Confident vs Cocky – What’s The Important Difference?

by Veikko Arvonen // January 29 // 0 Comments
Confident vs cocky

What is the difference between a confident vs cocky person? Why should learn to spot the difference? And how to do it?

Today, I’d like to break down this topic for an awesome reader like you. I’ll share how to spot the difference between confidence and arrogance. Better yet, I’ll tell you how to deal with a cocky person. Trust me, it can even be fun.

Learning the difference causes you several benefits. You’ll learn how to implement confidence the right way, without appearing an arrogant moron. You’ll also rise above the useless pressures since you can deal with a cocky person.

Alright, enough chit-chat. Let’s begin.

Cocky vs Confident – The crucial difference

Confidence is a trait that can benefit every area of your life. It means your ability to trust in your abilities and judgment. A confident person is secure with his or her flaws. They don’t need to compare, put others down, or act like a “better person”

You’ll reach the ultimate confidence when you know that you can enter a situation, knowing that you’ll be fine in the end, regardless of the outcome. Whether it’s doing something intimidating or dealing with our own problems.

Cockiness, on the other hand, means that you take your confidence to an arrogant level. A cocky person brags, puts others down, and believes they’re superior. (News flash: they’re not)

Cocky and arrogant people can be annoying. I’ve witnessed this several times in my life. To an untrained person, they can appear confident, but often they’re not. More about that later.

Confidence vs Arrogance – Examples

There are many things that separate confident and arrogant people, and I’ll share the most common ones here. When it comes to being confident vs cocky, confidence is the right choice.

Quiet confidence vs superiority

When a confident person walks into a room, he or she doesn’t think they’re better or worse than anyone. They know they don’t have to compare themselves to anyone else.

That’s because a confident person knows that we all have strengths and flaws. Take a look at your family, friends, or anyone you know. There’s something you’re better at than them and vice versa.

Being capable is great, but it makes no one a better person. Superficial traits like fancy clothes, fitness, or social status don’t determine a human worth. Confident people know this.

Above all, they know that it’s not about being the most capable person in the room. It’s about how you see yourself and carry out yourself. Confident people don’t make excuses or blame other people when they commit a mistake. They admit it, knowing that it’s ok to fail.

Cocky people like to think that they’re better than someone else. They justify it with superficial traits, which is quite pathetic. For example, a cocky person may think they’re better than you because they’re in better shape or have a better career. And that’s total BS.

When a cocky or arrogant person makes a mistake, they deny it and blame it on other people. They don’t admit it or take responsibility.

This causes more harm than good. Insecure people let them get away, but confident people don’t. They know that they’re just arrogant, and put them back to their place. 

Cooperation vs comparing

Confident people know that they don’t need to compare. Often, they like to leverage both themselves and others. They’re strong enough to respect and compliment other people.

Inner confidence means that you can emphasize everybody’s strengths. Sure, confident people make apparent that they’re capable, but not in an arrogant way. They demonstrate high value without acting like a better person.

This kind of confidence is super attractive, and I urge you to do it yourself. When your capabilities come apparent, show them! If you do it like it’s not a big deal, you’ll gain tons of respect.

When confident people meet someone who’s way more capable, they apply a so-called cooperative mindset. They want to leverage themselves by learning something new and also see if they can help the other person. It’s a sweet win-win situation.

Cocky people like to brag and compare. They often seek topics that they’re better at than another person. They satisfy themselves with the feeling of superiority and may even put the other person down.

They can even be pathetic morons that try to shine a light on someone’s weaknesses and talk shit behind their back. This is because they think or try to act like a superior. I’ve been in a this kind of situation, but my confidence helped me to deal with that.

Cocky vs Confident – A typical scenario

cocky vs confident battle

When it comes to being cocky vs confident, confidence is your #1 choice. Let me clarify why:

Let’s say there’s a person named James. He’s a 22 years old student, who works in a part-time job. Let’s see how he manages with cockiness and confidence.

I’ve used a similar example in my ebook Godlike Confidence Blueprint, and it’s always fun to write these:

Example #1: Cocky James

James wakes up in the morning and navigates his way to the college campus. After some lessons, he decides to head to the library. At the library, he sees his crush, let’s call her Jenny.

James is full of cockiness since he just scored a good grade, so he engages in a conversation.

“Hey what’s up? Did you hear I just got a good grade? Dam, that test was super easy.”

