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Deliberately or inadvertently, many people conflate between vanity and self-confidence, especially when they are unable to differentiate between the two.

Vanity is a pest, and a blameworthy conduct. It makes one feel superior and disdainful towards others, and to disparage them. It makes her feel she is better than all others and that one can resemble her or be like her. Self-confidence is a commendable and lovable trait that raises a person’s esteem, winning her the love of the people and giving her the ability to interact nicely with them, regardless of their material or social status. In the end, these qualities help her win love and respect from all.

I recently met a friend and asked her: “Do you have self-confidence?” She answered without any hesitation: “Of course! My self-confidence is limitless.” I told her: “How is that? It goes without saying that everything has limits.” She said: “I meant that my self-confidence is very strong.” I told her: “What is your evidence for that? And how could you determine the extent of your self-confidence is that high?” She replied: “I do not bow to the opinion of others. I trust my opinions, my capacities and my intelligence. I trust my ability to think and take decisions.”

I said: “What is the connection between your self-confidence and all that you said about your refusal of others and your lack of concern for others’ opinions?” She quipped: “Because my opinion is better than theirs.” I told her: “That is vanity and not confidence. There is a sea of difference between confidence and vanity.”

She asked: “How is that?” I said: “Self-confidence does not prevent one from seeking the opinion of others, especially if yours is less correct that that of the others. This does not mean you need to shake your self-confidence. It merely reflects your belief that my opinion, which I think is correct, may possibly be wrong. And what I consider to be the wrong opinion of others may probably be correct.”

Self-confidence does boost a person’s morale and pushes her towards positive deeds always. It helps her eschew lethargy in achieving her goals and attaining her hopes. It also helps her avoid chaos and marginalization. Vanity destroys a person and pushes her towards focussing on herself, thinking of herself as the best. It blocks her from success and progress. Many people fall prey to illusory vanity. Let us all make sure that we distinguish between self-confidence and vanity so we become successful in our life and keep failure away.

Raya Hilal Al Darmaki Registration Administrator Al Fujairah Customer Services Centre
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