Arrogance in Addiction and Recovery

Arrogance is considered to be one of the least attractive personality traits. Those individuals who exhibit such an overbearing attitude can be difficult to be around. Their behavior can cause a great deal of upset and conflict. Those people who fall into addiction will often develop an arrogant attitude. This can prevent them from seeking help for their problems. Carrying this arrogant attitude with them into recovery can lead to a bumpy ride in recovery and increase the chances of returning to their addiction.

Arrogance Defined

Arrogance can be defined as an offensive display of superiority or self-importance. It can also be described as an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner. Such behavior is always viewed in a negative light. Arrogance is a subjective description and most of those individuals who have this negative attribute ascribed to them will deny it.

The Difference between Arrogance and Confidence

The fact that arrogance is a subjective term means that it can sometimes be confused with self-confidence. This confusion is hardly surprising as arrogance is sometimes described as the mask of confidence. The confident person will likely have pride in their abilities and achievements, but they will also view these in a realistic light. They will usually mix this with a healthy dose of humility. The arrogant person tries too hard to convince others of their superiority. This means that their claims sound untrue. The confident person already has plenty of self-worth. They do not need other people to tell them how good they are.

Causes of Arrogance

There are a number of reasons for why people will act in an arrogant manner:

* Arrogance is often a sign that the individual has low self esteem. They are trying to hide their lack of self worth by putting on a show of superiority. The individual believes that showing off their possessions, attainments, and achievements will convince other people of how good they are. Their boasts tend to have the opposite effect of what they are trying to achieve.
* Some people use arrogance as a type of defense mechanism. This is because they worry that if they show vulnerability in front of the other person they will get hurt. Many of those who have a fear of intimacy can also act in an arrogant manner. They can use arrogance as a means to keep people at bay.
* Some individuals are arrogant because they have a condition known as narcissistic personality disorder. This is a situation where the individual is so obsessed with themselves that it has become pathological. The person with this disorder will be vain, egotistical, and arrogant.
* Some individuals have poor communication skills. This can mean that they appear arrogant when this is not their intention.

Addiction and Arrogance

It is common for addicts to develop an arrogant attitude. This occurs partially as a defense mechanism and also because such individuals can completely lose touch with reality. The life of an addict is full of lies and denial. Their arrogant attitude means that they can ignore the reality of their situation. It makes it possible for them to be lying in the gutter and still looking down at everyone else. In order to escape their addiction, it is usually necessary for the individual to at temporarily escape the tyranny of their own arrogance. This will mean that they can admit that their life is not going well and that they do need help. Sometimes, the individual will need to hit rock bottom before they will make such an admission.

The Dangers of Arrogance in Recovery

Arrogance can be a dangerous character trait for people in recovery because:

* If people are arrogant, they will be less likely to admit that they need help. Recovering from addiction can be hard to achieve with making use of available resources. By refusing to admit that they need assistance the individual is giving themselves a serious handicap in their attempt to escape addiction.
* Arrogant people tend to be poor learners. They already act as if they know all the answers. In order to build a successful life away from addiction, the individual needs to be constantly learning. If this does not happen they are unlikely to find success.
* If people are arrogant they will be far more likely to relapse. Their feelings of superiority will prevent them from admitting that their recovery is in danger. They may not even be able to admit this to themselves.
* Arrogant people in recovery will often find themselves dealing with dry drunk syndrome. Their life away from addiction is not very satisfying but they just hang on in there. They are likely to view their time away from alcohol and drugs as being similar to serving a prison sentence. Such individuals will tend to be full of anger and resentment because their life in recovery is so unsatisfying.
* It can be hard for arrogant people to make friends in recovery. This is because their boorish attitude tends to rub other people up the wrong way. Loneliness can be a dangerous emotion for people in recovery. It can easily lead the individual back to their addiction.
* In order to get the most out of life in recovery the individual needs to develop emotional sobriety. This will not occur while the individual has an arrogant attitude.
* Arrogant people tend to appear rude to other people. This means that such individuals will frequently find themselves in confrontational situations. Regularly bumping heads with others can cause a great deal of stress in life.

How to Overcome Arrogance in Recovery

There are things that the individual can to do to overcome their arrogant attitude:

* If people value themselves highly, there will be no need to convince other people of their worth. They will just feel comfortable in their own skin. Anything that helps the individual increase their own self-esteem will also help them eradicate arrogance.
* Learning to be humble in sobriety can bring many great benefits including the eradication of arrogance. Humility is not about becoming subservient or weak. It means just owning up to weaknesses and human fallibility. Nobody is perfect, and the humble person is honest about this. It takes a great deal of courage for a usually arrogant person to show humility, but the rewards of doing so are well worth it. In order to get the most out of recovery the individual will need to have at least some degree of humility. They need to be teachable.
* Most people who are arrogant do not even realize it. This means that it is only when the individual pays closer attention to their own behavior and other people’s reactions that they observe this trait. If people are worried that they might sometimes come across as arrogant they can ask a trusted friend for their opinion.
* Sometimes people do get accused of arrogance unfairly. It is a highly subjective term. If an individual is accused of being arrogant they do not have to automatically assume that this is the true. Instead they can reflect on their behavior to see if there is any veracity in such a claim.
* Mindfulness meditation is a technique that allows people to have a deeper understanding of their mental processes. This means that they will become better at spotting their own negative behaviors, such as arrogance.
* Spending more time thinking about other people is another good way to overcome arrogance. This prevents the individual becoming too focused on their own life.