Confidence, Delusion, and the Gray Matter Inbetween

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Post by reboundstudent on Thu Oct 16, 2014 6:13 pm

Our fearless leader (slayer of a thousand trolls) had a column in Kotaku about finding confidence in your appearance and determining what you bring to the table http://kotaku.com/ask-dr-nerdlove-will-i-always-be-an-overweight-virgi-1647275166

Doc wrote:To be perfectly frank: your attitude is what's holding you back. You don't believe that women can be attracted to you… so small wonder they aren't. Don't get me wrong: this isn't some woo-woo, newage (rhymes with sewage) "wish hard enough and it will come true" bullshit. The way you feel about yourself directly affects everything else.

It affects your body language - you curl in on yourself, you slouch, you refuse to look people in the eye. It affects the way you interact with people - you hold yourself back because there's no point in flirting or giving people the idea that you're interested. And it makes it harder for people who would be into you to connect with you - you'll miss signals of interest because you'll have convinced yourself that there's no way that she could actually like you, therefore you must be mistaken.

It's advice that we've heard before, about attitude and believing in yourself and having confidence and what have you. However, when considering this advice, I always swing back to the question of deluding yourself. How do you become confident and adjust your attitude when doing so makes you come across as delusional?

I posted a thread in Rate Your Style with "day" and "night" looks from a recent trip to Portland. My experience there was very similar to the experience I have everywhere else: I put on the clothes, look in the mirror, and think I look pretty good/cute. I walk out the door. I start getting weird looks, or no recognition at all. Here I am, in clothes that make me feel good and I think look good, and I am either invisible or judged.

In Portland particularly, I routinely felt as if I was a Midwest bumpkin among hipster butterflies. I had walked out the door feeling so confident and happy, and yet then slowly realized I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I rarely hear it about myself but I do frequently hear whispers from folks about other people. "God how could she think that looks good?" "Girl needs some TLC makeover fast." "Doesn't she realize how badly that fits?"

Call me paranoid, but I frequently wonder if acting with confidence will really just come across to other folks as acting delusional. If I don't actually look good, how can I justify thinking I look good?

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Post by waxingjaney on Thu Oct 16, 2014 6:26 pm

What's wrong with the delusion? You're happy in it, nobody gets hurt, all is well. Stop binging on the Tree of Knowledge.
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Post by reboot on Thu Oct 16, 2014 6:27 pm

Just tossing this out there because I have never had anyone say anything like that about clothes around me since high school (or perhaps people said it but I never noticed because I tend to assume no one is actually paying attention to anything strangers do?), but maybe the thing that confidence gives you is the ability to ignore the opinions of others?

For example, I get the odd comment on my face, but it never shakes my self image. I usually think, "Huh, what an asshole thing to say." and move on because I do not really care what some random thinks.
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Post by eselle28 on Thu Oct 16, 2014 6:41 pm

There are a few things here I want to respond to, none of which really flow together. Sorry!

- You probably did stick out a bit in Portland. That doesn't mean you didn't look good. It meant that you looked like a nicely dressed tourist. Sometimes clothing does mark you as being a member of a certain group. Sometimes trying to drop that so you can fit in feels better, and other times it means adopting or staying with a look that makes you stand out and that may mark out other people who might have some things in common with you (for instance, if you lived in Portland and decided you didn't care for the local culture there, you might want to stick with non-hipster clothing). But not looking like the locals and attracting glances based on that isn't always a sign you don't look good.

- In cases where something actually is a bad fashion idea, I think that's a problem to be solved before going out the door. Once people are actually wearing things, I'd say confidence is always better than a lack of it. It's not necessarily going to make something awful look great, but it's definitely a better look than someone who's wearing something terrible and looking self-conscious about it.

- This is downright off topic, but I'm going to note that a couple of those comments you listed don't necessarily have much to do with honest reactions to someone's clothing choices. "God how could she think that looks good?" in particular is one that seems to get leveled against fat or conventionally unattractive women who dare to be in public, regardless of how confident they are or what they're wearing.
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Post by Werel on Thu Oct 16, 2014 6:44 pm

reboot wrote: maybe the thing that confidence gives you is the ability to ignore the opinions of others?

