There will be many who do not agree with me on this, but it IS just my opinion. I’ve observed that the most arrogant people I know are also the most insecure … and I find that paradox very interesting. Typically, when I think of someone who is insecure, I picture a very shy or unconfident person. But I never used to see arrogance as insecurity until it dawned on me one day that overconfidence (or arrogance) is kind of like the extra weight I continue to carry. I am an incest survivor and an introvert who uses her extra weight as a shield, a barrier if you will, against being taken advantage of sexually. I see this form of defense as being REACTIVE. In other words, I feel insecure and vulnerable, therefore I eat bad things in order to maintain a physical buffer that keeps others at a distance. Arrogance, on the other hand, I see as a form of self protection that is PROACTIVE … a form of social armor that is worn to project such confidence that others perceive you as formidable and untouchable. In the end though, it is all a matter of perspective. Ironically, I have been told by several people (family members as well as coworkers) that I am intimidating, which is SOOOOO NOT how I see myself at all. I feel confident, most of the time, because over the years I have developed faith in my intelligence and always have my fat armor to hide behind … but have never thought of myself as intimidating. That is a subjective observation colored by someone else’s issues. But arrogant people are often described as intimidating, too. Hmmm. To test my theory, I have challenged my own perceptions of people and found that the only folks I’ve known who believe they are truly free of insecurities are those sporting a narcissistic personality disorder … and even then they are so thin-skinned that they cannot tolerate the slightest criticism or rejection and tend to attack. Obviously they have insecurities, too, or they wouldn’t react that way. Bottom line is we are all humans with fragile egos and insecurities, no matter how much denial we express or forms of armor we wear. So I recommend we check our first impressions at the door, and look more closely at our similarities than our differences.