One of the keys to making a good impression, getting a great job, and enjoying life is social confidence. Unless you’re going to lock yourself in a cabin in the woods, it’s important to be able to interact confidently with others.
You may not have been born with the gift of gab, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be a charming and confident communicator.
You may have convinced yourself that you like spending time alone with Netflix or a good book, and that might be true to a point. Admit it, you wish you enjoyed spending time with others more than you currently do.
You can make this change.
Try these strategies to be more confident in social situations:
1. Learn to relax instead of stressing yourself. Being anxious is something you do to yourself. You can do something else to yourself and be relaxed instead. Rather than thinking about an upcoming social situation in a negative way, imagine a positive outcome. You can affect your emotions with your thoughts. Use that to your advantage.
2. Be willing to show your flaws. You can easily find the flaws in the all the people you know. You still love many of them. There are plenty of people that love you, even if they know just how flawed you really are. If you’re not trying to present an image of perfection, you’ll feel much more relaxed.
3. Enhance your social skills. When you’re an expert on something, you naturally feel more confident using that skill. Social skills are learnable, and there’s plenty of information out there you can use to teach yourself better social skills.
4. Practice. The best time to work on your social skills isn’t at the company holiday party or when you’re on a first date. Practice in more mundane situations. The world is full of people. Think of them as test fodder in your quest to be more socially confident. Have a chat with your neighbor or a stranger at the gym.
○ It’s important to master your social skills and confidence in lower stress situations if you want them available in higher stress situations. Practice makes perfect.
5. Stay grounded. While you’re communicating with others, stay out of your head. The easiest way to do this is to focus all of your attention on the other person. Look at them and listen intently. If you’re focusing on them, you can’t be thinking negative thoughts.
○ What if your in a social situation, but not currently communicating with anyone? Try keeping your attention on your surroundings. Find the tallest person in the room. Notice the color of the walls. Stay aware of your environment and out of your head.
6. Keep the attention off yourself while communicating. Why are you stressed in the first place? You’re probably worried about what everyone is thinking about you. Turn the tables and keep the attention on someone else.
○ Ask a lot of questions and you’ll keep the focus on the other person. Most people love to talk about themselves. You won’t have to do much and you’ll make a great impression.
Increasing your social confidence can do more to enhance your life than just about anything else you can do. It can be the road to less loneliness, a better career, more friends, more fun, and a richer life in general.
Unfortunately, those with social anxiety have learned to avoid social situations. You’ll have to be brave to teach yourself to be more socially confident. Start slowly, but get started today.