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6 Signs People Have Low Self-Esteem but Seem Confident

6 Signs People Have Low Self-Esteem but Seem Confident

In today’s world, you must be confident in order to survive. It’s something you absolutely cannot fake. People see right through pseudo-confidence, no matter how you try to mask it. More importantly, self-esteem comes not from what others think of you, but rather from what you think of yourself. Being untruthful to yourself ultimately leads to incredibly low self-esteem and self-worth. The following are examples of people who may appear confident, but in truth are incredibly diffident.

They always look their best in public

I’m not saying that all people who dress well are hiding low self-esteem. However, people who feel the need to take an hour to get ready just to go get milk and eggs obviously are uncomfortable with how other people perceive them. You might think that by going overboard with your appearance you’re making others jealous, but all you’re really doing is wasting your own time. In the real world, nobody cares what you look like at Shop Rite. They just want to get their groceries and get back home.

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They always look busy in public

I think everyone’s guilty of this one at some point in their lives. You’re waiting for a bus, or for your friend to show up. You feel silly just staring into space, so you pick up your phone and pretend to have found something interesting to read. When really all you’re doing is playing Crossy Road. Why do we do this? Why do we care if passer-bys think we look awkward by just sitting and waiting? There really is no reason to pretend we’re busy just for the sake of looking busy. Again, people with low self-esteem tend to care what others think about them, so much so that they give them something to think about at all times.

They assume they know what others think… because it’s how they think

This goes along with the previous entries. People with low self-esteem are obsessed with keeping up appearances. The key word in that sentence is “appearances.” They strive to appear to be something they’re not. Using the previous examples, these hypothetical people actually believe that others have the time to observe and judge them. It’s really just a reflection of themselves. The person who gets dressed up to go to the gas station will be the first to judge someone who wore sweats and a raggy shirt to the same place. The person who pretends to be doing something important on their phone is the first to call attention to the person who’s sitting and waiting patiently. In actuality, the people dressed in rags are the truly confident ones, because they really don’t care at all about what anyone else thinks about them.

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They use coping and escape mechanisms to handle stress

Confident people handle stress by dealing with the situation and growing from it. People with low self-esteem handle stress by drinking, smoking, or engaging in otherwise risky behaviors that are detrimental to themselves and those around them. For some, this vicious cycle never ends. They get stressed out, so they get wasted. Then they wake up even more stressed due to lack of sleep and a hangover… and the problem hasn’t even gone away. So what do they do? Head for the fridge. If we could just learn to face our troubles head on, we would realize that dealing with bad situations is much easier than avoiding them.

They’re dishonest with others and themselves

Those that are confident have nothing to hide, and therefore are always truthful. Their less-confident counterparts, on the other hand, may be ashamed of something within themselves, and are more prone to telling lies or exaggerating truths. As with everything we’ve spoken about, this is only a reflection of oneself. The better thing to do would be to be honest with yourself, and work toward changing the aspects of your life that you’ve become unhappy with. Trying to bury them is not productive, and simply does not work.

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They exhibit arrogance, not confidence

There is a huge difference between a confident person and an arrogant one. Confident people can back up their boasts with actions, while arrogant people believe they know it all, yet never put their money where their mouth is. Arrogant people will be the first to point out other people’s flaws, but confident people will be the ones to help those people succeed. Arrogance is not being self-confident; it’s being self-centered. While arrogant people always look for how they can improve their world, confident people constantly look to how they can improve the world around them.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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