Jenny replies that she scored a D- because she had to help her friend with moving furniture. James feels a sense of superiority and becomes cocky.

They talk a while when Jenny decides to ask for some advice. She tells that she met a cute boy, who seems distant.

“This is my chance!” Thinks James.

He asks her to show him a picture of him and finds out that his skinnier than him. James is afraid that Jenny will fall in love with the other guy, so he starts talking negatively about him.

James laughs at the other guy for being skinny. When he finds out that he isn’t studying because he didn’t get accepted to law school, he brags even more. 

Little that James knows, Jenny becomes very unattracted. She hates his arrogance. James is operating with a comparing mindset and thinks that putting other people down makes him look better.

He senses Jenny’s frustration, so he decides to change the topic. As you guessed, he tells Jenny about his accomplishments in many superficial things. The second Jenny mentions something good about other people, James becomes jealous and tries to put them down.

Needless to say, Jenny doesn’t spend time with James too much after that.

Example: #2 Confident James

The scenario is the same. James meets Jenny at the school library and starts a conversation. However, he doesn’t brag. When Jenny asks him about the test, he tells that he scored an A, but not in an arrogant way.

Jenny is impressed and tells that she scored D-. James, however, offers to send a picture of the notes he took when studying. James is confident enough to offer a favor, without expecting anything in return. He leverages both Jenny and himself.

“Hey, do you want to have my notes? I found them super useful when studying. I can send them to your WhatsApp.”

“Sure.” Replies Jenny.

“Haha, is this the sneakiest way to ask a girl’s number?” Says James with a smirk.

James’ confidence and capability have created attraction, so Jenny giggles. She decides to ask for advice with the boy who seems distant.

James feels a slight feeling of disappointment, but he’s confident enough to offer support. Whether Jenny likes him or not, his life is awesome because he has spent time reading my articles about confidence.

James gives some advice on how to deal with boys. He’s not afraid to flirt, even when Jenny is also attracted to another guy. James is confident. After some conversation, he leaves.

The next week, James shoots a text to Jenny because he has her number. They talk. Jenny has had a date with the boy because James’ tips have worked.

However, the other guy became jealous when Jenny gave him a shit test, telling him that James is more intelligent than him.

Jenny tells this to James. Instead of being cocky, James thinks it’s not a big deal, which makes Jenny even more attracted to him. He’s confident enough to not be jealous. James picks up the signals and decides to invite Jenny to study together. After a month, they’re dating.

In the end, confidence takes you places where cockiness or arrogance never will. Don’t be fooled by the shallow cover when it comes to being confident vs cocky.

Why people are cocky or arrogant?

To be honest, there’s not a simple answer. I’ve seen arrogant people. They have had many different reasons. Some of them try to prove themselves by putting others down. Some try to compensate for their insecurities and terrible self-esteem. Some are just assholes.

Here’s the thing. Cockiness and arrogance tell more about those people. They’re fighting their own problems, which means that they’re not doing great. Or, they try to be confident but have no idea how to do it the right way.

How to deal with a cocky person

One thing these people have in common is this. They’re pathetic and simple not worth lowering your self-esteem and confidence.

Think about it. Can you take someone seriously who has to brag to feel good about themselves? What about someone who thinks they’re a better person? Just because they’re better at something.

Realize that those people are everything but confident. Once you learn to see through their shallow cover, you don’t take them seriously. When you master this mindset, dealing with them becomes easy.

Don’t step into their game. They always use tactics where they have the upper hand. They compare their strengths to your flaws. However, if you can outperform them at something, feel free to do so. If you lose, you’re confident enough to deal with that. If you win, enjoy the feeling 😉


There you have it my “confident vs cocky guide”. I guess you already know the difference. This helps you to stay confident in yourself. Remember, you don’t have to prove yourself to them. When you master your own, quiet confidence, you’re in a higher league.

I’ve faced arrogant people, but sometimes it can even be fun. If you have high enough confidence, watching them brag becomes a comedy show. 

If you want to learn more about confidence, be sure to check my other articles. I’m here to write content for awesome people like you.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. With this said, I’ll see you next time!

Veikko Arvonen is a blogger with a burning passion for self-development. In his blog, he shares battle-tested tips to become more confident, charismatic, attractive, and happier. Back in time, he got tired of being at the lower end of the pecking order and decided to change. Now, you can learn his lessons from this blog.