How do you handle the pressure to appear confident? | INFJ Forum

How do you handle the pressure to appear confident?

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by Gaze, Nov 1, 2009.

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  1. Gaze

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    Do you feel an unusual amount of pressure to appear strong and overconfident? How do you handle it?

    Today, there's quite a bit of pressure to appear strong, confident (especially overly or overtly confident), in order to appear a worthy "mate". A similar pressure exists in the expectation to be cool and outgoing.

    Confidence is associated with stability and high credibility. But what is confidence anyway? This word is used so often but poorly understood or defined.

    It is a used to judge someone's fitness and competence for a relationship. If you do not appear confident enough which is interpreted as comfortable with yourself as a person with a strong sense of self, then you're less likely to be approached and seen as a good potential partner?

    Do you experience this and how does it affect you positively or negatively?

    Do you think it's a positive social or cultural expectation?

    Discuss.
     
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    #1 Gaze, Nov 1, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2009
  2. Solar Empath

    Solar Empath Community Member

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    Well, I'm not certain. I have a lot of self confidence. I like me and I think others do too.

    However around crowds and overemotional people I always have a low level of stress going, and I am not outgoing or outspoken. I think these are the things people interpret as under confidence. So I come off as timid at times I suspect.

    I think people do what you say, but they confuse 'confident' with 'extroverted'.
     
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  3. sassafras

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    Psychologically speaking, confidence is part self-esteem and part self-efficacy; your own assessment of your self-worth and your assessment of your ability to face conflict/accomplish your goals. Confidence does not necessarily mean that you're arrogant or outgoing or that you're the person who takes charge of the room. It just so happens that the people who do that are the most obvious examples of confidence; it does take a lot of gusto to do what they do.

    But a person can be confident and an introvert, y'know :)

    And I do think society pushing confidence is a positive thing. Confident people are more likely to take risks and takes their ideas further. Self-conscious folks are usually the ones that stand off to the side and second guess themselves. The old adage of "fake it till you make it," can be a good thing, because it encourages those less sure of themselves to take a step out the door, even if they don't feel that they can.
     
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    #3 sassafras, Nov 1, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2009
  4. NeverAmI

    NeverAmI Satisclassifaction
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    I believe I am fairly self confident, but I am also humble. I am willing to listen to others and hear their perspectives. But it takes a damn good argument for me to really seek to change myself.

    I am fairly happy with who I am and where I am in my life. It took me 28 years (minus 10 days) to get to where I am today. A year ago I wouldn't be saying any of this.

    For someone that doesn't know me at all to come in and try to tell me who I am, in most cases, is BS. Now, they can show a different perspective on my opinions and if those arguments are sound, I have no problem adapting to that. If they have other motivations or just want to get under my skin, screw that, I walk away. I have no time for childish behavior from someone who should know better.

    I am always seeking to grow, learn, and adapt to become a better person. I seek people with strong traits in my life. I attempt to learn how they do it, and I share my own strengths. I believe both of us come out of the deal being better people, and often we find a solid friendship in the process.

    But when it comes to who I truly am, they better do their research...

    I have a healthy self-image (Now) but this is a temporary phase in my life. I am sure at some point in the future, I will desregard all that I have written here and see how ignorant I was.

    I have had a fairly low self image until this year. I was also considerably heavier than I am now. Women thought I was a wonderful person, some tried to take advantage of that, but they never got too far. I pursued women who had no interest in me.

    Now, I have self confidence and a healthy outside image. Now I have women saying hello and smiling that have never said it before. I find it interesting watching how I am completely ignored for 3 years and now suddenly I am a topic of interest.

    I don't believe all of it is my exterior appearance, I lost a lot of my shyness and I have put a lot of my life lessons into practice this year. I just hope to God I am able to make them stick...

    Do I feel pressure to remain this image? I would say that pressure is 70 percent for my healthiness/well being and 30 percent because of the social benefits. I am happy that I will be able to pick the right woman in life as well that will provide me with the best environment for a family.
     
