This post is inspired by a conversation I had with a male friend regarding the subtle difference between “I’d like to kiss you” versus “Can I kiss you”.
“It’s too bad,” I said, “but, ‘Can I kiss you?’ just isn’t sexy. It implies a lack of confidence. And I’m attracted to confidence! What can I say?”
“Yeah, but you say you hate arrogance, right?”
“I can’t stand it! It’s such a turn off.”
He was getting noticeably frustrated. “But they are basically the same thing!” he fumed, “Both are ‘believing in yourself’! Just sometimes people perceive you as arrogant. It’s really about knowing your audience more than anything.”
I disagreed, but I couldn’t put a coherent argument together at the time. Still, his comment got me thinking, “What is the difference between confidence and arrogance?” It’s true, both words embody a strong belief in oneself, but arrogance makes others feel bad, while confidence is inspiring.
(This post is a team effort with my friend Jeff. We’ve discussed everything together and agreed on everything presented here. While most of the post comes primarily from my voice, there’s also a section where Jeff is the main speaker. This will be denoted with bold. )