Confidence – it’s something both men and women claim to be a huge turn on in a partner, yet so many people are lacking it! Confidence is key when it comes to landing your dream job, or acing your first night out with your dream date. It’s the crucial traits in being able to talk to your crush or being able to speak in front of a crowd.
The thing about confidence is that although not everyone has it, it can be quite easy to imitate. You may not be completely secure in who you are, and that’s okay. But you can still appear confident based on how you walk, how you talk, and how you present yourself.
How to appear naturally confident
If you’re not a naturally confident person, don’t sweat it, there are plenty of things you can do to fake it until you make it. No, we won’t have you reading affirmations every morning before work. Instead, take a look at these 10 easy steps to seeming more confident in any social situation!
#1 Don’t cross your arms. You’ve probably read this before, but crossing your arms is a sign to the world that you’re unapproachable! Crossing your arms brings your body inwards and makes you appear defeated. According to Harvard Business researcher Amy Cuddy, this position also lowers your testosterone levels and actually raises your stress levels! While this may seem like a comfortable, go-to pose at parties, know it’s better in the long run to…
#2 Take up some space! Did you know that the more space you take up, the more confident you’ll be perceived? Cuddy continues that while crossing your arms is a social no-no, taking up space via gesticulating *a.k.a. talking with your hands!* is a show of power that helps you claim your territory. This is a “power move” that’s practiced by plenty of business big wigs, so give it a go! [Read: 11 awful social habits that keep you undateable]
#3 Keep your head up – literally. By walking with your head held high, you show others around you that you’re ready to take in the sights, you’re ready to engage, and you’re not shy about people looking at you. Walking with your head up is a huge sign of confidence. This is also a great posture for maximizing oxygen and keeping your muscles well aligned!
#4 Make eye contact. Eye contact is essential to great social interactions in our society. It shows willingness to engage, creates a friendly persona, and shows confidence. Sometimes, the last thing people with low self-confidence want to do is look someone in the eyes, as they may find it uncomfortable, or don’t know how long to stare without coming off as creepy.
Don’t worry so much! Odds are, the person you’re talking to doesn’t even notice – all they see is that you were keeping them engaged and appear to be listening to their story. [Read: The women’s guide to making strong eye contact with a man]
#5 Put your phone away. For those who struggle with social anxiety and confidence issues, parties, dates, and social gatherings can be an absolute nightmare. In fact, many people actually fake conversations on their cellphones via text or verbally just to avoid talking to people at retail stores, public transportation, or social events!
While you may be tempted to whip out your trusty mobile phone, try to avoid this. Not only would it be totally rude on a date, but it’s also another social gesture that makes you look unapproachable or uninterested in the people around you. [Read: 13 charming ways to be more approachable to people]
#6 S-M-I-L-E! Not enough people smile these days. Whether you offer a smile as a passing hello or while deep in conversation with someone, smiling has a tendency to put people at ease and make that person view you as friendly, approachable, and confident. Plus, many research studies show that smiling makes you happy, even when you’re upset, so flash those pearly whites!
#7 The big guns: the triple nod! Body language research shows that if you nod your head three times when the person you’re talking to pauses during their story, this person will talk three to four times more than if you had never nodded at all!
This is a great way to keep a conversation going without putting in too much effort, and it shows people you’re interested in what they’re saying – even when you’re not! [Read: 8 easy ways to avoid awkward silences during a date]
#8 Don’t be the speed talker. Shy people sometimes rush through their stories because they’re nervous or because they realize they’ve captured the whole room’s attention. If you’re on the road to a more socially confident you, practice telling your stories slowly and not rushing through them because you’re anxious for it to end.
To combat this, take a deep breath and really enunciate your words. Confident people aren’t afraid of commanding the room’s attention, so you should at least look like you’re at ease when you’re relaying a tale. [Read: The art of telling a great story confidently]
#9 Don’t back down from your opinions. While you wouldn’t want to end up on the “World’s Worst First Date” list by breaking out into an argument with your first Tinder date, try and stay true to your opinions. Don’t flip flop your thinking just because your date has a different thought. People don’t always agree, and that’s what makes life so interesting. [Read: How to express your opinions without seeming cocky]
#10 Touch. It probably wouldn’t be the best idea in the world to go around groping your colleagues at the next office event all in the name of confidence, but believe it or not, touch actually is essential! Confident people aren’t afraid to reach out and offer someone a firm handshake, a relaxing squeeze of the shoulder, or even to pick the fluff out of someone’s hair.
If you think about it, don’t we all need a friend who does cat hair clothes checks for us and makes sure we aren’t chatting it up with spinach teeth?
When it all boils down, you’re pretty awesome, and the best way to show other people that, is by being yourself. Body language is not the sure fix for confidence issues, but these tips can certainly help you better prepare yourself for social engagements and those dreaded blind dates!