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5 Ways to Start Building Social Confidence Today

5 Ways to Start Building Social Confidence Today

Why are you so shy?
Why are you so quiet?
Why are you so emotional?
Are you upset?

Do people ask you those questions all the time? If the answer is yes, please keep reading, because I am going to change your life.

From experience, I have been asked those questions a lot. I was a very shy guy in the past, as I have no idea how to open up to people. Talking to strangers was like seeing Jesus and Allah at the same time—I was always at a loss of words.

I felt nervous. I felt like I might say something stupid, so I didn’t speak. I also felt that I should always say something that sounded smart or funny so that I’d please other people. But then I changed.

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These tips are not just about being sociable. They can change your whole life in every aspect; they can make you a more confident person, an attractive person, a better leader, a better entrepreneur, and more, because it just keeps getting better once you are socially confident or confident in general. These are the important tips which changed my life and can change your life by helping you transform from being a shy person to a socially confident person.

1. Improve yourself in all aspects to build your overall confidence.

The whole idea is simple: just become a better version of yourself. You need to achieve more, become better or do anything that will make you proud of yourself. Confidence is something you have to build over time. It is built through hard work. You can start working out and have a better physique. You can take up dance lessons. You can start earning more money. You can do all kind of things which you think will make you more socially accepted. Confidence typically comes from acceptance by society. To be accepted by society, you will have to provide value.

Anything can be of value. For example: love, money or anything that is deemed to be worthy to others. Having a good physique makes you attractive and attraction is a kind of value. Being funny makes other people laugh, so that is value as well. So, the key is to improve yourself so that you can provide value which will be socially accepted. Acceptance is what will help you become confident gradually.

Just imagine a rich, good-looking guy with a nice physique; what are the chances of him being a person who has low self esteem? It’s more about the mindset and attitude! So, just remember: provide value. The world is harsh. Everyone only cares about people who can be of value to them.

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2. Stop taking yourself so seriously.

If you are shy, chances are, you are taking yourself too seriously. Ask yourself: are you always feeling offended by little things, or do you feel the need to defend yourself when someone says something negative about you? If yes, you need to chill. You need to know that there are some things in the world, such as others’ opinions, that you cannot control.

Of course, I am not telling you to be ignorant and continue being idiotic, if you are. However, usually when people tease you, they are just making a joke. Even if they are laughing at you, they probably don’t really mean to hurt you. They just want a laugh. That’s all. There will always be jerks or toxic people, but if you truly do not take yourself seriously, you won’t be affected by them that much. Trust me. I have been there, and I am here now.

The trick here is to just start by laughing it off. Chances are, you are not going to be really laughing genuinely at first. You are probably taking others’ words seriously due to insecurities. So, build your confidence and in the meantime, practice laughing at everything! I am not telling you to laugh at every thing you see—you definitely need to know when it is the right place and time. For example, laugh when someone makes fun of your age group. Whether or not they are right doesn’t matter—they’re probably just joking.

And even if they mean it, you have to learn to accept yourself for who you are and keep improving yourself; then you will be free from your insecurities eventually. And if your close friend’s mother just passed away or if someone is being very serious with you, please do not laugh! You’ll be able to understand when it is appropriate—I believe shy people are generally smart people.

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3. Stop judging what you say.

Are you someone who always feel that you have nothing to say? Do this one little thing: stop filtering what you say. Just say whatever is on your mind. Do not judge what you say negatively! Remember this: if you frequently judge your own words as rubbish and assume that no one will like what you say, you are disillusioned by your own thoughts. Say whatever you feel like saying. It’s not about what you do; it’s about why you do what you do.

This can be applied to what you say as well. For example, during a conversation about September 11, you could say something like “my dog passed away last year.” Is that relevant? Maybe. Is that stupid? Maybe. But it’s really okay to say stupid stuff. Applying the theory of “it’s about why you say what you say,” people might become interested in why you are saying those things, whether they are weird or not.

Every word you say is of value. You might feel stupid at first, but slowly, you will begin to stop judging yourself and say things more confidently. People may even find what you have to say funny and grow to love you! People generally like others who open up to them. They will feel that you aren’t hiding anything from them, and they will feel a sense of closeness with you when you open up to them. You will feel more comfortable speaking to them too! Just remember: don’t filter and judge what you say; you will see the greatest difference in your social confidence over time!

4. Don’t give a sh*t about anything!

This is one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever gotten. It is a combination of both the second and third point. In order to not give a crap about anything, you need to have the attitude that you’ve got nothing to lose. And that is true. Life is full of uncertainties. Things just come and go. Keep in mind, though, that it is important that you don’t just throw your life away. You need to have your own priorities! For example, my priorities are my relationships, my health, and my money. I will cherish the things I prioritize, and I do my best to never let them go.

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When it comes to everything else, I don’t give a crap! When you care less, since you know you’ve got nothing to lose, you feel more relaxed. You take things that are not priorities less seriously. When you do that, you have fewer insecurities, because even if you suck at some things, you don’t really feel ashamed because you just really don’t give a crap about those things!

Focus on building what you prioritize, and stop caring so much about other minor things. You will feel happier and more confident. Then, you can communicate much better as well because you feel that you are free from insecurities, you are more open to all kinds of conversations—even those you might have found offensive in the past. You actually magically and slowly become free from shyness and have a state of mind which allows you to socialize so easily!

5. Practice. Practice more.

You may know the theories, but you need to apply them! Applying them basically comes down to just putting yourself in many social situations. Take part in events where you have to socialize; start smiling at strangers; talk to random strangers; go to clubs and talk to random people. Step out of your comfort zone and test your limits. You will get better and better when you keep doing it! It’s perfectly fine to fail at first. All you have to do is to take the first step; it could be just starting to talk to your dog at first if you are majorly shy! I am not even joking—it probably helps.

You could also try spending a few minutes every day and make yourself talk about a particular thing, anything, continuously. This is an exercise to stop you from filtering your words. Also, you can try this trick: get slightly intoxicated. You know how you open up more when intoxicated? You tend to be more relaxed, filter less, have more guts to speak whatever is in your mind, right? Do that, and remember how you feel when you are sober, then apply it. It is not easy. You’ve got to take note of your state of mind when you are under the influence; maybe try to write it down the reasons why you have so much confidence suddenly when you are drunk, and review it again when you are sober. You probably have to repeat that many times because it is trial and error. Once you get it, you will have level 1000 social confidence!

Give yourself time. It depends on your starting point. Some may take a few months, some may take a year, or a few years. I have been shy since I was very young and all throughout high school. Then I decided to change, and it probably took me a few years to become much more socially confident. I still have a lot to learn and improve on. Believe in yourself and take action to make a change. You will be surprised at how you are starting to live your life finally!

Featured photo credit: Stokpic via stokpic.com

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http://imcreator.com/free/people/rick-nunn How to Become a Stronger Version of Yourself for True Confidence 5 Ways to Start Building Social Confidence Today

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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