Not everybody wants a prestigious job title or a big luxury house. But every human does desire high social status, a 2015 study found. Even if they don’t realize it.
“Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves…” ― Cheryl Strayed
Depending on your natural personality type and your social experiences as a child, you might be the most socially confident person you know or the least. Most fall somewhere in the middle. However, there’s always room for improvement, regardless of your current skills and expertise.
Your ability to interact with others influences your self-concept, career, social life, and personal life, as author Cheryl Strayed discovered in the book Wild.
Life is more fun and a lot easier if you feel confident around others. The skills that make this possible are well-known but can be uncomfortable to develop.
There’s no reason not to greatly increase your abilities if you’re willing to be a little bold. Here are some steps to build your confidence around others:
Talk To Lots Of People
You become more comfortable with something when you do it a lot. Most confidence issues are based on fear. By talking to a lot of people, you’ll show yourself that there’s nothing to be afraid of. Fortunately, there are people everywhere.
Consider getting a part-time job that involves speaking to people. You could be a waiter, salesperson, customer service rep or any other job that requires interacting with others. You’ll earn some extra money, too.
Schedule your social life. Be sure you have a few hours of social activity planned into your life each week. Get out of the house and have a little fun with others.
Study Confident, Powerful Characters In Movies
[caption id=“attachment_100896” align=“aligncenter” width=“700”] Gary Cooper in film trailer for The Fountainhead, 1949[/caption]
Look at movies with strong characters and note how they stand, move, and use eye contact.
Robert Redford in The Natural
Betty Grable in How to Marry a Millionaire and I Wake Up Screaming
Gary Cooper in The Plainsman, The Fountainhead, and High Noon
Tom Hanks in Apollo 13, Scully
Annette Bening in Regarding Henry and American Beauty
What is it that makes them appear so in control and formidable? Which movie character do you wish you could be like? Study them.
Have Controlled Emotional Reactions
Think of James Bond. You could tell him he has mustard on his shirt and a satellite was about to fall on the building. (how could I forget Roger Moore in that list above?)
He would smirk at you, say something funny, and then take another bite of his hotdog before taking any action. The most confident people underreact.
Maintain Confident Eye Contact
Look everyone in the eye with great confidence. You’re not in a staring contest, but you can’t lower your eyes in deference if you want to be viewed as a powerful person.
Practice your eye contact with everyone that crosses your path.
Slouching and appearing smaller than you really are has no place in your life. Imagine you were the president of the United States and were walking among your greatest supporters. How would you stand?
Try to maintain that same posture whether you’re addressing the masses or taking your trash cans to the curb.
Create Social Opportunities
There are many ways you can make yourself the center of attention.
Have a party Start a meetup group Join Toastmasters Inform your peers of one of your goals, such as losing weight Attend networking events Get a group of people together to go out to the movies or to dinner Get some friends together for a poker night
Remind yourself of your successful social interactions in the past. Visualize success in the future. Have high expectations for interactions in all social situations.
Imagine entering a room full of strangers and boldly speaking with the most attractive or influential person there. The world would truly be your oyster. That confidence would overflow into other parts of your life.
The skills of confident and effective communicators are widely known and available to all. Get a handle on this important part of your life. Your life will never be the same.