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Thread: Confidence

  1. #11
    (blankpages) Xenon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    Great post, thank you. I can't help wondering if this type of insecurity, or even narcissism, is really quite common. Aren't there a lot of people who mainly seem interested in others in terms of how others respond to them, flatter them, mirror them, etc...? Or is that just me being cynical?
    Oh yeah, I think it's pretty damn common. Especially in internet-land. Lots of people hanging around, just for an audience, just to go, "Look at me! Look at my ideas! Aren't they brilliant and fascinating? Aren't they beautifully expressed? Aren't I an interesting person?" I certainly like to be admired for my ideas. There are degrees though. It can be something you crave now and then, which I think is fine, and on the other end you can be obsessed your self-image to the point that it destroys your ability to relate to other people, which is tragic.

    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    Mind you, I think it is rare to be genuinely, thoroughly confident and self-assured without arrogance. EVeryone has their insecurities. For myself...I think I am good at acknowledging my own weaknesses and failings very honestly, probably more so than quite a lot of people. BUT, I can get defensive and unhappy when other criticize me, even if it's pretty kind and gentle. And I worry too much about what others think about me. I guess one reason why I wonder about confidence is because I've often been told I come across as confident. But I know it can be a bit illusory, because just because you're a tall female with a calm demeanour doesn't automatically make you confident.
    I agree that genuine self-acceptance is a tough thing for many people, maybe most. People have described me as a calm person too. I think extroverts can mistake introverts' reserve for calmness or self-assurance. You never know what's going on with people; perhaps I shouldn't read extroverts' unhesitating action as some great confidence either.

    Re humility: I think healthy self-acceptance does involve a positive type of humility. Not 'I'm no good' humility, but a sort of lack of what I was describing above. A lack of need to see yourself a certain way, an acceptance of yourself as you are, an acceptance that you aren't special and superior and you have flaws and you'll fail at times and being genuinely okay with all of that.

  2. #12
    Senior Member You's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Domino View Post
    I've seen a narcissist in full blow and it's nothing - NOTHING - like confidence. It's like comparing carob to chocolate.

    My litmus test is to see how well the person reacts to others making small (nothing truly mean) jokes at their expense or ANY challenge to their "dignity". Abrupt defensiveness, overreacting, or being mean/insulting in response indicates a brittle ego. If you can't laugh at yourself on some level, there's a problem. I don't trust people who can't "play".

    Arrogance smells like a brute animal. It can't stand the idea of being dominated by anything or anyone. That's no fun. I like trading paint, being on top then having the tables turned on me. It's never about putting someone down. It's about the interplay. Arrogant and narcissistic people don't get that AT ALL. They don't trust others to not hurt them (and they may have a point there, seeing as they've set themselves up to be massacred by the mundane).
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  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    What are your thoughts about confidence/a confident person?

    What do you feel are the qualities, behaviours, etc that go along with true confidence? How do think you can tell if someone is truly confident - as opposed to arrogant, or putting up a facade to mask insecurity?

    Thoughts and examples? I think I am pretty good at telling if someone is simply arrogant - as it can be so obvious and off-putting. But I'm not always good at telling if someone is truly confident and secure in themselves, or if it is a mask for insecurity.
    I think true confidence is a product of faith in who you are in Christ. For the non-Christians it's a product of faith in your own abilities. True confidence knows that whatever obstacles you face, you *will* rise above. It's not sitting around waiting for things to fall in your lap. It's charting a course into the unknown future with perseverance and a positive attitude; it's a 'try, fail, try again' attitude. True confidence will drive you and inspire others to do great things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenaphor View Post
    Knock the legs from under them and a narcissistic individual will fold like a cheap suit, getting more and more irrational, the further you push them. If you've ever seen a fit of narcissistic rage, where one goes into a screaming mimi fit, you'll understand what I mean.
    LOLZ! I think that's a great way to test someone! I'm all about testing people. I think it's especially important in the early stages of dating. It's also useful when commissioning someone to do work for you. If you want to cut to the chase and find out what someone is made of, knock the props out from under them. Only the strong survive. The rest will melt into a pool of green goo...

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    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    I think the real test is time and seeing the person in various situations.

    If they are putting up a front:

    - They tend to need to always be in control in some way and when things turn reciprocal or require some vulnerability, they avoid it (will do favours for you, but won't let you, or only when they decide when and how, don't reciprocate the same level of interest in the things/people that matter to you as you do for them, share their knowledge or expertise liberally, but never require yours etc).

    - They do a bit of push/pull so that when they start feeling dependent on you or realize they are getting too attached, they distance themselves for a bit.

    - They avoid expressing gratitude or need for anyone else. Their success is due to their own good management and expertise.

    - They seem very natural and comfortable in familiar surroundings where they are in control, but when put in a situation where they are out of their element, they may act rude, inconsiderate of you, be purposefully argumentative or impolite to the people that matter most to you etc.

