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How To Muster Your Confidence And Tell Someone You Like Them

How To Muster Your Confidence And Tell Someone You Like Them

My romantic history reads like Cliff Notes from all of Shakespeare’s tragedies. And most of his comedies. Not entirely successful then, with a smattering of jealousy, and rejection by the ladle full.

But hey, at least I give it a go, right?

Taking that first step and telling someone that you want to be more than “just friends” is about as scary as it gets, and those heart-thumping moments before you open yourself up can be enough to make you turn on your heels and flee.

Turning and fleeing aren’t conducive to a good relationship though (I’ve learned that), so here’s how to tell someone you like them in 12 simple steps.

1. Wait for the right opportunity

Asking someone out through the bathroom door or telling someone you like them during a business meeting aren’t the best way to go. To have this work, it’s best if you’re both relaxed and have a little privacy, and it’s a great idea if you’re both engaged in some kind of activity, whether it’s sipping a coffee, taking a walk, or seeing a show.

Think about when and where you’ll each be feeling good, then get to it.

2. Don’t wait for the right opportunity forever

There’s no such thing as the “perfect time,” and people miss all kinds of opportunities and moments because they’re waiting around for a time that’s just a “little more right.”

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Finding an imperfect moment to ask someone out is always better than waiting for a moment that never comes.

3. Take the drama out of it

Your heart thumps, your palms sweat, your stomach flutters, and adrenalin hits. It feels like a big deal, and all of the drama surrounding the moment you tell someone how you feel only adds more weight and pressure. Weight and pressure that you don’t need.

So lighten up a little and reassure yourself. The sun will rise again tomorrow. You’re not going to die. Whatever happens, this will be okay.

4. Don’t project forwards

Stories have been part of human culture for as long as we’ve been around, and you’re hardwired to spin them. They help you make sense of the world and everything in it, and it’s through the stories you weave that you figure out what things mean to you and how you react to them.

You might fall in love, get married, and grow old together. You might end up divorced and hating each other. What if you fall for them and they end up stamping all over your heart? What if you let them down?

None of these stories matter. They’re all fiction. What does matter is your next choice.

5. Take a look at your motivation

What’s the reason you want to tell them you like them? Is it because you get all lit up and fuzzy when you’re around them? Is it because you like who you are when you’re with them? Or is it because they give you validation that’s as moreish as chocolate brownies made of kisses?

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Don’t tell them you like them because of what they can give you. Do it because you want to share more with them, because you love who they are, and because you’re curious about what you could be to each other.

6. Accept that it will be uncomfortable

There’s no way to tell someone you like them without a little discomfort. The very essence of this means that you’re putting something on the line and taking a risk—and inherent in risk-taking is going out of your comfort zone.

So don’t beat on, or get hung up on feeling awkward or uncomfortable—it’s simply part of the process. Vulnerability requires discomfort, and that’s just as it needs to be.

7. Feeling nervous doesn’t mean you’re not confident

When those nerves kick in, it’s easy to believe that you’re not up to the task or can’t do it. The experience of feeling nervous takes over, and you forget all about the natural confidence you have in your bones.

But nerves don’t preclude confidence any more than wearing a size 42 shoe precludes you from going barefoot.

Those nerves mean you’re doing something new and something that matters, and trusting yourself to make a choice within that experience is confidence.

8. Share something that matters

A relationship is nourished through sharing. Sounds glib and overly simplistic, but it’s true. Perhaps especially so at the start.

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You can share something of yourself—a story, a hope or a passion. You can share something with them because it made you think of them—a book you think they’ll love, a place you think they’ll enjoy, or a song that brought them to mind. Or you can share a moment in time—a great view, laughing ’til you cry, or a moment of pure indulgence.

Sharing something that matters makes opening up feel natural.

9. How would the “confident you” do this?

In the moment you feel your confidence vanish, pause for a moment and ask yourself how that version of you who’s flowing, buzzing, at the top of their game, and firing on all cylinders would do this.

When you’re at your best there’s a sense of ease and flow that makes things so much more simple. You don’t question whether you can or can’t, you just do. You don’t question whether you should or shouldn’t, you just engage. You don’t question whether you’re good enough or worthy enough, you accept that you’re plenty.

That version of you at your best—the you who’s naturally confident—is always there. You just have to remind yourself from time to time.

10. Say, “Hey,” to the elephant in the room

Rejection. There, I said it! As much as you might not like to entertain the idea, and as horrible as the anticipation of it feels, it’s a real possibility.

The fact that someone might turn you down, say no to that date, or reject your advances is enough to stop many of us in our tracks. But you should always remember that their choices are theirs to make, and should they turn you down it’s not a judgment about your worth, it’s only about their tastes, their circumstances, and their story.

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Rejection is not the enemy. Not taking the risk to be rejected is what you should be scared of.

11. Don’t worry about the words

Ever wanted to say the perfect thing at the perfect time? Yeah, me too.

But just as there’s no perfect time, there’s no such thing as the perfect thing to say. You don’t need a Hollywood “You complete me,” “You make me want to be a better man,” or “I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.” All you need is to trust the words that reach your lips—stutters, stumbles, stammers, and all.

12. Keep it simple

It’s tempting to engineer a place, time, or specific set of circumstances that will make telling someone you like them easy and natural, when in reality all of those thoughts and expectations just make things more difficult and complex.

