I Want to be Alan Shore……

Yes, I know he’s a fictional TV character from Boston Legal…and a man… but bear with me on this. He has, in spades, the thing that I’ve always craved and never really been able to muster: self-confidence. Like or hate him, you have to admit that Alan Shore is completely himself and he makes absolutely no apologies for it; how do you get to be like that, can anyone explain it to me?

Yes, I know he’s a fictional TV character from Boston Legal…and a man… but bear with me on this. He has, in spades, the thing that I’ve always craved and never really been able to muster: self-confidence. Like or hate him, you have to admit that Alan Shore is completely himself and he makes absolutely no apologies for it; how do you get to be like that, can anyone explain it to me?

He is totally self-aware and accepts all his flaws; is that it? Is that what gives us self-confidence:

“You’ll recall I once advised you fleeing the practice of law because it’s an ugly occupation which calls opponents participants to do ugly things. I’m very accomplished to the practice of law, Jerry”

This comment acknowledges that he does ugly things sometimes. The words are not an apology by any means but they are, in their own way, humble when you read between the lines. Yes, he says ‘I am very accomplished’ but, in the same breath, admits that he is massively flawed because he is capable of being cruel to others in the course of his work.

He is extremely attractive to the opposite sex, not because of his looks but because he is utterly determined in his pursuit of them. Is that self-confidence? To talk completely openly to someone you’ve never met, to lay yourself on the line risking all kinds of rejection but not fearing it? He is also brutally honest about what he expects from a relationship:

” I demand only one thing in a relationship, Christine, that I remain utterly alone.”

That may sound nonsensical at first glance until you realise that, in most relationships, people are absorbed into a ‘couple’, often losing something of themselves in the spirit of ‘compromise’. Is it self-confidence or arrogance when someone refuses to change to meet the whims or desires of another person?

Alan shore 2Alan is supremely intelligent, is that what gives him his self-assurance? He has the ability to make a witty comeback to any criticism or verbal attack but without getting overly emotional. Is it that he doesn’t fear confrontation because he knows that his verbal dexterity cannot be bested? Is he unemotional because he doesn’t care or because he realises that, when you lose control, you lose the argument?

He admits his fears: he suffers from night terrors and a fear of clowns and, what’s more, he asks for help, from his friends, in over-coming them. Is that self-confidence? To disclose your fears in all their dark glory and acknowledge that you can’t conquer them alone?

Whilst Alan can cut others to the quick with his retorts he is, at the same time, a great humanitarian who sees the injustices in the World and wants to do something about them. Could there be a connection between self-confidence and compassion?

Alan: You know what I miss most about our country, Denny? Not the loss of our civil rights so much as our compassion, our soul, our humanity.
Denny Crane: Uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uh. Soul, that’s a religious thing. State… church… it’s unconstitutional for the United States to have a soul.
Alan: Apparently. We seem to be becoming a mean people. Learned Hand once said, “Liberty lies in our hearts, and once it dies there, no constitution can save it.”
Denny Crane: Just once, I wish you’d quote a Republican.
Alan Shore: “I want a kinder and gentler nation.”

Finally, the man is a romantic at heart. He has endless affairs and dalliances but admits that he is desperate for love and is open to it, what’s more, he understands it. Does self-confidence stem from our ability to love and allowing ourselves to be loved?

Denny Crane: Do you believe married people can stay in love?
Alan Shore: Oh, I believe they can know even more profound joys be it with children, the depth of the relationship itself can evolve into something they can’t possibly live without. And yet, it’s something that doesn’t quite so resemble love. It’s not the romance of love.
Denny Crane: I never knew you to be such a romantic.
Alan Shore: My problem is I’m too romantic. No woman can possibly live up to the promise of tomorrow that love holds for me.

I don’t really understand where Alan’s self-confidence stems from but I wish I had it so, there you are, I wish I was Alan Shore……..

