Excerpt from How My Cat Made Me a Better Man (Feig): Confidence

 


Confidence

Dogs will perform silly little tricks to earn affection from their masters. Cats will never stoop to that level. So, while my childhood cocker spaniel would happily present his paw for me, Shelly would roll her eyes at what an idiot I was for even asking for it.

We're not all born with an innate sense of confidence and self-worth. So, think like a cat, and don't do things that are beneath you. You're better than that. Just because someone tells you to dance doesn't mean you should bust out the Macarena.

 There's no reason to kiss up to your boss, praising his genius for every pointless idea he suggests. Unless you're a ninja at brown-nosing, it'll be obvious what you're doing. It won't make you look good, either. You'll just seem like someone who lacks the confidence to say what he really believes.

Think in the same terms for your relationships. If your girlfriend blames you for something that went wrong, that doesn't mean she's automatically correct. It might just be her interpretation. So, don't blindly apologize, accepting the blame if it's not deserved. Instead, hold true to what you believe and speak your mind. If you genuinely feel she's at fault, say it.

Of course, that can be tricky because women don't like to admit they're wrong. Ever. It can be much easier to just say, "Yes, dear, you were absolutely right" than to fight the good fight, but don't take the easy route. If you use logic to illustrate your points (and don't act like a jerk about it), you might be able to convince her. It all stems from having the confidence to speak your mind.

Confidence is the backbone of who you are. It affects how you go about your day and your life. Shelly had the confidence to say "I know he's trying to sleep, but I'm going to lie down and take a nap on his face." I respected that even if it meant finding cat hair in my nose every morning.

 

Top Five Acts of a Confident Cat

 

1.      Dipping her paw in your water glass.

2.      Swatting your cheek when it's time to wake up.

3.      Sitting with her butt directly in your face.

4.      Scratching the couch instead of the scratching post next to it.

5.      Licking her private areas in public.

 

There's an old cliché that says it's a woman's prerogative to change her mind. Do you know who came up with that? Probably a woman. Smart woman, too, because it means women don't have to hold steadfast to whatever their first thought was.

Well, the same idea applies to guys. Your first instinct isn't always the correct one. So, if you realize you're heading down the wrong path, there's no shame in switching directions. Have the courage to make a change. It's better to make the right call eventually than to stay the course and knowingly head for failure.

Ignore the politicians who say flip-flopping is a sin. Embrace new ideas and the new perspective you might gain. If it turns out that your first idea was actually right, so be it. You can always backtrack again later on.

We all make mistakes and bad choices. When it happens, don't dwell on it. Have the confidence to accept the mistake, suck it up, and move on. If possible, try to learn from what went wrong so it doesn't happen again.

I once gave Shelly half a can of shrimp cat food, forgetting she didn't react well to shellfish. Twenty minutes and a large amount of vomit later, I realized my mistake. I didn't beat myself up over it. Instead, I apologized to Shelly, cleaned up the vomit, and moved on. Believe me, after that incident, it was much easier to remember to skip the shellfish.


Read more posts about this award-winning book and its author HERE.


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