Is It Better To Be Humble Or Arrogant?

How often do we, as human beings, overcompensate to protect our hearts? Have you ever built a wall around your heart so no one can harm you again or so no pain can seep in to hurt you?

Poem by Laura arrogance or humility

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Is it better to be humble or arrogant? Which one will protect us and wall out the pain? I have to say that in my case, it was a heart and demeanor full of arrogance. But how did this seep into my heart when I wasn’t looking?

It slowly took hold over the years and continued to grow. See, I have been through some hard times but none harder than what all of you have seen. We all have our times and moments in life where it is just hard.

And each one of us handles it all differently. But this time, I dealt with the pain of past abuse and heartache by walling off humility and cultivating arrogance in my heart.

Its All About You-Trusting Yourself

Is It Better To Be Humble Or Arrogant?

It began slow and built into a monster. Arrogance is a cover-up for low self-esteem. It is an overblown exaggeration of who we are and how we feel.

If you feel unimportant and you are around people who you see as important, then arrogance can rear its head. It can make you believe that you need to be seen in the same light as you see others.

ARROGANCE why how where on black

Or maybe you feel like you don’t have as much to contribute to a conversation when you are with your friends. Then arrogance can step up and boast of things you have done or want to accomplish.

Arrogance will manifest in many forms, but it will always be a way to make yourself look better than you feel.

Did you notice I didn’t say better than what others see you? No, I said better than you feel. Because how you think about yourself and your confidence is what you are trying to cover up with arrogance.

How Did You Lose Humility?

Humility is an act of putting others before you. Such as doing acts of kindness without recognition.

Let’s say you were put-down your whole life in the form of manipulation or emotional abuse. Because of this, you put others first and do small acts to make yourself appear better. Because of the low self-worth, you came to believe that this is humility.

humility vs self-image on clouds

So, in reality, you did not lose humility because you never had it. You were trying to act humble so you would feel better about yourself.

As time moved forward and people began to take advantage of your so-called humility, you began to develop a hard heart. You were protecting yourself from more pain. As your heart became rigid, you began to create a new heart.

A Heart Of Stone

You became hard inside and began to change. You convinced yourself that the change was from a new-found strength and confidence because you have grown and are learning so much. You can’t let people walk all over you again.

People have done this all of your life, and the ache it causes will not go away. If you change your heart, then the pain will stop.

With this thought process, you begin the metamorphosis from an ugly caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly. At work, you step up and make yourself visible. At gatherings, you make conversation even when you are insecure. When you are alone, you think about ways to improve yourself with knowledge.

heart of stone

All the while, you are creating a heart of stone to protect yourself from the pain of your past. You are good enough, and you will prove it to people.

Where Is The Proof?

You learn and become more intelligent. You are proud of yourself for your accomplishments. You want to let others know who you are.

At work, you make them listen to you because this is proof that you know what you are doing. At social gatherings, you make conversation only about you and what you have accomplished because this is proof that you are as good as they are. And when you are alone you think of things to pitch to others. How can you be like them?

You have to find proof, so those around you will stop using you and understand that you are someone of importance.

Will Arrogance Stop The Pain?

Then one day, you realize that you have lost all of your friends and the respect of your co-workers. The proof was a cover-up for the pain of insecurities. The arrogance was covering up who you are inside.

You didn’t want to build friends or respect, but instead, you tried to prove your self-worth, not to others but yourself. Arrogance did work for a time.

stop the pain on blue

Then one day, you had to take a breather. When you stopped long enough to see the havoc you caused in your life, it was evident that arrogance did not create a better you. It did not increase your worth and esteem.

It did, however, create a selfish person. Not a selfless person as you convinced yourself you were.

Be Kind To Yourself

Turning Back

When you have caused yourself more heartache and proven less of who you are, then you decide to turn back and become who you were. But wait, who were you?

You now know that you never were humble. You never did acts of selfless kindness. You were acting upon your already low self-esteem in an attempt to protect your heart.

Now you have come full circle. You were not humble. You became arrogant. And now you want to change. But how can you change and not allow others to use you? The hard part of your work starts here.

You now have to learn humility. The bible has many many verses on humility.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.

Ok, so you now see that with humility, you will need to put others above yourself, and as you do this, you will also grow in wisdom. But how do you protect your heart and keep others from using you?

That is where trust in the Lord comes into play. God repeats over and over in his Word how he will take care of you. But my favorite one is:

lord's prayer psalm 23

Putting It All Together

As we come to the end of our metamorphosis, we can see how it all comes full circle. It is not who we are or how we can prove ourselves. It is who we trust and who we choose to follow.

When you take care of yourself, you will fail. When you have to prove that you are good enough, you will never have the proof you need.

But in humility, you put others first and trust in God; you are far greater than all of the earth. Yet you don’t need to make others aware of it. The process is simple when we break it all down. Put others first and trust in God to take care of you and your heart.

