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User Topic: Confident v. Arrogant
cmego
♀ 30346
Member # 30346
Default  Posted: 9:28 AM, January 10th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I was talking to someone about the men I choose to date. I said that I know I need to look for "nice guys", and guys that are interested in relationships. I struggle with sometimes thinking they are boring, and I'm trying to change my mindset.

I commented that I do need to find a guy that isn't intimidated by me, though. I have a dogged determination to succeed at whatever I do. I'm not afraid of trying or going after whatever I want. Few things scare me (except for dating... ).

Well, this person (a family member) commented to me that I sounded arrogant.

I moved my kids to a new city, knew no one, and have thrived. I started school, then applied to grad school, and made straight A's. I am about to sell and buy a new house, all while holding down being a good mom and full time grad student.

In my head, I'm just doing what needs to be done. If I do it, I'm going to go into it with 100% conviction and determination. So, the guy I am with cannot be intimidated by my personality. I do the right thing, I strive to do the right thing…and I rarely make mistakes. Not because I think I'm great, but because I think out big decisions, I follow my internal moral code and I process everything I"m going to do before I do it. I've been told I make being a single Mom easy (it isn't), I make grad school easy (it isn't…but I work my ass off too) but I'm also not a whiner. So, people don't see me struggle. I don't whine on FB or even to many friends.

How does this make me arrogant?

My ex was/is intimidated by me. He is very competitive and never complimented or was proud of anything I accomplished. He still jabs me with "You are the most self-aware person I know" and "you are perfect, you never make any mistakes…". These are not said as compliments. The only SO I've had told me in the end that I intimidated him. My "goodness" intimidated him…because he had made mistakes in his youth that still haunt him.

So, where is the confident v. arrogant come into play? I'm not going to downplay what I've accomplished. I AM proud of myself.

I like people that are confident, but to me…arrogance is someone that constantly boasts about themselves, to the point of nausea. Other people are beneath them. They hurt people because of their self-centeredness, they think they are the best looking person in the room, very "me, me, me".

Thoughts??


me...BS, 44 years old, 2 small kids
WS, 41, multiple gay affairs
M 15 years, together 17
Divorced


Posts: 4279 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: South
Williesmom
♀ 22870
Member # 22870
Default  Posted: 9:31 AM, January 10th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

cmego-

It appears that you and I are currently at the same place in this dating thing.

I'm walking this line also. My wxh was very intimidated by me. I'm a professional woman, and I am confident in my work abilities. I believe that you should treat people a certain way - if you can't do that, then don't be around me. Apparently, that comes off as arrogant.

On my OLD profile, I'm pretty open in saying that I don't "need" a partner, but I would really like to have someone in my life.

It's really a fine line, and I'm not doing very well with it either.


ETA: physically, I'm probably what one would call a "bigger" girl - and in heels, I'm 6' tall. I've been told that I'm physically intimidating. I can't really change that, but perhaps combined with my personality... it may be a bit much.

I guess I've realized that I'm just not everyone's cup of tea. And that's OK.

[This message edited by Williesmom at 9:35 AM, January 10th (Friday)]


You can stuff your sorries in a sack, mister. -George Costanza
There is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women. - Madeleine Albright

Posts: 7862 | Registered: Feb 2009 | From: Western PA
cmego
♀ 30346
Member # 30346
Default  Posted: 10:01 AM, January 10th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Yeah, one of my ex's complaints, Williesmom, was that I didn't "need" him.

I'm quite short, 5"2, so physically I'm "cute"…but, yeah..little patience with people who just stir up drama and only think about themselves, or treat other people poorly.

To me, successful does not equal arrogant. I'm only successful because I have to work, and work HARD. I've always liked the saying, "It isn't the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog."