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    #4 NeverAmI, Nov 1, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2009
  5. AUM

    AUM The Romantic Scientist

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    I think having self-confidence is the key to everything in life. With it you allow yourself to explore corners of you that you didn't think you had because other people disregard them and because you doubted about them as well. When you no longer have social pressure to appear confident but be confident within yourself, you are projecting this aura of self-worth onto others as well, and they can sense this and as a result people in general will respect you because of it. Independence and achieving my objectives in life have given me this confidence that I was lacking a few months ago. I'm starting to understand more or less how the world functions and I can use this knowledge to achieve my own agenda of things I want to contribute to my outside life. I'm a loner, I don't have many friends and I'm not a social buff but that's ok, I like it and I'm not ashamed of being who I am because I'm happy of the things I can offer to the public, to my peers, my family and any other person I interact with. I still have some scars of that lack of confidence that used to cloud my ambitions in the past but those scars will always be there to remind me of who I don't want to be and of why I suffered so much as a result.
     
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  6. OP
    Gaze

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    Great responses so far.
     
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  7. Morgain

    Morgain defective wisdom
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    I do feel an unusual amount of pressure to appear strong and overconfident. I think this is because I can not allow myself to make mistakes. I feel that in ower society you can't make mistakes, you have to be the best of yourself every day, you can't have an off day because people will judge you on that particular day alone.

    So it seems like I want to look like I'm strong and confident, but I'm not at all

    being really self confident is being yourself no matter what they think, backing yourself up no matter what they say. It is listening to other peoples comments but never loosing yourself out of side. Being in control of your emotions, accepting them but not letting them take charge of your life.
     
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  8. OP
    Gaze

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    Your response addressed the main idea behind my post that there is an extraordinary amount of pressure in the culture to always appear confident. And yes, we're often judged by the one or two mistakes we make than the sum of our actions or achievements unfortunately.
     
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    #8 Gaze, Nov 2, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2009
  9. Julia

    Julia Community Member

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    People have specifically told me this for years. I've been told I need to learn how to bluff, or that I just need more confidence, or I need to speak up more, etc.

    I'm still trying. I can do it in small doses especially if I can prepare ahead of time. I don't think it is an issue of lacking confidence, but more of one focused on personal authenticity. In some ways I'm more confident than many people who can appear that way, but my interface with the world is too honest. My best defense is being quiet.

    I try to balance taking advice and growing in a direction that could prove useful with also accepting the way I am and restructuring the external world to fit with that.
     
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  10. VH

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    My entire life, I've had people accuse me of being overconfident, yet I never felt that way.

    I always wondered why, and then I found out that we NFJs appear very confident because we're too focused on what we believe needs to be done to worry about whether or not we're able.
     
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  11. Morgain

    Morgain defective wisdom
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    Yes I feel that too, very much. Not only pressure to be confident but also to be perfect, to reach the goals of society

    I'm wondering if the restlessness, stress and tension that I have noticed with myself lately, is caused by this pressure of our society? I'm really perfectionistic and I'm trying so hard to live up to the expectations that are put on me, but somehow, I never manage to do so. And I always feel like I'm failing, that I'm not trying hard enough...
     
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    #11 Morgain, Nov 2, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2009
  12. OP
    Gaze

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    I feel the same, and being a perfectionist often makes it doubly worse. We are hard enough on ourselves as it is, add the pressure of society into it.
     
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  13. Jayce

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    I use to worry a lot about being confident when looking for a relationship. People would tell me "It doesn't matter what you look like as long as your confident!" At that time I wasn't very confident at all and felt doomed in the romance department but I didn't feel particularly pressured to appear confident. I saw it as another case of me not fitting into the box of "normal" society.

    Thankfully, I'm a lot more confident than I use to be. I'm comfortable with myself and my personality and happily go about my business. I'm still not outgoing but, like someone mentioned, I'm still confident with myself. Not giving a crap about what other people think really helps with that.
     
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  14. Lucifer

    Lucifer Registered User #666

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    Yes

    I try to appear strong and overly confident.

    Yes so long as your defining confident and strong in the colliquial way. I think most people mistakenly think that appear to be strong and confident you have to appear to lack weakness. In that case your right.


