Cocky is a show. It’s false confidence. It is acting with the desire to influence someone’s opinion and make them like you or look at you in a certain way. It comes out of insecurity, the whole reason for insecurity is fear of what other people will think of you. There is a really good quote I heard recently: ”Today, I’m not what I think I am. I’m not what you think I am. I am what I think you think I am.” -Charles Cooley. This is a powerful quote. This is the idea of cockiness, of fear and the planning and proper word responses, body language responses based on that fear.
Confidence on the other hand, is real. Confidence comes from real feelings and not based on other people’s reactions. Confidence can come from experience, for example. An Olympic lifter who is the top of the world champion can go into a gym and if challenged on a workout against somoene will have no fear because the skill is there to back it up. The confidence changes the body language and what he says and how he says it. Confidence when tried, will be tested as good. Cockiness when tested will fail. For example, if the Olympic lifter were a fraud and just acting cocky and a fellow gym lifter challenged him to a match for money. Let’s say 10,000$ all he had in his bank account and agreed in a contract, if not paid will face jail time. The cocky man will change his attitude and back down. The confident man will agree. Cocky behavior is used in situations when not tested and people use it to falsely increase self esteem and feel better about themselves.