Yes, definitely. When I look back on developing greater confidence over the last six or seven years, the first description that springs to mind is "allowed myself to give fewer shits about others' opinions." Developing a strong sense of what you value, abiding stubbornly by those internal values, and letting go of the idea of universal approval (because ain't nobody ever getting universal approval, ever) is the trifecta of confidence-building for me.
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Post by Gentleman Johnny on Thu Oct 16, 2014 6:58 pm

I'm going to try and add something besides "yeah, what they said". We'l see how that goes.

You remember Mad? Mad was great at "objective" reality. Despite his tone, he really did understand people's motivations pretty well. He could predict their reactions, dissect those actions in minute detail. . .and it crippled his ability to engage with people. This is because the level of truth he was operating on (all people are fairly similar and predictable) discounted the subjective truth of an individual person's experiences. Why do I bring this up?

Because there is no objective truth of good looking at all. I mean, yes, there are overall trends that we call conventional attractiveness or conventionally stylish but those are very broad. In my own photos, none of them are a slavishly close fit for the environment (Mad Max, goth club, steampunk concert etc) but they are all a perfect fit for me. They make me feel like I look good, just like your outfits do for you.

Now some residents of Douchelvania (hey, its October) will criticize either of us for our fashion choices. That doesn't make us delusional, that makes them assholes. If it makes you feel like you look good, makes you feel confident, its not a delusion unless that feeling crumbles under criticism that people are afraid to say to your face. Remember that your outfits are ideally sending a message about the person wearing them. If you like what that message is, then people who criticize you are just screening themselves out early and saving you the trouble.

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Post by Werel on Thu Oct 16, 2014 7:40 pm

Gentleman Johnny wrote:
Remember that your outfits are ideally sending a message about the person wearing them. If you like what that message is, then people who criticize you are just screening themselves out early and saving you the trouble.

BINGO. That's something that was a real eureka moment for me-- when I feel like my clothes are sending an accurate message about who I am, I feel confident. Discomfort and embarassment arises when I feel like my clothes are not accurately signaling my personality and social alignments-- if I were to wear a super chic bandage dress and Jimmy Choos with full makeup, I might look "better" to a wider swath of the population, but I'd feel like shit cause it would send all the wrong data about me. In your Portland example, RBS, it sounds like your discomfort wasn't about the outfits, but about your identity as a Midwesterner vs. coastal urbanite. And a lot that you say about your discomfort with your appearance sounds like it's more about fearing criticism of who you are rather than just how you look-- like "my clothes might give away the fact that I'm [a bumpkin/invisible/whatever you're afraid of being]."

Gentleman Johnny wrote:
You remember Mad? Mad was great at "objective" reality. Despite his tone, he really did understand people's motivations pretty well. He could predict their reactions, dissect those actions in minute detail. . .and it crippled his ability to engage with people. This is because the level of truth he was operating on (all people are fairly similar and predictable) discounted the subjective truth of an individual person's experiences. Why do I bring this up?

Because there is no objective truth of good looking at all.

Damn, GJ, I'd never thought about Mad that way, but that's really insightful and very applicable to this topic.
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Post by Gentleman Johnny on Thu Oct 16, 2014 7:56 pm

Mad was really good at reading people on an intellectual level but really bad at reading them on an emotional level. He was also th exact breed of pedictable that he accused everyone else of being. However, I'll indulge in a bit of Mad-ism myself here.

If someone is talking shit about your outfit behind your back, there are really only a few reasons for it and none of them are more than tangentially related to you.

