It happens right under your nose.
One minute, you’re sharing a few beers with a friend, listening to him talk about music, what defines a professional, his political views, and the next, you feel mesmerized by the tone of his voice, the exact blue of his eyes, and then BLAM-O! the rest of the room is a blur and you’re under some sort of Dr. Demento spell.
Dammit. How the hell did he do that?!
Self-confidence, that’s how.
This happened to me just the other day. I’m not embarrassed at all to admit that after two beers and a solid two hours of the best conversation I’d had in a long time, I was totally enthralled. This is not the first time it’s happened while hanging out with my friend, Andrew. His self-confidence, which is often mistaken for cockiness or bawdy arrogance, is intoxicating. Couple that with a few beers and that’s a recipe for sheer hypnosis.
I’ve studied him and other men and women I know with similar personalities, and there is a common thread running through all of them: unapologetic self-worth. I truly believe this is where their drive, their fire and passion, and ultimately their self-confidence all stems.
Have you ever heard someone speaking about a topic they clearly know very little about? Or worse, someone presenting themselves as knowing something but clearly knowing nothing at all? We brush these people straight out of our minds. We don’t give them a second thought, a second glance, a second chance. They’re pitiful, boring, pathetic.
Have you ever heard someone speaking on a topic about which they know a great deal? Even better, a topic in which you have an interest? Do they have clear insights through firsthand experiences? Your pupils grow wider with each sentence they utter; your heart rate rises in anticipation of the next detail they might reveal. Where did they gain all this knowledge? How could we not have known they had such insights, thoughts, beliefs, convictions?! And then…
…seduced by unfiltered, uncensored, unapologetic self-confidence. It’s rare to meet someone like this. Let me clarify that: we meet assholes and know-it-alls everyday. We have an over-abundance of these people as far as I’m concerned. There is, however, a marked difference between the self-confident folks about whom I am speaking and the D-bags who haven’t a clue they’re nowhere near self-confident.
The difference is confidence in knowing what they know and standing firmly in their convictions and opinions. They don’t waver when confronted with a differing viewpoint. They don’t apologize for having a differing opinion. They listen, they reply, they may even argue, but they don’t vacillate. It’s possible that they may change that viewpoint, if a logical argument is made; if not, these folks have absolutely no qualms about pointing out why they think you are either misinformed or flat-out wrong. This attribute often causes them to be viewed as arrogant, and often referred to as assholes or bitches. The reality is that we sugar-coat so much of our conversation that most people don’t know what to do when confronted with someone with true self-confidence. That’s when the name calling starts, so the less confident feel some amount of power or control.
What would the world be like if there were more self-confident people? Would we be more highly evolved? Would we see ourselves, others, and the world around us in a clearer light? Would there be constant arguing over whose point is correct? I wonder about these things.
We are so easily seduced by speakers who are eloquent and confident. Their rhythmic oratory lulls us into that dreamy space where self-consciousness and self-awareness fly out the window and are replaced with the intoxication of experiences through the words of another. So many of the world’s greatest names have had this attribute: Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, Benjamin Disraeli, Dante Alighieri, Lord Byron, JFK, Martin Luther King, Jr. Each of these famous figures were dripping with self-confidence, either from their speech or their writing or their mere physical presence. We could all learn a thing or two from them.
Andrew could seduce the world, I’m sure of it. Could you?