Downtalk


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Dang, now it's in my head.

I was listening to someone talking about the gender gap in hiring which she summed up as: “Men talk themselves up, and Women talk themselves down.” At the time, I thought that this was a rather glib sentiment: not untrue so much as it was oversimplified, but then I went to an interview and caught myself doing it. Multiple distinct times.

It’s hard to say if I was doing it because I’d just been primed to the idea after hearing the gal speak: it was certainly on my mind enough that I was consciously noticing it. I’m not above psychological manipulation, I’m learning to my chagrin.

It’s also a part of my personality, I think, to want to be accurate about my skills. Sometimes I don’t know things. Sometimes I don’t have much experience. When it comes right down to the decision between being confident and being honest I tend towards honesty. I’d rather under promise and over deliver.

I’m also a bit of an under-stater. You may have noticed that I even understated how much I understate things. It’s part of my sense of humor- I find dry humor especially delightful. Butlers crack me up for this exact reason.

But enough excuses: the bottom line is that I downtalked myself, and no matter the reasons it is going to make it harder for me to get a job if I don’t start addressing it. One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was: “When someone says : ‘ you look great’, the proper response is: ‘darn tootin’!'”

It takes a certain amount of confidence to show confidence, but confidence comes from mastery and mastery comes from preparation and practice. And I’m good at preparation and practice.

Darn tootin’.

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on March 24, 2016.

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