1. They lack confidence themselves and want to make you look bad to prove they're above you in the social pecking order.
2. They are part of a subculture that defines itself by being different in a specific way. This can be goths or punks but just as easily cheerleaders or glitterati. In this instance, its Portland hipsters. They want to make it clear that you are not sufficiently different as a way of excluding you from that culture. Whether you change your look or not, you will always get this in insular subcultures until you have been around long enough that you're part of the background noise.
3. You are not sending the message you want to, which most likely is a special case of 2.
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Post by UristMcBunny on Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:08 pm

Now, I can only speak from personal experience here. But I definitely experienced the suddenly-liked thing when I did exactly what the Doc suggests. Now, I wasn't suddenly liked by the people who objectively hated, judged or mistreated me previously. But what did happen is my confidence allowed me to find new people who did genuinely appreciate me and who didn't play toxic games.

There will always be people who will talk shit bout others behind their backs. I'm a short, fat, freakishly busty 30 year old woman with multiple speech impediments, I have no doubt people talk all kinds of shit about me.

But that woman who gossips to her friends that "ugh that girl over there should not be wearing that..." does not actually give a shit what "that girl over there" looks like. She would not suddenly start saing "Oh, that girl over there looks really nice today!" if said "girl over there" suddenly started wearing things she approved of. Because it isn't really about the person she's putting down at all. It's about being catty, and elevating herself through meangirl bullshit, and covering up her own insecurities by tearing down another person. I promise if a judgy person was put in a room with their two equally-judgy best friends and a dozen impeccably dressed, flawless supermodels, they would still be talking shit.

I've seen it myself. When I was sitting for lunch at work with a group of women who turned out to be exactly those sort of women. There was a stunning young woman in the canteen getting lunch - at least 5ft 10, slender but still curvy with incredibly long and slender legs, flawless olive skin, glossy black and perfectly straight hair and dressed impeccably in a grey pencil skirt and heels, with fashionable sunglasses on and a friendly smile on her face. The women around me decided she must be incredibly vain and shallow, that she was trying too hard, that her legs weren't "that nice", that she's "no supermodel" and that someone ought to tell her not to dress like a slut at work. There was Nothing. Wrong. With. That. Woman. She was beautiful. But they wanted someone to tear down and she stood out.

Deciding you don't give a shit about people like that, and that you like yourself regardless of what they think, doesn't make you delusional. Not by any means.

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Post by reboot on Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:24 pm

UristMcBunny wrote:...

But that woman who gossips to her friends that "ugh that girl over there should not be wearing that..." does not actually give a shit what "that girl over there" looks like.  She would not suddenly start saing "Oh, that girl over there looks really nice today!" if said "girl over there" suddenly started wearing things she approved of.  Because it isn't really about the person she's putting down at all.  It's about being catty, and elevating herself through meangirl bullshit, and covering up her own insecurities by tearing down another person.  I promise if a judgy person was put in a room with their two equally-judgy best friends and a dozen impeccably dressed, flawless supermodels, they would still be talking shit.

I've seen it myself.  When I was sitting for lunch at work with a group of women who turned out to be exactly those sort of women.  There was a stunning young woman in the canteen getting lunch - at least 5ft 10, slender but still curvy with incredibly long and slender legs, flawless olive skin, glossy black and perfectly straight hair and dressed impeccably in a grey pencil skirt and heels, with fashionable sunglasses on and a friendly smile on her face.  The women around me decided she must be incredibly vain and shallow, that she was trying too hard, that her legs weren't "that nice", that she's "no supermodel" and that someone ought to tell her not to dress like a slut at work.  There was Nothing.  Wrong.  With.  That.  Woman.  She was beautiful.  But they wanted someone to tear down and she stood out.

Deciding you don't give a shit about people like that, and that you like yourself regardless of what they think, doesn't make you delusional.  Not by any means.  

Actually I just realized why I do not hear such comments. I PNG anyone who makes anything other than positive comments on the appearanceostracized. Critiquing problematic behaviors is fine, but snarking on looks gets you ostracized. It just smacks of tearing people down for no reason.
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Post by Werel on Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:34 pm

reboot wrote:
Actually I just realized why I do not hear such comments. I PNG anyone who makes anything other than positive comments on the appearanceostracized. Critiquing problematic behaviors is fine, but snarking on looks gets you ostracized. It just smacks of tearing people down for no reason.

