The late Donald Westlake, author of many hilarious books, also had a hard-boiled criminal “Parker” (best played by Lee Marvin in Point Blank). In one of the late Parker novels he is cornered, and one against four. He puts up his dukes (rather like Omar in prison in the Wire, but that’s another story). The leader of the four is surprised and says “you rate yourself, don’t you?” Parker shrugs and says “why not?”
It comes to me now, after the word “humility” is knocking around my ears for a day. I was told last night that I was lacking it. That may well be true (obviously people who lack humility are not good judges of their strengths and weaknesses!), but I reckon in this case the observation may have been wide of the mark (well, I would say that, wouldn’t I, etc).
I was confidently (!) asserting that there were better and worse ways of organising meetings, and that the information deficit/sage on the stage model would have worked by now if it was going to. And I was listing some of the many many ways that things can be done differently. And I was getting push back, because the idea that a meeting wasn’t primarily about information-giving was uncomfortable (I think that’s why, but there were other factors).
Worse, imho, than humility is false modesty. If you lack the confidence to trust yourself when all men (cough cough) doubt you, but make allowance for their doubting too, then you are not helping. You are being neurotic. And false modesty is just an emotional blackmail way of extorting more attention and affirmation anyhow. Says me. It’s demeaning and debilitating.
That is all.