Self-confidence is a strong character trait that can help you achieve your goals, take risks and try new things. When you have healthy levels of self-confidence, it can be brilliant for your relationships and your career, as well as helping you be happier.
But too much self-confidence can be a bad thing.
If your self-confidence gets out of hand, it can end up holding you back and harming your relationships.
Here’s what you need to know about too much self-confidence, including when it’s a problem, the personality types most susceptible and tips to help you manage your confidence.
When can too much self-confidence be a problem?
Self confidence is one of those traits that follows the “Goldilocks” rule – it’s possible to have too little of it and too much of it. The sweet spot is when you get it just right.
Here are three downsides of having too much self-confidence:
Self-confidence is a huge benefit in many different situations, but it can sometimes hold people back if it strays into arrogance. Unlike self-confidence, arrogance is an exaggerated sense of your abilities or importance.
Arrogant people tend to blame others when things go wrong, avoid asking for help even when they need it, and overstate their own actions or achievements. All these traits block them from healthy self-development.
Self-confidence that borders arrogance can also result in missed opportunities. If you think someone or something is beneath you, for example, you could be missing out on an opportunity to learn, experience and enjoy new things. When you think you know everything, you actually close yourself off to some of the best chances in life.
In a lot of cases, too much self-confidence can come across as over-superiority to other people. That means it can damage your relationships. No one wants to feel like the person they’re talking to thinks they’re better than them. Too much self-confidence can be really off-putting in social situations like hanging out with friends and getting to know your colleagues.
Three personality types most likely to suffer from overconfidence
While everyone is capable of displaying too much self confidence in certain situations, three personalities are most at risk of stepping into the danger zone.
ENTJs are perhaps the most confident of the 16 Myers and Briggs personality types. They are characterized by their self-assured, ambitious and charismatic energy and they use this to their advantage when it comes to goal-setting, career progression, relationships and more.
Where ENTJs fall short is when their natural self-confidence strays into ego, when they think they are better/ harder working/ more intelligent than anyone else. They are generally bad at handling emotions and can come across as blunt and critical, especially when they don’t feel that someone measures up to their own abilities. This can quickly make them the most disliked person in the room.
Usually the most electric and engaging type to be around, ESTPs are comfortable commanding attention and entertaining a crowd. They’re undoubtedly one of the top self-confident personality types – undaunted by even the most challenging social settings. They tend to go through life with a bold, cheeky, can-do attitude.
When it comes to self-confidence, ESTPs can often be the personality type that suffers from excess. This usually plays out as a judgmental attitude towards others, lack of patience and flightiness. ESTPs can be bad at commitment because they always feel like there’s something better for them somewhere else, and their overconfidence can give them a sense of supreme superiority over everyone. Sometimes their audacious, unreserved attitude can get them in trouble.
ENTPs are fearless risk-takers. They’re not afraid to try and fail and they’re constantly coming up with inventive approaches to life’s problems. Their innovative, adaptable and undaunted attitude makes them one of the most self-confident personality types. It also makes them one of the types most susceptible to overconfidence.
ENTPs thrive off of pushing boundaries, but they can also be stubborn, ignorant and combative. When they’re too self-confident, they can often strain their relationships, especially when it comes to authority figures. They don’t always know everything, but they struggle to realize that until it’s too late.
What all these personality types have in common is too much self-confidence holding them back. Here are some tips to help you keep that confidence at a healthy level.
1. Get out of your comfort zone
When you’re a big fish in a small pond, it’s easy for your inner self-confidence to border on arrogance and superiority. To keep your self-confidence in check, get out of your comfort zone more often.
It’s important to challenge yourself to try and do new things to remind yourself that you’re not good at everything. There’s always more to learn. If you can stay open to being bad at something and starting from scratch with a new hobby, topic or challenge, you can make sure you stay humble.
2. Find people who challenge you
Sometimes, being the dumbest person in the room is the smartest thing you can do – so don’t be afraid to find people who challenge you. That means finding your intellectual equal who’s not afraid to call you out when you’re being arrogant and annoying.
Everyone needs someone who reminds them of who they are and makes sure their ego doesn’t get out of hand. That might be a best friend, romantic partner, boss or family member. Brothers and sisters are especially good at calling you out! The important thing is to find someone whose opinions matter to you and who you’ll listen to when they say it’s too much.
3. Be more self-reflective
While it’s easier said than done, being more self-reflective about your levels of self-confidence is a key method for managing overconfidence.
Be realistic: Are you really as good as you think or are you just bragging? Do you really know as much as you believe you do? Is the Dunning-Kruger effect in play?
Take the time to be self-reflective and honest with yourself about your weaknesses as well as your strengths. Self-confidence is an awesome character trait, but no one wants to be so arrogant that they alienate others and end up alone.