But, apparently…that is arrogant?


me...BS, 44 years old, 2 small kids
WS, 41, multiple gay affairs
M 15 years, together 17
Divorced


Posts: 4279 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: South
cayc
♀ 21964
Member # 21964
Default  Posted: 10:08 AM, January 10th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I agree with your definition of arrogant and how it differs from true confidence. I'm not sure why this family member was able to get under your skin about this, but when someone calls you arrogant? That's their insecurities talking. It's more or less the same when someone says you're intimidating. They feel insecure around you. In both cases it says a lot about how they see themselves, that they are jealous of you and so on.

And honestly, the reason you (me, Williesmom etc.) hear this a lot is purely because there are a lot of insecure, competitive to hide their insecurities people in the world.

I do sometimes wonder about the generational aspect of it though when it comes to dating and the men/women thing. You, me and Williesmom are all in the same age range. We're at the tail end of the group of people who truly believed & were taught that men run the show and women are supposed to stand around fawn on them and look pretty OR we had to be an ultra feminist and hate men (i.e. there was no middle road). I'm not saying everyone fell into those two camps but that that was the rubric we operated under, it was there to be followed or we railed against it. The men we're meeting in this age range still suffer from this upbringing too (it lurks in their heads whether or not they admit it) and are single because something failed in their life (their marriage) so our dating pool and social circle pool is made up of people who are really suffering the slings and arrows of life - prime insecurity terrority and a good catalyst with which to fertilize latent insecurities. I say this too because I participate on another forum that skews really young. And I see all these young woman shouting from the rooftops, and a bunch of young men loving it. What they are being taught what a man is and what a woman is, is different from the lessons we got. Idk, maybe in 20 years they'll be beat up and insecure too, who knows.


"I'm not afraid of storms, for I'm learning how to sail my ship." - Louisa May Alcott

Posts: 3200 | Registered: Dec 2008 | From: Mexico
Crescita
♀ 32616
Member # 32616
Default  Posted: 10:10 AM, January 10th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Cmego, you can’t please everyone. Someone humble or insecure might perceive any pride as arrogance. We all come at life with differing perspectives. You can twist yourself in knots trying to figure out whose perspective is best or just let it be. Respecting other people’s opinions without altering your own is a pretty self-confident thing after all.


“Happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue.” ― Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

Posts: 3570 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: The Valley of the Sun
cmego
♀ 30346
Member # 30346
Default  Posted: 10:42 AM, January 10th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Oh, I'm not altering my view…but I always take an opportunity for self-reflection. If someone criticizes me, I don't automatically assume they are wrong and I am right. I take the time to see it from their viewpoint and..assess.

Cayc, as always, that is an interesting thought. Let me mull that over a little.


me...BS, 44 years old, 2 small kids
WS, 41, multiple gay affairs
M 15 years, together 17
Divorced


Posts: 4279 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: South
Sad in AZ
♀ 24239
Member # 24239
Default  Posted: 11:22 AM, January 10th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I commented that I do need to find a guy that isn't intimidated by me

I'd challenge you to change this to, "I need to find a guy who is willing to treat me as an equal."

We want a partner who is not looking for a mother--or daughter--figure. We want someone with whom we can find common ground.


Hallelujah! Holy shit! Where's the tylenol?

Posts: 20548 | Registered: Jun 2009 | From: Upstate NY
ladies_first
♀ 24643
Member # 24643
Default  Posted: 12:16 PM, January 10th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Who gets to see your soft, vulnerable side?


"We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us." ~J. Campbell
"In the final analysis, it is your own attitude that will make or break you, not what has happened to you." ~D. Galloway

Posts: 2143 | Registered: Jun 2009
cmego
♀ 30346
Member # 30346
Default  Posted: 1:40 PM, January 10th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Yes, correct. I want an equal.

Who gets to see your soft, vulnerable side?

Hmm. I had to think about that. My first thought was my kids, but they have to see the "do your homework and clean up your room" Mom AND the softer "I love you and do nice things for you because I love you" Mom. They aren't there as emotional support for me.

