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Elise

Do you consider yourself confident?

Do you consider yourself confident?  

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I think I'm confident and satisfied with myself, my situation, what I do and all, but sometimes it offends me to find out what I like/don't like is supposed to be a sign of lacking confidence among other people for irrational reasons like "because it's not natural". For example, if I say I don't like going out, or say I don't like compliments that don't really make sense, some people assume that I lack confidence. Is it just me who experiences this and finds it fricking oppressive? O.o Are you confident? Do people assume you're confident? Do you have a moment when you don't appreciate a certain type of compliment? Is it supposed to be super conceited to even just say I'm confident? Do you have some preferences/habits by which people assume you're insecure? I'm confused.......O.o

 

I'm "sensitive" and it's also something people would take as a sign of being insecure. I care what other people think so I sometimes end up asking why do you say this and that but this is because I'm taking what they say seriously. I usually try to understand it as much as possible instead of just dismissing it while pretending as if I get it naturally. So it's not really relevant to insecurity. I don't even find this "sensitive", to me it's just normal.

 

I might be in a sense trying to stay confident almost unconsciously because I have a lot of factors that put me out of the norm of the society including being an aro/ace. It might be because I think I should be confident myself first to embrace the stuff that's socially discriminated against that's relevant to me, and to embrace similar stuff that's relevant to other people too.

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I am not very confident. A childhood of getting in trouble and not knowing why (diagnosed autistic at 15) really messed me up in terms of confidence. 

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I fluctuate between being very confident (or at least I internally think so) and being totally unsure of myself and even reality itself. Lately I'm confident more often than totally unsure, so I guess that's progress, yay...

 

I like compliments, but it depends on what the compliment is for. If it's something I like about myself then it's great, if it's for something that isn't even true... then it's annoying. I hate it when people call me "hot" or "sexy" for example, because they're focused on things I don't care about and missing out on who I really am.

 

I think the fact that I don't talk much makes people think I'm shy and withdrawn. It's actually because I'm so busy listening to what the other people are saying that I literally don't have time to think of anything to say myself. I just can't do those 2 things at the same time for some reason.

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@Ettina I'm sorry about that. Do you get things like "I hope you'll be more confident in the future"? I guess different people use the word like confidence differently so I'm not sure if it's a necessary thing to have in the first place. Some people seem to use it like "looking confident" instead of "feeling confident". In that case I don't need it that much because needing it too much risks other more important stuff like securing my mental personal space. Do you think you need confidence more? 

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I'm not confident at all... I'm super insecure and saying anything is really hard for me. I'll be surprised if I actually end up posting this because it's pretty likely I'll just chicken out xD But in my defense, my super insecure thoughts and beliefs often turn out to be right...

 

I don't like compliments at all, because I often disagree with what they're saying, and/or I don't think they're important things.

 

And I noticed even when I wasn't scared of people, (I preferred to be alone a lot of the time) teachers and stuff would always try and force me to play with other kids (who I'm pretty sure didn't want to play with me either, so who does that help?)

 

3 hours ago, Ettina said:

I am not very confident. A childhood of getting in trouble and not knowing why (diagnosed autistic at 15) really messed me up in terms of confidence. 

 

Yeah, I feel like my asperger's had a massive effect on my confidence and just mental state in general, although I was diagnosed with it pretty early, so I pretty much always knew(although I didn't really understand it that well, it was never really explained to me that well, it was one of those things that's just there, and has always been there). It also probably helped that my dad had autism and my brother had asperger's. But I was always super ashamed of it, and people were mean to me for the way I behaved. Teachers would yell at me for doing something while not understanding what I was doing wrong, and I was always an outsider. I pretty much grew up knowing I was wrong, but not knowing what wrong was, let alone what right was.

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4 hours ago, Shroomie said:

I'm not confident at all... I'm super insecure and saying anything is really hard for me. I'll be surprised if I actually end up posting this because it's pretty likely I'll just chicken out xD But in my defense, my super insecure thoughts and beliefs often turn out to be right...

 

I don't like compliments at all, because I often disagree with what they're saying, and/or I don't think they're important things.

