I didn't address the flipside of overconfidence. Like the photo of the cat ready to do battle with an eagle from yesterday's post, I feel like I have frequently been the eagle happening upon unwitting cats ready to do battle against what, they don't really know. There are aspects of my personality and my appearance that can lull people into a false sense of security. I can seem very unassuming, easy to not notice in some ways because I keep my own counsel most of the time. I'm not an easy mark by any stretch, but it's not immediately apparent to most people what I'm all about and for some reason that can provoke people who are used to a little more certainty, or provoke bullies that are used to a little more deference. It reminds me of the old "Nutty Professor" movie with Jerry Lewis. He harasses a bar tender and is in turn harassed by a "barroom brawler." I love the depiction of the sudden burst of violence, even if exaggerated and unbelievable, especially given the contrast to the slow pace of the first part of the movie.
I'm in a similar situation now where someone has grossly underestimated me. I don't know what makes people want to pick fights, you know? That's what I always wonder when it happens. Sometimes I pick my own, but a lot of the time people will come to me wanting to start something. If they're planning on fighting fair, I will best them. If they are planning on fighting dirty, I will fight dirtier than them. The real problem in going up against me, though, is that it is just so hard to land a punch. I have vulnerabilities, like anyone else, but it's hard for most people to find them and they're small targets that require a precision attack, not your usual wild flailing you see from a typical thug. See, for me, I'm used to fighting your average normal person and the other typical variants of aggressors (bullies, narcissists, aspies, what have you). I have had at least a few of fights with each type and they're relatively easy to spot, so I more or less know what to expect. But it is quite unlikely that any of those people have ever gone up against someone like me, or unlikely if they had, that they would have identified that previous assailant and or identified me as being in a similar fashion to that previous assailant. Consequently, I almost always have the element of surprise to the point where some fights are just so outweighed, they're not even fun to fight. When someone picks a fight like the barroom brawler, of course, you don't really have a choice not to fight. But it is some small consolation knowing that even if they won't be memorable to you, you certainly will be memorable to them.