The Cocky Young Kid

Being too Cocky without backing it up – we have all experienced this kid, whether it is inside ourselves or represented in another person.

Today I had a prospective future roommate visit me. At first glance, he looked like a complete nerd. Glasses, dressed down khakis and a plain T-shirt. He actually brought his girlfriend too, who was also visiting from TX. Wow! I thought, he actually has a GF (even though she was overweight, she was at least of mixed Asian / Spanish heritage, not a bad gene mix). As the conversation went on, I realized that this kid was actually very cocky! He’s very proud of his degree in CS and wasn’t that impressed by my profession at all. Not that he should be, but he didn’t even express any interest in myself. After he left, Wayne and I both thought, “who the fuck did this kid think he was!?!”

In the SF Bay PU community, occasionally I will run into a young college kid, who is actually quite confident. It reminds me of myself. I graduated from college at 20, and I thought I was the shit. At times, that confidence is a protection shield we use in case of rejection. It was also a way for us to push ahead, to break out of our comfort zone and remain in the protection of this “pride”. I understand them, but honestly now I find them annoying! I realized that I was probably like that to other people when I first got out of school 3 years ago!

It took a big hit for me to realize that I was indeed, just a kid. It was a huge reality check, when at 21 and 22 I was laid off twice, once because of company culture clash after acquisition, the other was a clash with an old manager Tom who I totally did not get along with. I know understand how they felt when I was around them. It wasn’t that I was wrong, but it was that feeling of, “OK, maybe this kid has potential, but he is acting like he has 10 years of experience on me and in reality, I have gray hair and this guy is just out of college.”

In truth, looking back, I always believed that I was a smart kid. I just didn’t realize how that might make other people feel when I would outwardly express my opinions without taking into account the years of experience these people already have. A truly smart young man must understand how to downplay his potential, because his best benefit is to continue to learn from these older folks and eventually, travel a much more successful path than they have. Sergey and Larry saw this with Google, and I plan urge other young graduates to take true confidence vs. overly cocky attitudes to heart.

Patient to House: “You are an asshole”
House: “Then why are you still here?”
Patient: “Because you must be damn good at what you do to keep this job with your personality”

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