You Papua New Guinea them? confused
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Post by BasedBuzzed on Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:39 pm

Load up on humorous hipster-mocking articles(not outright hipster hating, that's a bore). Judge right back at them in your head, you will have more ammunition by default. But always remember that it's just one temporary mode of thinking, and don't let it stand in the way of pleasant interactions.

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Post by The Wisp on Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:39 pm

Werel wrote:
reboot wrote: maybe the thing that confidence gives you is the ability to ignore the opinions of others?

Yes, definitely. When I look back on developing greater confidence over the last six or seven years, the first description that springs to mind is "allowed myself to give fewer shits about others' opinions." Developing a strong sense of what you value, abiding stubbornly by those internal values, and letting go of the idea of universal approval (because ain't nobody ever getting universal approval, ever) is the trifecta of confidence-building for me.

I hear this a lot, but there are two problems with this:

1) What if your particular mix and matching of values leaves you without at "tribe"? What I mean is, what if your mix of values are such that you don't really fit in anywhere?

2) While it sounds nice on paper, and it sounds nice to experience, it also rubs me the wrong way a bit. Aren't you just closing your mind off to the arguments of people who aren't like you? What if you're wrong? What if the foundations of your values were weak but now you're blind to that? Is there not some value to doubt?


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Post by Autumnflame on Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:39 pm

Werel wrote:
reboot wrote:
Actually I just realized why I do not hear such comments. I PNG anyone who makes anything other than positive comments on the appearanceostracized. Critiquing problematic behaviors is fine, but snarking on looks gets you ostracized. It just smacks of tearing people down for no reason.

You Papua New Guinea them? confused

Maybe she turns them into lossless 2-dimensional images?
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Post by UristMcBunny on Thu Oct 16, 2014 9:27 pm

The Wisp wrote:
Werel wrote:
reboot wrote: maybe the thing that confidence gives you is the ability to ignore the opinions of others?

Yes, definitely. When I look back on developing greater confidence over the last six or seven years, the first description that springs to mind is "allowed myself to give fewer shits about others' opinions." Developing a strong sense of what you value, abiding stubbornly by those internal values, and letting go of the idea of universal approval (because ain't nobody ever getting universal approval, ever) is the trifecta of confidence-building for me.

I hear this a lot, but there are two problems with this:

1) What if your particular mix and matching of values leaves you without at "tribe"? What I mean is, what if your mix of values are such that you don't really fit in anywhere?

2) While it sounds nice on paper, and it sounds nice to experience, it also rubs me the wrong way a bit. Aren't you just closing your mind off to the arguments of people who aren't like you? What if you're wrong? What if the foundations of your values were weak but now you're blind to that? Is there not some value to doubt?

It doesn't have to be an either/or thing. It's more about balance. It's about learning to determine whose opinions you should value - whose are worth valuing to begin with. Now, if you've spent years of your life being ground down by self-doubt, poor self esteem and low confidence it can be really, really hard to trust your own reasoning when it comes to who is worth listening to. If anything you're more likely to give credence to people whose opinions aren't worth much.

There's keeping your mind open to other arguments, and then there's allowing yourself to be dragged down by the worst of people simply because they're the ones most likely to feel fine tearing you down.

As for the being left without a tribe thing - I've never met someone whose values were completely alien to everyone else. And you don't have to be identical to your peers to find a tribe. Hell, the new friend group me and my other half are falling into consists of two ex-servicemen and their girlfriends, and we're pacifists. But we share enough common ground in other areas to get along well, and bond through that, while respecting differences in each other in areas where we disagree. In fact these people are so awesome I can see myself counting them among my closest and most valuable friends in time, in spite of us having more than one area where our values differ.

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Post by Werel on Thu Oct 16, 2014 9:37 pm

The Wisp wrote:
I hear this a lot, but there are two problems with this:

Really good points, Wisp-- I think I can speak to them somewhat (and apologies if this is deraily, but I think it does speak to the idea of confidence in one's own identity):

1) What if your particular mix and matching of values leaves you without at "tribe"? What I mean is, what if your mix of values are such that you don't really fit in anywhere?