It is not your will but the will of God that will change you and protect you all of your life. Let go of arrogance. Let go of the fear that someone will use you again. Let go of the lack of confidence and poor self-worth.

With prayer and the Word Of God, you have everything you need to break through and be a person of humility. You have nothing to prove, nothing to lose, and a world of peace to gain.

God Are You There?

Have you experienced a situation like this in your life? Or maybe you didn’t realize you were protecting your heart until you read this post. I am here to help and answer questions you may have.

Please leave you questions and comments in the comments section below. Thank you.

14 thoughts on “Is It Better To Be Humble Or Arrogant?”

  1. While reading I know that Arrogance will manifest in many forms, but it will always be a way to make yourself look better than you feel. Humility is an act of putting others before you. Such as doing acts of kindness without recognition. The process is simple when we break it all down. Put others first and trust in God to take care of you and your heart. Thanks for sharing such useful help.

  2. Thank you for the nice article. I think it is very present topic in today’s world. And from my experiences there is arrogance, but as well a lot of humility. It depends where one is living. In my opinion for building relationships there is very important to be humble. That way people are going to see that the person cares. Opposite to that is if someone is arrogant, it is very hard to make a long lasting relationships(and I 100% agree with you that arrogance is the way how to compensate the low-esteem). What about professional life? Do you think it is better to be humble or arrogant? Very useful article for everyone, great work! I am going to check your posts often. 

    • Thank you. I do believe it is more important to be humble even in the professional world. It is not an easy task but with the help of prayer and the word of God it can be done. I believe it is a position in life that we should all continually strive for. It is one that we can not perfect but we can become better with time. 

  3. Arrogance, I call it the sister of a humble brother. How a sister will and should behave when the brother is too humble in the African context. You are very right Laura, I feel so mad when I am around my boss (employer), spending 70% of my time and energy building her empire and barely 15% mine. And the most frustrating part of the story is I know what to do but I need her few dollars to survive. How would arrogance and humility help me achieve my dreams and transition from employee to employer? Should I continue with this arrogance in my job?

    • Very good questions. But to be humble does not mean to be walked on. We are allowed to set boundaries and still act in a humble manner. it sounds like you are confusing the word humble with the word abuse. Now in life, we will have to pay the bills. So we work a job to make money. The only way to get ahead is to work for her 70% of the time and work for yourself 70% of the time. 

      To start your own business and make a living you will have to work harder than anyone else. This has nothing to do with being humble. It has everything to do with integrity. 

  4. Hey Laura, I just subscribed to your inspiration for life. I love information like this. I feel like there isn’t enough of it out there. Of course it is better to be humble. We live in a world where we experience events that can harden our hearts. Things happen to people that isn’t their fault. What It boils down to is how do you handle that experience, is what heals the heart. I do have a question, when someone goes through something awful, what do you say to them to help them ease their hurt and build up their trust again? Thanks for your wonderful information. I can’t wait to get your emails!

    • Evelyn, I see that you did subscribe. I am so thankful for your follow. Now for your question, 

      “when someone goes through something awful, what do you say to them to help them ease their hurt and build up their trust again?”

      There is absolutely nothing you can say to ease their pain. But to offer yourself as a listener may help more than anything. 

      I have addressed this very issue in numerous posts on this site. Heartache and pain are something we all have to go through. We can find the light at the end of the tunnel. God will carry us through. 

  5. A couple of times a week I am among a group of people and invariably there will be one or two persons with a high ego. They act and talk arrogantly. It is nice to know that those people are actually covering up a low self esteem. From now on I will look at them in a different way. It could be easier to accept what they are saying or the way they are saying it.

    Over self-confidence can involuntarily also lead to perceived arrogance, although you totally do not intend to be like that.

    I am afraid that humility, nowadays, will not get you very far. Unfortunately people will immediately start taking advantage of you. I cannot remember having seen or meeting a humble person (other than the occasional monk). I guess most people will guard themselves and form a heart of stone. Thank you for giving a clear way out.

    • Again I want to make the point that to be humble is not to be walked on. We can set boundaries, stand by them and be humble at the same time. It is hard and a continual struggle. Also, you are correct about the self-confident one who is arrogant. But if we try to compete with them we have missed our opportunity to practice humility. 

  6. Humbleness is the opposite of being a prideful being. Having humbleness demonstrates several things such as a pure and genuine soul. Can someone be wicked and humble? Probably. However, being humble is also part of one of Jesus traits in the bible. Being humble is never showing credit for your own work.

    • Oh, so true Linda, I believe a person who is wicked and humble is only attempting to fool everyone and may not be someone I would want to trust. 

  7. Thanks for the very thought provoking article.

    I prefer to be humble. I have known / experienced arrogant people and feel sorry for them. If the wrong me I pray for them and in my heart wish them many blessings.

    I truly appreciate your words of wisdom!!!

    • Hi Ray, I too prefer to be humble. But I have found in life that other characteristics tend to sneak up on us. Prayer is the best way to handle those pesky sneaky characters.

      It is always so so good to hear from you.


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