How Awesome Are You?

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I’m a lucky guy. Why, you ask?

Because I’ve dated girls who are absolutely awesome.

And how do I know they’re absolutely awesome, you ask?

Because they tell me so.


Here are two random subjects I’d like to think I’m pretty knowledgeable in: 1) evolutionary biology, because I studied it for six years in graduate school, and 2) swing dancing, because I’ve been doing it for 11 years.

Now, which of these two topics would you say is more controversial? Which one would you guess has ensnared me in more heated discussions?

The answer, of course, is swing dancing. The debates over swing dancing that I’ve been mired in make those town hall meetings on health care reform feel as warm and fuzzy as a carton of milk in a broken fridge. I still cringe at how riled up I’ve gotten in the past (hey, some swing dancers take their art very seriously).

On the other hand, arguing the nuances of natural selection has never been that big of a deal to me. Those debates have been few, and I’ve always remained calm and collected. At first, I figured it was because I was a total slacker of a grad student and only cared about swing dancing. But ultimately, I realized that my dynamically misdirected duo of nonchalance and intensity had another juicy layer underneath.

The reason I often became flustered arguing over swing dancing was because, deep down, I wasn’t as knowledgeable about it as I wanted others to believe. Ergo, I overcompensated by constantly asserting how much I knew and repeatedly instigating debates.

But wait, what does any of this have to do with your awesomeness, you ask? Well, my selective penchant for discourse stirs up a notion that I believe we all would be wise to consider, and that is the notion of confidence.

Dating advice columns invariably recommend confidence as a key to impressing the opposite sex. Don’t self-deprecate. Talk yourself up. Confidence is a turn-on. Confidence is sexy. Well, hey, I totally agree. But, just as you can’t make yourself smell sexy by dousing your B.O. with cologne, you can’t make yourself more confident by drowning your low self-esteem in a sea of self-congratulation.

To me, confidence means you don’t have to prove it to anyone. When you’re truly confident in yourself, you don’t state it to everyone you see. You demonstrate it by the way you act. If you do have to speak up to assert your confidence, and especially if you do it incessantly, then you’re probably not really all that confident.

Have you ever met the girl who won’t stop gushing about how hot she looked at the dance club last week… or the guy who can’t stop yammering about how many girls he’s hooked up with? Are you ever impressed by them?

When you constantly announce how many guys you have drooling all over you… or how many stamps you have on your passport to Hoohaville… or how awesome you are in general… that, to me, is a sign that what you’re announcing is actually what you’re insecure about. Repeated proclamations of your awesomeness suggest that you’re only trying to convince yourself of something your subconscious knows to be untrue. Or you’re a grandmaster in narcissism, which isn’t all that much better.

Having said that, if you still wish to demonstrate the full scope of your awesomeness to me, the chart below indicates how many times you should tell me how awesome you are in order to maximize your realized awesomeness in my mind:

How Awesome Are You

Tell me once, and I’ll believe ya. Tell me multiple times, and I’m gonna get more skeptical each time. The same goes for any of a slew of statements that I’ve heard friends assert recently. Statements like these:

“I’m perfectly happy being single. I am. I don’t need a boyfriend.”

“Girls are easy to talk to. I could talk to those girls if I wanted to. They just look stuck up.”

The more you broadcast statements like these, the more you broadcast your underlying insecurities. So now, I guess we’re left with just two lingering questions….

What I am overcompensating for with all these articles I’ve written? Or am I really just that awesome when it comes to dating and relationships?

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