Who do you gravitate towards? Who do you like to be around? What does this say about you? In this article we will have a brief look at true confidence versus bravado, I will share my “people preferences,” and touch on how the idea of “like attracts like” impacts us. As always, I will end the post with questions for your consideration.

First, when you think of a confident person you may automatically assume that a confident presence implies an extroverted tendency. However, many introverted people are naturally confident and, if they have reasonable social skills, they can be more pleasant to be around then the extrovert who does not.  


It is fairly easy to pinpoint your people preferences if you are willing to spend a little bit of time doing the following:

  • Think of someone that you respect and genuinely enjoy being in the presence of. Get a good sense of that person. Remember the last time you were together. What was it about this person and the exchange that made them an enjoyable presence? 
  • Think of someone you prefer to not be around. Get a good sense of that person. Remember the last time you were together. What was it about this person and the exchange that made them an un-enjoyable presence?
  • Now do that again, with a couple more people and you will begin to notice themes.


For myself, I enjoy being in the presence of people who are honest about their strengths and challenges, can be sensitive to their external environment, are politely assertive about their needs, have a reasonable ability to read social cues and see communication as a back and forth exchange. These people exude a reasonable level of “true confidence.”

They have an innate and/or programmed way of being (cow path) that appeals to me. They are also able to access second position in terms of perception-you might want to review that audioblog post entitled “Can you be your own “fly on the wall? Playing with perceptual positions. “

I prefer to spend less time with people who have the opposite ways of being. I do not enjoy loud, pushy, sarcastic people,  who aren’t honest about their challenges, get their needs met by being overbearing, have no interest in social cues, immediately take over when they walk into a room, lack sensitivity to the external environment, and “communicate” without any give and take.

 These people don’t usually have a healthy level of confidence and are instead exhibiting “bravado.” They have an innate and/or programmed way of being (cow path) that doesn’t appeal to me. They often have difficulty accessing second position -again, you might want to review this audioblog post.


When we have a choice, we naturally gravitate towards certain people. And, when we have a choice, we naturally avoid or limit our exposure to certain people. There is some truth in the idea that “like attracts like.”  This can prove to be healthy or not.

Mistaking bravado for true confidence can be costly. The bravado often seeks out those perceived as lacking confidence or being “weak.” These people provide the bravado with the feeling of being powerful and the exchange is often unhealthy. On the other hand, those who lack confidence and perceive themselves as weak can gravitate toward a bravado to feel protected and to avoid personal growth.

Our gravitation should come from a place of awareness and purposeful intention. However, it often isn’t.  We mindlessly gravitate based on old programs and beliefs. We are naturally propelled by the “like attracts like” notion. Quite often, this idea without often from a place that is far outside of our original potential.

However, if we have committed to our own healing and growth, then choosing to be around people whose ability to role model “true confidence” vs. “bravado” can be helpful. Do not make the mistake of assuming an introverted person, who is not like you, won’t have something to teach you about confidence, simply because they are quieter or more introspective than you. As I alluded to earlier, quiet introspective people who have the ability, and interest, in social cues/skills are often more confident then others might expect.

Now this is important, just as you have “people preferences” so does everyone else in your environment. I have shared some of my “people preferences” and realize that you may or may not share them. That’s ok. Not everyone will like or enjoy either my or your presence. However, as I mention in the complimentary confidence building workbook, we need to have awareness about how we are perceived.

Like it or not, to successfully engage with the world, we must be able to demonstrate ways of being that make it easy for others to understand us. When we can do this, it is easier to gain the support and resources we naturally need. Like does attract like, either in a healthy or unhealthy way. We should be curious about how our ““people preferences”” impact the quality of our lives.


1. Whose presence to you enjoy?

2. Whose presence do you not enjoy?

3. Do you care if people want to be around you or not?

4. When do you enjoy being “around” yourself?

5. Over the years has who you gravitate towards changed?  

Terri Lee Cooper MSc. RSW