But…really…probably the only person is my IC. She is the only person I trust with any emotion.


me...BS, 44 years old, 2 small kids
WS, 41, multiple gay affairs
M 15 years, together 17
Divorced


Posts: 4279 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: South
ladies_first
♀ 24643
Member # 24643
Default  Posted: 1:57 PM, January 10th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hmm. I had to think about that. My first thought was my kids, but they have to see the "do your homework and clean up your room" Mom AND the softer "I love you and do nice things for you because I love you" Mom. They aren't there as emotional support for me.

But…really…probably the only person is my IC. She is the only person I trust with any emotion.


For many years I, too, mistook "buttoned up emotionally" for arrogant.

ETA: I found the early *videos* of Brene Brown most helpful. Books less so, but still interesting.

IMHO, Vulnerablity is like a muscle ... sadly, it you don't use it, you loose it.

I'd love to hear what your IC has to say on the subject.

[This message edited by ladies_first at 2:10 PM, January 10th (Friday)]


"We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us." ~J. Campbell
"In the final analysis, it is your own attitude that will make or break you, not what has happened to you." ~D. Galloway

Posts: 2143 | Registered: Jun 2009
cmego
♀ 30346
Member # 30346
Default  Posted: 3:10 PM, January 10th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

An interesting thought, for sure.

I will add the person that told me this was my mother…and although a great mother, never expressed emotion…nor was I ever praised very much at all. She was present and provided me a good life. So, when she says something it always stings and I evaluate. My IC says that I must have felt like a fish out of water with my family since I am very emotionally connected to people.

My IC helped me to see that she is not emotional support to me, and to stop expecting support. Today we were simply talking about an OLD date I have next week and I mentioned that he seems "nice" and "didn't seem intimidated" by me. So, I was called arrogant, when it was a semantic issue. I quickly got off the phone, as it is the best thing for me.

IC also told me that the reason I didn't notice that my gay exH wasn't emotionally connected to me, is that my parents were not emotionally demonstrative. I simply got used to it.

What I remember when I first met exH, I liked that he openly told me he loved me and was very affectionate. I craved it. What I missed was the deep emotional connection.

My IC sees the very emotional side of me…as I trust her.


me...BS, 44 years old, 2 small kids
WS, 41, multiple gay affairs
M 15 years, together 17
Divorced


Posts: 4279 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: South
StillLivin
♀ 40229
Member # 40229
Default  Posted: 5:30 PM, January 10th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I agree with your definition of arrogant and how it differs from true confidence. I'm not sure why this family member was able to get under your skin about this, but when someone calls you arrogant? That's their insecurities talking. It's more or less the same when someone says you're intimidating. They feel insecure around you. In both cases it says a lot about how they see themselves, that they are jealous of you and so on.

I've heard the same song and dance for a long time.
It took me a while to see what went wrong in my M, besides the obvious norms of entitlement, selfishness, etc.
STBXH pursued me for my strengths, yet his own insecurities caused him to turn on me for those same strengths. He is a PA, so he never showed how much resentment and insecurity he had building up.
There are just too many people with those insecurities. The trick is to find the ones that aren't so insecure. You bring a lot to the table, why shouldn't you be confident. You've earned that the hard way.
Your definition of arrogant seems pretty on point to me.


I don't need further confirmation of what a fuckwit he is. I already have plenty, thanks very much. -SBB
D: 7/2/2014

Posts: 2556 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: AZ
InnerLight
♀ 19946
Member # 19946
Default  Posted: 12:21 AM, January 11th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm an ultra capable woman and dating didn't work so well for me when I tried to approach it in project management mode. I'm not saying this is your issue, but it's related. I can see how being so ultra capable doesn't allow a guy a role in your life. I would say that I don't need a man, because in a certain way I don't - I am independent and can manage fine on my own. All fine and true.

A counselor once challenged me on this, 'I don't need a man' thing though. She's someone who is very self-actualized and not dependent so I was willing to listen to her. She asked me to consider what I DO need a man for, in the context of dating and relationships. I came up with, As I need a man to feel feminine, to feel beautiful, to be cherished and cared for and loved. I found that it was OK to claim these needs and that it didn't mean I was a pathetic, grovelling child-woman to admit it. Nor did it mean that I was unable to feel those things on my own. It's just different in the context of being with a man.

