Multiple dimensions of confidence

I am a pretty direct person. If I'm curious about something, I will usually ask; if I'm upset with someone, I will talk to them about it; and my colleagues know that if I have an opinion at work, I'm not shy about sharing it. I'm not always comfortable doing this but I don't think I'm obnoxious about it (or if I realize later that I might have been obnoxious, I usually go back and apologize). But when I read Zandra's story about striking up a conversation with a guy at the gym, my first thought was "Wow, I could never do that!" I also recently discovered Holly Hoffman's blog and she's had a few posts in the last month about confidence at work and with guys. All of which has me thinking about why it is that in some situations, I seem to have oodles of self-confidence but in other situations (primarily involving people I don't know but would like to), I might as well be back in junior high. Obviously, fear of rejection has something to do with it - it's easy not to take it personally if a waiter gets annoyed with me for saying my steak is over-cooked but detachment is a lot harder if I say hi to someone and they look at me like I've got two heads. At the same time, online dating has taught me to have a pretty thick skin and I think I've gotten pretty good at handling 'rejection' in that forum. So why does the idea of trying to talk to strangers seem so difficult? And I don't mean just guys - anytime I'm in a situation where I don't know anyone (for example, professional conferences), I find it incredibly difficult to meet people. Once I've been introduced to somone, I can make small talk until the cows come home but there's just some switch in my brain that flips from self-confident to insecure when I have to meet new people on my own. Does anyone else have these sorts of isolated insecurities?

[cross-posted at my personal blog, QuirkyEconomist]

More Like This

Recent Posts by smartchica47


In order to comment on, you'll need to be logged in. You'll be given the option to log in or create an account when you publish your comment. If you do not log in or create an account, your comment will not be displayed.