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Thread: Confidence

  1. #1
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Default Confidence

    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.
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    (blankpages) Xenon's Avatar
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    I've come to see arrogance and narcissism as very needy things. There is a need to see oneself in a certain way, a need to get others to see you in that same way and acknowledge this, a need to prove yourself. I've heard one self-aware narcissist use the term "narcissistic supply" to mean all the ways others acknowledge you, and he described his disorder as an addiction to this narcissistic supply. Other people were not acknowledged as separate people with their own thoughts and feelings and experiences, they were mostly just potential sources of admiration. They exist to supply the narcissist with his "drug".

    That's an extreme case, but I can see some amount of that need for acknowledgement and reaction in quite a few people. Also, the diminishing of others, the tendency to ignore or dismiss them in a lot of ways, and pay attention to them more in the sense of how they respond to you. (Like that joke "Enough about me; let's talk about you. What do you think of me?") Or, an arrogant person might notice others as inferiors in some way, people that s/he can out-do somehow.

    I think my dad has some narcissistic tendencies. He was never abusive or even particularly critical of me, but I often felt uncomfortable around him and didn't understand why for a long time. I now think a lot of it has been this pressure on me to show him the mirror image he wanted to see. To agree, to admire, to act fascinated by his ideas. He'd actually watch me very closely a lot of the time, and push harder and harder if I wasn't reacting the way he wanted me to. It got very tiresome. Once he told me about some new committee or board or something he'd joined, and I didn't react as enthusiastically as he wanted me to, and he just jumped down my throat and accused me of having no respect for him and thinking he's a loser. (That's another characteristic of the compensating sort of narcissism; it's very black and white. Either you're super-special and amazing, or you're nothing).

    Genuinely secure people don't need to push for admiration, and they aren't so excessively self-focused. They're able to appreciate and admire other people as well as themselves, and don't need to get others' admiration or outperform them in some way to feel good about themselves. They're able to take risks and listen to criticism without getting defensive or making excuses. They can admit their faults without getting down on themselves or lashing out. They can see the middle ground between being exceptionally great and being worthless, and so don't need to prove their exceptional greatness to themselves.

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    The Black Knight Domino's Avatar
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    Does this have anything to do with me shoving my hands down your pants at the Christmas office party, Silk, because I apologized for that. By grabbing your butt.
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  4. #4
    ReflecTcelfeR
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    Hmmmm... I think my only contribution to this thread is in my opinion true confidence ends up being confused with humility.

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    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    In my opinion, it's a matter of put up or shut up. 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.

  6. #6
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blankpages View Post
    I've come to see arrogance and narcissism as very needy things. There is a need to see oneself in a certain way, a need to get others to see you in that same way and acknowledge this, a need to prove yourself. I've heard one self-aware narcissist use the term "narcissistic supply" to mean all the ways others acknowledge you, and he described his disorder as an addiction to this narcissistic supply. Other people were not acknowledged as separate people with their own thoughts and feelings and experiences, they were mostly just potential sources of admiration. They exist to supply the narcissist with his "drug".

    That's an extreme case, but I can see some amount of that need for acknowledgement and reaction in quite a few people. Also, the diminishing of others, the tendency to ignore or dismiss them in a lot of ways, and pay attention to them more in the sense of how they respond to you. (Like that joke "Enough about me; let's talk about you. What do you think of me?") Or, an arrogant person might notice others as inferiors in some way, people that s/he can out-do somehow.

    I think my dad has some narcissistic tendencies. He was never abusive or even particularly critical of me, but I often felt uncomfortable around him and didn't understand why for a long time. I now think a lot of it has been this pressure on me to show him the mirror image he wanted to see. To agree, to admire, to act fascinated by his ideas. He'd actually watch me very closely a lot of the time, and push harder and harder if I wasn't reacting the way he wanted me to. It got very tiresome. Once he told me about some new committee or board or something he'd joined, and I didn't react as enthusiastically as he wanted me to, and he just jumped down my throat and accused me of having no respect for him and thinking he's a loser. (That's another characteristic of the compensating sort of narcissism; it's very black and white. Either you're super-special and amazing, or you're nothing).

    Genuinely secure people don't need to push for admiration, and they aren't so excessively self-focused. They're able to appreciate and admire other people as well as themselves, and don't need to get others' admiration or outperform them in some way to feel good about themselves. They're able to take risks and listen to criticism without getting defensive or making excuses. They can admit their faults without getting down on themselves or lashing out. They can see the middle ground between being exceptionally great and being worthless, and so don't need to prove their exceptional greatness to themselves.
    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?

    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Domino View Post
    Does this have anything to do with me shoving my hands down your pants at the Christmas office party, Silk, because I apologized for that. By grabbing your butt.
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  7. #7
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReflecTcelfeR View Post
    Hmmmm... I think my only contribution to this thread is in my opinion true confidence ends up being confused with humility.
    Interesting! Care to elaborate? I would think they go together, in best case scenarios anyway...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenaphor View Post
    In my opinion, it's a matter of put up or shut up. 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.
    I don't know for sure if I have seen a fit of narcissistic rage. I wonder what the best way to call a narcissist's bluff is...?
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  8. #8
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    I don't know for sure if I have seen a fit of narcissistic rage. I wonder what the best way to call a narcissist's bluff is...?
    Buttons and triggers will vary per individual.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    Interesting! Care to elaborate? I would think they go together, in best case scenarios anyway...
    I don't really know what else to say. I suppose it's kind of like the amount of confidence that person has reaches a point where all their actions exude it and they no longer have to talk about their actions, but simply do them. I think insecurity is directly related to speech. When the person in question is flaunting their skills they aren't only trying to convince others of their abilities, but themselves.

  10. #10
    The Black Knight Domino's Avatar
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    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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