While pride harms only the proud, arrogance due to overbearing pride brings contempt for others. An arrogant man is often rude and very fond of offending his friends, relatives, colleagues and everyone else who comes in contact with him.
Pride rears its head even in the most unsuspected corners. One man may be proud that he is proud, and another, proud that he is not proud. Learning may render one man proud, and yet ignorance can also be the source of pride for another man.
Ego is nothing but pride in its inflated form. An arrogant man is unduly or excessively proud of his wealth, status, learning, etc. He shows ego in spirit of conduct. He is unwarrantably overbearing and haughty. His head is swollen like the swelling caused by dropsy. He thinks very highly of himself and poorly of others. He claims much for himself and concedes little to others.
Another by-product of pride is vanity, which intensely craves admiration and applause. It is undue assumption of self-importance. It often results in open and rude expression of contempt and hostility. It quickly takes for granted superiority and privilege, which others are slow to concede.
Arrogance is an absorbing sense of one’s own greatness. It is a feeling of one’s superiority over others. In the presence of superiors, overweening pride manifests itself as arrogance. Pride is too self-satisfied to care for seeing the good in others and in praising them.
(Pride, Ego & Arrogance, How to Kill Pride, Ego & Arrogance, From Gyan Rajhans at hinduism.about.com)
Those to whom much has been given sometimes suffer from arrogance; or rather the people around them suffer. Arrogance is doubly a pity, because the talents of the arrogant serve primarily themselves. The arrogant assumes his views and opinions are The Truth. In arrogance, natural confidence goes sadly awry. Rather than the self-assurance born of knowing his own strengths and limitations, arrogance admits no limits. The arrogant brooks no weakness in himself and may even secretly rejoice to find flaws in others. But imperfections are inherent in being human, so the arrogant, like everyone else, always has feet of clay, however well hidden they may be. Fearing exposure, haughtiness forms a hard shell masking inner emptiness.
All forms of arrogance lie well beyond the pale of true spirituality, because arrogance attempts to fill our inner emptiness with ego rather than allowing that emptiness to blossom into humility. Freedom from arrogance begins with seeing. At first we may only receive hints from how our behavior affects those around us.
In Arrogance, there is a constant sense of defense against vulnerability. Walls are erected around the Self, often in the form of an image given to others, and much attention and focus is given to the creation and maintenance of this wall. However, when such attention and focus is given to a space outside the Self — unless what is inside is just as full and complete as what is within — then there will always be a pervasive sense of emptiness.
There are, as you can imagine, different ways of manifesting Arrogance. One is more cardinal (outward facing or extroverted) and one is more ordinal (introverted). Cardinal arrogance, or exalted arrogance, will have a constant sense of pushing outward to maintain that wall. A personality construct is thrust outward and an image is maintained strongly. Yet there is still always the knowledge of the inner emptiness and the fear that someone meeting that wall will see the inner emptiness inside — and therefore the cardinally arrogant person will be found fraudulent. The king will be found to have no clothes.
Ordinal arrogance is a little different. There is still the creation and maintenance of a wall, but there is not the constant sense of pushing outward to maintain it. The wall is more like a cloaking shield, giving the illusion of invisibility. The wall is a defense against anyone coming inside — and so the wall is put up hastily, at the last minute, to prevent anyone from coming beyond that point. There is a knowledge of where the wall would exist when a threat is perceived, but it's not a constant outward pressure. Instead, it's hastily erected in order to defend against a perceived threat of someone seeing that empty core that's always perceived as inside the arrogant person.
They stride among us. Their eyes wary, their armor buckled, their words pre-sharpened. They hold themselves superior. They are haughty, imperious, and disdainful. There is one notion they hold dear: They are better than you. "Arrogance," Webster tells us, is "that species of pride which extols the worth or importance of one's self to an undue degree." This is not healthy self esteem. This is not brimming confidence. This is a "proud contempt of others."
People build their arrogance from different foundations. Some start with money, others with intellect, education, lineage, job status, good looks, and athleticism. Some allow their arrogance to sprout from even the most obscure hobbies or traits. Arrogance can be based on real qualities or possessions: a genius IQ, a staggering bank account. It can just as easily be based on illusion: a 'brilliant' strategist who gleans every last idea from others, a 'millionaire' who owns nothing more than a generous line of credit. It can be rooted in the past: an out-of-shape, fast-food addict with a glorious, football youth.
It is possible to be arrogant on your terms alone. "I am the only cheese master, shot-putting Hamil-tonian quaternian expert in my class." Most, however, employ their arrogance to align themselves with a group: the popular, the brilliant, the wealthy, and the artistic. In their research, psychologists Roy Baumeister and Mark Leary find that people feel a pressing, urgent need to belong. They are driven to attach themselves to groups. People who do not feel they belong to a group have much more mental and physical illness, more behavioral problems, traffic accidents, criminal records and suicide attempts. Certain arrogance helps some people feel that they have arrived, that they are privileged members of an exclusive group. People can use this arrogance to say: "I belong here. I am worthwhile because I am a valued member of a group that is closed to you."
Arrogance that is built on group membership grows stronger over time. People fall prey to a self-serving bias. They see their group in the best possible light. "People at my level know what is important. The people below haven't got a clue." In-group loyalty intensifies. Soon there are 'people like us' and 'people like them.' The people outside are depersonalized and easier to stereotype. The arrogant person can now, even subconsciously, pay attention only to that behavior which confirms why 'those others' are inferior.
(Source: Vitality, 1998, 3(3) at wilsonbanwell.com)
People with this chief feature, from the time they are young, are likely to believe they are destined for greatness. They feel they are not just another ordinary person: they think they are extraordinary. They tend to think they are a superior breed of human, not subject to the same imperfections as other "common" people. They may believe they are blessed with good luck. They have an exaggerated sense of their own importance, perceiving themselves as noble and grand, and feeling they are beyond and above the normal and average. They fancy that they will make a significant contribution to the world, and they have an unrealistic evaluation of their abilities, talents, intelligence, and other gifts — they see themselves as better than they really are. They have a desire to excel at whatever they do. They can be pretentious, haughty, snobbish, pompous, lofty, and conceited. This shows even in the way they carry themselves — with an upright posture, and in the way they walk — with a swagger.
Both Self-Deprecation and Arrogance make a person very status-conscious. Both types of people are concerned with where they rank compared to others. "What is my elevation — am I high or low? What is my scale — am I big or small. What is my value — am I quality or not? What is my grade — am I fine or coarse?" The lesson to be learned from this is that we are neither better nor worse than others, neither higher nor lower, neither richer nor poorer, neither more righteous nor more wicked. We are all equal.
(The Arrogance Feature by PHILLIP WITTMEYER at michaelteachings.com)
Be arrogant if you wish. Look down on others and treat them poorly, if you wish. But realize that if you do so, you're only allowing your own inner weaknesses to shine through, and you're not fooling anyone. Not the people around you, who hold you in disdain, not God who made you and loves you and knows all about you, and not yourself. And for those who must deal with arrogance on a regular basis, please keep in mind that arrogant people treat you poorly only because they're needier than you, and they haven't yet admitted to themselves that they are needy. They need and deserve your compassion, not your anger.