The Irrational Mind

7 Things Your Cat Can Teach You About Confidence

confidence catYour cat is king of his domain. He stalks birds for fun, gets food when he wants it, and sleeps wherever his little paws take him.

This level of confidence is seemingly unrivaled in the animal kingdom. What lessons can we take away from our alpha feline?

1. Ask for what you want

Has your cat ever hesitated to vocalize its need for anything? Breakfast, your breakfast, access outside, then inside, then outside…?

Cats are unapologetic creatures when it comes to asking their humans for assistance. While they haven’t been bred to turn to us for help the way dogs have been, they still recognize us as suitable servants.

Ask for what you want in both your personal and professional life. Be fearless in your requests, because psychology says that people who ask for things get them.

2. Walk around like you own the place

Cats are cocky little creatures. Tails up and heads held high, you know they don’t question their place in the world.

Do you not feel quite as confident as your cat in the workplace?

Fake it ’til you make it.

It’s old advice, but science has shown that 1) others respond well to a confident persona and 2) you can actually gain confidence by acting like you have it. Sound counterintuitive? Try it out.

3. Take time for self-care

Unlike their canine companions, cats are champions in self care. Grooming can suddenly become a priority in the middle of any number of other tasks: playing, eating, sleeping….

Personal grooming is important for humans too. Your coworkers notice when you haven’t showered, deodorized, or combed your hair. Contrary to some people’s belief, this doesn’t give you the “I’ve been working so hard on that project that I’ve had no time to sleep” glow. It makes you look like you can’t handle all your life responsibilities.

Ladies, don’t fret: this doesn’t require a detailed makeup routine (or any makeup at all, really). Men: a completely clean-shaven mug is unnecessary. Just make yourself presentable.

4. Nap time is king

On average, cats sleep 12 to 16 hours every day. Tired? Time for a nap. Bored? Time for a nap.

Of course, humans don’t quite have the luxury to spend over 50% of their day asleep. Particularly in the U.S., many people pride themselves on how little sleep they get. But we should be aiming for 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night! Sleep deprivation can (and does!) lead to serious health effects in both the short- and long-term, including increased risk for heart attacks, high blood pressure, and psychiatric disorders.

Sleep up!

5. Display confidence and persistence

When your cat wants something, she doesn’t take one “no” for an answer. She double checks, rubs her head on you a few times, and then (at some point) decides to accept your negative response.

Rubbing your head on your boss may not get the result you’re looking for, but the right amount of persistence can make you appear confident and assertive.

6. Don’t do things you don’t want to do

Call out to a dog and they will be on your lap in seconds; plead to a cat and it still does what it was already planning to do.

But sometimes the cat will acquiesce and accept your lap offer. At that point, you feel proud. She sat on my lap!

Wait…why do we feel pride when the cat comes yet expect it from the dog?

The dog is a yes-man. A wonderful, adorable, loving yes-man. The cat, however, values his time. After all, how else is he going to fit in his hours of self-care and napping? So, when the cat finally does say yes, we feel our presence has been graced with an important individual.

Are you a yes-(wo)man? Do you have a hard time saying “no” to people? Make people beg for your time by saying “no” more often. Your scarcity will make you a more valuable commodity.

Bonus: more time for yourself.

7. Thank those who help you

People have cats presumably because they get something from the relationship. Dog people wonder about cat people: why do we want an ungrateful animal who doesn’t listen to us living in the house?

But cats do thank us. The head rubs and lap-sitting say “Hey, I may not always listen to you, but you’re pretty cool to be around.”

Again, maybe avoid rubbing your head on your coworkers and friends, but be sure to show your gratitude. Make sure people know that they are valued, just like they value you: their confident, well-groomed, infrequently seen friend.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *