Yes, I am That Confident – Up Yours!

It was 3 years ago that I posted the Facebook rant that launched my blogging career. Sometimes when you feel a little lost and like you need to meet you again, the re-set button can be as easy as looking into your own life archives. I’m fortunate mine was as easy a start as back to this beginning…

“Well you can’t fix stupid either and you proved that”!!

Actually, although my blogging life has been an incredibly uplifting experience overall,  it blows me away a little that I’ve been insulted through it too from time to time. …But I digress…

That particular insult was lobbed at me in a Facebook note.  It was from someone who’d had only few superficial conversations with me and no involvement in the situation at hand at the time. Not that really knowing me, nor having full knowledge of the details then changes the bottom line.

I admit I was somewhat shocked at that charged-up energy that came at me. There are all kinds of ways to respond, but at the time I was more engrossed in the event that precipitated the results of her research.

I re-read the post later and those words actually ended up making me smile. They reminded me of a personal motto I used to say: “I hope I’m the dumbest one in the room”.  In return I usually got a look like I’d just confirmed that for them.


What I really meant was that regardless of whatever endeavor I was involved in, I wanted whomever else I was working with to be wiser, more knowledgeable, and more creative than me.  I was sure that would get me an opportunity to learn something, probably something great and hopefully a lot of it.  Yup, not quite that insult’s target, but I know myself well enough to be confident in what I may or may not be.

That event had interesting timing. Some friends and I had been having conversations about self-esteem and the often misinterpreted difference between assertiveness & confidence or self-centeredness & aggression. There are many examples of how these characteristics are practised, but in our chats we narrowed the illustration down to standing up for oneself.

We partially surmised that self-centredness starts with feeling some sense of entitlement or an innate belief that one can do no wrong. The world better be good to me first or the world is gonna hear about it:

“Don’t confuse my personality and my attitude because my personality is ME and my attitude depends on YOU”.

Awww snap! Or – Aw snap!, snap!, snap! if they are particularly perturbed. This is more of a passive/aggressive or aggressive/aggressive defensiveness beyond my Psych 101 capabilities, or more to the point, my patience levels. Whatever happened to personal responsibility/self control?

On the other hand, real confidence says I will be good to you and if you are unkind in return, I can walk away with my self-respect fully intact without having to bring you down a peg to accomplish that. I would add that that also exhibits dignity, not an unworthy effort and something I wish I could have attached myself to much earlier in life.

Confidence asks how does whatever this is really matter to my life or me? Most of the time, whatever it is doesn’t make a bit of difference to anything.

Confidence also includes the element of humbleness. It says sometimes I may be wrong, but that does not diminish that I am a good and decent person and I will fix what I can fix about it.  By the way, the fixing action begins with offering genuine apologies, followed by genuine efforts to not repeat the offenses. Amazes me to this day, how hard this concept is for some to grasp.

Self-centredness mistakes the element of humbleness in confidence as weakness. That mistake is the weakness that truly exposes lack of self-esteem.

A little follow up: some time after sending that note, my ‘insulter’s’ defense was that she thought something negative was said about her. I did my best to reassure, but no matter, once her reaction was on the world-wide-web for all to see, the never-intended reason became fact for her anyway.  One less Facebook friend.

Too bad she didn’t take the minute to ask me about my intentions before she posted that over-the-top response.

So yes, it was interesting that that whole scenario played out right in the middle of those chats about confidence.  I guess you could say that a couple of us learned more than we were expecting at the time.

There’s far more to the depth of these issues than I can, or care to, note here, but if you were to ask me what would I say in return to that hotly lobbed insult now?  In short: up your self- esteem!

Yours truly,
Hopefully the Dumbest One in the Room


13 thoughts on “Yes, I am That Confident – Up Yours!

