Assertive. Poised. Confident. Arrogant. Cocky. Egotistical. There’s a varied assortment of words used to describe the same elusive quality, so why are some so much more, well… attractive than others? Where is the line between projecting self assurance, and self importance?
when props are due.
Confident people don’t need to be the most important personality in the room. They know they have strengths, and they acknowledge that others do, too. They’re also secure enough in themselves to give credit and praise to others without feeling like it detracts from their own self worth.
When the boss is recognizing your recent success, let him or her know that it was your coworker who handled the correspondence with the client, or that you couldn’t have pulled it off without your assistant. The same applies to the social setting. After relating your recent trip to the Bahamas, or cracking up the room with a particularly witty anecdote, you might remind them that your buddy was in France last year, or that he’s got this great one about a donkey who went into a bar. Acknowledgement of others is not only considerate; it makes you look more secure in your own accomplishments.
On the other hand, minimizing your success is a sure sign of insecurity. Don’t dismiss your hard work or melt into the background when a better story comes along! Confidence is all about recognizing your value without distortion. Don’t let your ego monopolize the conversation, but also remember not to downplay how competent you truly are.
Cockiness is a Cover.
No one likes to be around a superiority complex, but another reason cockiness can be so unattractive is that it comes off as a cover for latent insecurity. We’ve all been on that date in which the person across the table can’t be distracted from their most cherished topic of conversation: themselves. (Let’s be honest, many of us have been that person on at least one occasion.) There are compelling reasons why self-talk is tempting, and it often has less to do with self-absorption than you might think.
Chattering on about yourself is a way of reminding your date (and yourself) that you are an interesting person, complete with fascinating experiences and anecdotes. Not surprisingly, we tend to gravitate toward the subjects where we derive our insecurities, because that’s often exactly what we assume others need to hear. Men who are self-conscious about their bank accounts launch into endless descriptions of their home, their car and their career goals. A woman who feels unattractive might rattle on about her many admirers, or obsess over an ex-boyfriend.
When we talk excessively about ourselves, we’ve reverted to a kind of safety zone. It’s a topic on which we are extremely well-informed, and we might even manage to completely avoid the terrifying prospect of truly connecting through conversation. Plus, if you only share the version of yourself from your own stories, you can be sure that no one catches a glimpse of your flaws, right?
Unfortunately, you’re actually revealing your insecurities with your overcompensation, while at the same time boring your date with what reads as self-absorption. If you never slow down and listen, and remain open to talking about unfamiliar topics, you’re sending the message that you’re full of yourself–or worse: unsure of yourself.
Cocky Tries; Confident IS
Confident people are charismatic, successful and sexy. They invite you to accept–even admire–them, because they accept and admire themselves. The concept of radiating confidence is deceptive, because a confident person–a person who is truly happy with who he or she is–is not trying to radiate anything. When you recognize your own worth, you don’t need prove it to others; they will notice your success, your attractiveness and your unquestionable value because you do.
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