When in Doubt, Be Nice

Published on

Self-awareness is the gift of insight, but it has to have the right focus. If you allow self-awarenss to plague you with limiting or crushing thoughts and feelings, it can lead to what some psychologists call ‘a bummer’.

Uncertainty and under-confidence can have unintended consequences. When you feel uncomfortable, for whatever reason, you can come across to others in ways you never intended, and which you wouldn’t wish for.

How we come across

For example, putting up a front to compensate for feeling under-confident can result in you seeming overbearing or arrogant; Speaking up to cover shyness or uncertainty can mean you babble, are loud, or that you talk too much.

A first step to correct this is to develop insight about yourself. Self-awareness is a positive trait in that it enables you to reflect on your thoughts and behaviour, both while they are happening and also afterwards.

Feelings are part of the equation above as well, but they shouldn’t dominate. Feelings that are allowed to rule the roost are a nuisance, with side-effects like impulsivity, guilt, and anxiety.

Doing the window-dressing

A simple solution to coping well when entering unfamiliar situations where you might feel uncomfortable or under-confident is to be nice. If you aim consciously towards politeness and respect for others, you’ll be tasking yourself in a way that allows no time or mental space for doubt and uncertainty.

I call this ‘doing the window-dressing’. Others call it ‘acting as-if’.

There’s more….

I’ve just remembered Amy Cuddy’s TED talk Fake It Til You Make It. I’ve posted this before, and its worth remembering.

What do you think? Please share a comment.