If you have any thoughts on this I’d really love to hear from you :O)



Ps, If you’ve never seen Boston Legal and don’t know Alan Shore, here’s a perfect example of his eloquence in court…




Author: All About Life

Middle-aged 20 something

29 thoughts on “I Want to be Alan Shore……”

  1. Was my favorite for a while. But, if you had self-confidence you would not need courage? As everything would be easy. Perhaps it is sometimes better to have that extra challenge, to test courage and gain in strength, even in the everyday. OR, perhaps I am trying my best to look at my own lack of self-confidence as a gift 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dude…I remember being in high school when this came out and James Spader was on the show…I always wondered why I found him attractive till now. He “speaks” my language in regards of life’s wonders in love, pain, and kindness. I think the reason WHY he’s self-confident is perhaps he has learned to accept to learn the best and worst parts of himself, without being narcissistic and yet being humble about it. It’s hard to especially to find the latter in real life, regardless of your socioeconomic status. I feel a lot of people whether rich or poor have this sense of entitlement that “deserve” what they want whether it’s BECAUSE of their status or the heartache they went through in the past. And Alan Shore looks like the guy who doesn’t allow himself to be detoured by this such frame of mind set, because he doesn’t have it or tries NOT to. He believes it seems in showing kindness to others especially those who society would rather cast aside and that’s why (according to your description of him…& Wikipedia) he is not completely egotistical inspite of his immense talent and intellect. Man…now I wanna watch this show. I like him already as “Red Reddington” in “The Blacklist.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I tried to respond to this yesterday, twice, and pesky customers kept interrupting. 😉

    I LOVE Alan Shore! Honestly, one of the greatest characters ever conceived, ever portrayed. Episode after episode he enthralled me and I, too, wanted to be like Alan Shore!

    And I kind of think, in return, he wanted to be like me, too. 😎

    Confidence is one think I’ve always sought, since I was young. I have it, now, exactly as I wanted it as a child, but it took years to nurture. In the “old days” I would try and imagine what a confident person would do and just try to do it, anyway, and often that failed miserably. Confidence can’t be “faked,” I learned.

    Some years ago I took a series of tests, online and otherwise, to determine (among other things) my values. My number one value? Confidence. I admired it. Another test told me that one of my greatest “realised” strengths was “efficacy.” So, wait, if I have a desire for confidence and an unwavering belief in my own abilities …

    Things began to change around that time, I’d say. Was there an “aha” moment? No, I can’t say that. I got older, and with age comes a certain comfort in one’s own skin and with who one is, that probably helped more than anything. But since I had laid that foundation of a desire for confidence and a belief in myself all those years, the tipping point (as they say) occurred.

    Alan Shore is obviously a fictional character so the “how did he get so confident?” question is “that’s the way they wrote him!” But we can still study the foundation of that. In his makeup, he undoubtedly learned through his life that he had efficacy like no other around him and (like you said) he came to accept his own limitations. That’s a big key; accept who we are, be better at that.

    But more than that, I believe we are all our own stories, as well. We are who we write ourselves to be. Each day is a paragraph or a chapter in the book of us. Do you value greater confidence? Seek it. It’s there outside the comfort zone and on our way out we will fall. Maybe many times. But each time we get back up we get closer to our ideal.

    Beautiful post, Lisa. Efficacious as heck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love this Tom firstly because I’ve found another Alan Shore fan but also because what you’ve said and explained about your own journey has really inspired me. You are absolutely right about spending more time outside our comfort zones; I find my world getting smaller again after the huge breakthrough of upping sticks from the uk and moving to France. I’m going to make it a mission to do something I’ve never done (and therefore am scared to do) once every week. Might only be a small thing but I’m determined! Time to put on the big girl panties 😁
      Thanks again Tom, I appreciate this more than you know xxxxx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well I figured I’ve got to have a target and, if I don’t make it, what the hell; I’m just going to do my best. Today I was introduced to someone new by a friend and I actually managed to chat to him rather than just stare at my shoes – onwards and upwards 😊 thanks again for your words yesterday Tom, you really helped me and inspired this post xxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

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