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"Know Thyself"

weather: mostly sunny
outside: 21°C
mood: amused
This post has been brewing for a while =)

From time to time, I'll be accused of having a low self-esteem. I see a pattern in the worldviews of the people who say that though, so I'm not too worried... and that would be the nicest way I can possibly think of, to call them "cocky bastards" =D

I'm so kidding, of course =D =D In each case, they're my friends, I love them to bits, they mean well, but I don't think they quite understand me. =D

If I really lacked confidence that badly, I wouldn't be where I am today. Would I have been able to waltz into the department head's office and, in the middle of University cutbacks and layoffs, convince him to hire me for a job that he didn't know he needed? Would I be married to userinfoA Guy who has loved me unconditionally for most of my life, loves to entertain me, thinks of me first, respects what I have to say and even looks up to me in some ways?

I have a very realistic view of myself and my abilities. Being an INTJ, I know what I know, I know where I am compared to everyone else and, more importantly, I try to be competent enough to know what I don't know and what I'm not. I think the misinterpretation comes in because I'm more open about telling people where exactly where my boundaries are or where I make a guess at the point that my competence ends.

Modesty is a recurring theme in Chinese philosophy. Know thyself, as the Greeks put it.

Of course, everyone has a lack of confidence in different aspects of their lives and in varying degrees. But true low self-esteem repels others. Either you wouldn't want to be around the person for very long or you would never have found them in the first place. The ones you wouldn't want to be around are sometimes very belligerent and cantankerous (usually trolls in a forum where negative attention is better than no attention); sometimes whiny, pathetic, clingy, needy. The ones you wouldn't have known about are hiding from social interaction.

I'm not kidding anyone here, I'm not Ms. Popularity. But strangers find me and glom onto my journal. These are well-educated, intelligent, articulate strangers and decent people with their hearts generally in the right place. There are a few exceptions ("serial adders" and other annoying folk), but they're few and far between and I won't deign to acknowledge them.

The point is, these strangers wouldn't have stuck around if I were that pathetic. =)


( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 28th, 2004 02:00 pm (UTC)
Well - its the pathtic part that I'm drawn to....
You always have struck me as a very grounded well aware person. Just to add a few cents from a stranger *wink*
Jun. 28th, 2004 02:02 pm (UTC)
Okay, just for you then:

*whine* *whine* *whine* *angst* *angst*

Jun. 28th, 2004 02:05 pm (UTC)
Excellent post. :)
We all have our low points, but we should all be able to embrace them and move on.

P.S. How did you replace your husband's actual journal name with "a guy?" I hope that question made sense.
Jun. 28th, 2004 02:19 pm (UTC)
I downloaded a nifty tool that allah_sulu wrote. It's an "LJ user thingie faker". You put in what you want the "LJ user tag" to say, who it really points to and other things to customize it and it will give you the HTML that prints it.

I can't find it anymore online, so e-mail me (bride at LJ) and I'll send it to you.
Jun. 28th, 2004 02:10 pm (UTC)
I'm lost
I don't know who these people are that think you lack self-esteem or that your journal is full of doom and gloom. I find you quite charming and your journal anything but doom and gloom.


Like you said, we all have areas where we're less than confident - but so what? If we know what they are, then we can work on them. Can we ask for anything less of ourselves.?

I like you - so that's all there is to it.

Jun. 28th, 2004 02:15 pm (UTC)
Re: I'm lost
I don't think it's my journal, it's the way I talk and my style of conversation =)

I like you - so that's all there is to it.

Hehe, thanks, Susan =)
Jun. 28th, 2004 02:40 pm (UTC)
Re: I'm lost
I write in my journal much like I talk in RL situations. Do you think you write like you talk?

Jun. 28th, 2004 02:45 pm (UTC)
Re: I'm lost
No, I don't. That's probably it. In conversation, I make shorter/smaller quips whereas I write with a lot more compound sentences.

I'm also a lot more verbose in writing. I'm a lot quieter in person =)
Jun. 28th, 2004 07:29 pm (UTC)
Re: I'm lost
I don't know who these people are that think you lack self-esteem or that your journal is full of doom and gloom. I find you quite charming and your journal anything but doom and gloom.

Word. You seem to be so sensible and undramatic and level-headed to me. Maybe they're reading the wrong journal by mistake...

Anyway. I like you. Yes.
Jun. 28th, 2004 09:57 pm (UTC)
Re: I'm lost
Haha =) They like me too, they're just interpreting the things I say a little differently =)
Jun. 28th, 2004 04:29 pm (UTC)
*smiles*. Its the quiet ones you gotta worry about. ;o) --Ray
Jun. 28th, 2004 04:32 pm (UTC)
Yes, you'd most likely mistake me for a Virgo. Until you piss me off. Then you'd get a faceful of Scorpio. >=}
Aug. 2nd, 2004 09:23 pm (UTC)
LOL. So what's your sign? I'm a scorp. Intense and jealousy seem to be the name of the game... --Ray

Aside: I don't know why I just got the 'email notification' just now .... =P
Jun. 28th, 2004 06:03 pm (UTC)
I actually like reading your posts because you write everything so clearly. And this one especially caught my eye because I just took the MBTI last month and I am and ENFJ. I can't remember all of what it means but that is one of the most dead on tests I have seen.
Jun. 28th, 2004 09:55 pm (UTC)


I'm always amazed at the different personality types of my friends.
Jun. 28th, 2004 10:39 pm (UTC)

i've always thought you were one of those confident women.
Jun. 28th, 2004 11:01 pm (UTC)
I think it also depends what day you catch me on =)
Jun. 28th, 2004 11:24 pm (UTC)
Tes, that is one hallmark of INTJ's... Very selective confidence, with certainty almost to the point of arrogance. It's easy to win battles if you pick your battlegrounds. =) And a lot of the INTJ's tend to become specialists; where they admit what they're good at and what they're bad at, and focus on becoming even better in what they're already good at. And they hold no illusions about the other areas; they simply acknowledge that those are not their strengths. And sometimes their specialization makes them look like they are quiet and have low confidence, if there isn't an opportunity to show off the specialization.

And so for you, online, you come off as confident, simply because you talk about things that are important to you and that you understand. And even if you're not an expert (e.g. linguistics), you're usually at least one standard deviation above from the mean, and if you're not, you'll admit it, and if you care, you'll read more. Yay Google. =)
Jun. 28th, 2004 11:54 pm (UTC)
Bingo =)
Jul. 4th, 2004 10:23 am (UTC)
Hm... that was interesting reading. Thanks.
Jul. 1st, 2004 10:18 am (UTC)
I love this. :)

Unless you have an objection, I am going to add you as a friend.
Jul. 1st, 2004 11:45 am (UTC)
No objections, go right ahead =) I've added you already as well =D
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )


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