- Confidence or assurance, often presented in an audacious manner
Have you ever wished you had the courage to do something daring? Maybe some chutzpah would have come in handy when you wanted to impress your friends with your parkour skills but ended up chickening out. Or perhaps you didn’t strike a conversation with an achingly attractive guy or girl because you were afraid of embarrassing yourself. Most of us can say that there have been times when we were just too embarrassed or scared to take these types of risks, even if the possible downside was minor. Summoning up the nerve, or chutzpah, to do something difficult is not always easy but it is something we can learn to do with practice. As long as your ego stays grounded, there’s no harm in boosting your self-confidence for those times when you need a little extra oomph!
Chutzpah is a word that refers to the boldness, or arrogance, with which someone may do something. Often, chutzpah carries a negative connotation of egotistical audacity or overconfidence in one’s abilities. A student might have chutzpah if he finds it easy to rudely talk back to his teachers or intentionally disobey his parents. To outsiders, those who consistently perform physically or socially dangerous activities can be seen as unwise or conceited; many are of the mind that those with chutzpah only act out for attention. Of course, not all of us who like to take risks are attention-seekers. Sometimes, the decision to wear cheetah pants to work is based solely on personal preference!
In general, chutzpah is reserved for those actions that require complete impudence; however, the word is also used to convey a healthy self-confidence or bravery. Many people with chutzpah can be found doing things that would seem “shocking” to the average person. Take those “crazy” people who love to try extreme sports, like jumping out of airplanes: they’ve certainly got more than enough chutzpah to take the leap! Not everyone can put himself or herself into harm’s way (without having a heart attack); some of us are completely fine with the amount of chutzpah we need for everyday life. Sometimes we muster up the chutzpah to talk to someone new or try that bold haircut! When you have just the right amount of chutzpah, you simply don’t let other people’s opinions or ideas dictate what you do.
Example: Jimmy’s newly acquired chutzpah shocked us as we watched him demand a raise.
Example: Caroline finally found the chutzpah to perform in the talent show.