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Why Do Principled People Come Off As Prideful And Arrogant?

Holding principles and values to the heart is important for better moral reasoning. But, are morally upright people too much to handle? Why do principled people come off as prideful and arrogant? Let’s find out.

The inner world of principles created by a value-oriented person.
Image by Mystic Art Design from Pixabay

“Have you seen someone being stubborn and reluctant for irrelevant reasons?”

“Did you have any idea why were they behaving in such a way?”

If you have met someone like that, chances are you came across a highly principled person who holds his values to heart. Sounds like a paragon of morality, right? Well, it depends, but he does have some convictions that are difficult to understand for others.

I have been there myself during my teenage years when I was pretty much a self-righteous idiot analyzing how others were not as perfect with the moral reasoning I was. To be honest, I was naive and irrational most of the time.

Things got worse when I started calling people out for their moral actions when there was nothing immoral about them. I remember blaming their upbringing too, for which I am truly ashamed even to this day. I behaved like a moral guide who knew nothing about morals and values.

But, after reflecting on my past, I realized why I was acting this way. My motivations weren’t clear then, but my intentions were. I did believe in righteousness but carried it out very immaturely by spontaneously judging others.

So, “Was I stubborn and reluctant?”

Yes, I was (and still am towards certain things in life). But I wanted to seek and discuss why I was like that. We shall try to understand the reasons behind my behavior which would help me, and in turn, you could resonate with them if you were like me too.


How are principled people viewed in society?

“How are principled men and women viewed in the eyes of society?”

“Are they encouraged or ridiculed for being the way they are?”

Generally, society represents what conformity and collective principles are and how these matter in the lives of people to help them adhere to these objective but social codes of conduct.

However, things change when a person tries to do the same but in a way different than the rest. While he might believe in external principles of society, the core of his principles comes from within the self.

The inner principles are entirely based on a rational point of view of being in touch with the self. These principles work independently with little to no external intervention. Whether for good or bad, people stick to these principles to determine their own course in life.

A path showing the reason why do principled people come off as prideful and arrogant.
Image by DarkmoonArt_de from Pixabay

So, here are 3 major ways how our society views principled people in general.


1. Either they like them or despise them:

Principled and value-driven people are not easy to influence or manipulate. In other words, you might be the best person in the eyes of society but not in theirs. They will not see your worth for who you are.

For this reason, they are either liked by people around them, or they are completely neglected, ridiculed, and despised for who they are. Their convictions are often too strong for most people to handle.

They also come off as very passionate and resolute with their beliefs. All these, with their deep sense of self, attract or repel people. They also have the benefit of looking through hypocrisy and double standards.


2. Society believes they are stuck in their ways:

An individual who sticks to his convictions is a supposed threat to everybody. Especially if he has proper reasoning for believing in those. They are often viewed as too rigid or stuck in their ways.

Their adherence to their principles is confused with the whole closed-mindedness and non-negotiable stereotype. They are also viewed as threats to the common ways of cutting corners to get things done.

Likewise, unhealthy individuals might be too stubborn and illogical without any reason for sticking to their ways and not be considerate of what others have to say.


3. Confuses their principles with deep and hurt feelings:

This is something I have experienced myself going through my teenage years. When I adhered to principles and a sense of morality, most people believed that my motivation behind doing things came from my feelings that have been hurt over and over.

I couldn’t understand why they thought so then, but now I know that it is just the result of sympathizing with people and where they come from. They also believed that I did this because I was in a depression loop.

People who suffer from bad phases of life might be as emotional as the principled ones, but their motivations and desires are nowhere near the same. Most of them become too negligent of themselves altogether, let alone principles.

So, here we have discussed the prime ways how society views them.

But, ” Why do principled people come off as arrogant and prideful?”

“What are the reasons behind this statement?”

Let’s find out.


Why do principled people come off as prideful and arrogant?

Pride and arrogance is something that is most commonly associated with principled people. It makes sense why society calls them self-centered and esteemed to a point of overconfidence in one’s beliefs.

