On Arrogance and Pomposity

One is tolerable while the other is unbearable

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

I’ve noticed that people tend to use arrogance and pomposity interchangeably. While both describe people who believe they are self-important and these people can be quite rude, there is one huge difference between the two — arrogant people look down on others with disdain.

For all of my family’s faults, no one subjected me to arrogance or pomposity early in my childhood. My mother had low self-esteem from her own tragic childhood. My dad had a laid-back, laissez faire attitude coated in modesty and humility. My sister and brother would later both show signs of being pompous arses, but not arrogant. No one looked down on others in my family because we had so little and understood the plight of others in similar circumstances to our own (with the exception of racism, which I’ve discussed before).

I’ve never minded pompous people. Sure, their rudeness can be bothersome at times, but I admire people who have a healthy self-esteem, even if it borders on self-importance. Since I had so little of either, these people created a curiosity for me. They’ve also helped me to build up my own self-esteem, minus the self-importance (I‘d rather be self-aware than self-important) and rudeness (or at least I’d like to think I am not rude. I try not to be).

It wouldn’t be until I was out in the expansive, monstrous world that I would meet the arrogant — in abundance. I found myself dating or involved in friendships with many arrogant people. I still don’t quite understand why that was so. Was it because I was a good listener and allowed people to talk about themselves openly? Or because I didn’t try to change people? I don’t know. These people blatantly boasted about their self-importance and snubbed their noses at others for one reason or another. The only other observation I made about these people was that their lives were a series of misfortunes and missteps.

Much like the professor in 𝘋𝘪𝘢𝘯𝘢 𝘊.’s Thursday Transformational story, instant karma seemed to plague them. One friend boasted about how great she was at her job and gossiped about how poorly others performed, only to lose that job a short time later — of course, she didn’t accept the blame for losing the job. Then she would lose her apartment and have to move back in with her mother. It would take a while before she’d get back on her feet and then the cycle would begin again and again. After watching this roller coaster of a life, our friendship eventually ended when I told her, as nicely as I could, that perhaps the problems she kept experiencing were due to her own arrogance. Yeah, that went over like a lead zeppelin.

As I’ve said, I think it is great for people to have a healthy self-esteem and even toot their own horns now and again. What I don’t understand, and probably never will, is why the need to put others down? I can only speculate that they have insecurities which seems to contradict self-esteem. Could it be a false bravado all along?

© 2020 Lori Carlson. All Rights Reserved.

These thoughts were inspired by 𝘋𝘪𝘢𝘯𝘢 𝘊.’s 17th September 2020 Thursday Tranformational Storytelling

Lori Carlson writes Poetry, Fiction, Articles, Creative Non-Fiction and Personal Essays. Most of her topics are centered around Nature, Love, Relationships, Spirituality, Life Lessons, Mental Health, Loss, Death, and the LGBTQ+ community. Check out her personal Medium blog — Ravyne’s Nest.




𝘈𝘶𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘵𝘺, 𝘷𝘶𝘭𝘯𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺, 𝘢𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 & 𝘨𝘳𝘰𝘸𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘺𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘧 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸𝘭𝘦𝘥𝘨𝘦 𝘰𝘯 𝘴𝘱𝘪𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘭 𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘴.

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Ravyne Hawke

Ravyne Hawke

Poet, Fiction Writer, Essayist, Artist, Dreamer | “Enlightenment is when a wave realizes it is the Ocean” ~Thich Nhat Hanh