There Are Two Types of Self-Confidence. One is Good, and One is Ugly.
Self-confidence can be a genuine or performed.
There is a type of self-confidence that is quiet.
It exists for its own sake — it doesn’t serve a particular purpose.
It can’t be profoundly damaged by what people say.
It doesn’t feel the need to defend itself, and insults won’t easily provoke it.
It doesn’t fade away. We’re back home after a tiring day, and this self-confidence rewards the self with good feelings.
This type of self-confidence is a space for the self to be expressed, pursue missions, conceive possibilities, or simply breathe.
This type of self-confidence is called assertiveness.
The other type of self-confidence is loud.
It plays a role and clearly serves a purpose — at times, it helps us look good, better, best. Other times, it allows us to defend, conceal, deflect, and counterattack.
It can be shaken by comments people make.
It can be piqued, tickled, provoked, angered. It has a propensity to defend itself mostly against imaginary threats.
It’s short-lived. We’re back home after a tiring day, and this self-confidence is not anymore.
Because this type of self-confidence is a tool. And like every other tool, once it’s done its work, we place it back into its toolbox. It is night, we now feel empty and tired, and we wonder why we are doing all this.
This self-confidence is not really self-confidence. It is a performance.
The lack of self-confidence
Low self-confidence is submissiveness. It’s expressed as perfectionism and servility. People lacking self-confidence are often driven by fear of punishment and guilt.
I created this linear representation based on the latest understanding of experts like Gregory Caremans, who’s an excellent neuroscience communicator. On the one edge of the spectrum is narcissism (unhealthily high levels of self-confidence) and on the other is self-punishment (unhealthily low levels of self-confidence) and all different nuances in between.
Assertiveness, healthy levels of self-confidence, is in the middle. It is balance.
Where do you stand on this line?