“Music is the shorthand of emotion.”
– Leo Tolstoy
While you shouldn’t be a slave to your emotions, you don’t need to act detached and stoic either. Constantly pretending like you don’t care is just as needy as constantly seeking validation from others. False confidence is just insecurity by another name.
Being arrogant, putting on your best Don Draper impersonation, and continually reaffirming your belief that “feelings are gay;” is a weakness. Every guy I know who’s feigned aloofness for an extended period of time has melted down because of it. Tucker Max, patron saint of not giving a f*ck, even got burnt out and settled down.
Men who rely on faux bravado are no different than the “nice guys” they chastise. The archetypal “nice guy” is a dude who’s emotional insecurity causes him to pretend that he’s amiable, in hopes that doling out compliments will earn him something in return. He’s the office suck up, the orbiter of every attractive girl, the passive aggressive enemy.
Likewise, the “withdrawn” guy is equally insecure. He pretends not to take interest in what others think, least they criticize and reject. God forbid he ever show his feelings, compliment a girl, or care about anything.
True confidence isn’t an act. It doesn’t come from adopting someone else’s identity. Exposing the world to you’re real self, not some Michael Crea or Patrick Bateman knock-off, isn’t easy. In fact, it’s one of the hardest things you can do. You’ll need balls of steel to walk your own path and be comfortable in your own skin. And that’s why true confidence can only be achieved once you stop pretending and start being sincere.