The Case Against Self Confidence
I need some self deprecation in a friend
-Candace Cavanaugh Buehner
A couple of months ago, I went to a bachelorette party for my husband’s cousin. Being a good eight (not 10!) years older than the bride and her friends, I quickly downed a very strong margarita, and soon found myself in an extended discussion with a woman that I really, truly, should have liked. She gave a funny gift, we had things in common, she had on a cute outfit – on the surface, this was someone with whom I normally would have clicked.
But tequila or no, I didn’t, and as I was driving home several sober hours later, I realized why: it was because not once during our talk did this woman say anything that was in the least bit self-critical. She was full of self-esteem, responsibility and conviction of belief, but she expressed absolutely no humor about herself.
It was then that I realized a fundamental truth about my own friend snobbery: I find myself repelled by people who take themselves too darn seriously.
Don’t get me wrong – I believe that self-confidence, especially for women, is essential in order to survive, much less prosper, in today’s world. There is nothing alluring about false modesty. But I do find something inherently winsome about a person who might look like she’s put together, but has enough of a sense of her own humanity to admit to some foible. A flaw is introduced, and immediately I feel more at ease, not out of superiority, but because of the simple fact that flaws are one thing that I can always relate to.