Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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

More by this author

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

Trending in Communication

1 Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional? 2 12 Powerful Habits of a Lifelong Learner 3 8 Proven Ways to Learn a New Language Fast 4 5 Best Language Learning Apps to Master a New Language 5 9 Reasons Why Motivation Matters in Leadership

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on November 11, 2019

Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional?

Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional?

A dysfunctional family is more than disagreement or constant arguments. Anything from plain neglect, to abuse and even verbal and physical violence is the everyday experience of those who are part of a dysfunctional family.

You know how this looks:

  • Parents constantly comparing children.
  • Siblings in conflict because of tolerated bullying.
  • Domestic violence.
  • Adultery…
  • And many others.

For all the members, this will mean emotional pain and even trauma; which, in case it doesn’t get resolved, will have a detrimental effect on the individual’s personality and development.

Needless to say, the younger members are the most vulnerable, but that doesn’t mean the parents are out of danger, as most commonly the parents play the roles of abuser-codependent, and in some cases, both parts inflicting pain on one another.

Most like to think these problems stem from deep-seated issues, and that therefore it’s pretty much impossible to deal with them.

This is only true for families not willing to do what it takes, for if only a single member is determined and knows how to do it, the whole family can do a lot of progress.

In this article, I’ll break down for you the basic steps of fixing a dysfunctional family. Although it may seem hopeless, it is possible to turn things around.

If you have ever felt in this position, or if you know somebody who is, this article is for you.

How to fix a dysfunctional family

In a few words the solution for a dysfunctional family lies in dropping the ego, focusing on the solution, switching blame for responsibility and doing the work as a unity, for the good of the whole family.

And this will accomplish things you once only saw as a dream.

Dropping the ego? Switching blame for responsibility? Doing the work? What does all this mean?

It’s simple. In a nutshell, it’s that which will allow you to turn a dysfunctional family into a functional one.

Let’s take a look at how exactly this can be done. And near the end we will also talk about what you can do in a dysfunctional family with cynical traits.

Dysfunctional families where not only problems are well-known, but also nobody seems to want a fix or openly decide to perpetuate the harmful behaviors. Such as the case of abuse and physical violence.

There is also a solution for these, it’s just not what you are expecting…

Dysfunctional… Or just average?

Most families are dysfunctional, though at varying degrees of dysfunctionality.

The milder cases, are just marked by “typical” comically-shrouded bullying or lack of interest in other members’ development or wellbeing.

You can know a family is dysfunctional if their interactions are anything different than cooperation, solidarity, care and support. But let’s get more specific…

A dysfunctional family is one in which members directly or indirectly suffer emotional and/or physical harm inflicted by other members of their family. Most commonly, perpetrated by the parents.

Even harmful actions as “passive” as neglect, which is inflicted by inaction rather than action, signifies a dysfunction within the family.

Dysfunctional families have conflicts such as:

  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Lack of interest and time spent together
  • Sexism
  • Utilitarianism
  • Lack of empathy
  • Unequal or unfair treatment
  • Disrespect towards boundaries
  • Control Issues
  • Jealousy
  • Verbal and physical abuse
  • Violence and even sexual misconduct or abuse

You may think a dysfunctional family has very little or nothing to do with personal productivity, but you would be wrong in thinking this way…

If a person is not emotionally well, she will not be able to perform as desired, as the emotional harm that has been inflicted will hinder everyday performance in the way of inability to concentrate, lack of mental clarity and low levels of inspiration, motivation and discipline.

Having a functional family does exactly the opposite: It creates productive members with no emotional baggage.

How to turn it around

When you’re part of a dysfunctional family you know it. You can quickly identify in other members the behaviors and conflicts that create the dysfunction.

But just in case you’re having trouble telling functional from dysfunctional I will tell you the following:

One of the easiest ways you can recognize if you are in a dysfunctional family is to survey your won feelings.

We often overlook this, but have you stopped to ask yourself how you feel?

Advertising

As cheesy as it may sound it really sheds a lot of light on the subject.

What behaviors, actions and attitudes in your family you wish were better?

Do you think certain behaviors and actions from your family marked you in the past?

Sadly, we cannot go back to the past to correct it. But we can do a lot in the present…

Correction is possible

In order to fix a dysfunctional family, you must start by putting an end to the behaviors and actions that are affecting you.

Verbalize it.

All members of the dysfunctional family have one issue in common: They don’t put a stop to the harm.

Whenever you feel your boundaries being overstepped there is just one single word you have to remember: STOP.

This is the door to a better, more functional family, because after this, comes the fix.