Some people take a long time to understand the inner world of principled ones. They are not like the others who take principles at face value. It takes years and years to refine the judgments and ponder over them.

People who hold their ideals high have a desire to align these principles in congruence with the outer world. They want to feel complete by making these a part of their reality and establish a new perspective on others and themselves.

Do principled people come off as prideful and arrogant? Example of a woman in nature.
Image by Prettysleepy from Pixabay

So, let us discuss why principled people come off as prideful and arrogant. Here are 6 reasons why is it so.


1. They are unwilling to compromise most of the time:

Not necessarily, but still true.

One of the major drawbacks of being a principled person is huge expectations from oneself and the people around you. Compromising is the way to relate to people and their actions. But what if they are only trying to relate to themselves?

This is what happens when someone is too unwilling to make a compromise in emotional or logical matters. When a person is caught up with his problems, he can’t see a solution to them in others but himself.

They are unwilling to maintain harmony because they don’t think it will do justice to their principles in any way.


2. They try to identify with their principles:

I relate to this one very much.

In my teenage years, I focused on what worked for me and what doesn’t. It made me lose my cool most of the time because I stressed my beliefs to others even when it was unnecessary.

I always tried to identify with my principles and couldn’t differentiate them from my personality. I was obsessed with them to the point where I considered them the only truth in my life. I was in a big illusion but managed to get past it by accepting it.

So, yes. It is one of the reasons why I came off as prideful and arrogant and how others would too if they were/are in my state.


3. They try to impose their reasons on others:

Reasons are subjective too, but people forget that sometimes. They can do many weird and awkward things in life, and no one will ever know the reasons behind their actions.

Complications arise when they try to impose their reasons on others and do not try to understand the limitations of the process. Having reasons to justify our point of view is important but imposing them on others is not healthy.

Many principled people confuse their reasons with objective ones, and sadly that’s not how it works. The more they realize it, the better they deal with it.


4. They take time to make decisions in life:

As I said earlier, principled people do not take their principles at face value. It’s more than just a code to them. In other words, it is their way of life. But it also means that they make wildly different conclusions than most people.

For instance, it took me nearly two years just to decide what I wanted to be in life, how I wanted to work, and what mattered to me in the end. It took a lot of reflection before I decided to become a writer.

People like me would be criticized for their indecisiveness, but deep down, we know it is not possible to sacrifice what we believe in, at least not to the principled ones.


5. They are highly self-reflective:

Ok, let’s face it.

People hate self-reflection. It shows us who we are at our core. Our weaknesses and strengths everything become clear when we self-reflect. People do not want to know bad things about themselves. So, they hate self-refecting.

Likewise, self-reflection is where people also derive their principles from. It is the origin of emotional analysis. But to others, it is very frustrating and completely out of sync with reality. They might perceive principled ones as too confused and delusional with their lives and, therefore, hate them even more.

The self-reflective nature becomes a double-edged sword in this way with people misunderstanding the principled ones.


6. Lastly, they sort of have a superiority complex:

Yes, I hate to say this, but it is true.

Today after 5 years, I realized that I had a superiority complex no matter how much I deny it. However, it wasn’t like that of intellectuals but still superior enough to make me believe that I was a paragon of morality.

I laugh at myself now for even thinking something like this. It’s the reality that most principled ones will have a tough time accepting other people as they do not satisfy the high standards of moral uprightness. They undergo a tedious process of attaining inner peace too.

This affects their careers and relationships, and people believe them to be very arrogant and prideful due to their idealism.


Final Words:

To sum up, some people need a structure or organization for themselves. They try to form their own beliefs and values to understand their inner world, which is nothing but a completely different state of reality.

It is difficult for younger people to deal with the world around them when no one believes in their principles, but that shouldn’t stop anyone from having them. To some people, it is the only way they could be at peace with themselves.

So, these are the reasons why principled people come off as prideful and arrogant. If you know someone like this, kindly help them in understanding things and be more open to other views and perspectives.

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