Self Confidence, Pride, and Arrogance

Human beings have a tendency to confuse self-confidence and self-esteem with arrogance and entitlement. When we master a skill, or accomplish something we're proud of, we can feel a swell of healthy pride and an increase of self-confidence. When we receive recognition from others for any particular reason, we can feel an increase of self-esteem. These are healthy and normal, and help us build our character and our lives.
But~ since we are only human and not robots, our increased feelings of confidence and self-esteem can sometimes keep rising on us, with or without our awareness, and morph into arrogance. Instead of feeling good about our skill and accomplishment, we add "I am not only good at this, but I'm better than him and her, so that puts me above them as a person." This risen pride also fools us into believing that we will simply remain the "most skilled" in the room, and we can make that part of our identity. When we make that part of our identity, we set a trap for ourselves to have to stay on that throne in order to feel worthy. That throne might seem like the best place to sit, but it's really just a chair that we have to sit in constantly in order to keep it, and keep fighting others off in order to remain there, so we can't even put our full attention into doing the thing we love that got us there in the first place. Neither can we get off of it to do something else when we want to.
A similar thing can happen when we receive recognition from others. We can feel a warm sense of belonging, of initiation from one level to another, such as child to adult, student to graduate, , girl to woman, boy to man, etc., all good and part of life and growth for many. However, since we are human, we can feel not just a sense of belonging and acknowledgement which increases healthy self-esteem, but we can also give ourselves a bit of an extra ego-inflation boost by telling ourselves that we are now entitled over others as human beings. We can end up feeling that since we have been recognized on this new level, that it means whoever is not recognized in the same way is below us, lesser than we are, as overall human beings. When we buy into this feeling of entitlement, we set ourselves up to maintain this image of entitled superiority, which can be a huge amount of work that removes us from true learning and awareness, and also sets us up to trade genuine camaraderie and real friendship for connections with others who are also trying to maintain an image to promote their feeling of entitlement.
When we see these very human, and very common tendencies taking place in ourselves, we can undo them. It can take some time and effort, and we may feel things we haven't for a long time while we are healing, which is wonderful and liberating. Humility brings peace, gratitude, and excitement, and soothes away fear and pain. The hardest part when we are undoing arrogance can be figuring out who is a genuine friend, and who is simply connecting with us in shared entitlement, who doesn't really care anyway. After we figure that out, we can then feel tremendous comfort when we know who are friends really are.