But first you have to identify and make others know where exactly lies the problem.

So go ahead and fearlessly start with “Stop”, followed by your expression of dissatisfaction.

Putting it to work in real life

In real life it would be something like this:

“OK, stop! Every time you belittle me I feel you don’t care. I need attention and respect, and it is your responsibility as my family to provide them to me”

Or:

“Stop. When you compare me with my cousin it hurts, I feel like I don’t matter and that’s not ok. I ask you to stop doing it.

Or:

“Please stop. When you start yelling all respect is lost and it turns into a battle of who can do it louder. Don’t raise your voice and let’s work this out the way humans do”.

As you can see, here you start by putting a stop to the toxic behavior when it arises. And afterwards you verbalize why it’s wrong and what needs of you need to be fulfilled.

This is what you have to remember:

1-Stop.

2-Why it’s wrong?

3-What you need.

And this will also work well in case you need to do it for another family member.

It’s a family thing

A dysfunctional family cannot be fixed by one member alone.

Yes, a single member can initiate progress and be the leader of the change. But in order to completely become functional all members must contribute to the solution.

In other words, you will need cooperation…

So don’t be afraid of asking for it!

Approach your family member and ask to be listened.

Advertising

We sometimes feel our needs are “not that important” or we simply believe they won’t listen. But thinking like this would be like being defeated at an unfought battle.

You will be amazed by how much people listen when you voice your needs, especially if it implies showing yourself open, vulnerable and in need.

It’s not a free-for-all battle

In order to get your family to cooperate, first you must fix your individual relationships with every member of the family. Remember: Relationships are always between two people, and two people only.

No matter how complex, the quality of a multi-member relationship (like a family) will always depend on the quality of the individual relationships.

Once you have straightened the relationship with every member of the dysfunctional family you will be able to better communicate with other members and help in the betterment of their individual relationship.

And this is where we will talk about the fix itself. The one I mentioned in the introduction…

The method

1. Drop the ego

Wherever there is conflict there is ego.

You cannot fix a relationship where there is ego, because the ego will want to win. Always. Yours and the other person.

Ego craves control and satisfaction, and in many cases, to establish dominance.

What does this have to do with a dysfunctional family? Everything. Ego will interfere with every plan you have to fix it.

It will make people suborn and defensive. And it will also make them drop responsibility. This is why, the first step is to drop the ego.

After you make sure you are not going to allow your ego to interfere you must work to make the other person do the same. How? By speaking from the heart…

Tell the other person how important all this is to you.

Tell the other person that it’s not a matter of arguing, but just working things out together.

Point out how it is not possible for you to do it alone.

And ask for sincere attention without any desire of opposition, because what you are doing is by no means in the hopes of harming the other person, but just to better the relationship and stop the damage being dealt to you.

You will have to point out the mistakes you need corrected, that’s for sure. And that leads me to the next point…

2. Not blame, but responsibility

When talking about others’ mistakes we often use an accusatory tone. And that’s natural, it’s what things should be like if ego was not present.

But since we are all creatures of ego, this immediately brings the shields up. And then unsheathes the swords…

When we blame others they automatically enter a defensive state, and this only leads to a failed negotiation.

What you need to do is to shift from blame to responsibility. And even that will have to be done carefully!

Instead of telling them off or demanding change or complaining, calmly point what the problem with their behavior is.

As much as this feels contradictory, also make them feel understood. You know how difficult it is to accept a mistake, so just make them feel it’s no big fuzz… which does not mean it’s ok, but it takes tension off.

You will do something like this:

“Hello dad. Can I talk with you for a minute? I really need to tell you something.

I have been feeling pretty sad lately and I know this is something you do care about.

You see, whenever I talk about my accomplishments you mention something else that makes my achievement pale in comparison.

I know you don’t do this intentionally and I know you might have not realized this until now, but I want to let you know this really brings me down.

Advertising

It would mean a lot to me if you could stop doing it, and it would help better our relationship, because this has already forced me to distance myself from you. And I don’t want that, I want a good, healthy relationship with you”

What happened here?

We started off with making it something important, something that needs both time and attention. Then we openly show ourselves vulnerable, just as we are.

We also mention why he should listen, and shove our feelings there again, because they are important.

We describe the issue with no attachment and with no hostile intention. It’s just a description.

And then we take the blame off. Just before we assign responsibility without actually saying it.

You are not blaming him directly, but you are pointing out the inevitable fact that his actions are causing a dysfunctionality. He is now responsible for changing.

This is what “switching blame for responsibility” means. What comes next? Doing the work!

3. Doing the work

What would any of this mean if, in the end, nothing changes? Exactly, nothing!

