General Question

wundayatta's avatar

When a person is very confident about their abilities, do you believe them?

Asked by wundayatta (58563points) September 23rd, 2008

How far does cockiness go? I usually feel like I am being sold a bill of goods when someone seems really cocky. I just don’t believe them. But others must like that aura of confidence as a signal the person is a risk-taker. What’s the difference between realistic confidence and over-confidence?

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9 Answers

EmpressPixie's avatar

Yes and no. I believe that they can do what they say they can, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be checking up on them regularly to make sure.

syz's avatar

I tend to trust people more who have an air of quiet competence about them. Someone who does what needs to be done without a lot of fanfare. On the other hand, people who boast or self-promote, who loudly tell tales – those I don’t trust.

trudacia's avatar

I believe when I see results. Most people can talk a good game. Prove it….

PupnTaco's avatar

Only if they can back it up. It’s the MIssouri “Show Me” blood in me.

cak's avatar

When I talk to a client, I don’t over promise. I tell them what I can do and if it’s something I can’t do, I tell them, but refer them to someone that can.

Having confidence is knowing what you can and can’t do. Having confidence doesn’t make you untrustworthy. It also doesn’t mean you don’t have to prove yourself. You do.

Don’t confuse confidence with cockiness, they are two totally different things.

wundayatta's avatar

It seems that I’m fairly competent, but I don’t believe it. My problem is the other way. I undersell myself. I expect that people will see what I do, and appreciate it, if it is any good. If they don’t explicitly appreciate it, I assume it’s no good.

Weird thing today. I had a client who couldn’t get SAS to work. I don’t know much about the software, other than it has really weird file handling protocols. Anyway, it turned out he wasn’t using the proper file name, and it took me a minute to figure that out. Of course, since the guy had spent hours wrestling with his code, he was very grateful. I thought it was such a tiny thing (noticing that the file name is wrong), that I didn’t believe I’d done anything. I mean, I don’t get paid to notice typos, do I?

Actually, the first thing I did when he came and and mentions SAS was tell him the name of the SAS expert on campus. I don’t know what to feel. I’m almost mad at myself for being unbelieving of what I can do, as well as mad at myself for being able to do things I don’t believe I can do. Where did this cognitive dissonance come from?

jca's avatar

i watch people and see for myself. i am usually cynical about anything that sounds too incredible. i don’t like people who brag and once i find out someone’s a liar, i tend to distrust everything they say forever after.

boffin's avatar

If you can do it…
It ain’t braggin’

jca's avatar

if you can do it so-so and you say you can do it mind boggling incredibly, then it’s bragging.

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