Sin over at Finding my Submission wrote a very thought-provoking piece on the 7 deadly sins. First she covered sub ones and then covered the Dom ones (the link is just to the Dom ones). A few subs voiced the opinion about arrogance not really belonging on the list and mouse disagrees with that line of thought.
Dominance in the dictionary means to rule, control, authority.
Arrogance in the dictionary means an offensive display of superiority or self importance.
Those are different qualities that can at first blush seem related. Omega is fond of reminding mouse that if she makes a mistake he has to examine it. He has to first ask himself, if he was completely clear in his direction. If the answer is no, then he will say the fault lies with him, because he was unclear. Now if he examines it and the answer is yes, he was clear, then it becomes a punishable offense. If his direction are unclear and he punishes mouse anyway that is arrogance.
Arrogance pushes limits before they are ready to be pushed, or in other words not for the betterment of the relationship/dynamic but only because they want to. Dominance, at least the way Omega is, doesn't push through a limit without discussing it first. He will note that limit is on shaky ground and react to that, but he won't just barrel through it, instead skimming a toe across the line. Later on he gives fair warning and moves slowly until he gets where he knows both he and mouse are comfortable. Before long the limit is no longer an issue between us. An example might be the violet wand (electric play). He knew mouse was terrified of it. Instead of just dragging it out during play and demanding that she submit to it, he moved slowly. He got mouse used to it, how it sounded, the smells and how it felt.
Dominance told him to get mouse used to it. Bring her along slowly until she accepted it. Arrogance would have told him something different. Arrogance would have told him, "who gives a shit, I want it." Arrogance more often than not, causes injuries and mistakes. Arrogance prevents any type of full disclosure.
Arrogance often makes Dominants act or pretend to be more dominant than they are and a classic example is when something goes wrong the sub is blamed. There is no examining the facts, there is no consideration that the command was unclear, it is simply the submissive's fault and they are punished.
A couple years ago, early on in our dynamic we had an incident in a public place. It was a bad day, we were both off and mouse was feeling rather moody and pushed some limits Omega had set. It didn't happen just once but several times that day and Omega finally had enough and corrected mouse with a slap to the face in shopping mall. It was not done in a discrete way but right out there and close to the food court. Quickly mouse realized that she crossed a line and she was at fault and later on when she blogged about it and a friend called him on it. Yes, him.
He responded with a comment that read in part:
Without addressing the obvious legal and moral ramifications, I will acknowledge it wasn't an act of dominance but an act of arrogance on my part. Not once that day, but twice I showed great indifference to mouse. Firstly, by slapping her on the face in a public setting. A move I instantly regretted and vowed to never repeat. Secondly, I did not, in what only can be described as my further arrogance, apologize to her for this incident. Regardless of what she had done that day, I too crossed a line.
Later on we talked about it. It's true mouse thought nothing of it when she wrote about it and had it not been for that friend, she would have thought he was just being dominant. Or asserting his dominance over mouse.
That would have been just plain wrong. It needs to be added that everyone has moments of arrogance, but it's how those moments stack up against everything else that matter.