Friday, December 3, 2010

Cockiness vs. Confidence

What is the difference between cockiness and confidence?

At what point does being proud of yourself cross that threshold over to being full of yourself?

Is it okay to acknowledge your accomplishments? Is it ever okay to listen to someone's criticisms and say, "No, they're wrong."?

It's almost socially unacceptable to accept a compliment nowadays. Has anyone else noticed that? If someone says, "You look great!" it's often followed up with a comment like "Oh, no, really, my hair looks awful today." or something similar. I can still remember days on the playground when the mean girls of middle school would say to me (or some other poor unsuspecting soul):
Mean Girls: "You look great today!"
Texan Mama: "Thanks."
MG: "SO, you think you look good today? God, that's conceited."
TM: "No, you just said I did."
MG: "Yeah, but you agreed with us. You probably spent 2 hours getting ready!"
and so on. Whatever I'd said wouldn't have mattered. It wasn't about the compliment, or what I looked like, or what I thought or said. It was about them putting me down to make themselves feel better.

But still, it planted the seed in me that it was completely wrong to ever accept it when someone says something nice about me. And, no matter what, don't believe what they're saying is true.

I admit, I suffer from a lack of self-confidence. I don't think it's that unusual but I think it's sad. I think that young kids and teenagers begin to put so much more weight on what their peers say, that when they hear, "You are so smart and beautiful" from Mom & Dad, it doesn't mean half an iota compared to if some random half-popular girl at school were to say, "nice shoes." My self-confidence issues started in primary school and just never went away.

Now, as an adult, I have a difficult time asserting myself and claiming what I believe is my own. I am only the owner of the gifts that have been given to me by God, but if He gave them to me why do I let other people take them away? Why do I let people who say, "You're not good enough" get to me? My husband is the type of person who lets comments like those roll off his back like water off a duck. For me, it's like water and a sponge.

If I stand up and say, YES I AM GOOD ENOUGH. I CAN DO THIS. I AM GOING TO SUCCEED... and then I don't.... who am I disappointing? Only myself. So what do their thoughts matter anyway?

At the same time, I don't want to live in a bubble. I do recognize that my words reflect on me and my personality and my integrity. I don't want to be bigger than my britches, so to say.

So, what do you think? Where is the line drawn between cockiness and confidence?

Texan Mama


Foursons said...

I think when obnoxiousness comes into the picture than someone becomes more cocky than confident.

Prairie Mother said...

I agree..obnoxiousness and the inability to listen to others opinions.

It seems women have a harder time taking compliments than men. How come?

A friend once told me to be a gracious receiver of compliments (or gifts) so the giver feels their actions are honestly appreciated. Something to think about the next time someone compliments us.

ridgely johnson said...

Remember this tip- head up, chin down, shoulders back- you look confident and thinner ;-)

Life with Kaishon said...

Oh man. I don't even like to think about mean girls in school. They were the worst! I am glad you find your worth in Jesus. With Him we are wonderful, right? : ) I have to remind myself of this all the time too because it is very easy to find and flaws within me.

misssrobin said...

If you're asking the question, you probably aren't going to be crossing the line.

Who cares about the line? Believe in yourself. God does. Ask Him and listen. Denying our worth is like saying He's wrong.

You are incredible. None of us are wonderful at everything, but each of us are wonderful at some things. Probably many things.

Quit listening to them (the mean girls on the tapes in your head) and start listening to Him. You are of eternal value beyond what any of us can comprehend. And so am I.

Swizz said...

My Bible study lately has been exactly this...being confident in ourselves because we are children of our creator and not listening to the lies the world tells us.

I'm working on myself, right now, focusing on HIM instead of ME...

It's sad that anyone feels the need to put someone else down to feel better about themselves. It all goes back to original sin, I guess.

Crystal said...

umm...this is a tough one. I suffer from LSES (low-self esteem syndrome). No matter how ofter my hubby and little men tell me I'm beautiful...or how often I read that God made me how he wants me...I can't stop tearing myself down....a blemish here, a roll there, deflated boobs, glasses...really I could keep going. And it's boys already ask if they look fat. WTH??!!

BUt, you are right. If we look in the mirror and say-holy crap! I am amazing...and omgosh what a beauty!! Well, people are gonna roll their eyes. Where's the happy medium? That's a great question...and unfortunatly I've got nothin' for ya!

J said...

You know, when someone compliments me I acknowledge it by saying "Thank you" and then, to keep the conversation going, I tell them any cool back story that might be involved in what they are complimenting. Like, I tell them how my haircut is because I cut ALL my hair off after my first child was born and that's why I have the cut I have now. Or that my husband bought me those cute boots for my birthday one year... something interesting that we can talk about.

Either that, or I find something about them that I like and after I say "thank you" I give them a compliment in return. That way everyone wins!

Gigi said...

I also find it hard to accept compliments. I have learned to say thank you graciously - but unfortunately I can't stop those voices in my head that say, "Yeah, BUT...."

Jennifer said...

I have the hardest time accepting compliments. I think when you come to expect them is when you have a problem. And I mean expect, not desire.

Frogs in my formula said...

Cockiness is when you expect the accolades. Confidence is when you can graciously accept them because-- dogonnit--you deserve them. There's nothing wrong with feeling good about accepting kind words when you earned them.