Are there any differences between the words self-assured and self-confident?

  • 1
    Subtle, but self-assured may have negative connotations; self-confident is almost always positive (negative could be over-confident). – Kris Sep 27 '12 at 6:39
  • According to OED, they are exact synonyms. – Noah Sep 27 '12 at 7:35
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Where self-assured is 'sure of yourself,' relates to you and your actions (it also comes with a minor connotation of pride), self-confident is confidence in one's abilities and relates more to your mind.

They may be used interchangeably, (m-w.com defines self-assured as self-confident), but there are minor differences in tone that can affect your reader.

Self-assurance can sometimes make you give yourself too much credit, which, if you're not careful, can touch pride

However, with self-confidence, you don't have to give yourself credit, because you know your own strengths and abilities, so you've already got enough

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