Culture

Americans Overconfident vs Arabs Pride

I sometimes like to watch late night shows like Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Connan on YouTube. a couple of days ago, I watched this video, above, for an actor that I don’t think I have watched any of his movies. His interview was interesting to me. It showed a characteristic I only found among American celebrities, not Arabs.

In the video, the actor talks about a time he used to steal silverware from his hotel room when he was poor, at the start of his career as an actor. The characteristic I am talking about is how many American celebrities don’t feel ashamed talking about their life before they were rich. I have watched many celebrities say they were raised in a trailer, they were poor, etc.

On the other hand, I never heard an Arab actor talks about their impoverished past. You will never see an Arab actor talks about a similar story like the one in this video. I don’t mean confessing to stealing, but saying they were poor and they had to do this and that.

Now, you may ask, Why Americans (or Arabs, depending on your background) do that?

I think Americans do it because they are overconfident. According to Stephen Fry Americans are taught since childhood they can be whatever they want, even the president of their country. That is why Americans are known to be more optimistic and more confident than other cultures. On the other hand, Arabs do it because they always have a sense of pride no matter when and where. An Arab should never at any circumstances looks in need. That is why no respected Arab says yes to a dinner invitation from the first time. The host has to insist couple of times.

Most, if not all, cultures don’t treat, or look at, the poor and the rich the same way. Unfortunately, some cultures do it worse than others. In the USA for example, the son or daughter of a poor parents may succeed to become something big. This is hardly the case in the Arab world. There is no way the son or daughter of a sanitation worker to become a professor, a politician, a lawyer, or an actor.

There is what I call an unspoken economic caste in the Arab world. This subject needs a different post.

I learned a word in America for people who looks overconfident in a weird way. They call them ‘cocky’ and I think such behavior skews toward a negative characteristic. When we say someone is overconfident we are complimenting him, but when we say he is cocky it is not a compliment. So, do you think the actor in the video is overconfident or cocky?

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4 thoughts on “Americans Overconfident vs Arabs Pride

  1. I greatly enjoy these posts! So glad you shared your thoughts on confidence/pride and compared Americans and Arabs in this way. I am eager to read more about this topic in future posts!

    One thing, though: from my American perspective, “overconfidence” isn’t a good thing. I even asked a few friends for feedback, and C wrote it this way: “Over implies it’s excessive, which I wouldn’t say is a good thing. I think cocky is a more informal way to say it.”

    J wrote: “Confident is a compliment. Overconfident is not. Over estimating oneself or skill is not a good thing.”

    Google has “overconfident” as a synonym for “cocky”

    cock·y
    ˈkäkē/
    adjective
    adjective: cocky; comparative adjective: cockier; superlative adjective: cockiest

    conceited or arrogant, especially in a bold or impudent way.
    synonyms: arrogant, conceited, overweening, overconfident, cocksure, self-important, egotistical, presumptuous, boastful, self-assertive;

    As for the guy in the video…just based on the four minute clip, I’d say he is confident (compliment), but if I met him in person and saw he snubbed people and acted like he’s better than others, I’d probably say he was a cocky jerk (not a compliment). 🙂

    “There is what I call an unspoken economic caste in the Arab world. This subject needs a different post.” — sounds interesting! I will look forward to this post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much for this informative comment. I like the interpretation of over as excessive, “which is not a good thing.” It makes sense.

      I didnt know overconfidence is a negative thing. I guess I owe Americans an appolgy 🙂 I think Americans are confident not overconfident.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It seems 9 to 6 work like normal people keeps me from checking my blog very often 🙂 Thank you very much for staying in touch.

        Like

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