’t mean they’re healthy. Consider our own parents, who may have had some of these externals, yet were selfish, neglectful, cruel, even crazy.
● On the other hand – we have our own secret arrogance. Hard to believe? Don’t want to admit to this character defect? How could depressed, victim-y, self-hating ACoAs possible be arrogant?
ANS: No matter how well disguised, ARR is the WIC’s
— mistaken way of compensating for its deep sense of powerlessness
— copying how some of our caretakers acted, absorbed into our PP
Our ARR shows up in several ways, AS:
• Self-Hate, which says we are the worst – the bad seed, evil …. AND
• Superiority, which says “I’m actually better than everyone else, even tho they don’t know it. I’ll never let on, or they won’t like me.”
• Co-dependence, which says that we can prevent others from feeling certain emotions (the ones we’re most afraid of) OR from abandoning us. That we have the power to control how others see & treat us, by how well we ‘behave’ (suppressing our True Self)
• Dependence (as adults) which says we have the right to use others to ‘take care’ of us so we don’t have to, because we are victims. We wait for them to be substitute parents, to do for us what we can & should be doing for ourselves: waiting to be chosen (rather than choosing), to give us permission, approval, validation, basic info, constant pushing, motivation, love…. & most of all giving us an identity!
• Grandiosity, which says we can do superhuman things, like fixing our parents’ pain & damage, getting narcissists to ‘see/hear‘ us, doing 20 things at once, skip over process, know things we were never taught…..
• Perfectionism, which says we can make ourselves flaw-less, in order to be loved & approved of. (Failure is inevitable, which adds to our S-H)
• Symbiosis (our narcissism), which says that everyone should think, feel & act the way WE do or would. We’re confused when they don’t.
IMPLIED: Everyone has to be just like us, otherwise the world is too dangerous for us to survive !!
HINT: Any time we say with anger or anguish: “I just can’t understand how he/she could do/be XYZ….” we are saying that because WE would feel or do things a certain way – they should too!… that our way is reasonable & correct, so how can they be so dumb, mean, selfish….?
BTW: It very IMP for ACoAs to learn & believe that it is NOT arrogant or selfish* to take care of ourselves, acknowledging our needs & acting on them – before the needs/wants of other adults.
➼ It is in fact self-esteem, a requirement for mature, successful living, so that we’re not ‘using’ others to get our needs met or to tell us who we are supposed to be.
*Selfish is when we expect someone to give themselves up for us – to do what we want them to do instead of what suits them.
Selfish is when we expect others to take care of us, instead of supporting them in taking loving care of themselves.
SELF-CARE is about taking responsibility for our own life, being in charge of our choices, being our own motivator – rather than blaming others or the ‘universe’ when we don’t feel taken care of. Self-care = Mental Health