 

And I noticed even when I wasn't scared of people, (I preferred to be alone a lot of the time) teachers and stuff would always try and force me to play with other kids (who I'm pretty sure didn't want to play with me either, so who does that help?)

 

 

Yeah, I feel like my asperger's had a massive effect on my confidence and just mental state in general, although I was diagnosed with it pretty early, so I pretty much always knew(although I didn't really understand it that well, it was never really explained to me that well, it was one of those things that's just there, and has always been there). It also probably helped that my dad had autism and my brother had asperger's. But I was always super ashamed of it, and people were mean to me for the way I behaved. Teachers would yell at me for doing something while not understanding what I was doing wrong, and I was always an outsider. I pretty much grew up knowing I was wrong, but not knowing what wrong was, let alone what right was.

  Hmm...Is it possible that I look like an asshole by saying I'm confident? I'm growing kinda unconfident about what "confident" means... Do you guys want to feel confident or are you okay with your current state?

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Actually, I think my 'internal confidence' thing is more like stubbornness. Like, "this is how it should be, and anything less is unacceptable!"... and then I get hit with the reality that nobody else on earth thinks about it the same way I do. :P 

 

I dunno, it looks like there's different kinds of confidence?

 

I mean, I'm pretty insecure around most people I don't know, and even a lot of the ones I do know, but by myself I feel at peace.

 

8 hours ago, Shroomie said:

I pretty much grew up knowing I was wrong, but not knowing what wrong was, let alone what right was.

I can relate to this a lot. I was never diagnosed with anything, but recently I've figured out I have asperger's, and I guess that explains a lot...

 

3 hours ago, Elise said:

Do you guys want to feel confident or are you okay with your current state?

I think it's good to be confident if you're right about something, but if you're not, then it's good to be more insecure so that you can be more open to information about it... or something. But I think that's different from feeling confident or insecure in general.

 

So, like, being, feeling and acting confident are seperate things, and confidence can be about something specific or just in general too. Or, I think so. I'm not confident that I'm right about it. :P 

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6 hours ago, Elise said:

Do you guys want to feel confident or are you okay with your current state?

 

I'd personally like to be more confident; I can't even talk to my closest friends without panicking and being afraid of messing up, which is really inconvient, as are a lot of other things that come from a lack of confidence. I can't trust that I'm right on anything, no matter how many times I check it, or how much evidence I have to support it. I have a lot of trouble telling the difference between what's real and what's not. For example, a couple weeks ago a friend told me I live someplace different than where I thought I did(I think he was joking), and I'm still not sure where I live...

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I'm confident in general, because I've seen and felt the positive impact I can make on those around me. I used to feel insecure a lot, due to my race, my mental illness, and my queerness. Participating in social justice, meeting others who share my identities and struggles, going to therapy, and delving into deep introspection have helped me overcome most of my insecurities, although many of my insecurities still come back to haunt me from time to time. 

 

 

 

 

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To me, being confident is having as much control over my own life as I can in current social system: my big choices in life are mostly what I choose deliberately, not what I have to choose as an alternative of some other option I actually wanted to choose but couldn't. So in theory, I can speak of those choices proudly, although in real life it's difficult because there are people who discriminate against certain choices without any reason.

 

This way, it makes sense that people who seem fit in society more tend to seem more confident than those who not.

 

It's the same for thought process. It's not that I confident about my perception of world entirely, I have biases and ignorance, but I'm confident about my system by which I process my thoughts to decrease those. With that system, I feel I can fix my perception for most stuff eventually even if I'm wrong about something.

 

I have two layers of thought process going on when talking to people, which I think is just normal? One is where I try to verbalize my instinct. I try to protect and defense what I think as logically as possible. Instinct is supposed to be emotional but once I verbalize it logically it'll become more convincing to other people and to myself too. The other layer is where I try to suspect everything about my thoughts. This is where I experiment in proving my opinion wrong over and over checking each points that could seem vulnerable. This way I can check and fix my perception without messing up my confidence, I guess. I think in any time, in either of these two layers, I'm confident in a way. And once I settle on some conclusion, I'm more or less confident about it. That conclusion can be really open like "I don't know whether x is good or not", though. :P It's like "it should be not wrong for me to not know whether x is good or not yet".

