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Facade's avatar

What makes people think they are better at something than they are?

Asked by Facade (22902points) May 28th, 2009

I’m watching “So You Think You Can Dance.” Some of these people are at a very low skill level, yet they still showed up to compete with the best in the country. What in the world makes people think they are good enough to get on a television show like this? (American Idol also falls in this category).
Does it come from an outside influence? from within?

This applies to everything btw, not just singing and dancing

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24 Answers

cyn's avatar

conceited people!!!
and i’m one of them!
amazes me!

rooeytoo's avatar

Self delusion and ego!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

wait what channel?

Facade's avatar

@rooeytoo Wouldn’t their ego keep their asses home instead of embarrassing themselves?

Jude's avatar

Delusional and someone probably told them that they were good at one point (maybe, their Mama..).

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Facade thanks
i love that show

Facade's avatar

@jmah Lyin mamas
…I never take the opinion of loved ones as is because they love me lol

Facade's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir ya welcome I secretly hate shows like this because I can’t do what they can. Talented bastards lol

rooeytoo's avatar

@Facade – nope their ego tells them they are good at it, whether they really are or not.

Aethelwine's avatar

They don’t think they are better, they just think they will be famous once they are on tv.

icepebbles's avatar

@jonsblond: Yes, for some, but there are actually also a lot of people who truly believe they are excellent at a skill at which they are, well, not. It perplexes me as well – that people could have such a different view of themselves than reality. I’m sorry I don’t have an explanation for the phenomenon. Great question.

Dansedescygnes's avatar

A lot of it probably has to do with people giving them positive reviews all the time and that may cause them to believe that they are good enough to be on a show like that. They might be good in their hometown, but to actually compete with people from across the nation might show that they are not as good as they thought.

As for the people who are really bad and truly believe they’re good, I don’t really understand that. It’s definitely delusional. But couldn’t someone realize that they’re not that good? They probably just refuse to admit because they see this one thing as being their thing and they don’t want to accept the fact that it might not be right for them.

I like the way Family Guy made fun of it:

“I’s gon be huge! I’s gon be bigger than every one of all y’all’s!”

Facade's avatar

I guess I just don’t see how someone can egg someone else on like that. For me, positive reviews come when your work is excellent, not when you’re sub par or even mediocre.

dannyc's avatar

Usually a sense of insecurity.

EmpressPixie's avatar

I think a LOT of people show up for that stuff because they think it will be a free, fun way to spend the day. Or because they told a lot of people they were going to do it and now don’t want to back out.

Or perhaps they are the best in their class or social group or whatever other frame of reference they have.

Jeruba's avatar

Only someone with a very high level of skill can recognize true mastery. Many who are not so good at something don’t even know enough to tell the difference.

And a lot of people have friends and family who will tell them they’re better than they are, unintentionally flattering them into making fools of themselves before a larger audience.

dannyc's avatar

@Jeruba . I agree. I have seen that. And some artists I know, brilliant as they are, are less confident than others who pale in comparison to their talent. They are never satisfied, and even though me, the amateur may appreciate it, there is something else at work.

JONESGH's avatar

All it takes is one person to tell them they’re good and they’re convinced for life

cyn's avatar

Would the MOM be that person?

wundayatta's avatar

I have often wondered this, myself. I tend to think that I am never good enough at anything I want to do. Not good enough, at least, to get paid for doing it.

Other people, who don’t seem to do very good work, as far as I’m concerned, just tell others that they are great, and somehow, they get away with it. It’s as if people want to be snowed. Or maybe it’s just that the people who are overblowing their talent actually believe it, and that convinces others.

It’s strange, because although there is a lot of schlock out there, and I can’t believe it gets published or produced or manufactured or whatever; and even though I think the work I do is better, I don’t believe anyone else will agree with me. After all, they consume that schlock. They must like it. I’m just out of touch with the consumer.

I think that no one really knows how they compare to others. So some people can think they’re better, and pass off their work as talent, and they either don’t know or don’t care that they’re no good. Other people don’t think they’re better, or don’t know if they’re any good, and they don’t want to embarrass themselves like those idiots on TV, so they don’t bother. The moral of the story: when trying to get your work in the public eye, confidence matters much more than talent.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I don’t watch TV but have been told there is a scene of aspiring actors and actresses that makes the rounds to as many reality shows and contests as they can. Maybe it comes down to who will look good in the mix?

niki's avatar

I agree with what many said here.
it’s ego, and also, another big part of it is because they are getting ‘fake’ good comments about them, from people who don’t like to tell the plain truth that they are bad or mediocre.

but as I grow, I’ve learned that you can really actually see the real honest comment/opinion from the fake one.
it’s as simple sometimes as just NOT ask any question or feedback of how you’re doing. when you’re doing things exceptionnally, or giving so much value, ie: entertain, or touch people, then people would automatically come to you and also automatically tell that you’re good/great, even in overwhelming ways. this is how you usually know if you’re being exceptional, or talented at something. it’s the level of honest expressions that people emanate, that’s really matter objectively.

but the most important thing is probably that these kind of overconfident people should really learn to let loose their ego, and be willing to listen humbly and willingly to every opinion, no matter if it’s positive or negative comments. if it’s positive comment, especially if you can tell that it’s a very sincere, honest (usually come out very spontaneous from other people), then you can be glad and take it as a compliment. if it’s a negative comment, especially the honest ones, then it’s almost always can be viewed as an opportunity for growing.
not wanting to hear negative comments/opinions is , in my opinion, what makes that person so blind to reality, and at the end, ironically, would get crushed down even more when in front of larger audience, because of self-inflated ego. this is never a good thing.

dynamicduo's avatar

Lots of things play into one’s impression of their skills.

Family members or friends could say things like “oh you’re such a good dancer” when the person is really only mediocre. This makes the person overestimate their skills.

People like to think they are special or unique in some way, so they will remember the good things and forget the bad things. They will remember them being good at dancing and forget them struggling or having problems.

Then again, when it comes to reality TV, absolutely nothing is real (how ironic is that?). It’s all staged, it’s all a calculated show. They purposely put people who suck in so that the audience can laugh at them and the judges can be harsh, thus increasing the show’s ratings, which increases the ad price they can ask for, which means they make more money.

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