Don’t Mistake My Confidence For Narcissism

“Confidence is believing in yourself when no one else does.”

Confidence: a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.
Narcissism: extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type.

I often wonder why we are so quick to judge a person and not take the time to really get to know them.

There are narcissistic people, but I believe there are more people who are confident being mistaken for narcissists. When we do not acknowledge and appreciate a person’s talents, gifts and contribution to society, they are denied the opportunity to stand in their authenticity, consequently, their sense of self-worth and confidence is eroded.

When we diminish, criticize, belittle or become confrontational because we believe the person is too much into himself or herself, shows signs of superiority and may appear as if they think they are better than others, we are disempowering a confident person rather than uplifting and taking on a supporting role for continued growth and expansion.

  • They had a traumatic childhood and have spent years in self-development overcoming their challenges and now has the capability to be their own person.
  • They were bullied as a child and may even have dealt with adult bullies; finally finding the courage to define their boundaries stand tall in their truths.
  • They did not have support as a child from their parents, yet could overcome the feelings of unworthiness and not being loved; now able to face the world with strength and courage.
  • They developed low self-esteem, questioning who they are and what do they have to offer the world; then took the time to work with a coach or therapist to unravel their false truths discovering their gifts and most positive qualities.
  • They grew up in a loving home where they were encouraged to believe in themselves and to go after their dreams.
  • They had a mentor or teacher who inspired them to excel and exceed expectations from others and even of themselves.
  • They were helped with a learning disorder, such as ADD or Dyslexia, overcoming this handicap finding a path to success feeling good about their achievements.
  • They read a book or attended an event that transformed their life, causing them to readjust their beliefs, perceptions and thinking such that now they know there is

    opportunity, potential and purpose to their life.

As you can see, no matter which side of the railroad track we may come from, others can view us differently than what the reality is.

The difference between confidence and narcissism can be so slight that you may mistake one for the other, without realizing there is a story behind the behavior. This story can alter how you perceive the person and may realize they are an asset to the world and in some ways to you as well.

You may be wondering how you can tell the difference and what you can do to value someone’s confidence or work around a true narcissistic person. Compare confidence with narcissism below. When communicating with others keep in mind not to mistake someone’s confidence for narcissism.


Great listener: Quiet and assuming, they listen more than they speak. They ask open-ended questions, wanting to learn more allowing others to be thoughtful and introspective.

Not afraid to be wrong: They are concerned with finding out what is right more important than being right. When it appears, they are wrong, they are gracious in accepting their mistake.

Don’t need praise: When they have achieved something worthy of praise, they do not need a pat on the back. Their true validation comes from within, letting others shine while accepting the celebration of success.

Ask for help: Knowing their weakness, asking for help is a way for them to improve knowledge, gain new skills and improve life’s experiences. Asking others for help is paying the other person a compliment as respect for what they can offer.

They never make others feel bad about themselves: They encourage others to see the best in themselves and to reach their highest potential.

Honesty and being sincere is important: Knowing there is imperfection and character flaws, the backbone of their communication is being honest and sincere. It is not possible for them to lie, bully or twist and turn information for them to look good; not needed as they don’t want to impress anyone, only to bring out the best in themselves and others.

Here are some things a confident person may say:

“This works for me, you may want to try it too.”
“What has worked for you?”
“Go for it!”
“Don’t sweat the small stuff.”
“Tell me more, this sounds interesting.”
“How may I help you?”
“Would you help me?”

If someone appears confident, you can acknowledge it by saying:

“Great job, I would like to know how you do that!”
“I appreciate what you know, please share with me your knowledge.”
“Thank you, this means a lot to me.”
“I am inspired, thank you.”


Low self-esteem: There is a level of insecurity that leads to superficially appearing assured and self-confident. Feelings of non-deserving, self-doubt, fears of seeming inferior.

Forget giving them constructive criticism: Anything considered as negatively evaluating who they are and their performance leaving them open to being vulnerable, will cause them to shift focus away from themselves.

