Have you ever met a person who behaves as if he is the greatest person on earth ever? Have you ever worked with a person who pretends that you are only an error-prone “mere mortal” whereas he is the most sublime creation of the divinity? Have you ever seen someone who never wants to move away from his own area of expertise & keeps perfecting those expertise secretly so that they can “perform” them in front of public?
If you have managed to experience at least one of the situations as mentioned above most likely you already had the opportunity of coming across an “Arrogant” person.
In the entire discussion to follow our focus would be on the word “Arrogant”. This is important to discuss because generally arrogant people have a negative impact on the social fabric. We shall try to detect & understand arrogant people.
II. Conceptual Framework:
We start with the definition : “Making or implying unwarrantable claims to dignity, authority & knowledge; aggressively conceited or haughty, presumptuous, overbearing” ( The Oxford Concise Dictionary of English)
The word ‘unwarrantable’ is very important here. It means that their high ideas about themselves are not justifiable. So, basically we should call people arrogant when their claim to pride is false.
But often this world has given us extremely talented people or groups who in spite of their rightful claims to glory were considered arrogant. And that is why the second part of the definition is added. So, as it gives a comprehensive picture of an arrogant person we would consider the definition above as our working definition as well.
Components of arrogant behaviour are mostly divided in 2 parts: attitude towards self & attitude towards others & this nicely came out during the interviews as described later.
Here one important point to note is that the word arrogant can be attributed to a person or a group. Interestingly, a particular member of the group may not be considered arrogant isolatedly but the group as a whole would be considered arrogant. The opposite is also true. This point can be clarified by the example as follows.
One classical example: Sourav Ganguly was often called arrogant by media during his captaincy though the Indian cricket team as a whole was never considered to be arrogant. On the other hand, during the same period, the Australian cricket team was known for its arrogance but no one considered their captain Steve Waugh to be arrogant.
III. Review of Literature:
References of “Arrogant” can be found out in different contexts in different texts. Typically reference of “Arrogant” as a personality type can be found in the Encyclopaedia of Psychology where it is described as a defensive-vindictive behaviour.
Another good insight is obtained from below:
“The fear that drives Arrogance is the fear of vulnerability. Arrogant people do not want to admit to themselves that they are imperfect, nor do they want others to discover it. Rarely do they apologize for their mistakes.” (http://www.michaelteachings.com/) Following are a few readings:
The Ramayana: It depicts Ravana as an arrogant person who had this trait of arrogance or over-bearing self-confidence from his very childhood. Because of this, in spite of being an excellent fighter, scholar & devotee, he often drew wrath of the gods. His destruction is attributed to his arrogance because of which he refused to return Sita & underestimated Rama’s capability to match him in war.
The Mahabharata : Similarly Duryodhana, because of his arrogance, refused to give Pandavas even a needle-point of land underestimating the casualties of an impending war. Here also, the result was destruction.
In all these instances arrogance is always considered as a precursor to one’s fall & destruction.
In the western culture:
This is considered to be a very negative attitude.
As we find in the holy Bible:
Proverbs chapter 29 (TEV)