We have all heard of the merits of possessing that essential quality called confidence. We have been told how it allows you to “go far in life” and to be successful either at work or in relationships. But as they say, too much of anything is never good. The same applies to confidence. Too much of it is counterproductive, it even harms our relationship with others. What though is over-confidence?
First, let us define pure confidence. As the Oxford Dictionary puts it, confidence is a feeling of self-assurance arising from an appreciation of one’s abilities. Pure and simple. Over-confidence, on the other hand, means we take that confidence to extremes, it becomes arrogance; that is, an exaggerated sense of one’s importance or abilities. Emphasis on the word “exaggerated.” In other terms, you become what people call “big-headed” or full of yourself.
It is bad right, to be big-headed? Yes, everyone pretty much agrees on that. The crazy thing is people who are big-headed or overconfident don’t even notice that they are exhibiting this bad trait. To them, all is peachy. Let us take a look at some of those warning signs that can help tell if you are overconfident or not. If you notice any of the following traits in you, it is time to pause and reconsider.
- They Are Very Loud
At any gathering or any social event, over-confident people are usually very loud and they take over the whole platform. They want to dominate any conversation, without even pausing to think if what they are saying is appropriate or relevant. Remember, they are so full of themselves and it never occurs to them to pause and listen. This leads them to many problems with their remarks and their language. They usually come out offensive and not so “politically correct.”
- They Don’t Listen or Consider Other People’s Opinions
An over-confident person is your typical “know-it-all.” They never listen to what others have to say because others are less important to them. Since they know everything, the opinions of others do not matter. Like Mussolini, they are always right. They are the people who are always interrupting others in mid-speech and taking over the dialogue altogether. In this way, they always come out disrespectful, and domineering.
- They Do Not Strive to be Better
As the definition puts it, over-confident people have an exaggerated view of their abilities. This means that they think they are the ultimate best and thus they never seek to ameliorate themselves. They feel like they are at the zenith and above anyone so to them there is no more room for improvement. They are the gurus of everything they do, even when most of it is just pretense. They remain stagnant when it comes to gaining knowledge or practical skills. In the end, their performance usually suffers.
- No Doubt or Second-Guessing
A modicum of self-doubt is required in life if we are to do things the best way. Things change and people have to be flexible enough. While confident people know that there are alternative ways to solve some problems and listen to others for feedback, over-confident people never even second-guess their ways. They walk in the right and everyone else is doing it wrong. They are rigid and obstinate. These mannerisms usually result in a lot of blunders.
- They Do Not Admit Their Mistakes
It takes a lot of humility to admit and own up to one’s mistakes, to say that were wrong. Given their propensity of thinking they are always right, over-confident people commit many avoidable errors. Yet, they never admit that they are at fault even when someone explicitly points it out to them. They always find ways to shift the blame or others or on the circumstances: they are never in the wrong. This leads to many frictions in the workplace or relationships. In the end, they are intolerable and hard to work with.
- They Are Not Subtle
It takes a lot of tact to be subtle. Many situations in life and human relations require some level of subtlety. When it comes to the arrogant, with their penchant for loudness and disregard for others, they can never be tactful or subtle. They are blind to subtext and thus can never work in environments where tact is needed. They trump all over like drunk elephants, making a lot of noise and blunders.
Over-confidence is never a good trait. And when you are in the grips of it, it is hard to notice or change. It requires a lot of humility on one’s part to admit one’s failings. This is the first step to getting to a solution. If you notice that you do any of the above things, try very hard to make an effort. Listen to others, pause and reflect before you do anything. Always look for the best way to solving a problem. This will go a long way in your profession and relationship with others.