That's my life in a nutshell. Wink

I was actually thinking just yesterday about the concept of bricolage--making use of various cultural resources to construct an identity (clothes, speech, demeanor, music, etc.), picking and choosing individual pieces to form a whole you're satisfied with. And I was thinking about how you might draw from a broader or narrower pool of concepts, depending on how important group membership is to you; if it's deeply important to your identity that you fit well within a specific group, you're likely to restrict a lot of your external social signaling to forms which are kosher to that group. A dedicated goth whose goth identity is paramount to her may be reticent to express (or even feel) a love for One Direction, or [insert better example].

Anyway, I was thinking of how I really don't know anyone whose bricolage lines up with mine very closely (except my significant other), and how most of what I hold very dear in terms of aesthetics and values and thought patterns does not match my friends'. (And trust me, this is not me saying "I'm so unique!", it's me saying "everybody is actually pretty unique, when viewed this way"). People who like the same music as me may not like tabletop games; people who dress like me probably don't share my spiritual beliefs; people who like the same books as me almost never like the same movies as me; etc. But I don't see my "tribe*" as people who are like me in every way, but rather those who match up on a few of my very high-priority values, e.g. curiosity or kindness.

And there are different, more specific ways to belong somewhere than belonging in entirety: the people I volunteer with, for example, share a belief in the value of creative writing, because we are all there to teach kids to write. Do we all share the same values when it comes to vegetarianism, or sex, or economics? Hell no! But do I feel a sense of belonging in that particular community because of a single commonality, a shared love of the written word? Yup! Most people probably have something like their gaming friends, and their soccer friends, and their jazz friends, and rarely-to-never the three shall meet. That kind of compartmentalization just seems normal in a culture where we all have so many values and social subcategories to choose from!

I do occasionally wonder where all the people are who align with my values on more than a few axes, and sometimes it feels a little lonely, but generally I'm quite happy to just have different things in common with different people and different "tribes" for different purposes, with a core group of people who align on the core values. And I feel confident that, even though my own mix-and-match isn't the same as anyone else's around me, it's the right mix-and-match for me. When I lay out all my values and tastes on a mental countertop, and look at both the individual components and the gestalt, I am pleased with what I see, and that's what gives me confidence.

2) While it sounds nice on paper, and it sounds nice to experience, it also rubs me the wrong way a bit. Aren't you just closing your mind off to the arguments of people who aren't like you? What if you're wrong? What if the foundations of your values were weak but now you're blind to that? Is there not some value to doubt?

Doubt is intensely valuable-- by "stubbornly," I don't mean "blindly and dogmatically." More like... well, this is difficult to phrase... "consider all things and all perspectives, but allow them to permeate your worldview at a pace and in ways appropriate to you." Does that make any sense? That is, take in the opinions of people who are different from you, give them serious and respectful thought, and accept that you are not obligated to make changes to your own values because they differ from someone else's-- even if that someone else is more powerful than you. Trust me, obsessively re-evaluating my own worldview is like my #1 hobby; I'm not advocating closing off your mind to huge shifts in your system of values. Wink

In RBS' anecdote, where it's not a question of values so much as preferences I think something like "stubbornness" is much more merited-- if we're not talking ethics, but aesthetics, doubt is much less useful. People's tastes are what they are, and second-guessing or feeling shame for that usually just seems counterproductive. "I likes what I likes" is appropriate to deploy with cheerful stubbornness, I think, especially in cases like this where some jerk is trying to make you feel uncool.

ETA: Yes, absolutely what Bunny said, too. Smile



*I absolutely recognize the usefulness of this word and I have no problem with the concept it's expressing here, but I always feel a little weird about using it... evokes all kinda icky discourses about primitivism and modernity in my head, but I think it may just be something I'm extra sensitive to. Carry on, I'll let you know if I come up with a better term. Razz
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Post by reboot on Thu Oct 16, 2014 9:45 pm

Werel wrote:
reboot wrote:
Actually I just realized why I do not hear such comments. I PNG anyone who makes anything other than positive comments on the appearanceostracized. Critiquing problematic behaviors is fine, but snarking on looks gets you ostracized. It just smacks of tearing people down for no reason.

