Not too long ago, I was trying to extricate myself from an argument with a guy who thought I should be very impressed with him. If you’ve read Catcher In The Rye, this was the kind of guy who needed room when he answered a question. I tried to be respectful, but he–
Well, anyways, I wound up saying, “I’m not sure who told you you were so cool, but somebody has lied to you pal.”
This did not please him greatly, but I found that I didn’t mind at that point.
Confidence can be a real high-wire act, and we’re not always sure how well we’re walking it. That’s because a lot of it depends on how we’re perceived. Are we too confident, or not confident enough?
Get too confident and you can quickly morph into an arrogant fool that nobody wants to be around.There’s nothing more tiresome than the person who must prove that they are confident/outspoken. About 100 times a day, I find myself thinking, “Ok, I get it, I get it, you’re confident and you’re bringin’ the sass. But you’re invading my lung field.”
If you own a Tapout shirt or shorts, this might be you. Maybe not! But maybe…
If you’re not confident enough, you risk being pushed around and exploited. I’ve seen a lot of people who believe they are merely “turning the other cheek” while turning into serious doormats.There’s a big difference between being obliging because you’re nice or letting someone else be right because something doesn’t matter and just meekly accepting whatever anyone else says.
If you think your own opinion is worth less than anyone else’s, this might be you.
When I meet someone with real, quiet confidence, I can feel it from about a block away. They don’t have to tell me that they’re confident. They don’t flex, strut, belittle, or demand approval.
They are magnetic. They make me want to be around them. Their words matter. Their confidence does not intimidate, but inspires. For me, I think that’s the difference between confidence and arrogance: confidence inspires me, and while I’m not intimidated by much, arrogance is still really, really annoying.
Arrogance usually gives me the inclination to deliver a bunch of devastating palm strikes to someone’s throat (I never do this, but I reserve the right to dream big).
How do you know which you are?
If you really want to know…I repeat, if you really want to know, just ask people how they perceive you. “Am I confident or am I cocky?”
Don’t ask if you don’t want to know. Too many people ask questions with one of these two goals: 1) Validate whatever I’m already doing; 2) Tell me something that I want to hear.
Don’t fuss if you ask for feedback and get it.
The best way to be confident
My dad might not even remember the best advice he ever gave me, but I’ll never forget it. I wasn’t a confident kid. I’m not sure if I’m confident now, although I imagine many of you would say I am. Hopefully too many of you wouldn’t say I’m arrogant, but I’m not asking! Don’t tell me! I don’t want to know!
Back to my dad…he said, “Son, if you want people to think you believe in yourself, walk like you’ve got a cape on.”
It worked for me. Still does.
Try it today. Keep your head up, spread those shoulders, and make that imaginary cape swirl when you walk. If it doesn’t work, I’ll send you my dad’s contact information so you can yell at him.
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