Arrogance vs Narcissism: 6+ Main Key Differences

How have you ever been addressed as a narcissist, due to your arrogant nature? Let us know the clear differences for the topic, Arrogance vs Narcissism, to provide an answer to people addressing you as a narcissist just because you might be a little more arrogant than usual. Have you ever come across a difficult and rude person, but you are unable to figure are they arrogant or narcissistic? Or you are that person?

To understand the differences clearly, first knowing the meaning of the individual terms is necessary. Thus let us focus on knowing the meaning first and then the differences to clear out any further remaining doubts regarding the same. Let us continue further.

Defining Arrogance

Arrogance is a trait that can be identified by the sense of boastful and condescending nature. Arrogant people often belittle and insult others. amplify their own abilities, display their accomplishments by overvaluing them, and tend to establish their dominance. It is a concept of patronizing others with haughty behavior. An arrogant person thinks that they are more worthy, superior, and better in every aspect than others.

Defining Narcissism

NPD(Narcissistic Personality Disorder) or Narcissism is portraying some common toxic traits in an intensified state than others. In psychological terms, narcissists who suffer from NPD(Narcissistic Personality Disorder) portray these emotions and traits in a greater magnitude than others. These emotions include a boosted sense of self-importance, inflated self-worth, and a constant need for admiration, adoration, and validation.

Narcissists are often characterized by their boosted sense of self-importance, self-pride, and self-needs. With a narcissist, everything is just about them. Narcissists thrive upon the attention, adoration, and validation that they receive from others, and what makes them distinguished from others is the way they think and the way they behave, which is totally selfish and mean.

Some overlaps between a narcissist and an arrogant individual

Inability to handle Criticism – A narcissist and an arrogant individual both find it really difficult to accept any sort of criticism. They hardly can take any sort of feedback, so criticism is not their strong pursuit. They might be enraged when someone criticizes them as they think criticism is a direct attack on their self-belief of being perfect and superior beings.

Grandiosity – Grandiosity means a quality of imposing one’s extravagant and pompous self and lifestyle on others. Both narcissists and arrogant individuals tend to display their superior life and their surpassing traits to others in every possible manner.

Excessive self-importance – Both narcissists and arrogant people have a belief that they are better than others, and thus narcissists use their sense of being superior to others, and arrogant people use their arrogance to showcase their self-importance to be the elephant in the room.

Entitlement – This is one such trait that really overlaps in both types of personalities. Both narcissists and arrogant people feel that they are more special and entitled than others and thus they deserve everything in priority and are better than others. That their needs are supposed to be met before everyone else’s and they should have preferences for that matter.

Arrogance vs Narcissism: Key Differences

There are a few major differences that can clearly sort out the differences between the two terminologies, which are mentioned below,

1. Arrogance is a behavioral trait while Narcissism is a Personality Disorder

Arrogance is a behavioral trait that is usually differentiated by an increased sense of self-importance and rudeness of a person. It does not need any clinical diagnosis to prove that someone is characterized as an arrogant person.

Whereas Narcissism is a personality disorder that is a clinically proven mental health illness, which requires a diagnosis to claim someone as a narcissist. Narcissism comes with a lot many behavioral traits and it just cannot be defined by simply one trait.

2. Arrogant people have a different focus than narcissists while proving their own worth

Arrogant people usually make a target of belittling and insulting others in general, also to prove their self-worth but also to tear down someone else’s reputation. Their prime focus is bringing down other people’s worth first and then proving their own.

Whereas narcissists are self-absorbed beings. Their sole focus is to highlight their own worth first rather than bringing down someone else’s. If the other person is providing them with enough weight then they might just be satisfied with that as they are getting what they want and they could not care more to tear down someone else’s worth as long as they are getting what they want.

3. Arrogant people usually seek attention while narcissistic people seek admiration and adoration more than attention

Arrogant people usually just aim for gaining attention or just be the center of attention. They hardly care what others think about them, do they like them or not, or how adorable they look in the eyes of others. They just require attention and they are all set as they hardly care much about their social image. Even if they are provided attention for a short while they might not think much and their work is done.

Whereas narcissists require much more than just attention. They seek adoration and validation along with attention. They care so much about what others think about them, how adorable they look in the eyes of other people, how is their social image and how their presence just lightens up the room. How their ideas are validated by others and how impressed others get by their grandiosity. Narcissists cannot be just satisfied by a little attention they require a lot more than that. Thus they are a little extra in every aspect than an arrogant person.

