“Confidence is sexy.” You hear this every time you open up a generic women’s magazine, a pickup artist guide or an inspirational speaker’s bullshitting mouth. That being stoked on yourself is hot. That a happy, confident smile is the sexiest thing you can possibly “wear.”
It’s not true. Confidence isn’t the sexiest quality to people. I mean, it is sexy to lots of people (generally speaking, it is appealing to people who want you to be happy with yourself, which is a solid indication of a good personality). But it is certainly not the sexiest quality, as people — generally speaking, again — are shallow and regardless of how confident you are, they will be attracted to what they are already attracted to. There will be exceptions, but the fact that people are into what they’re into is kind of unchangeable. And there are like 50 other traits of importance when it comes to being perceived as attractive (not that you should base your personality on those accordingly, by any means).
Does this mean you shouldn’t be confident? No, of course not, but there is a certain line that some people who consider confidence their “sexiest personality trait” (if not the only sexy personality trait, which is crazy) seem to cross on occasion: the line of cockiness.
There is a vast gap between “I am awesome” and “I am the best.” It’s the difference between people who take the time to think about why somebody might be criticizing them for a genuine issue as opposed to the type who just scream, “YOU’RE JUST JEALOUS, HATERZ.” And who knows? Maybe I am jealous. I get jealous easily, at times, and that comes from a place of insecurity; perhaps I am envious of people who are able to do no wrong in their own eyes.
That, I think, is one of the aspects that defines “cockiness”: the belief that one is always right. The inability to admit that one can (and will) be wrong. The readiness to jump down the throats of anyone who contradicts you.
Being confident in your intellect, your ideas, your body — that is fantastic. Feeling superior is not. Do you remember working on group projects in high school or college and always ending up with that one person who just couldn’t work with the rest? He or she was just impossible to convince of any newness, any changes unless they came up with those edits. Rather than coming off as confident, the person wound up seeming stubborn; this type of stubbornness often does more damage than good.
I feel the need to reiterate: I love confidence. Confidence is sexy, so long as it is added to other personality traits like honesty, compassion, integrity, intelligence…the list is a long one, and does not begin and end with projecting a confident demeanor. Long gone are the days when I find that obnoxious dude in a bar who acts like a jerk because “knows he’s hot”…well, actually hot.
Being the kind of person who thinks the term “deserves better” is applicable to others’ appearances is not an attractive quality; it’s vapid, and while humans may be inherently shallow in some ways, it’s one thing to be attracted to specific people and another to feel entitled to them.
So, to whom does this apply and why?