    Maybe in highschool

    Yeah sure

    Loving yourself + Accepting your faults = Confidence.


    Couldn't agree more.

    I agree with the everything but the part in italics. Do you really think that people think that projecting confidence is equal self acceptance. Think Of all the people you know who project and aura of self confidence, I mean I feel like it is more a projection of power than anything.

    I would try and answer but I honestly find this :meye: to be very distracting in the smilies bar.
    :m047:
     
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  15. Barnabas

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    I had people tell me that I think I'm perfect,which come as huge surprise to me. I do everything i can to be humble, so times so much so that it leads to self-doubt. Though I do try to give off an air of confidence if I find myself in a discussion or if I find myself in a leadership position. Nothing over the top, slacks and a collared shirt. Don't stutter and believe what I say, good posture and things similar. Nothing you don't learn in a basic speech class.

    As for worldly pressure, I don't feel it that much. In fact I might go as far to say that this kind is needed. I'm not a fan of pansy preachers.
     
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  16. iconoclastic

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    Appearing confident, for me, is impossible because I'm not confident.
    Instead, I come off as distant and even conceited. People have told me they're intimidated by me because I come off as so aloof and like I don't interact with them because I think I'm somehow superior. Which is a total contradiction to my character.

    Confidence is an attractive quality. My mom always said that you can't expect another to love you if you don't love yourself. And that's true.
    But, I don't feel like there's so much pressure to appear confident. In fact, I think that seeming too confident relates to being very insecure.

    I look for self-esteem in a person rather than if they seem confident.
     
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  17. soulseeker

    soulseeker Permanent Fixture

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    oh i have a very low low low low self confidence but i don't think anyone in my class notices it

    like they ALL THINK (JUST THINK) that i have super high self confidence because of i don't know what reason

    they don't hate me for it though they just feel like i am not shy and never shy whenever i recite in class, do what i want in class, shout in class, and other stuff

    but i don't know how i handle the pressure to appear confident

    all i know is that i am NEVER confident about myself but i DON'T want to show it... i hate being FAKE but then i feel the need to be confident because i usually get the encouragement and support from other people but if i don't get any, i KNOW i should get it from myself because i also know that i won't have friends all the time to encourage me to do something so i HAVE TO GET IT FROM MYSELF. Hence, i have to be confident

    I have to appear confident like everyday of my life ... because here it's like a LOT of people put me down and don't believe in what i can do or like they don't want me, and things like that so if i don't appear confident, they would feed their minds that and they would easily crush me down...

    if they do that, then i'm DEAD

    but i get tired of doing that so in the end, it drains my energy and other times, i don't have enough energy to encourage myself to have more self confidence so, it makes me feel more of a failure

    really, i don't know what to do with my self confidence because i have a very low self esteem
     
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  18. OP
    Gaze

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    No, it's not. It's such a strong part of the thinking today, so pervasive, but rears it's head in other forms, a little more subtly though.

    To appear or as you said "project" confidence is seen as a reflection of self-confidence and self-acceptance.,
     
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    #18 Gaze, Nov 4, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2009
  19. laurie

    laurie Snowblind in Dreamland

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    I've had several instances when I was forced to appear confident or got a negative response when I showed any emotional weakness, so now it takes even longer to get to know me XD
    However, in my friend group there appears to be a pattern (less so now, thankfully) of people who over-exaggerate their victimisation to get sympathy and recognition. It sucks as the only way to really be noticed was/is to appear weaker. Thankfully, I rarely pandered to this, but then I guess being able to show weakness around friends would be a good thing.
    I don't mind the push to be 'confident' so much as the push to be 'outgoing'. Confidence is good (unless it gets to the point when everyone thinks they're always right) but being outgoing serves no significant purpose other than to make life easier for everyone and to be noticed. I've always been shy, so I'm a bit bitter about the push to be outgoing AND confident that made me put up a kind of weird barrier between me and other people =.=
    I'll probably get over it at some point though.
     
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  20. OP
    Gaze

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    Agree. To add, i think the problem is when being confident is entirely tied to the need to be or appear outgoing.
     
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