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Cocky vs Confident

Cocky vs Confident

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There has always been a debate about the difference between someone who is cocky and some who is confident. Without a good eye and the right kind of judgment, it may be difficult to tell one from the other. A good illustration would be to imagine cockiness as the arrogant, obnoxious, self-centered cousin of confidence. They share the same genes but they have different parents. It is their origins that set them apart.

Cockiness comes from one’s shallow perception of oneself – achievements, material possessions, connections, etc. It does not matter whether this perception has merit or not. A person who looks to the tangible things of life for validation is the textbook definition of cocky. Conversations with him drip with self-praise. You cannot get a word in unless it has something to do with him. He is a show-off. He thinks he is better than everyone else and does not hesitate to put people down to lift himself up. But if you look closely enough, you will see that it is all just a façade. It is the deepest insecurity masquerading as confidence. Cockiness does not think he is good enough so he highlights what he thinks is. He overcompensates for all that he thinks he does not have.

Confidence, on the other, is the real deal.  If cockiness stems for what he thinks makes him good, confidence knows what is good about him. Unlike cockiness however, he also knows what is bad about him and is okay with it. He knows how to play off his strengths and work on his weaknesses. He is only human after all. He is imperfect, just like everyone is. Conversations with him are so different from those with cockiness because he will let you speak. He will listen to you intently not just for him to reply back. The conversation does not revolve around him or what he has or who he knows or what he has done.  You can really talk to him. Ultimately, he is comfortable in his own skin. He recognizes his self-worth and doesn’t need your approval to be himself.

The line between cockiness and confidence is so fine that sometimes it is easy to play jump rope with it. You can switch from one persona to the next usually depending on the crowd you are in. When you are comfortable with the people you are with, it is easier to be confident. You already know they like you so you are at ease to be yourself. It is when you are with people who you think are better or treat you like they are better that you tend to be cocky. In these situations, you have to remember to relax. You have nothing to prove. If they do not like you then live with it. Some people will think you are cocky, some people will think you are confident. It really does not matter what they think. Oftentimes what they think of you is filtered through their own perceptions of themselves. There is only so much you can control. What about what you think of you? It is more important that you like you. You have to live with yourself after all. Believe that you are good enough and that you are enough. At the end of the day, anyone and everyone can leave you. You do not need people to feel good. When you love yourself, you sow the seeds of confidence. Your most important critic, greatest ally and best friend is you.