Thick Line between Self Confidence, Aggrandisement

Jan 29 , 2022
By Kidist Yidnekachew

We have all met someone who talks a lot about what they do and what they plan to do. They usually claim to be experts in their field, do not differentiate between personal and business matters, and are very open, pouring their hearts out. Unfortunately, most of the time, they are not even half the things they say they are and whatever they lack in talent, they make up for in inflating their abilities.

Such people even swear by their work and criticise others, only to disappoint later. Modesty is good, but we are not expected to be that way all of the time. Sometimes we have to promote ourselves and the experiences we have gathered. We also need to prize ourselves, but we have to back it up with our work and actions.

Two similar incidents happened to me on two separate occasions. The first one was in a taxi. I was sitting at the back and a guy in front of me was talking nonstop. I do not know if he was trying to impress the girl who was sitting next to him or if he was just full of himself. I could tell that the lady friend was also getting tired of the conversation.

He was talking about how talented he was, what he does and how his clients appreciate his work then he started comparing himself with others in the field. From what I gathered, he makes furniture and other interior designs. It makes me wonder if he was actually any good at his line of work or if he was just exaggerating. I will never find out, but on the second similar incident, I took a mental note that people who praise themselves too much are just talk and probably are not as good as they claim.

The other day I decided to talk to a catering service provider for a friend. I found one so I paid her a visit. She told me how good she was, how she has catered for many customers and how they were satisfied with her work. She also said she does tours as well. I introduced her to my friend, who was impressed and decided to give her the job.

The catering was needed for my friend’s parents anniversary. Her parents have been married for over half a century years. It is a long time to stay in a marriage. Her parents were saying our generation lacks patience. We rush to get married, to start a family and then hurry out when the going gets tougher.

“Your generation thinks it is nice to throw a wedding just for the sake of it. You are all over the place and divided,” my friend’s mother said. “In our days, arranged marriage was a common phenomenon, but we still managed to stay married with respect, understanding more than anything the importance of patience.”

The celebration was thus an intimate and significant event for everybody involved. I had a great time at the event but the catering, let us say, was not up to the standards we had hoped. The food was not up to the quality expected at an event. The decorations paled in comparison to what she had promised. This made me wonder if she was any good as a tour guide. Maybe she is, but there was a wide discrepancy between her performance and the loud advertisement of her business.

I have met many others like her. They talk the talk but do not walk the walk. If we are good at something, we should let our work speak for us instead of trying to convince others with our words.

PUBLISHED ON Jan 29,2022 [ VOL 22 , NO 1135]

Kidist Yidnekachew is interested in art, human nature and behaviour. She has studied psychology, journalism and communications and can be reached at (

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