Defense mode: They tend to be on the defense to protect their self-righteous attitude. When in conflict they must be right, (my way or the highway) creating very difficult situations for others in conversation with them.

Tend to be angry people, not necessarily comfortable to be around: Their deepest insecurities are triggered, creating a reactionary response. Anger and rage reflect painful emotions pent up from the past.

Self-image crisis: They have such a deep self-image weakness, they are unable to do inner work to feel good about themselves. Thus, they spend a great deal of time focusing on others flaws.

Here are some things a narcissistic person may say:

“I never said that!”
“You never listen.”
“My job is more important.”
“Just do it.”

How to communicate with a narcissist:

Never disagree with a narcissist. You can use the word, perhaps when you attempt to redirect their thinking.

Say “Thank you,” even though you may not feel he/she is appreciative.

Compliment them on something with the intention of wanting a good experience, not to stroke their ego.

Don’t try to gain approval, find an ally who supports you.

Discernment is key. Understand that confidence is a positive trait giving us the opportunity to get ahead in life in a way that is win-win for all involved. Don’t mistake my confidence for narcissism.


Eileen Bild
Eileen Bild
EILEEN is Founder of The Core Thinking Blueprint Method, CEO of Ordinary to Extraordinary Life, Executive Producer of OTELproductions, and talk show host for OTEL TALK. She holds a Masters in Transpersonal Psychology and is a published author, Internationally Syndicated Columnist, contributing author to the inspiring book Chaos to Clarity: Sacred Stories of Transformational Change and Breakthrough S.P.A.R.K. Coach. Eileen and her husband Trevor are a power couple whose foundation is a 360 view of the world through inspiring, uplifting, and empowering others. Maximizing performance, communication, and drive for growth for your highest achievement is what you will experience working with Eileen and Trevor. They are owners and producers for ROKU channels KNOB TV, OTEL TALK, and OTEL MUSIC VIDEOS; and develop channels for professionals and businesses. They collaborate with companies, such as 360° Nation/Dennis Pitocco, musicians, entrepreneurs, and many more. Go from Ordinary to Extraordinary!

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    • Baltazzi….thank you for sharing your thoughts. Interesting point regarding consciously interrelate to nature. I would like to know more about what you mean by this!

    • Dear Eileen, first of all, my comment is based upon experience; a personal research not only based on introspection, but also a deeper research of inner balance married to intellectual thinking (dare say scientific), which ended to what I trust Jung meant when he described the four levels of development: the spiritual one! If attained, the rules we understand to be rationally adequate and, impose them for to have social behaviours would be a result not “a must”!
      Secondly, inner wisdom cannot be explained but lived or experienced.
      Thirdly, there are those grey zones; there might be a correct way of interrelation but not an absolute.
      Finally, I would like to quote a passage found, in the book of Theodore Roszac, “Attending the Planet” , and which means to me much more than it says…: “The ecological ego is born of a narcissism that boldly asserts love and fascination with the self not as a competitive agent, but as a freely created being demanding attention, recognition, respect.”
      Respect, Phebe

    • Phebe, I do agree with you, it seems most of how life unfolds for us in understanding and awareness is through experience. It can be difficult to know something without some introspective searching. There is more than meets the eye and in the case of social behavior, the layers of what causes interaction and thinking can be deep, unforgiving and challenging. Especially when faced with a person who, as outlined in the quote, is demanding attention, a pat on the back and respect (the need to fulfill a sense of confidence from outside the self).

      In my own studies and experience, learning to define boundaries and knowing the other person from a broader perspective, helps me to discern when a person is confident in a positive way. Those who fall in the true narcissistic category, I believe, are lonely and live in a world that is hard to create real friendships, connections and relationships. Instead of giving and sharing or uplifting; their time and energy is spent on taking and demeaning. There are positive traits of narcissists, but the negative usually outweigh them and those are what people focus on. I appreciate you sharing more with us!