Monday, May 21, 2018

Confidence Lessons

This confidence thing always has me beat. Not the thing about 'being confident', that's relatively a simple affair especially when you stick to doing what you know how to do. Like sleeping. The bugbear for me has always been 'appearing confident'.

Like the time when I was first appearing for interviews. About the first thing people told me was to maintain eye-contact in order to appear confident. And the first interviewer I come across steadfastly looks down all the time at my CV, no doubt captivated by the fiction I had written there about how much I loved engineering or, perhaps, busy trying to reconcile that fiction with the pathetic performance in all the subjects that related to engineering. Whatever it was, the only way I could have maintained eye-contact with that chap was if I was lying down on his lap and I understand that THAT is not the acceptable posture for interviewees.

The next time I was interviewed, the chap takes one look at me and snaps, "Why are you goggling at me like that?" Somehow it did not sound to me like an interview question and, even if it was, it felt that the right answer to that question was not "I was maintaining eye-contact so that I could appear confident." So much for eye-contact.

But that, I am sure, is the least of my problems with appearing confident. The primary issue seems to be something wrong in the wiring in my brain. (I so HAVE a brain, damn you, and I am not slipping in any lie, so there!) You see, I do not actually see anything from the right point of view and that is what is messing me up.

You see, for example, if someone says, "A friend in need is a friend indeed", what do you think?

'Well, did Reema help me last time when I needed some money? Maybe she is not really a friend.' 

'Achyut did kick in with cash that time when I ran short of funds for the party.' 

And so on, right? I mean, you know that it has to be applied to all the people around you, don't you?

Me - I am too stupid for that. What I end up doing is applying that to myself. Am I really a friend, did I always help my friends when they needed me? etc etc. And beat myself over the head about it.

Does it stop there? You say something about the ideal subordinates and, instead of assessing my subordinates on those criteria, I start assessing myself as a subordinate. Say something about bosses, ditto. Idiotic, I know, but...(What was that you said? None of that surprised you cos you knew I was a congenital idiot? Sheesh...a man cannot even rant without someone calling him names!)

The net result of all this is that I spend so much time wondering about whether my thoughts and behavior are really right, for me to project confidence. Respect comes to that man who seems to KNOW that he is right.

That knowledge generally means that you should be the sort who thinks that, if there is something wrong, it is always wrong with the other guy, never with you.

THAT way lies confidence. Alas, as usual, it is a lesson that will never benefit me!


  1. Loved reading this one. And I loved the connection that you made about confidence and always thinking that one is right. Kind of a 'staring at my face' thing but still I had not noticed that before so finding it out like this was good.