    - They may feel threatened by anything or anyone that matters a lot to you and devalue it subtly or not so subtly by their comments, choices or advice.

    - They downplay your achievements or your interests in comparison to theirs so that they feel competent or avoid any activities which could showcase it. This happens especially if they feel that you have expertise that they do not.

    - They act inconsistently, depending on whom they are around (their image matters and they want the best of all worlds). Often they will show the most value for the people they respect least or who are of the least lasting significance to their lives (easier to maintain a facade and also not be called on certain behaviours or choices. Also, the opinion of acquaintances and strangers is more important than the regard of those close).

    - Careless about maintaining relationships in their lives, even with those who try hard to. Regular changes in friends, lovers, or employment is often an indicator of this. Maintaining relationships of any kind over a long period of time requires honesty, vulnerability, expressing needs, and conflict resolution. This is very difficult for someone who is not confident.

    - Critical of others. At first it may seem flattering that this smart and discriminating person chooses to spend time with you, but over time you realize that it is a way of backing into attachment with another person in a less vulnerable way (bonding over what you dislike instead of what you like), and also attempting to feel superior to people that they feel threatened by).

    - Sense of competitiveness. When you have a strong sense of who you are, you can afford to acknowledge other people's good qualities. When you do not, the only way to feel better about yourself is through proving that you are more competent, that you can win more, that you are more successful, richer etc. There is a need to borrow identity from other people or external accomplishments instead it being intrinsically felt. This is what little kids do when they first meet each other. Since they do not have a strong sense of what they can do and what they are all about, they need to prove their worth through the accomplishments of those close to them (my dad's stronger than yours!), their strength, their rank, what they own, etc. Some people don't outgrow this.

    - Disinterest in service unless there is some benefit to them (improves their image, advances them in certain people's opinions, etc).

    - Adopts behaviours or values when they meet someone that they normally wouldn't pursue alone or in other company.

    - May use secret coping mechanisms in private to deal with inner anxieties or discomfort (drinking, drugs, etc). It's often the strongest appearing people who are actually the most fragile or sensitive inside.

    - Often are the ones who do the rejecting at the end of the relationship (or just act poorly enough that the other person breaks it off) rather than discussing it openly. This is one way of pushing people away before they can get too close or can reject you.

    - May seem interesting and complex at first, but often that "complexity" is due to their inconsistent behaviour (caused by underconfidence).

    I wish I had been able to recognize some of these signs much earliert in my life. Most of the people I know who are like this are smart, interesting, competent people who have some very appealing qualities. However, this kind of insecurity can become very alienating, controlling, unhealthy or distressing to deal with on a regular basis. It is impossible to get close to someone who is underconfident and cannot trust you enough to be vulnerable and honest with you. I don't think it is a matter of rejecting someone as a friend or partner because they are underconfident, or not good enough, so much as that they are not going to be invested in the relationship until they have their own needs met and therefore have more realistic expectations of you and attention left over to devote to their intereactions with you.
    Last edited by fidelia; 07-20-2011 at 12:00 PM.

  6. #16
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Confidence seems to require self-knowledge, a relatively accurate understanding of one's strengths and limitations. Then one is less likely to be swayed by unmerited praise, or taken aback by unexpected criticism. I can see the lack of such knowledge feeding insecurity.
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  7. #17
    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Confidence seems to require self-knowledge, a relatively accurate understanding of one's strengths and limitations. Then one is less likely to be swayed by unmerited praise, or taken aback by unexpected criticism.
    Bingo.

  8. #18
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Confidence seems to require self-knowledge, a relatively accurate understanding of one's strengths and limitations. Then one is less likely to be swayed by unmerited praise, or taken aback by unexpected criticism. I can see the lack of such knowledge feeding insecurity.
    Nicely said!

  9. #19
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    The Confidence Trick

    It's the confidence trick that is most important, for the confidence trick gives birth to the con man. And we all want to be conned. We all want to be sold. How we love a salesman. Why, our greatest theatrical tragedy is called, "Death of a Salesman", and the author even got to marry Marilyn Munroe!

    I've been listening to two hours of astrology on talkback radio and it is two hours of a supurb confidence trick. They love it. They keep ringing back. They can't get enough of it.

    How we love confidence. We love it so much we even love ersatz confidence - the kind of confidence you have when you are not having any confidence. The kind of confidence you get with MBTI.

  10. #20
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    I think a truly confident person is comfortable with themselves, but will also admit their flaws. Arrogant people don't like to appear weak, ever, and a confident person - at least a socially confident person - will be okay with appearing weak, without using weakness as a ploy to get pity or to play a victim role. Truly confident people are more balanced.

    When people seem too sure of themselves, all the time, every day have to be in control, or don't necessarily have to be in control but are too avoidant of admitting anything negative about themselves, I think that shows insecurity.

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