You Papua New Guinea them? confused

Lol, no persona non grata Smile Papua New Guinea is a nice place and does not need douches
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Post by Conreezy on Thu Oct 16, 2014 10:45 pm

Werel wrote:
reboot wrote: maybe the thing that confidence gives you is the ability to ignore the opinions of others?

Yes, definitely. When I look back on developing greater confidence over the last six or seven years, the first description that springs to mind is "allowed myself to give fewer shits about others' opinions." Developing a strong sense of what you value, abiding stubbornly by those internal values, and letting go of the idea of universal approval (because ain't nobody ever getting universal approval, ever) is the trifecta of confidence-building for me.

I entirely agree--confidence has to come from not being wrecked by outside opinions (though that shouldn't be conflated with actively shitting on other opinions. That sort of arrogance is not confidence as I imagine it.) I like your definition of "stubborn" here, even if it seems like the wrong word.

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Post by Jayce on Thu Oct 16, 2014 10:59 pm

Marty, when it comes to appearances I can kind of get that feeling. I like to wear make up but I'm absolutely poorly skilled at putting it on and there's not much advice out there catered to men using makeup. Sometimes when I go out I wonder if other people notice my poor skills and must think I'm delusional to even try. But that's just insecurity talking. The majority of people are probably not particularly concerned (even if some are, most don't express anything).

Also there's no one out there that is dictating what is true or what is not. For example last week I was sitting there by myself on the train, eating my lunch. The person who sat in front of my turned back and told me to not chew with my mouth open cause it disgusted him. I could not have cared less of his opinions and just kept eating the way I eat. Nobody else seemed to have a problem with it. Could it be possible that I am delusional and the way I eat my food is absolutely disgusting? Yeah possibly. However there seems to be no consensus on that. There will always be assholes around. There's not some magical judgment hammer somewhere that dictates if someone is confident or delusional.

Confidence is hard to gain if you are just pretending or temporary putting it on. I've found myself feeling way more confident when I actually consistently take actions to reaffirm it. For example: I feel confident about a test because I actually studied for it and I think I'm intelligent. That is much better than just feeling confident about a test because you somehow managed to temporarily convince yourself that you're smart.

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Post by reboot on Fri Oct 17, 2014 10:45 am

RBS, I was wondering what impression you were trying to achieve in Portland? Were you trying to match Portland hipster style? I am asking because you are from the Midwest and you were a tourist and there is nothing wrong with being either of those things or with looking like who you are.
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Post by reboundstudent on Fri Oct 17, 2014 1:10 pm

reboot wrote:RBS, I was wondering what impression you were trying to achieve in Portland? Were you trying to match Portland hipster style? I am asking because you are from the Midwest and you were a tourist and there is nothing wrong with being either of those things or with looking like who you are.

I was mostly trying to not be lame. I didn't mind being marked as a tourist, but I didn't want to stick out a lot. I didn't want folks to see me and go," Gah, that's how Midwesterns dress? How lame!" Essentially, I am just sick of not fitting in anywhere.

I think also perhaps I wasn't super clear in my first post. The advice to not care what others think, and to have confidence in your values, etc. etc. is nice, but in particular, Doc's article was about attracting attention for friendships/relationships. In those situations, aren't you supposed to care about what other people think??

The Doc has often said," That whole being true to yourself-how is that working for you?" He advises hygiene, dressing better, looking better, because he acknowledges connections are at least partially about physical attraction (even in friendships, we often feel most comfortable with people who strike a chord with us looks-wise; birds of a feather and all that.)

So how in the world do you balance those two things? Don't care about what others think, but adjust yourself enough to be attractive to them? Be true to your values, but change yourself because how is that working for ya?

