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11 Easy Ways To Boost Your Confidence

11 Easy Ways To Boost Your Confidence

You want to feel confident, right?

You want to be able to walk around, knowing you’re an awesome person and truly believing it. You see everyone else doing it – strutting about full of themselves – but for you, it just doesn’t seem to come naturally. Whenever you try to act confident, your thoughts seem to end up back on your insecurities. Every moment passing is a moment you’ve spiraled deeper into this idea of insecurity and despair.

Stop.

Everyone gets insecure at times, that’s life. But existing in insecurity? That’s a habit that you learn. A learned thought-pattern. You can do something about it. In fact, here are 11 things you can do to boost your confidence right now.

1. Smile more

Sounds weird, right?

Why would smiling improve your confidence? It’s actually pretty simple. Smiling makes you feel good. It fools your mind into being happier. When you feel good, you’re more likely to think you – as a whole being – are good.

So by elevating your mood, you elevate your confidence. You become less concerned with your flaws, or what you perceive to be flaws. You become less fixated on that self-damaging inner monologue, and more absorbed in appreciating where you currently are. Just have a read of this article to understand how powerful smiling actually is!

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2. Recognise your short-comings

Part of being confident is knowing who you are, what you are, and what you do well. Another part of confidence is knowing what you don’t do so well. Why is it important to know what you don’t do well at? For multiple reasons:

  1. You can improve. Knowing you don’t do well at something gives you the insight to actively do something about it. If you’re unaware that you don’t do something very well, you won’t be able to work on it – it’s as simple as that.
  2. You know what you’re capable of. By knowing this, you can easily avoid situations where your confidence may take a blow by these short-comings because you’re already aware of them!
  3. Knowing where you fall short ultimately shines light on where you excel. We can’t all excel at absolutely everything, but this just helps us to appreciate where we excel even more.
  4. We can hand over what we can’t do well, to those who will do it well.

So while it may sound contradictory to feeling confident, ultimately it opens us up to the reality of being human. It frees you from the need to be a perfectionist. That in itself will sky-rocket your confidence because you also realise that everyone else is going through the exact same thing!

3. Wear your best dress

This point isn’t literal, but of course it can be. It’s just a cute way of saying, “wear what makes you feel good.” We all have a ‘best dress.’ It’s not always a dress, of course, it can be a shirt, a tie, a pair of shoes, or whatever. It doesn’t matter what it is. Just find that object that makes you feel good and wear it. Soak it in, knowing you look good. Feeling good shows; the confidence oozes out of you.

It’s a good one when you need that little extra kick of confidence. Just read this interview with David Sarwer, a contributing researcher for the Center for Human Appearance, for an overview of the science behind looking good making you feel good.

4. Ditch the comparisons

You are you. That’s all that can be expected of you. There’s really no point in comparing the unique person that is yourself to someone else. Just remember:

  • You have not walked the same path as the person you are comparing yourself to.
  • You have not had the same opportunities as the person you are comparing yourself to.
  • You do not possess the same set of tools as the person you are comparing yourself to.

There will be places that you excel, where others will fall short. There will be places that you fall short, where others will excel. This is life. Let it go, and simply be the best you that you can be. What everyone else is doing really isn’t a standard to hold yourself to.

5. Let go of other people’s expectations

A lot of insecurity stems from holding yourself to a standard that someone else made up. Just like the above point, no one has walked in your shoes and you have not walked in theirs. What other people expect of you is irrelevant. It should never be how you define your worth. You know what you’re going through, you know what you’ve been through, so only you truly can know what it is you are capable of.

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Free yourself from other people’s expectations. You be the decider of your worth. You be the decider of the expectations. When you can reclaim this power, you’ll realise that a lot of this unease in yourself has been because you’ve been trying to prove yourself to someone who can never truly understand you.

6. List 10 things that you like about yourself

Go ahead, do it. 10 things that you like about yourself. No matter how silly or insignificant they may seem.

Done it? Great. See how easy it is to break away from putting yourself down?

Continue to build yourself up. Make it a daily habit to list the things you like about yourself. Watch as your confidence soars.

7. Be prepared

When you are prepared, you’re going to be more confident with the situation you’re going into. For example, say you were going camping. It would be pretty nerve-wracking to go into it without any gear, any preparation, and no idea of where you’re going, right?

Now say you’ve taken the time to get all your gear together, establish an action plan, and know where you’re heading. You’ll be a lot more confident going into it.

You can relate this to any everyday situation. If you’re going to a party, be prepared by looking good, feeling good and having some conversation topics in mind. If you’re giving a speech, be prepared by knowing your speech. If you’re giving a presentation, practice presenting it. Preparation will lead you to security in the situation. (Confidence!)

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8. Gear the conversation to a topic you know

If you commonly find yourself feeling insecure in social situations, and as though you have nothing to contribute to conversations, there’s a simple trick to fix that: Talk about what you know.

Obviously you don’t need to walk up and just start aimlessly talking about it, just strike up a casual conversation with someone about something they’ve said. Once you’re talking to them about what they said, relate what it is you know to what it is they said. (It’s not as hard as it sounds.)

There are infinite ways to relate topics to each other. Just find the overlap. Practice it on friends first if you don’t feel confident doing it with strangers, every step you take towards practising this will increase your confidence in social situations exponentially.

9. Identify your passions in life

There’s something about passion that brings out the most complex beauty within people. That moment when your eyes are full of awe and wonder, completely captivated by the moment, caught up in an inner sense of purpose and a burning desire.

When you know your passion in life, it gives you a lot more sense of purpose. It gives you direction. It gives you meaning. It gives you security. Ultimately, these all translate into one thing… Confidence.

If you know what you’re passionate about, you’ll always have a reserve of confidence at your disposal.

10. Ask other people for their opinion on you

It’s easy to get trapped in your head, and be convinced all of these flaws that you see are how everyone else sees you. Luckily, it’s pretty simple to remedy this self-damaging thought pattern. Go to someone you’re close with and ask them what they think of you. Listen to all the loving things they have to say about you. Listen as they point out all of your awesome points, that they see, rather than the flaws that you see.

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Once they’ve given you their opinion of you, try to understand it. Try to accept it. Try to realise that very few people, if any at all, are looking at you and seeing these flaws you’ve identified in your head. They’re seeing you when you’re not caught up in all this self-damaging monologue. There’s a beauty to you that you’re often blind to.

11. Be yourself

As simple as it is, and as contradictory as it may sound: being yourself is the ultimate source of confidence. When you are simply yourself, you’ll realise that all the masks you’ve worn were only ever holding you back from being confident.

Owning who you are frees you from comparisons and judgement, because you are what you are – it doesn’t  matter what anyone else thinks.

Ultimately confidence is something you exude when you unlearn the habit of constant insecurity. Deep down, you’re aware you have talents, worth and a unique value to bring to every situation. You just need to peel off the insecurity that you learned and allow that confidence to shine.

If you’ve got anything to add, then please just drop it in the comments below. If you think you know someone that could benefit from this, just share it!

Featured photo credit: Death to the Stock Photo via deathtothestockphoto.com

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Jake Mcspirit

Jake is a passionate writer who share a wide range of life tips on Lifehack.

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Published on April 7, 2021

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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2. They Make Everything Transactional

Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

Some statements to be wary of include:

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  • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
  • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
  • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
  • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

3. They Criticize Everything

One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

  • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
  • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
  • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
  • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

5. They Socially Isolate You

Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

  • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
  • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
  • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
  • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

Final Thoughts

It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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