For those of you who were not already aware, I'm twenty four years old. And so far (I'm only three months in) it's been the best age of my life. I've always been perceived as self-assured and finally the perception has caught up with reality. I really am just that. And it's not just about confidence in who you are, but more knowing who you are - your weaknesses as well as your strengths. Not being afraid to be both proud and critical of yourself and using it constructively in the banalities of your day-to-day activities.
Previously I've been described as pretty full-on. Which is an ambiguous way of saying that I'm bawdy and this behaviour hasn't always been well received. But then you can't please everyone and really why would you want to? People are a fickle bag of emotions. And more often than not they're harbouring underlying resentment towards their own lifestyles and in scenarios such as that the best reaction is no reaction. I'm a firm believer that it's not the insult itself which offends you but the context surrounding it. Who's saying it? Why are they saying it? Are you envious of them? It really puts the nature of the remark into perspective and it's amazing how quickly your initial affronted reaction can quickly dissipate, only to be replaced by a thought which is refreshing as it is clarifying: they're not you and they never will be.
Of course intrepid statements such as that require a touch of arrogance and I don't think it's necessarily a negative characteristic to possess. It's like everything in life: in moderation. The key with arrogance is to deliver it in an endearing fashion and follow it up with a hint of self-deprecation. Assert your confidence but have fun with it. And be prepared for the inevitable backlash which your jaunty cockiness will provoke, because it will. People don't like people who like themselves. It reminds them of their own insecurities. And no one likes to think about them. But you should. Because to be truly assured you need edification and you're not going to achieve it by hiding what you don't like about yourself away and pretending it doesn't exist or doesn't affect you.
Understandably adopting the attitude that you take everything on the chin will make you an incredibly easy target for people wrongly assuming they can say absolutely whatever they want to you and it won't have an effect on your feelings. But make no mistake, I have feelings. And in the past they have been hurt to the point where at the time I thought the damage was irrevocable. Naturally it wasn't and even though I know that time is a healer it still doesn't make the pain of the present any less acute.
I'm in no way saying that by being self-assured you suddenly become bionic. You don't. What you do become though is more adept at repairing the damage. And the more you know about yourself the easier that process will be.