Throughout my adult life I’ve carried with me an air of what I thought was self-confidence… self-reliance… self-assurance… All of which I believed to be positive and desirable qualities. I come to find out that what I thought was self-confidence, others perceived as arrogance.
The realization came over a dinner conversation I had with my 90 year old mother-in-law, God bless her. We were talking about how difficult it can be to trust people that you don’t really know and I made the tongue-in-cheek remark of: “Yeah, you didn’t really like me at first, did you?” And to my great surprise, she agreed.
My wife was aghast. “What do you mean, you didn’t like him? What was wrong with him?” She deadpanned, “He was arrogant.” And then she turned to me, stone-faced. I immediately went defensive.
“I have heard that before,” I admitted, “but it isn’t true…” I’m just comfortable with who I am. I don’t find that I have to put on a polite facade when I meet people.”
“Like I said,” she quickly replied, “Arrogant.”
I had no response. And my wife was too busy laughing to come to my defense.
It’s hard to be arrogant when you are bested by a 90 year old in a battle of wits.
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