So I played with that perspective and found that it did help me enjoy a respectful, sensual and pleasurable courtship. It allowed me to let the right man in closer, to appreciate what he had to give me, and that it felt good and right.

I don't think you sound arrogant, but perhaps all the ultra capability you have that gives you confidence also makes you distant and less approachable. I do think it's hard for guys seeing all these awesome women to know what they have to offer if no woman needs them.

[This message edited by InnerLight at 12:24 AM, January 11th (Saturday)]


BS, now age 54, d-day 6-2-08, divorced after 17 years M and 20 together. In some ways I have not 'gotten over it'. But I am resilient and have created a good life where I am mostly happy.

Posts: 5941 | Registered: Jun 2008 | From: Rural California
Amazonia
♀ 32810
Member # 32810
Default  Posted: 1:17 AM, January 11th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

If you were feeling attacked by this person in the first place, I've seen a lot of incidences where confidence+defensiveness comes across sounding a lot like arrogance.


"You yourself deserve your love and affection as much as anybody in the universe." -Buddha
"Let's face it, life is a crap shoot." -Sad in AZ

Posts: 13926 | Registered: Jul 2011
cmego
♀ 30346
Member # 30346
Default  Posted: 7:01 AM, January 11th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Ama…it was my Mom, so anything she criticizes me over is super sensitive. Why I try to make sure I compliment/praise my kids as much as the mom/criticism role comes into play. I don't remember being complimented as a kid. You know, she never has said to me, "You deserve a really good man." But she also openly despises my ex…which is saying a lot since she is emotionally very controlled too.

Anyway, I worked out with IC to ask for no emotional support from her…I get it from my friends and SI.

I came up with, As I need a man to feel feminine, to feel beautiful, to be cherished and cared for and loved. I found that it was OK to claim these needs and that it didn't mean I was a pathetic, grovelling child-woman to admit it. Nor did it mean that I was unable to feel those things on my own. It's just different in the context of being with a man.

Inner…I needed to think about this too. So, my view about what "being with a man" is like, is so freaking skewed. Ex was gay, right? Therefore he never appreciated the things about me that are feminine. When dating xSO, he did things that blew me away…like commenting how soft my skin is, or telling me I smelled good, or commenting that he liked my fingernails. I remember being shocked when he complimented me. My BFF said that is how guys act, and I was clueless. I realized then that I spent 20 years not being appreciated for simply being a girl.

I've been trying to "soften" myself recently, growing my hair back out (I've had a pixie cut), wearing perfume, etc. Trying to regain the femininity that was lost. I dress fairly feminine, it was just the other girlie things I needed to find.

There is a new guy from OLD, and he is doing everything right…but I feel myself holding back. Looking for reasons to not get excited, looking for reasons to not go out with him, looking, looking, looking. I'm hoping because I am aware of my behavior, that I can just relax and see…well, who HE is instead of trying to find out "what is wrong with him".

I wonder if it is simply becoming easier to be alone.


me...BS, 44 years old, 2 small kids
WS, 41, multiple gay affairs
M 15 years, together 17
Divorced


Posts: 4279 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: South
Amazonia
♀ 32810
Member # 32810
Default  Posted: 7:07 AM, January 11th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

There is a new guy from OLD, and he is doing everything right…but I feel myself holding back. Looking for reasons to not get excited, looking for reasons to not go out with him, looking, looking, looking. I'm hoping because I am aware of my behavior, that I can just relax and see…well, who HE is instead of trying to find out "what is wrong with him".

How much of this is just being jaded from two years of OLD though? That process gets old for the best of us.


"You yourself deserve your love and affection as much as anybody in the universe." -Buddha
"Let's face it, life is a crap shoot." -Sad in AZ

Posts: 13926 | Registered: Jul 2011
cmego
♀ 30346
Member # 30346
Default  Posted: 7:17 AM, January 11th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Maybe. I've taken major breaks from OLD, and have only agreed to meet maybe 6 guys in the past year. I think only 10 guys in the last 2 years…but I do think there are decent guys on OLD. I know so many good woman on OLD, there has to be decent guys on there too.

