Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Self Confidenct vs. Conceited

What's the difference between self confidence and being conceited? I ask because in trying to become more self confident, I worry that people will think of me as conceited. (Or God forbid, I actually at some point become conceited!) I think it's a really incredibly thin line.

self-confidence (noun)
1. realistic confidence in one's own judgment, ability, power, etc.
2. excessive or inflated confidence in one's own judgment, ability, etc.

conceited (adjective)
1. having an excessively favorable opinion of one's abilities, appearance, etc.

So, let me get this right. If I'm REALLY confident in my own judgement, abililities, power, appearance, etc, I'm conceited. Okay, that's clear.

Not really. How much confidence is too much? I'm the person who has always walked around, hunched over, avoiding eye contact. I'm pushing myself to walk taller, smile more, and even try to make eye contact. But I don't want to be thought of as conceited. I am quite shy when I don't know a person, and that has been misinterpreted as being stuck up in the past. (That always cracked me up, being that it is so far from what I am!)

I keep hearing to be attractive to men you have to exude confidence. But I think the whole idea of being confident scares me.

I don't think I'm even making much sense with this rambling. Guess I'll put this debate on the back burner for now.


  1. I work with a lady who lost a bunch of weight with Overeaters Anon. Now she thinks that she knows everything there is to know about everything, and she thinks she's gorgeous. She thinks all the males in our office want her. She thinks she looks like a 30-year-old. She's 54. She's the first to point out that what someone is eating will make them fat, or that the outfit they are wearing brings out the cellulite in their thighs. Since she lost weight, she is now the penultimate authority on nutrition. Conceited people are self-centered. They talk about themselves incessantly and bring every conversation back to something about them. Not at all the same thing as self-confidence.

    Self-confidence is knowing that even though you are not the center of attention at that moment, you are still important. It's being able to make eye contact and conversation. It's taking care of yourself first because a happy you is a productive member of society. It's knowing that you can do whatever it is you put your mind to.

    I could be wrong, but that is my humble opinion.

  2. I'm also battling shyness because of my body image and what I think people think when they see me.

    I love totegirl's definition! It makes me realize I need to be careful about how much I talk about myself (yikes!) and how good real self-confidence feels.

    I say we keep pushing ourselves to walk taller, smile more, and make eye contact :).


  3. The key term to me is "favorable opinion" - it's like a fixed jury, it doesn't matter what the truth is, the decision is still going to be in your favor. Knowing that you can do something doesn't mean that you always have to be the one to do it - or are the best one, and the ability to know when to step up and when to back off is the difference between confidence and self-conceit - and you're right - it's a VERY thin line, and one that moves!