The 15 Differences between True Confidence and Fakers

Do you feel like sometimes you just don’t measure up to the people you see on Facebook and Instagram? There’s a certain type of person who lives for social media, who spends hours crafting the perfect post that looks gorgeous – but effortless. The truth is, regardless of what you see on social media, no one’s life is perfect.

Real confidence is measured in face-to-face interactions, not mediated through a computer screen. If you’ve ever wondered what makes someone truly confident, look no further. Here are a few tips for recognizing someone with true confidence when you see them.

They Aren’t Afraid to Expose Their Weaknesses

People with true confidence aren’t afraid to admit their failures or wrongdoings. They know that one setback doesn’t define them. They freely admit when they need help and know that showing weakness doesn’t mean they don’t have the strength to pick themselves back up. Bravery isn’t a lack of fear, it’s a willingness to push forward despite that fear. To act no matter what.

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They Build Others Up

People with genuine confidence know that the love and support they get from family and friends is key. They seek to build others up rather than tearing them down.

Everyone has been in a situation with someone who seems confident, but is quick to point out the weaknesses of others. This behaviour may seem strong but it’s really a characteristic of a weak person hiding behind their big words. Confident people aren’t threatened when there are other self-assured people around – rather, they rejoice in their combined strength!

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They Don’t Brag or Show Off

Truly confident people will never brag. They never feel like they need to show off their accomplishments. They gain satisfaction from a job well done and don’t require the ego boost that comes from public recognition.

People who brag loudly and often are usually people who don’t have real confidence, and who rely on others to bolster their self-image. / Shutterstock

They Aren’t Afraid to Be Alone

Everyone should feel comfortable being alone sometimes, even if they generally prefer to be with other people. There are some people, however, who cannot stand being alone with their own thoughts for even an hour. These people are generally fakers, who rely on others to boost their confidence.

That’s not to say that people who enjoy being with people all the time are not confident, but using it to maintain their self image is a sure sign of someone lacking confidence in themselves.

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Truly Confident People Don’t Rely on Compliments to Make Them Feel Good

Sure, a compliment from a friend, colleague, or even a stranger is nice to hear. It makes even the most reserved person feel warm and fuzzy inside. However, compliments shouldn’t be the sole source of someone’s confidence. Genuinely confident people know their self-worth, and accept compliments graciously.

A compliment doesn’t change their self image, it’s simply a nice addition to their day. Someone whose mood changes based on someone else’s opinion of them is probably faking their confidence.

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They Can Accept Criticism, Learn from It, and Move On

It can be hard to accept criticism from anyone. At work, it becomes a real skill to be able to hear criticism, learn from it, and incorporate it without taking it personally. Someone with true confidence will be able to hear the meaning behind the criticism and move forward.

A person who fakes their confidence will generally only recognize the fact that they were criticized. They see it as an attack on their character and will let it interfere with their job and relationships. The key to being confident is understanding your own worth, at work and outside it, and knowing that differences in opinion happen.

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They Don’t Give in To Peer Pressure

Many people think that peer pressure goes away as people grow up and become adults. While this would be great, it’s far from the truth.

Peer pressure continues well into our adult years. Whether it’s being able to say no to a drink at a company party or standing up for something they believe in even though they might be the only ones, confident people know when to stick to their guns. Even social media pressure – seeing people get engaged, have babies, or reach other milestones that they have yet to accomplish – doesn’t effect their image of themselves.

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They Aren’t Afraid to Make Mistakes

Owning up to a mistake after it has happened is probably one of the bravest things a person can do. It takes real confidence to look someone in the face and say “yes, I made a mistake.” It takes even more confidence to stick around and fix the problem rather than running away to hide from embarrassment. The ability to learn from mistakes is a key trait in truly self-assured people.


They Aren’t Afraid to Engage in a Debate and Lose

A truly great debater isn’t afraid to partake in a lively discussion, even if they’re on the side that eventually admits defeat. People with real confidence know that engaging with other people’s opinions is a great way to learn.

People who need to be right all the time lack confidence, and rely on their bluster and bravado to win arguments even if it means hurting the other person. Just because someone talks the loudest doesn’t always mean they’re right.

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They Ask for Help

Confident people know that humans are social animals and could not survive alone. They ask for help when they need it, and aren’t afraid to give credit where credit is due. They are also willing to lend a helping hand, even if this means they don’t receive credit in return. They don’t feel the need to steal ideas from others to make themselves look better.

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They Aren’t Afraid of Change

Everyone has comfort zones. Whether it’s where they grab a coffee in the morning, the route they take to work, or the clothes they wear. Truly confident people are self-assured, and know that even if these comfort zones change, what makes them truly themselves is never altered.

People who lack confidence are often unwilling to change, fearing deep inside that they lack the resources to cope with a new situation.

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They Listen More Than They Talk

A truly confident person doesn’t always need to be the center of attention. Being more confident allows them to become a more giving person. The less approval and attention they need, the more they can give to others. Practicing active listening with friends and colleagues allows them to see the world from other people’s perspective, which in turn gives them more confidence in social interactions.

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They Aren’t Afraid to Work on Themselves

It takes a big person to admit that there are things about themselves that they want to work on. Many people work on themselves solo or with the help of a doctor or therapist. No one should ever be afraid to ask for professional help. Facing down personal demons, learning from them, and moving on is a sign that a person is truly confident.

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They Forgive Themselves

People that are confident extend themselves the same courtesy that they extend to others. They give themselves second chances, and don’t beat themselves up when they make mistakes. This ties into confident people knowing their own self-worth. They know that even if they make a mistake, they have the ability to fix it, and can learn from it in the future.

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They Believe in Themselves

In the end, it comes down to something simple. People with real confidence believe in themselves. They believe that who they are inside is good enough, and nothing that anyone says can shake that.

In contrast, someone who puts on an attitude of false confidence and bravado often feels the complete opposite. Who they are inside isn’t enough, and it’s the fear of this being revealed that causes them to put on a brave face and act tough.

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It can be hard to deal with someone who is faking their confidence. Taking the time to understand that the façade they wear comes from a place of insecurity and not of meanness can go a long way in dealing with them on an every day basis. Eventually, they may come to understand that they aren’t fooling anyone.