I feel confident walking out the door, but quickly deflate because it seems my version of what I see is so vastly different than other people's. I look in the mirror and see cute/stylish, other people look at me and see awkward/delusional. If I'm trying to get those people to like me, then shouldn't I be considering whether they're right that I look kind of awkward and delusional? I've spent my whole life dressing the way I want (cycles of laziness, apathy, poverty, lack of knowledge, or sometimes genuinely liking my look) and it's never translated to anything positive socially.

I've told this story before, about how I wore a corset I felt sexy and confident in, and my friends told me I looked like I was "trying too hard." So, obviously there confidence didn't mean squat-I should have tailored my looks to fit better. But then how do you balance confidence and recognizing you DO need to change and there IS a problem?
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Post by Gentleman Johnny on Fri Oct 17, 2014 2:04 pm

reboundstudent wrote:
I think also perhaps I wasn't super clear in my first post. The advice to not care what others think, and to have confidence in your values, etc. etc. is nice, but in particular, Doc's article was about attracting attention for friendships/relationships. In those situations, aren't you supposed to care about what other people think??
 

Sure, but do you want people who shit talk strangers' fashion choices behind their backs as friends? You're not trying to date/be friends with everyone. You're trying to date/be friends with people you'll enjoy being around. Oscar Wilde said "You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies." Might as well have some good ones.
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Post by reboundstudent on Fri Oct 17, 2014 3:08 pm

Gentleman Johnny wrote:
reboundstudent wrote:
I think also perhaps I wasn't super clear in my first post. The advice to not care what others think, and to have confidence in your values, etc. etc. is nice, but in particular, Doc's article was about attracting attention for friendships/relationships. In those situations, aren't you supposed to care about what other people think??
 

Sure, but do you want people who shit talk strangers' fashion choices behind their backs as friends? You're not trying to date/be friends with everyone. You're trying to date/be friends with people you'll enjoy being around. Oscar Wilde said "You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies." Might as well have some good ones.

I feel I have more than enough enemies for one lifetime...

Anyway, I used that as example, but people do internally judge (if not harshly or negatively) other people's fashion choices, and I want to make sure mine are not a barrier to meeting people, and are instead an encouragement or advertisement for me. If I'm making poor fashion choices, I'm giving myself an even bigger hurdle to overcome.
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Post by Gentleman Johnny on Fri Oct 17, 2014 3:34 pm

reboundstudent wrote:Anyway, I used that as example, but people do internally judge (if not harshly or negatively) other people's fashion choices, and I want to make sure mine are not a barrier to meeting people, and are instead an encouragement or advertisement for me. If I'm making poor fashion choices, I'm giving myself an even bigger hurdle to overcome.

I get that but you're losing confidence based on people being snippy behind your back. You'll do better making poor fashion choices and owning it than making good ones and letting people who have an interest in taking you down a peg get to you. You can certainly ask your friends for tips but its difficult to get a real answer. People who like you will softball. People who don't will never respond positively. Asking random strangers is going to be even weirder than just picking something and going for it.
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Post by reboundstudent on Fri Oct 17, 2014 3:41 pm

Gentleman Johnny wrote: I get that but you're losing confidence based on people being snippy behind your back. You'll do better making poor fashion choices and owning it than making good ones and letting people who have an interest in taking you down a peg get to you. You can certainly ask your friends for tips but its difficult to get a real answer. People who like you will softball. People who don't will never respond positively. Asking random strangers is going to be even weirder than just picking something and going for it.

Actually, them saying it behind my back doesn't bother me. Them thinking it bothers me. If they say it out loud, even behind my back, I can confront it, or ignore it, or react in some way. It's far worse to deal with the unknown, to sit and wonder if someone is judging me inside their head and I would never have any idea or control over it.

As far as owning poor choices, I do not agree. There are some people out there who can "own" poor fashion choice. But that's a talent unto itself. That's what I meant about delusional... I don't see the point of doubling down and "owning" something that makes other people see me poorly. I don't see why I should have confidence about doing something wrong. It's like walking into a spelling bee, knowing I've only studied on the car ride over, and expecting to get 2nd place because I'm just so confident about my poor spelling skills.

I want to earn my confidence in my clothes. Otherwise, it looks far too much like misguided hubris to me.
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