 

In other words, I feel I'm keeping myself as less vulnerable as possible to unreasonable ideas people might force me to succumb to with irrational power like shaming. I'm still vulnerable but I feel I'm doing everything I can at this point.

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4 hours ago, Elise said:

To me, being confident is having as much control over my own life as I can in current social system: my big choices in life are mostly what I choose deliberately, not what I have to choose as an alternative of some other option I actually wanted to choose but couldn't. So in theory, I can speak of those choices proudly, although in real life it's difficult because there are people who discriminate against certain choices without any reason.

 

This way, it makes sense that people who seem fit in society more tend to seem more confident than those who not.

 

This is interesting. I personally feel like, if I hadn't faced so much discrimination in my life, I wouldn't be as confident as I am now. In a way, I feel like my entire identity has been constructed around rebelling against society--for me, confidence is the drive to fight back against those who seek to control me. 

 

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7 hours ago, omitef said:

 

This is interesting. I personally feel like, if I hadn't faced so much discrimination in my life, I wouldn't be as confident as I am now. In a way, I feel like my entire identity has been constructed around rebelling against society--for me, confidence is the drive to fight back against those who seek to control me. 

 

That makes sense. I feel the same way too. Having experienced with discrimination myself, it makes me more immune to other types of pressure, and it gives me more control over my own life in a way. If I had something I don't want to buy but everybody else is buying, I can kind of peacefully decide that I'm not going to buy it even if everybody else finds me weird. It's because I've experienced similar stuff already and I don't think I'll be missing on anything because of it particularly.

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I can relate to that, somewhat - normally I'm not very confident, but I do feel I can stand up for myself if I have really strong convictions about a given subject, such as not wearing makeup and wanting to be single. With makeup, I'm not comfortable with it at all and giving into people who want me to just makes me hate myself (rather than somehow make me feel good, which is apparently the effect they assume it will have on me). As for wanting to be single, I'm sure most, if not all of you know the drill there, but I'm still struggling to understand why that makes me a selfish person, or even why I'm obliged to care when a guy is interested in me if I don't feel the same way (OK, I do know but I'm not going to care "just because").

Otherwise, I'm really, really not confident in myself at all. I struggle to make people hear me when I'm trying to get past them in a shop or whatever, and usually just end up pretending to look at something until the obstruction is gone, rather than try and ask them if I can come past.

When I have tried standing up for myself in the past (after years of not doing it in school), I've still come off worse than the other person. I'm still mega salty about this one incident in the bank over 5 years ago, where I merely lined up to use an indoor cash machine and got whined at by some woman for "pushing in front", who hadn't even been near the queue when I came in... I did try to ignore her but the thing that pissed me off was some other people had heard the small argument we had, and literally jumped in front of me when I got to the front :/ 

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I'd definitely like to be more confident - I would like to just do what I need to do and not worry what others will think. Especially since I plan on being a parent, and everyone thinks that they should give advice and judgment towards parents even if they don't actually have a clue how to parent or what's going on with that child. And I already know my parenting style will be visibly unusual in ways many people think are bad - eg giving my baby a tablet with a communication app as a supplement to speech, because multimodal communication helps kids' brains. But a lot of people will just think "lazy parent with an electronic babysitter".

One thing that has actually really helped with that is getting a dog. It's been really rough for me to cope with taking her on walks, because people judge me when she misbehaves (she is normally a good dog, but strangers get her too excited to listen) and others judge me for getting on her case for excited doggy behavior. And various other things about walking the dog get me judged negatively. I can't poop scoop because of my disability (I've got cleanliness issues around touching certain things, even through a bag, and I would need to stop and wash my hands every time I scoop poop), for example. There were some times when I wished I could just never walk her again. I would sometimes lose my temper and take it out on her, too, which made me feel like a terrible dog owner. But she needs walks and no one else in the family will/can do it often enough, so I have to push through the fear and go out knowing I'll get judged and I'll find it upsetting. And I've found that it's easier and easier to just dismiss the fear and focus on my dog's and my needs regardless of what other people think I should be doing.

