Location: Cheshire, Connecticut, United States

devilishly handsome, screamingly funny, overly modest

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Self-Confidence, Guilt, and the Lack of Same

I am continually shocked when intelligent , attractive, talented , and insightful people have a lesser opinion of themselves than my view of them. Not only do they demonstrate a completely unwarranted lack of self-confidence, they then feel guilty for not living up to the abilities they claim they don't have. I, on the other hand, choose to feel unwarranted brazen over-confidence because (1) it makes me act more proactively and (2) I only feel guilty for the things I've done, rather than those I haven't. Don't worry, this still leaves me with plenty of guilt. My feeling is that you should swing at the ball as hard as you can, just in case you actually hit it.

My thoughts have drifted (there's always a good deal of drift in my thinking) in this direction today becuase of a post I've just read on Nileblog . I happen to be acquainted with the author, who describes herself as "average". This woman is about as "average" as Catherine Deneuve (assuming Catherine to be as smart as her character portrayals). Her creative ability and her insight are clearly demonstrated on her blog. You can trust my judgment as a master ogler that she aced Attractiveness 101. She also has a quality in her personality that makes her instantly likable.From where, ones wonders, comes insecurity in such a gifted individual?

Also, GUILT. Whoever heard of Swedish guilt? Have you ever read about a guilty Viking? Did the Valkyries feel guilty as they cold-bloodedly snatched up dead battlefield heroes onto their shields? If for no other reason than ethnic tradition, Nile, and all other Norsepersons, should immediately abandon all their feelings of guilt.There, see how much better you feel?

Another very bright, beautiful, and talented person who somehow excels in guilt and self-depreciation is my wife. For all of her life, people have praised her beauty and intelligence. First, her father, then her friends (of both genders), and for 38 years I have done so. At her job (which she loves), she shows a combination of persistance and innovation which has led to continual success giving rise to grateful kudos from her co-workers and her boss. Despite this, she downgrades her sparkling record and pooh-poohs her obvious talents, you would think that she was (excuse the expletive) "average". Unthinkable.

And GUILT. In her mind , my wife is responsible for the ruination of (1) our children, (2) her work projects, (3) me. The fact that our children feel happy and loved, that she is praised and promoted at work, and that we have a long and successful marriage(that even I have been unable to screw up) doen't seem to alleviate her guilt. One saving grace, she IS Jewish, and therefore possibly to be forgiven

One last bad example for my blog is Brett. He sort of fits because he is certainly bright and good-looking and if you read the linked blog you'll find plenty of self-deprecation and guilt. This is fun to read but I feel that a certain ironic literary license is being taken. He gets too much positive feedback from women to feel as terrible about himself as he occasionally professes. Guilt? Well, maybe that could be justified.

Enough said. I'm still as perplexed about this as when I started. Why does nobody seem surprised?



Blogger coturnix said...

I have no problem. I KNOW that I am the smartest, handsomest, funniest blogger ever! There!

1:14 PM  
Anonymous colleen said...

In my case it's an genetic trait on the self-depreciating Irish side that I'm learning to overcome.

A pair of ruby red slippers sure would help.

4:38 PM  
Blogger Brett said...

Hey, no person should be blogging without their own poetic license.

5:51 PM  
Blogger Nile said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence. I'm going to print that one out and post it somewhere for handy reference.

6:57 AM  
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