This is why you must follow up with every change that needs to be done.

Do so in a manner that is not hostile. Bring it up in a casual manner, and emphasizing how you both reached an agreement and how that is important to the family.

If the person doesn’t follow up don’t hesitate to bring it up again, and tell them you feel disappointed that your honest try at it was not listened.

It may even be a subject in itself, and therefore the need for another conversation.

“When you go back to old habits it shows that you didn’t really care about what I said. But back in real life you just reinforce how much contempt you show towards me and my feelings.

I talk with you because I care. Because although it would be easier for me to just distance myself from you I rather do my part in nurturing this relationship.

But there is just so much I can do, if you refuse to do your part I can do nothing else.”

You need very clear and positive communication in order to make this work.

Love is all you need

You must remember that in order for a dysfunctional family to become functional, all the work needs to stem from love.

That is the single one requirement for all this to work: Love.

And what happens if it simply is not there?

What happens if, nobody is willing to do what it takes?

What happens if a member of the family refuses to change and is happy with the harm he or she is dealing?

There is only one thing you can do:

To break away.

Let’s be honest, people, especially adults, are very difficult to change.

There is a Jewish proverb that I love, which sums it up like this:

“We spend the rest of our lives trying to unlearn what we learned before we were 7”

If you find it very hard to change the very traits that make your family dysfunctional or if it’s simply impossible, you still have a card up your sleeve…

Advertising

Although nobody likes to beak away from family members, we must remember we have a responsibility with ourselves as individuals, before any relationship with anyone.

You have the responsibility of making yourself happy and free. Because you matter as an individual, regardless of any relationships you have, be it family, friendship or romantic.

Putting distance

So in case you are dealing with a family member who is simply unwilling to change take both physical and emotional distance.

What do I mean?

Learn, first, to take their damage in a detached manner.

Don’t let it hurt you further. Instead take a deep breath and distance yourself emotionally.

Don’t be attached to feelings such as “Why doesn’t she love me?” or “What did I do to deserve this?” or “If he wasn’t like that my life would be perfect”.

Simply refuse to keep participating in the emotional downward spiral and accept, even if it’s painful” that there is nothing you can do. Accept that even without that relationship you are whole, you are worthy of love and respect.

They are their responsibility and you are yours. So decide what is best for you.

Realize it only comes down to two possibilities:

I keep the relationship and therefore accept the abuse. Or…

I choose my peace of mind.

And don’t let your mind fool you. We often think that since we all are imperfect, we must take the good and the bad behaviors of people. And we are especially forgiving towards our family…

Well, guess what? We are also responsible adults who are aware and must own to their acts. Never excuse abuse or violence or transgression towards you or anybody else.

Choose your happiness and if possible, also distance yourself physically, as it will increase your peace of mind tenfold.

How to prevent it

There are two key concepts you must bear in mind in order to prevent the dysfunctionality of a family:

  • To be completely aware of one’s own mistakes and not allow them to impact others and…
  • To make sure our SO’s are also on the same channel before creating a family (i.e. having children)

Dysfunctional families are the product of irresponsible paternity, for the decades-long unresolved emotional conflict ends up surfacing in the family inevitably, and it will for sure harm those who least deserve it: Innocent children.

You may notice we went from talking about family, to talking about individual relationships, to talking about you. We went from “them” to “us” to “me”.

Why? Because in the end you have the power to fix a dysfunctional family. To correct the mistakes you have in yours and to prevent dysfunctionalities if you don’t have a family but plan to create one.

Priorities and clear thought

You may be part of a dysfunctional family, but that does not mean you are powerless or that you have to suffer the consequences.

You learned today how it’s all a matter of priorities and thinking clearly.

You learned that, if love exists, everything is possible. You learned that even when there is no love and no fix for your dysfunctional family, there are still things you can do. It’s a matter of choosing your peace, because you deserve it.

Everything will be better if you apply this knowledge. If you talk to that problematic family member. If you help them see the harm they are doing. If you make sure they do change and treat you the way you need to be treated…

If you choose yourself over that toxic family member. If you refuse to justify the harm that others can do to yourself. If you realize the most important relationship you have is with yourself.

And lastly, that you also have to be aware of your actions and be open to criticism. Because we might be unknowingly harming others. And that would be us creating a dysfunctionality. Don’t allow it to happen.

Dysfunctional families are not impossible to fix. It just takes love, cooperation and responsibility.

But if you tried and those elements are not present, just choose yourself instead.

Featured photo credit: Xavier Mouton Photographie via unsplash.com

Read Next