  1. Social media is a big room, and there is no bottom to dumb. You may have to change your motto to “happy to learn” – which, by the way, puts you in a very small group of people (IMO)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Being humiliated in a public forum would have sent me into a big shame spiral and every potato, potato chip, french fry, and anything resembling a potato would have been eaten. So….good on you for taking that energy and doing something awesome like blogging! Thanks for sharing dn congrats on your blogaversary!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! I’ve been humiliated on or in virtually every facet of life. LOL. I think that’s when one realizes what other people think doesn’t matter one whit in the long and short of it. Kind of freeing, really…


  3. Intriguing discussion Robyn. First off – congratulations on your blogoversary. Many there be many more.

    This topic was a constant battle in my last job (before going on disability) where I was the safety director of a gas tanker company also tasked with hiring. We tried – and trained – drivers to always be aware of where they were on the continuum between self-centered(or over-confident), and confidence. It is hard to remain in confidence without occasionally slipping into self-centeredness – dangerous territory for s fuel hauler. But here is something that surprised me greatly – with about 80 drivers we had a wide range of years of service and experience. I kept meticulous track of all incidents that I could dig up or were reported. The reason for this is that there is a common safety paradigm that compares incident occurrence to a pyramid where there are many small incidents on the bottom and they are precursors to medium incidents in the center and they were precursors to disasters (on top). So if we managed to identify a driver who was having a number of small incidents – even if there was no loss or damage – we worked with him to address the cause before they became mid sized or disasters.

    We discovered that self-centeredness often precipitated incidents – and the longer it went unaddressed, the greater the probability of a major disaster. Here is the interesting part: once we had weeded out the chronic self-centered (and they were pretty easy to diagnose with our extensive classroom and hands-on training), we discovered that the probability of an incident was not related to years of experience or employment at all. I did the statistics for the department and we discovered that when we split the drivers into two equal groups by years of experience, yearly incidents split almost exactly into two equal groups as well. (We typically had about 50 incidents in a period and that would split into 25/25 or 26/24 for old/new drivers, but never much more difference than that). This spoke well of our training if the risk created by a new driver was the same as that of a 20 year vet.

    That said, drivers who were hesitant and lacked confidence inevitably imploded and most before the training even finished, so no confidence was not a common problem. if you think about the risk of carrying 58,000 liters of flammable explosive gasoline in an aluminum tank where one mistake by you or someone else typically ended in a conflagration rivaling anything threatened by Revelations, that alone dove non-confident drivers crazy and they usually ran screaming.

    So, an analysis of accident occurrences also brought some other surprises. There was no relationship between accidents and weather, hours of service, age, or years of service. In fact there was a pattern and that pattern was that virtually all incidents occurred either at the beginning or end of shift and in every case the investigated driver admitted to thinking about home or schedule or family or some other non-work related thoughts. In other words, they slipped from confident to self-centered and that precipitated the accident. Much like Solzhenitsyn’s final inch – the job is not done until it is done. Anticipation of finishing can create serious problems. And when beginning a shift drivers reported that they were still thinking of the home or family or non-work activities they had just left when they had incidents.

    I too fall into this trap if i am not careful. And I find that situational awareness and focusing on the here and now as opposed to the past or the future, works to remove me from self- centeredness. This is a conscious activity used to improve Grace and safety. There are those who are chronically self-centered (Trump comes to mind) and they are a write off. Then there are the rest of uis who struggle with the continuum regularly.

    Cool post Robyn and neat topic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ho-ly, Paul, talk about a crazy way to discern confidence or arrogance! Yeah, I think I will leave the tests up to what I’ve experienced so far… You know you just wrote another good blog post, right?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ha! Sigh, I know I get a bit verbose by times , in fact you are being kind as I have been accused of having verbal diarrhea. Ha! I don`t know how that would be received as a post – it may be too boring – but I figured it was topical here. Especially the part about our basically being in control of how arrogant we are – at least most of us are. 😀


  4. Three years – Happy Blog Anniversary! Confidence is key. People who strike out often do have self-esteem issues. You know, perhaps those who don’t get your wish to be the dumbest one in the room really are the dumbest ones in the room – we all have a lot to learn and the more we realize just how “dumb” we are the smarter we are….


  5. One thing is certain. There is no way to know to what extent our fellow human beings are waiting to be wounded. Self esteem is the only player in this scenario. Applauded by the ego. I think it goes back to the idea of different love languages. The way our early relationships were developed really defines how we view ourselves-until we step up to the plate and realize we need to be in control, to try to speak multiple languages in order to share a richer love life. But we all know there are folks who just want to cling to their own language stubbornly and to feel offended. In many cases you were just that day’s targeted perpetrator. Happy blogging.


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