I guess from experience I'd say that you can sometimes get more confident by forcing yourself to do what you feel is right on a regular basis knowing that you'll get judged for it. And this makes me think that I can probably do the same as a parent. 

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I'm confident in general though it differs a bit from situation to situation. Sometimes when I feel insecure I try to see confidence as a sort of respect to others. Like if I start saying something and become insecure I force myself not to cut it out or say never mind or make less of it. Because then it is like I made other people listen to something I don't myself find worth saying. 

 

With compliments I feel like much of it might be that they are so tied to flirting. Also often they are very superficial which I find kinda uninteresting. 

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Phew. The poll turns out to be there are more confident people than those who aren't, here at this moment...At first there were more people who didn't think of themselves as confident in the poll, so I thought I might be taking the word definition of confident wrong and seeming super conceited to everybody! :S Like it made me suspect that everybody might be thinking that we shouldn't be confident until we start our own business and become super successful or something and that they might be setting the bar really high.

 

In my case, the better I get at explaining complicated feelings I have, the more I can be confident. That's probably why facing problems like discrimination sometimes helps us gaining more confidence in the long run. I understand it can destroy our confidence in some aspects too though. There are things that I feel would remain discriminated against no matter how I become good at explaining about them. It's pretty discouraging to think about those kinds of aspects that I myself can't handle, but basically I think if I can explain more things that I can't capture in words right now, I'll become more confident.

 

It might be a balance of how you are fit in society/are okay with making socially normal choices + how many tendencies you have/choices you make that are out of the social norm you can currently validate verbally yourself or can feel you're going to be able to do so eventually because you feel you chose that option reasonably even if you didn't have any verbal explanation at the moment.

 

People who are okay with sticking to the social norms could probably feel confident by itself because they don't have to explain stuff to validate they're choices. People who are not okay on the other hand have a lot of homework of validating their choices, because it's more likely that people asks why they chose those strange options. It's tough and unfair but once they have ways to validate it, they'll probably feel confident, I think. Or if they feel they are going to find answer to that homework along the way, they'll feel confident too.

 

At least in my country, I feel people tend to set the "You're not allowed to be confident unless you reach this" bar too high and they seem to be spending like entire life to seek confidence. And it makes me feel like they are thinking no once should be confident until they have fulfilled every requirement to be confident that our society implicitly imposes to us. And it's honestly suffocating. I'm confident myself but a more important reason why I try to say I'm confident might be that I want to lower the bar (that we kinda share) a little bit...So it's confidence for myself and the other people at the same time, I guess.

 

Being confident doesn't mean one can't complain or seek advice/help or ask to get rid of external pressure. It's a whole different thing. It's just the problem of how people unreasonably associate these as signs of insecurity and I feel it's really wrong. To me being confident is just like saying "I don't worship social norms, so I won't probably judge you based on them," to myself and to other people.

 

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@Holmbo,

I wouldn't call that particular type of confidence you described confidence though. It happens to me a lot too and I might not really talk about stuff with people if I felt pressure not to though.

 

To me it's just etiquette, or social pressure not to talk about serious, socially abnormal stuff with friends so that few people have to bother questioning social norms? I'd adapt myself to it, at least on the surface, if it felt too risky, or too inconvenient for other people not to. It's about adapting yourself to what seems to be conveniently confident to other people. It's not good or bad in itself but it's not really relevant to confidence I guess? And in fact it makes you rather uncomfortable by doing so, doesn't it? (Although talking about stuff with people who don't seem to bother listening would be even more uncomfortable.)

 

I'm not sure if this is the right term (just found it looking up my dictionary not sure about what kind of nuances that it has) but it seems like "outward" confidence and imo what people expect as being confident is just "abiding by social norms without complaining" and it's wrong by itself --it's rather adaptation level than confidence-- so outward confidence is not really related to confidence.

 

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I'm generally very confident :) I think this is helped by being humble, so I am able to be confident about my faults/weaknesses as well as strengths

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