Tuesday 10 October 2017

#277 How to deal with unconfidence

Have you ever been told you should be more confident?

What a useless message. If a person lacks confidence, the last thing they need is to be put down again. I say again as it seems possible that a history of put downs might lie behind the unconfident person's hesitancy.

I should not need to explain what a put down is but there are some who would argue that telling someone they should be more confident is a form of praise. Perhaps it can be if it's said in the right tone. Perhaps. Generally speaking though, a put down is to suggest that someone is lacking. Deficient. Inadequate the way they are. It's therefore logically impossible for a should to be a compliment.

If a person is talented and doesn't see it, is it not better to praise their talent than criticise their sight? Dealing blows to their self-esteem will diminish it. The unconfident mind does not fight back and as such, it does not grow stronger through criticism. When it falls, it drags the person and their talent down with it.

As if any of us knows what a person should be.

Aside from the impact of the message, consider its irony. To call someone unconfident is to assume they are talented. Otherwise we would call them untalented. If we assume they are talented, why then do they need confidence? What purpose does it serve? To represent the talent? Talent represents itself well enough. Unless you work in sales.

A salesperson must be confident. What if they weren't? Could it be because they don't believe in the product? If they did believe in the product, wouldn't they be able to talk about it confidently? Isn't that where confidence comes from? Belief in the article in question?

Telling someone they should be more confident is like telling an active microphone to record less sound. It has no effect, save for the additional recording of the instruction, adding to the problem. If it even is a problem at all. How can a recording microphone be a problem? That's what microphones are supposed to do. The only way to get an active microphone to record less sound is to create less noise.

Less noise.


Running on empty said...

Sounds like someone upset you. Perhaps they meant well?

Fizzfan said...

I’m not sure what confidence is. Pretty sure it’s a small step away from not being so at all.
We all want it, but it’s a mostly a pretty complex support structure that can be toppled rather easily.
Maybe a bit like Jenga.

Mind you, if someone said it to you, it’s probably because they want you to believe in yourself and your abilities. That’s not a bad thing.

Running on empty said...

Maybe Dan is replaying the Star Wars trailer. He will get back to us later, lol.

Profound Familiarity said...

This post wasn't about a specific situation.

Profound Familiarity said...

Yes! Hehe

Profound Familiarity said...

I agree with you about the complexity and the support structure, I think you've hit the nail on the head.

In terms of fragility, yes I suppose even leaders have their share of doubt and can be toppled suddenly.

Are you any good at Jenga?

Fizzfan said...

I’ve not played it for years but yeah I was pretty good. We occasionally played it at work but the pressure of all those eyes on you wasn’t my most favourite thing.
Are you good at games?

Profound Familiarity said...

At Jenga I'm ok.
The rest not particularly.