Don’t Confuse Confidence and Narcissisim

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You are either going to be with me on this, or dead set against it.  If the former its likely because you’ve watched enough situations unfold that you know feel you have enough evidence to believe it.  If its the latter, its likely because you have invested so much in a particular belief that challenging said belief is likely going to feel threatening and raise some serious defense mechanisms.  So be it.

WTF is wrong with America that we refuse to acknowledge when a wrong choice has been made?  How many examples of toxic “frothing at the mouth” rantings, public displays, and smug self-absorbed entitled righteousness do we need to see?  President Trump (gods I shiver when I have to say or write that, but then I DID predict it months in advance of his win) is as text book as a Narcissist Personality Disorder (NPD) with deep issues of competitiveness and insecurity as there can possibly be found.

I am not writing this because of any political view – I’m a staunch Independent, and one that largely believes any of those that seek power are the last that should be granted it.  Regardless of political views, race or religion my tendency is rather to look at the person in terms of both their actions and principles.  I watch to see if these things are in alignment, or if they hold different sets of rules and values for themselves, those they see as their “kind”, and the rest of humanity.

My tendency always been that of a relatively quiet observer, biding my time to see with whom I would like to interact. A lot can be learned by watching, noticing patterns, such as spotting gaps in words and deeds or how they treat others.  I have the firm position of keeping as much drama away from me and out of my life, of associating with those I am proud to have in my circle of friends (as we are oft judged by the company we keep), and to making choices that adhere or support my core principles.  In this way I improve my life day by day by making active choices in what I will and won’t allow into it.

One of those things is valuing Competency.  I love competent people.  Not necessarily confident however, because while the two can be connected there isn’t necessarily causality.  Meaning that, for many, insecurity is an emotional message that we do not feel prepared or skilled enough for a certain situation or task.  It doesn’t matter of that’s finances & taxes, social interaction, conflict resolution, artistic appreciation and critique, or even sex.  The general rule of thumb is that where we feel we’re insufficient in a skill or capability, that’s where we experience insecurity.

The catch to this rule of thumb is in the phrase “where we feel we’re insufficient”.  In a healthy way, the message of said insecurity can be motivation to gain the needed skills (as its intended to do).  Therefore as you grow in skill, experience and competence you also grow confidence.  But there are two exceptions to this, two maladaptive behaviors, for lack of a better term.

One problem is often feeling a lack of confidence despite the skills and competence one may possess.  This can be the force that drives that manifests in overachievers or perfectionists who seek to push themselves to be better because they still don’t feel good enough.  Why they don’t feel good enough is another matter, something I’m not going to touch on here because its a far deeper issue than I want to write about.  However, what this type of person will do is drive themselves to learn and constantly seek improvement.  More often than not these folks are over qualified and under valued for the range and expertise they have at hand.

Another problem, and far more dangerous, is feeling confident despite actually lacking any skill and competence.  This is the arrogance, the blind self-deluded insistence they know what they’re doing while possessing none of the necessary experience, skills, or competencies required.  This is a huge and overactive ego which will bluster & posture for attention, typically belittling and devaluing of any nay-sayers, and will deflect accountability or problems to distract while raising their own self-image.  This is a fairly classic demonstration of narcissism where an underlying sense of inadequacy and insecurity is dealt with by arrogance, hyper-competitiveness,

Why write about this here?  Because, to be honest, I see the same issues in every day life – at work, on the streets, and in the scene.  Combative incompetence so sure they know despite their lack of skill.  Justifying accidents and casually dismissing the harm of others due to their own inexperience.  Devaluing others in order to try to minimize legitimate concerns and issues of accountability.

Don’t seek a Dom that is always confident, don’t look for an actor in a role – look instead at the whole PERSON.  Perhaps more importantly, don’t buy into someone else’s delusion just because you feel your own unsatisfied needs.  We we may need a strong leader, a confident partner, a knowledgeable force for change – but that begins by US taking the time to learn these things for ourselves, not looking for another to solve them.

-SV-