Sunday, July 17, 2011

So, Am I Arrogant?

"The arrogance of the artist is a very profound thing, and it fortifies you.” - James Michener.

Yeah, I have to agree with that. Sometimes, when you are guy that happens to create something of artistic value, others might see you as a "prick".

Which just happened to me recently. A writer friend of mine had this wonderful idea for a story and she asked me to help. I was a bit hesitant at first, because knowing her, I'd be just really a ghostwriter. This is not a knock against her ability, but I felt her work ethic was an issue.

I told her the amount of work this would take. She said she understood. So, we went ahead.

And it fell apart in a hurry.

I'm not going to get into detail because I will probably write a blog about having a writing partner later, but I had to lean into her a bit to get her motivated.

She responded by firing me, officially citing "creative differences" and "conflict of personalities." Unofficially, she says I was arrogant jerk who holds this "Holier than thou" attitude.

I call that being passionate about my work. It is something you need to actually produce anything of value.

Arrogance is truly an subjective quality. What someone might call arrogant, I see it as an air of confindence.

It is also based on self-esteem. Someone who has self- esteem issues will usual find arrogance in people who do not. The truly arrogant also have self- esteem issues.

Don't get me wrong, there are truly arrogant people out there.

The difference, at least to me, is how you treat people. Arrogant people use their knowledge and experiences to berate and belittle others they think are inferior to them for no other purpose but to make themselves feel superior by comparison.

Confident and self - assured people use their abilities to help build up someone. It may sometimes come off as heavy - handed. And it may be. One may not like this, but in the long run, it has absolute benefits.

So, if you ask me for my help because you think I have skills you do not, why is it I am a prick if I try to give you constructive criticism? You want to learn, right?

A late acquaintance of mine was a D.I. in the USMC. He had approaches to motivate people that you or I couldn't imagine. Some of them would make you laugh even though they weren't meant to be funny. (I'm sure those of you of the Corp have some stories.) Very rarely did anyone had anything bad to say about him. And the ones that did were usually failing in their own life.

If you ask someone to do something, and you would not do that very thing if someone asked you, is arrogance.

If you judge someone solely on your disagreement of how they live their life, is arrogance.

If you overestimate your abilities knowing you can't produce, is arrogance.

Resting on your laurels of yesterday thinking it sufficient to carry you through tomorrow, is arrogance.

Here is something to try. Fake inferiority. It's this inferiority that will feed someone's hungry arrogance. Works all the time.

One final thing, why is it only men are called arrogant? It is a human trait because some women have it too. You can believe that.

What is arrogance to you? Has anyone unjustifiably called you arrogant?

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