Self-confidence! What’s not to like about it? People call you arrogant. Know-it-all. Uppity. What do they know? They’re just people. Flawed, screwy people. They aren’t you. They don’t have those special, innate, poised things you have. And you have so many things.

So why is it you don’t have a man / a good job / many friends / the life you want? It can’t be YOU can it? With that face and brain? I mean, really. It’s rude for me even to suggest that. I immediately apologize. I’m so sorry. How could I even think such a thing?

Unless…just this one, rare, odd little time. It is you. And all that “confidence” is just an elaborate shell game of defense mechanisms because you don’t want people to know that on the inside your scared and hurt just like everyone else.

Sometimes it’s you, girl.

Let me break down why.

1) You say:  “I don’t have a man because men are ‘intimidated’ by my beauty/charm/success/money/talent/etc.”

But what if (this one time only, of course) it’s you? That sounds like something a really defensive person would say.

It’s OK to admit that maybe, when it comes to men, you don’t know what you’re doing. A lot of people don’t – male or female. Humility is a virtue that we often overlook because we get so consumed with being “tough” and “strong” all the time. Hence forgetting sometimes we need to appear “human” and “approachable.” No one will hate you if you’re still figuring yourself and others out. No one will hold it against you if you’re trying to balance career and love life.

But you know what they will hold against you? Saying that folks are “intimidated” by you – like you’re Naomi Campbell, practicing Cell Phone Fu on people’s heads. Use your Cell Phone Fu to knock that chip off your shoulder and accept that love can be pretty random.

2) You Say: “I don’t have female friends because women are manipulative and are always jealous of me.”

But, what if (this one time though) it’s you? Ever heard of projection?

We’ve all encountered fellow women we couldn’t relate to or get along with. But all of them, girl? You don’t get along with “ALL OF THEM?” If you suddenly find the world is populated with awful lady people have you considered that perhaps you are an awful lady person? Projection (a common psychological defense mechanism we’re all guilty of from time-to-time) is where you think you’re seeing people everywhere with a problem that is actually YOUR problem and yours alone. Sort of like someone who says “I don’t want any more drama in my life” like they’re Mary J. Blige, but they’re a cast member of Vh-1’s Basketball Wives.

Women, like all human beings, are good and bad. But if all you ever find are the bad, you should take a look in the mirror. Don’t blame everyone else with a uterus if you discover that all your acrimony boils down to you preferring to be the only girl in the world.

 3) You say: “People leave me because they weren’t strong enough to handle me.”

But, hey, what if you’re wrong? There’s just so much hurt and anger in what you just said.

People leave us sometimes. And that hurts. But I’m curious about why you added “they weren’t strong enough” on the end. That indicates that in your effort to rationalize why those you’ve loved have left you’ve chosen to lay it all on them, absolving yourself of any action on your part. And sometimes that’s the right thing to do. But if people are walking out because they aren’t “strong” enough, what extraordinary thing is going on about you where people need to emotionally bench press 350 lbs. of life baggage just to be close to you? Do you have a temper? Are you really needy? Are your abandonment issues so severe that you put unrealistic expectations on those around you?

If so, can I suggest therapy? Because if your anger/co-dependency/emotions are so strong that people rather run away than get to know you, you’re dealing with some serious hurt. And you should seek help.

4) You say: “I didn’t get the promotion because my boss doesn’t like me.”

But, what if your boss actually does? Maybe you don’t like yourself very much.

Believe me. We’ve all had bad bosses. I know I’ve had a few. But sometimes when we don’t feel good about ourselves that manifests into paranoia where we think everyone else hates us as much as we hate ourselves. But nobody really “hates” us. Maybe they’re disappointed, because in our self-hatred, we were so self-involved we completely flaked out on a project, showed up late, got snippy with a co-worker or spent an hour locked in our office, under our desk crying. We all have tough days. It’s better just to level with others about what you’re going through than simply “assume” that when your boss is upset it’s because they “hate” you … instead of them simply being disappointed in the unpredictability of your work flow. Depending on where you work, they might actually be sympathetic and help you get to where you need to be – both professionally and emotionally. But you have to face your internal problems head on and take them seriously – rather than taking them out on others.

5) You say: “I have so many haters, but my haters make me stronger.”

But, hey, what if you’re wrong? Why do you have so many “haters?”

Hate is a really strong word. I mean, to “hate” something? And you have more than one person who “hates” you? Are you a Grammy-award winning recording artist or some kind of “rapper” who gets into “beefs?” Regular people don’t have “haters” for no particular reason. People who sometimes get jealous? Sure. People who don’t like you for whatever reason? Fine. But “haters?” People where you and their dislike of you is taking up constant real estate in their heads?

(And negative comments on your latest blog post don’t count.)

Sometimes when people hate you, it’s because you might be a bitch.

I know. Bitch is such a harsh word. I can’t believe I even typed it! But let’s say you’re the type of person that whenever someone approaches you with constructive criticism (not rudeness, but real, constructive, helpful criticism, like how you should talk things out instead of screaming) you immediately get defensive. Your wall is up – constantly. You’re always on guard. And while some people are on guard because they get attacked a lot, you’re not the state of Israel, girl.

No one is trying to blow up your Jerusalem. Try to relax a little. Take the good with the bad. And when someone “suggests” something, listen to that suggestion first then discuss it constructively before you just run with it being “hateration.”

They say the best defense is a good “offense.” And offense should include constantly working on yourself and worrying a little less about men who won’t date you, bosses who won’t give you promotions, loved ones who bail and “haters.”

The best defense is to feel good enough about yourself where you don’t need those old defense mechanisms at all.

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