Confidence v. Insecurity: Signs Recognized and Studied in Ch. 3 of “You Can Read Anyone”

Exuding confidence and having self esteem are two bullets on the opposite sides of a very complex spectrum.

In chapter 3 of the best selling book “You Can Read Anyone” the author, David Lieberman, dives into the several indications of how one can tell if a person is secure in a given situation, possesses a balanced self esteem or over compensates by manipulating his true feelings to appear confident. The premise of this chapter is to provide the physical stimuli so that the reader can surmise who is genuine and who is full of it .

One thing that stood out were the specific signs of a person who wasn’t very confident when talking about a given topic. Lieberman lists several symptoms of insecurities including heavy breathing, vocal changes, difficulty swallowing and increased blinking. He even references the 1994 primary election of Bob Dole and Bill Clinton and notes that when answering difficult questions during the debate, the amount of blinks increased in each candidate and conversely, when asked a question in which the candidate was confident, the amount of blinks decreased. Overall though, that election and the five before year 2000 held winners who factually had the least amount of blinks from the presidential debate.

This chapter provides a variety of snapshots to give the reader a better understanding of the fascinating ways people exude their insecurities without knowing they are doing so. An insecure person will subsequently adjust their actions if their ego is bruised or if an event occurred to which they were forced to manage their perception to others. A confident person doesn’t think about how he/she looks to other people, but rather, focuses more on if a person is understanding what they are saying.

I’m a bit hesitant to say that I exemplify a lot of the noted insecurities when I am anxious or not too sure of myself. I am constantly considering how I look to other people and that is always represented in my actions in the form of perception management. So Lieberman makes several accurate points, and remarks signs that I see in myself and in others.

Although I understand the importance of the outward approach — encompassing confidence and not overthinking your actions — I am very self-aware and internal and believe that each person should encapsulate a level of self awareness without it being deemed an insecurity.  I think its imperative that people live their lives with consideration to how they are perceived as to minimize being obnoxious, offensive and disrespectful.  This particular ideal represents a person that does not consider how they present themselves to others which is subsequent to a life of vanity if they aren’t careful. It reminds me of the very true but cliche phrase “ignorance is bliss.”

I’m interested to hear more opinions on this topic and leaves me with a wrap-up question: Is self-awareness a sign of a person that lacks self confidence?



1 Comment

  1. Very interesting take on the subject. One can only appreciate your insight. Please note that at times, confidence is the minds ability to conceal weakness (or an insecurity).


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