4. Different Perspectives regarding self-image

Arrogant individuals usually have a strong, positive, and hardly disrupted self-image. They do not have two sides t view their own self-image. They view themselves as someone who is much more worthy than others and have confidence in what they believe. Arrogant people are much more confident in their own self and they do not juggle between different self-images.

Narcissists on the other hand constantly juggle between being a super and extra confident self and a gloomy, undermined, and highly doubted inadequate self. Narcissists have a constant fear that they might be disliked by others or they might be repudiated by others if they do not maintain their grandiose self-image. They keep on doubting themselves due to trauma and an underlying fear of abandonment. They feel they always need to prove themselves for people to like them.

5. Arrogance is often a defense mechanism while narcissism is a deep-rooted personality trait

Arrogance is often a behavioral technique used by individuals to avoid their insecurities, criticism, and insults. Arrogance may be permanent or not be permanent but does not require any treatments. It can be resolved with just a little self-help.

Narcissism on the other hand is a deep-rooted personality trait that cannot be completely cured or healed and also requires clinical assistance by mental health experts to keep it under control. Narcissism usually cannot be treated with self-help unless and until a person is determined and strong-willed to get cured as narcissists believe that they are perfect and they do not need any help. It just needs the self-realization that a person lacks something and needs assistance from therapists to keep everything smooth.

6. Different motives behind seeking validation

Arrogant individuals seek validation just to prove their superiority over others. Do not seek it to maintain their self-esteem. They just have the urge to prove themselves better than others or up to the mark by seeking validation from others.

Narcissists seek validation not just to prove their superiority but also to maintain their self-esteem. They need validation to sustain their self-esteem which also helps them in maintaining their grandiose self-image.

7. Arrogant people can be edified and turned into humble beings, whereas that is a really tough task with a narcissist

Arrogant people can be really trusted with changes, and they can be humbled with a little effort from others. They can even self-heal themselves from their arrogant nature to someone humble. All they require is self-realization. They would also appreciate help from others if they seek an interest to change. They can be changed with a little effort.

On the other hand, narcissists do not believe that they need to change in the first place. They hardly even acknowledge the fact that someone is willing to make efforts for them to change. They believe that they are perfect and would not see any problem with their behavior. Narcissists hardly change and they require serious healing and help from professionals to get on track, and it is a little difficult to get healed with self-help. It is not impossible but just a little difficult.

8. Arrogance is more common than Narcissism

Arrogance is a very common trait that can be found among people. It is a harmful trait but is not as severe as some permanent Personality disorders. It can be cured just with self-reflection and has a high chance of getting cured or being changed.

Narcissism is a severe and highly damaging personality disorder and requires professional help to be cured. It requires many more efforts than just self-realization to be healed. It is very much harmful and can also destroy a person’s life and relationships.

9. Difference in Self-awareness among both individuals

Arrogant people are usually not self-aware about their being arrogant towards others. Arrogance might not be a consciously utilized trait, it might just be displayed out of habit. Arrogant individuals are even unaware of the lasting effect that their arrogance might leave on others as they are not self-aware of their own traits. It might have become a habit and they might just be using arrogance subconsciously.

Whereas it is not the case with narcissists. They might be very well aware of their disorders and how they behave with others. They are also aware of the impact that they leave on other people. They manipulate and abuse people by using their traits on purpose and they might not even regret it. They are self-aware of their behavior and abuse others to seek what they desire.


To vividly understand the clear differences between arrogance and narcissism, it is important to understand the meaning first and how both of these can affect relationships and individual personalities. Arrogance is a behavioral trait while narcissism is a personality disorder. Both have some overlaps, but more than that they have differences.

Arrogance is a very common trait that can be found among people. It is a harmful trait but is not as severe as some permanent Personality disorders. It can be cured just with self-reflection and has a high chance of getting cured or being changed. Narcissism is a severe and highly damaging personality disorder and requires professional help to be cured. It requires many more efforts than just self-realization to be healed. It is very much harmful and can also destroy a person’s life and relationships.

Hopefully, this article has resolved all the doubts regarding arrogance and narcissism and that the readers may no longer address someone unfairly.

Ella Carrillo

Ella Carrillo

Hey Reader, I am Ella, an Online and Offline Therapist holding an experience of 6 years in this field. From Relationship, Depression, and Personality Disorder to Narcissistic problems, I have helped a lot of people find their solutions. Upon gathering a number of common problems that people face, I decided to put the information on this blog so that anyone can get their answers easily.

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