An article written by
Haroon Christy Munir:

Without being seen as arrogant or cocky, it is said that it’s difficult to show being confident otherwise. Interestingly we see many people around us who struggle between being confident or cocky. Maintaining a balance has become a challenge many people struggle with because most people have an erroneous view of what confidence is in reality. Generally they look ‘confidence’ as a state preceded by ‘Arrogance’ and proceeded by ‘over confidence’.

If you are still confused let me share a story with you. Once there was an interviewer and he was in a process of asking questions from a prospective candidate, one of the questions he asked was regarding how the candidate sees himself in next 5 years. The candidate replied, he will make out at his position in next 3 years. The interview ended immediately with a thank you note from the interviewer.

haroon christyMr. Haroon Christy Munir is the Director of Sadaqat Clinic Lahore and also working as Counselor at Willing Ways (pvt) Ltd. He has done Master’s in Business Administration from Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad and afterwards M.Sc Management from Leeds business School, United Kingdom. He is well known for counseling on assertiveness, life strategies, personality development of patients and family therapy.  He has positive approach and attitude towards life and is skilled in personal development planning, time management and prioritization.

Editor: Arman Ahmed

Was it confidence? Overconfidence? Or arrogance?

Without confidence, survival in society seems difficult, however on the other hand if you have too much of confidence than you are overconfident. So the required state is being confident, neither being over confident nor arrogance. Well this might sound reasonable but it’s not. Interestingly overconfidence does not exist. In fact while being in the process of gaining the genuine confidence, over confidence comes along as one of the biggest obstacles.

It is important to understand that both arrogance and confidence are two different concepts and that they do not relate to one another. It is not necessary that everyone who is confident is arrogant and vice versa. For example bullies are arrogant people, but does that make them confident? No. In fact bullies are not at all confident in themselves and that is the very reason why they bully others. This brings us to an important point that the opposite of arrogance is not lack of confidence rather it is called deference.

One can have as much confidence as one wish for, but it’s important to understand that it should balance out with the same amount of deference. Now the important question is how to build deference? The answer is to develop perspective Taking. Perspective Taking is our ability to relay to others. It is our ability to recognize other person’s motivations, thoughts and feelings. Empathy is part of perspective thinking.


Perspective thinking starts with when two people share a common space and they then develop a certain thought about each other. It always takes place vice versa. In the second level both will closely look into the motives and intentions of each other. If any suspicion takes place than scrutinize the situation more closely. Now at this level you will be considering what the other person might be thinking about you. It could be neutral, positive, or negative. Check the history if it might have some connection with your current thoughts. In the final step you modify your behavior according to how you want others to perceive you. All this happens in the shortest of the time, milliseconds and happens at an unconscious level. Intuition plays its role.

Now going back to the above example, the real requirement was that the job applicant should have realized the situation he was into. In that way he would have known how he sounded to the interviewer at that moment. Let’s imagine, the interviewer would have thought that it took him 15 years to reach this position and this arrogant kid of today is telling him that he will acquire this position in 3 years …. Never