I think it is a good way to meet people, although the process still feels a bit odd.

What struck me about this guy…is he is openly positive about life (although a BS and a single parent) and has already openly said he is looking for someone to "go through life together". Not in a creepy way, in a normal way. Openly told me he is in IC, doing all the right thing. I've noticed.

I like his openness, and I know I didn't respond with full openness. I said I knew I wanted a relationship, but I wasn't as open as he was.


me...BS, 44 years old, 2 small kids
WS, 41, multiple gay affairs
M 15 years, together 17
Divorced


Posts: 4279 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: South
kg201
♂ 40173
Member # 40173
Default  Posted: 9:32 AM, January 11th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I read through this string and thought I would put two cents in from my male perspective for what it's worth.

I started the OLD thing 2 months after my separation (early by most standards, but it was something I needed). I didn't have much success early on, a couple of dates. And then I went on a few dates with two different women, both of whom I liked. I realized very quickly that I needed to choose one, because trying to go further with both was not something I was going to be able to do. There were a number of things that I ultimately based my decision on, but the largest one was that the woman I decided to continue seeing was more open with me about her needs and feelings.

I am someone who wears his emotions on his sleeves, as the old saying goes. The woman I decided not to continue with was very good at listening to me and was asking for my sharing of myself, but wasn't ready to give the same back. It felt similar to my WW in some ways. The woman I stayed with allowed me to have more of a give and take with. And this woman is a successful economist, with more education, and earning capacity than I have. The "success" piece of our identities is not as big of an issue for me, so I don't feel intimidated by her. But I realize that it is her openness about herself that I truly value.

So I realize those of us on this site are vulnerable, and are tentative about offering too much of ourselves to new relationships. But for me that is the only way we can begin to create something new and satisfying. So much of the OLD experience is about presenting the exterior of ourselves, and I think that is why it proves to be so unsatisfying after a while.

Anyway...my two cents.


Me: BH, 39
Her: WW, 40
Together 18 years, married 15+
LTA 3.5 years, ongoing
Dday: 7/28/13
Divorcing, 3 children
---------------------------------
"There can be no friendship without confidence, and no confidence without integrity." -S

Posts: 802 | Registered: Aug 2013
DeadMumWalking
♀ 25341
Member # 25341
Default  Posted: 10:17 AM, January 11th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

A lot of people associate self-confidence in a woman with arrogance. Sadly, maybe even your mother.

She should be proud of how you have turned out and of your accomplishments, and also of how much you value yourself. I'm sorry that it doesn't seem that she feels this way.


Me (BS), Him (WH): early 50's
3 DS: teens!!! :)
M: 25 (19 1/2 at Dday), Together 30
Dday: Dec 2008
Limbo-ish, again (after multiple S) -- weighing my options

Posts: 2713 | Registered: Aug 2009 | From: EU
cmego
♀ 30346
Member # 30346
Default  Posted: 10:34 AM, January 11th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

It is interesting to me how arrogance and vulnerability go hand in hand.

My Mom has never praised me, I learned to let go of that expectation long ago. Every now and then I will hear a positive comment, but it just isn't her style. I accepted that. The criticism still stings…but I guess it always will. Overall, she is a very good Mom. We all have faults.

I know I'm not very vulnerable, but that is my default position. I relax once I feel comfortable and try to tell people how I feel…but it is very hard for me. I have to make an effort to "be open".

So…this thread made me reach out to new OLD guy for the first time today. I've always let him contact me first. I do need to show some interest…even when I'm not sure I'm interested. I need to fake it while I figure it all out. I don't want to open up and show interest until I know he is interested. I know that is problematic.


me...BS, 44 years old, 2 small kids
WS, 41, multiple gay affairs
M 15 years, together 17
Divorced


Posts: 4279 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: South
Topic Posts: 22
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