Let’s let the New Oxford American Dictionary define it:

  1. the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust
  2. the state of feeling certain about the truth of someone
  3. a feeling of self assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities
  4. the telling of private matters or secrets with mutual trust
  5. (s) a secret or private matter told to someone under a condition of trust

That’s what the dictionary says. But as is the case with some words, there are a variety of ways that people interpret this word. What exactly do any of those definitions mean? Does what confidence means to us change over time? What is confidence really?

I think the largest problem with something like confidence is that every individual has an idea in mind when they think who is confident. I might think person A is confident, while my friend might not think that person A is not confident at all, but they really think person B is confident…and so on.

When you think of confident, what are the adjectives that come to mind? What traits make up a confident person?

For fun, I just looked up synonyms for confident. (Oxford) These include:

  1. self-assured
  2. self-confident (duh)
  3. positive
  4. assertive
  5. self-possessed
  6. self-reliant
  7. poised
  8. cool
  9. calm
  10. collected
  11. level headed
  12. composed
  13. nonchalent
  14. unperturbed
  15. serene
  16. together
  17. optimistic
  18. sanguine
  19. positive
  20. satisfied

So what do you think? When you think of confident, do these words make sense?

For your homework today:

  1. Think up at least one person you consider confident, and name at least two words that describe why you think of confident
  2. From the list above, which five words best describe what you think of when you think of a confident person
  3. Name a person you know (famous or not) that embodies what you chose as confident
  4. Pick at least one other synonym for confident, or an alternative definition

extra credit: pick one of the synonyms I listed and explain why it is NOT a synonym for confident

19 thoughts on “Undici- Confidence

  1. I like this post, LA. Great questions, you should be a teacher. I’m not going to answer any of them (!) except to say that another scenario is that often people consider person A to be confident, but person A doesn’t feel confident at all. We’re a complicated beast! 😏

    Liked by 4 people

  2. You are working me like a rented donkey here LA ! But here goes.
    1. My daughter, M. – intrepid, composed
    2. unperturbed, poised, controlled, calm, cool
    3. Teddy Roosevelt – despite a bullet lodged in his chest (partially deflected from his eyeglass case) he gave his speech, bloody shirt and all, to the audience. That bullet remained lodged for the rest of his life, he was a bull of a man.
    4. Adventurous, dauntless, composed, coolheaded

    Confidence is a shirt we put on. Others see the shirt and see how calm and collected we appear on the outside. The storm, the sweat, the churning is on the inside. We put the shirt on because we need to accomplish something and so we staunchly push forward.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Oh I love how you phrased that! Perfect!! And a Teddy! Love him. Cool factoid, his birthplace is about a ten minute walk from my apartment….


  3. I like the “shirt” definition. I try to operate this way at work–keep a calm demeanor demeanor and not let emotions/situations get the best of you. I think I am a work in progress at times at showing that side in communications with others–sometimes I talk to fast, can’t think of the best way to word things. I am much better than I used to be though!


  4. Yes! Perception is everything. I don’t think we can say who else is confident. We might be able to describe what confidence is to us, and we can say who appears confident to us, but I have learned from talking to many who appear confident it is a facade to help them to cope with the world. I believe there are some who are in fact confident, but are they misguided in their own assessment. What a fun exercise you propose!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought it was interesting. It plays into first impressions as well…what we think when we see someone the first time….what drives us to think certain things!


  5. Homework:
    1. My friend A (female) – assertive & self-reliant.
    2. Self-assured, poised, cool, assertive, positive.
    3. S (also female) – someone I knew growing up who was the epitome of confidence – tall, elegant & attractive.
    4. Presence.

    I really like Dave’s description of confidence being a shirt we put on. I believe I have 10 out of the 20 on your list of synonyms – but I only appear confident, I rarely actually feel it.

    Liked by 1 person

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