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How to be less arrogant
How I did it: The largest part of this was forcing myself to not judge others for the things they've done, lacked or were not good at. I use to think that any person who wanted better, would put in the necessary work and effort to achieve it, and anyone who didn't was just lazy. Even as I was pulling myself out of depression, I still felt a twinge of resentment anytime someone would share any of their troubling circumstances with me, but I would quickly catch myself because I knew that it wasn't right. After all, it was that attitude that led me to where I was at the time (long story.) I had to force myself to listen, to probe deeper. Why couldn't so-and-so go back to school? Why couldn't person ABC save enough money to move into a better neighborhood? Why couldn't John Doe find a better job? The more I learned about the different circumstances of people's lives did I come to understand why they struggled the way they did, and why life isn't as easy as I thought it was. I just happened to be a bit more fortunate than others. The fates had simply dealt me a better hand. After a while, having in depth conversations with people wasn't enough, I had to go further. So i opted for spending time with them. If it were someone I would have looked down on, or turned my nose up at before, I made an effort to learn something personal about them. About their families, their upbringing, their hobbies. I had to teach myself to not seem them as statistics and circumstances, but as people. As equals.I also had to do work on my own self. I had to learn that I wasn't better than anyone, that there was nothing special about me, that it put me above any other person. You have to teach yourself to be more humble which is no easy task in and of itself. Humility is placing less importance on yourself and your own needs. It's putting others before you. In layman's terms you could say it means to be nicer, and not just acting nice. Anyone can perform a nice gesture. It has to be genuine. You have to want to be a kinder, person. It's also helpful to know the difference of being arrogant and confident. There's nothing wrong with knowing you can accomplish something, but the problem comes in when you're so sure you can get it done that you heed no advice or listen to any reason as to why you can't. To be less arrogant means you have to be more receptive to critique, feedback and collaboration. You have to be able to admit when you're wrong, and concede when someone else is right. It's not about being weak, it's about having the maturity and a strong enough mindset to know that you can't do everything. Which brings me to my last point, honesty.I had to learn to be a lot more truthful with myself than I ever had been. I had to learn to stop allowing myself to feel shame for not being able to add another point to my score, or another plaque on my wall of achievements. If I couldn't do it, I had to learn to tell myself to not only, not commit to the action, but to be man enough to say it was beyond my capability. Which brings me to my last point, recklessness. Exercise risk in moderation. Anytime you go along with an idea or action, especially when you know it's foolish, but for some reason still think you're going to produce the result you so desire, you're feeding your arrogance. (I was anyway.) The more my recklessness produced successful outcomes, it only resulted in more arrogance coursing through my veins, because it was confirmation that I could do anything, and that I was in fact, invincible. But you're not invincible, and you can't do any and everything. No one can. Which is by far, the most important lesson to learn if you truly are striving to be less arrogant.
Lessons & tips: Openly acknowledge the things you can't do. Arrogant people believe they have no faults or do no wrong. They believe they are the best, the most perfect, the strongest, smartest and all around great. (I know I did.) When you start acknowledging, openly - you can say them aloud to yourself or write them in a journal or a blog - the things that make you weak, and the aspects of your life that need improvement, you're a step closer to being less arrogant. I'm not saying you have to humiliate yourself by no means. But I am saying you have to admit your faults and weaknesses to yourself. You have to view others as equals, not competition to squash. You have to learn to be confident, and not a narcissistic ass. There's a difference in saying "I'm a good swimmer" as opposed to "I'm the best damn swimmer that ever lived." You don't have to cheapen yourself, of become unnecessarily modest about your achievements, but you do have to find a way to tell people who you are and what you've done, without rubbing it in their faces. Climb down from your horse. It may also help to do volunteer work, or spend time with people less fortunate than yourself. When you know what a person has to endure in life it makes you more appreciative for what it is you do have. Try spending a day with kids who've never been able to walk, and have wished all their lives to know what it's like to run through a grassy field. You'll quickly appreciate the fact that you can walk, even if it's somewhere you don't want to be. Trust me.
Resources: Aside from books and videos, the biggest asset was a supportive group of friends and peers. Volunteer work did wonders for me because it allowed me to work closely with people I would have considered inadequate or lesser than myself. It taught me what it was to be humble and appreciate the smaller things in life. Something I never did before. The biggest resource of all is to have a willingness to want to change. It's one thing to say it, but you have to have a real desire to be less of an arrogant person, and you have to have that desire FOR YOURSELF! Don't do it to make anyone appreciate or like you, do it because it's what YOU want to do. It's not going to be easy. It can be quite difficult to reprogram one's thinking, but if you have a strong desire to see the transformation through, a more humble, albeit confident, version of you will manifest itself in due time.
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