Have you ever had a conversation with someone and thought to yourself –
Who are they trying to convince, me or themselves?
What sort of conversations leave us questioning who’s trying to convince who?
Here are a couple of different scenarios you might recognize.
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Talking ourselves up
You’re having a conversation with someone and they start telling you how great they are at certain things. Actually, it’s not certain things, it’s everything.
No matter what you talk about, they seem to be good at it.
Often this sort of behavior isn’t about bragging, it’s about insecurity. People tend to talk themselves up when they are feeling insecure.
From a work perspective, there can be a multitude of reasons for this sort of behavior. A demotion, problems with management, a restructure or a job we hate can all leave us feeling vulnerable and dissatisfied.
We all have moments where we need to give ourselves a pep talk.
The trick is not to go overboard. No one is great at everything, instead focus on the things you are really good at, that way people are more likely to stay interested in the conversation and take what you are saying seriously.
Bragging is something you want to avoid. Generally, it’s a huge turn-off. Many people will simply stop listening to you.
Name-dropping and number-dropping can be annoying if taken to extremes. If used correctly, they can facilitate a fascinating conversation.
The key lies in your target audience.
Don’t assume a $200 million budget is better than a $1 million dollar one. It depends on who you are talking to and what their primary interests, goals, and values are.
It could be a mistake to assume big numbers will automatically impress people.
Related content –
- 10 Behaviors That Stop You Growing as a Person
- How to Break the Habit of Self-Doubt and Build Real Confidence
- 12 Techniques to Stop Feeling Inferior
- Know Your Worth – 10 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself
Generally speaking, when we want to do something – we do it. When we don’t – we make up an excuse.
As much as we like to sugar-coat things, that’s basically the way it works.
If someone starts rattling off excuses for not doing something they are usually trying to convince themselves they have a valid reason for not getting the job done.
The fact is they may have no genuine desire to complete the task at all. The task itself may be something that was expected or demanded of them by someone else, instead of something they wanted to do.
When people use the words ‘I should have…but,’ there is often an excuse not far behind.
Of course, the other big reason for making excuses is good old-fashioned fear.
Perhaps there is something we desperately want to do, but the thought of it scares us senseless. Sometimes it seems easier to roll out an excuse instead of facing our fear head-on.
Make sure you understand the difference between an excuse and a reason, often your mind will play tricks between the two.
Justifying our actions
There probably aren’t too many of us who haven’t justified our actions at some point. I know I certainly have.
When it comes to people trying to justify their actions, it’s normally a case of wanting to convince themselves they had a valid reason for acting a certain way (particularly if they did something they are ashamed of) and trying to convince us as well.
Secretly they are hoping we won’t judge them too harshly.
The easiest way to not have to justify your actions is to focus on making better personal choices. As mentioned in an earlier post, your life is an accumulation of your choices.
Make choices in line with your core values and you will find yourself not needing to justify yourself anywhere near as much.
Of course, another option is that people could be flat-out lying to you.
In this scenario, they are probably trying to convince you of something that they know is a lie. It goes without saying, there is probably a benefit in it for them.
Unfortunately, some lies can be hard to spot. Some people are great liars (not something to be proud of by the way, in case you were wondering) and others are terrible at it (I definitely fit into this category).
Exaggerating isn’t lying exactly but it certainly comes close.
Certain people tend to have a habit of exaggerating. As long as you are aware of this particular personality trait, it’s not that hard to work around.
Related post – Do You Know When You Are Lying to Yourself?
One of the things I love about writing this blog is that it makes me examine my own behavior.
This post definitely has me thinking about room for improvement in my own personal interactions.
Next time you find yourself asking who are they trying to convince, think about the above list to see if any of the scenarios apply.
Just remember, someone might be asking the exact same question about you!
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Read Next – How to Stop Lying to Yourself About Your Feelings and Actions