So keep it simple. Don’t overengineer it. Don’t create a huge chain of dependencies that have to be true in order for you to say what you want to say. Don’t turn this into struggle with yourself.

A simple, “Hey, want to grab a coffee with me tomorrow?” might be all that’s needed, so be sure to choose ease and simplicity over struggle and complexity.

At the end of the day, there’s probably just one thing to ask yourself: Do you want to be the kind of person who turns away from possibility, or the kind of person who gave it a shot just because something amazing might happen?

More by this author

Steve Errey

Steve is a confidence coach who helps leaders build confidence.

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Last Updated on December 10, 2019

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

Here’s the truth: your effectiveness at life is not what it could be. You’re missing out.

Each day passes by and you have nothing to prove that it even happened. Did you achieve something? Go on a date? Have an emotional breakthrough? Who knows?

But what you do know is that you don’t want to make the same mistakes that you’ve made in the past.

Our lives are full of hidden gems of knowledge and insight, and the most recent events in our lives contain the most useful gems of all. Do you know why? It’s simple, those hidden lessons are the most up to date, meaning they have the largest impact on what we’re doing right now.

But the question is, how do you get those lessons? There’s a simple way to do it, and it doesn’t involve time machines:

Journal writing.

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Improved mental clarity, the ability to see our lives in the big picture, as well as serving as a piece of evidence cataloguing every success we’ve ever had; we are provided all of the above and more by doing some journal writing.

Journal writing is a useful and flexible tool to help shed light on achieving your goals.

Here’s 5 smart reasons why you should do journal writing:

1. Journals Help You Have a Better Connection with Your Values, Emotions, and Goals

By journaling about what you believe in, why you believe it, how you feel, and what your goals are, you understand your relationships with these things better. This is because you must sort through the mental clutter and provide details on why you do what you do and feel what you feel.

Consider this:

Perhaps you’ve spent the last year or so working at a job you don’t like. It would be easy to just suck it up and keep working with your head down, going on as if it’s supposed to be normal to not like your job. Nobody else is complaining, so why should you, right?

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But a little journal writing will set things straight for you. You don’t like your job. You feel like it’s robbing you of happiness and satisfaction, and you don’t see yourself better there in the future.

The other workers? Maybe they don’t know, maybe they don’t care. But you do, you know and care enough to do something about it. And you’re capable of fixing this problem because your journal writing allows you to finally be honest with yourself about it.

2. Journals Improve Mental Clarity and Help Improve Your Focus

If there’s one thing journal writing is good for, it’s clearing the mental clutter.

How does it work? Simply, whenever you have a problem and write about it in a journal, you transfer the problem from your head to the paper. This empties the mind, allowing allocation of precious resources to problem-solving rather than problem-storing.

Let’s say you’ve been juggling several tasks at work. You’ve got data entry, testing, e-mails, problems with the boss, and so on—enough to overwhelm you—but as you start journal writing, things become clearer and easier to understand: Data entry can actually wait till Thursday; Bill kindly offered earlier to do my testing; For e-mails, I can check them now; the boss is just upset because Becky called in sick, etc.

You become better able to focus and reason your tasks out, and this is an indispensable and useful skill to have.

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3. Journals Improve Insight and Understanding

As a positive consequence of improving your mental clarity, you become more open to insights you may have missed before. As you write your notes out, you’re essentially having a dialogue with yourself. This draws out insights that you would have missed otherwise; it’s almost as if two people are working together to better understand each other. This kind of insight is only available to the person who has taken the time to connect with and understand themselves in the form of writing.

Once you’ve gotten a few entries written down, new insights can be gleaned from reading over them. What themes do you see in your life? Do you keep switching goals halfway through? Are you constantly dating the same type of people who aren’t good for you? Have you slowly but surely pushed people out of your life for fear of being hurt?

All of these questions can be answered by simply self-reflecting, but you can only discover the answers if you’ve captured them in writing. These questions are going to be tough to answer without a journal of your actions and experiences.

4. Journals Track Your Overall Development

Life happens, and it can happen fast. Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and look around at what’s happening to us at each moment. We don’t get to see the step-by-step progress that we’re making in our own lives. So what happens? One day it’s the future, and you have no idea how you’ve gotten there.

Journal writing allows you to see how you’ve changed over time, so you can see where you did things right, and you can see where you took a misstep and fell.

The great thing about journals is that you’ll know what that misstep was, and you can make sure it doesn’t happen again—all because you made sure to log it, allowing yourself to learn from your mistakes.

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5. Journals Facilitate Personal Growth

The best thing about journal writing is that no matter what you end up writing about, it’s hard to not grow from it. You can’t just look at a past entry in which you acted shamefully and say “that was dumb, anyway!” No, we say “I will never make a dumb choice like that again!”

It’s impossible not to grow when it comes to journal writing. That’s what makes journal writing such a powerful tool, whether it’s about achieving goals, becoming a better person, or just general personal-development. No matter what you use it for, you’ll eventually see yourself growing as a person.

Kickstart Journaling

How can journaling best be of use to you? To vent your emotions? To help achieve your goals? To help clear your mind? What do you think makes journaling such a useful life skill?

Know the answer? Then it’s about time you reap the benefits of journal writing and start putting pen to paper.

Here’s what you can do to start journaling:

Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com

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