6 Tips On How To Become Socially Confident : Part 5 – Build Your Inner Confidence Series

6 Tips On How To Become Socially Confident : Part 5 – Build Your Inner Confidence Series

When I started out on this ‘Confidence Series’, a few fellow bloggers commented that whilst they may feel confident in one to one situations, going into a social situation with several people or a business meeting makes them very anxious and insecure. They lack confidence in larger groups. I recognise this feeling and the ‘negative self talk’ that we start to listen to, even before we arrive at our party, social gathering or business meeting.

Do you recognise your ‘negative committee’?

“I’m dreading going to this….” “I won’t know anyone so I’ll be stuck on my own all night” “I’m going to look like a fool in front of everyone when I have to give the presentation” “I hate going to things like this…” “What if I fall over – I’ll look like a right idiot” “Jane’s going and she always looks so amazing – I’ll look rubbish compared to her”…. etc. etc. etc.

My alter ego

The key to developing your confidence in these situations is ADVANCE PREPARATION!!!
  1. What you focus on is what you will experience.
    • If you focus on the ‘negative aspects’ of the event or meeting before you arrive, that’s exactly what you’ll notice. Tell the negative committee in your head to sit down and shut up!!! The Negative Committee In Your Head
    • Instead, focus on the ‘positive’ elements of the event, and in advance of the event, flip your fears! How to ‘Flip It’ To Build Confidence : Part 2 of the ‘Build Your Inner Confidence’ Series
    • Write down some positive statements and then repeat them to yourself daily. For example: “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to practice my new ‘confidence’ skills”, “I’m feeling calm and relaxed about going…” “It will be great to meet lots of new people and to find out about their experiences….”
  2. Plan in advance what you will feel ‘comfortable’ wearing.
    • If you feel comfortable in your clothes, you’re much less likely to ‘fidget’. Have you ever been out for a meal wearing a tight fitting skirt, jacket or shirt and then after the meal, you spend the next couple of hours trying to hide your ever so slightly expanded stomach?… or is that just me?
    • If you turn up in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt and everyone else is wearing a ‘dinner suit’ or vice versa, the chances of you feeling ‘out of place’ are likely to increase. If you’re one of those people who simple doesn’t care and you can carry off whatever your wearing with total confidence, that’s brilliant… However, if you’re like me and you’d feel like hiding in a corner, then planning your outfit in advance is definitely a good idea…
    • Make sure that what you’ve panned to wear is actually clean and ironed in advance… rushing round on the last minute because you notice a big stain on your cream jacket when you are about to leave, isn’t a great way to help you ‘stay calm’. (yep – I’ve been there and done that one!!).
    • Have a ‘back up’ outfit and (ladies.. or gents if you do happen to wear them… ) – a spare pair of stockings – I’ve laddered mine on more than one occasion just as I’m about to leave the house…. (I went to a party recently and wore a pair of ‘cork’ wedge shoes which I’d not worn for a couple of years… part way through the party, the cork started to disintegrate and I was left with the sole flipping around in thin air.. not good for the ‘confidence’..)
  3. Research who will be there and plan some questions in advance!
    • If you know who’ll be attending the party or business meeting, doing a bit of background research (NOT STALKING) can help you thing about some questions that you could introduce into the conversation. Looking on social media like Facebook, Instagram and Linked In may highlight what their interests are and then you can think of some questions that you could ask should the opportunity arise…
    • Think about some answers you could give  to some ‘general’ questions that help open up a 2 way conversation. If someone says “How’s it going?” and you answer with ‘fine”, that’s likely to be the end of the conversation! If you answer with something like “brilliant – thanks for asking, how’s it going for you?”, you’ve now opened up the opportunity for further discussion rather than stopping the conversation dead….
    • Remember that people often like to talk about themselves and particularly if they have children or grandchildren, they are likely to ‘enthuse’ about them, if you give them the opportunity by asking a question about them.
    • Have some ‘stock questions’ that you can ask and remember – also prepare how you would answer them yourself to open the 2 way converation, for example: ” Have you got any holidays planned this year?” “You seemed really confident when you delivered your presentation – do you have any tips I could take on board?” (Only offer genuine compliments though otherwise you will feel uncomfortable and you will come across as insincere) “Have you been on any good training to learn……..” ” Have you seen any good films/read any great books recently?” “I’ve not visited this town before – do you have any recommendations about where to visit?”
  4. Practice talking ALOUD in front of the mirror
    • You may feel ‘stupid’ but trust me this is a GREAT way to help improve your confidence and your communication skills.
      • Listening to the sound of your own voice, notice whether you are speaking in ‘monotone’ or adding lots of ‘tonality’ into your voice. Think about listening to someone who speaks in a ‘monotone’ way… at what point do you stop noticing what they’re actually saying?
      • The same applies for people who talk incesently and very quickly (often because they’re nervous) – do you notice yourself.. drifting away from the conversation.
      • Becoming consciously aware of how you sound when you speak out loud helps you to notice how you need to moderate your own voice and adjust the speed and tone as necessary.
      • Sometimes when we just think internally about what we might say (example questions etc.), it doesn’t ‘sound’ right when we actually say it aloud, so practicing in front of the mirror helps you adjust your language if required.
  5. Practice your ‘body language’ in front of the mirror
    • Again – you may feel silly, but this is a great way to ‘feel the difference’ in advance so that you can adjust how you stand and move.
    • First impressions create lasting impressions and also set the mood within yourself.
    • Men – avoid standing with your hands jiggling around in your pocket… there’s no polite way to put this – it makes you look like you’re ‘playing with yourself’!!!
    • Ladies – if you are in a business meeting or delivering a presentation and you want to be taken seriously, stand with your feet slightly apart and rooted with weight evenly distributed between both legs. Until recently, I often stood with my weight placed more on one hip than the other… apparently, this ‘displays’ a ‘sexual’ undertone and men won’t take you seriously (even if they’re not really aware of why…). If you’re at a ‘party’ and you ‘fancy’ someone then this stance is ‘perfect’ …haha!!
    • If you practice ‘standing tall’, with your shoulders back and imagine that your head has a cord attached to the top and is being pulled slightly higher and then add a smile, you will actually release ‘endorphins’ into your body, which will actually make you feel ‘better’.
    • Look at yourself if you stand with your shoulders drooping and looking down toward the floor.. this will automatically make you look AND FEEL insecure and nervous.
    • Practice looking yourself ‘in the eye’… not shiftily looking away. This is how you need to look at other people. My mum was a ‘classic’ when it came to body language.. she would determine within minutes what you were like based on your ‘eye contact’ and once her mind was made up, it was very difficult to change her perception.
  6. Be Yourself!
    • It’s great to recognise that you need to learn ‘new’ or ‘enhanced’ ways of doing things. However, if you compare yourself to someone else and try to be exactly like they are, you are likely to feel ‘uncomfortable’ and come across to others as ‘false’. Make sure, that if you’re making ‘changes’, that these align with your core values and that your making the changes to improve and develop your own style rather than trying to simply ‘copy’ someone elses.
    • When I learned NLP, there is a way of building ‘rapport’ by ‘matching and mirroring’ the other persons body language. If they sit back in the chair and you sit back in the chair, they’ll feel more comfortable with you than if you they sit back and you sit forward… or enter too closely into their ‘personal space’.. However, a word of caution.. if you ‘overdo’ this, it will come across that you are ‘imitating’ them and make them feel uneasy…
    • By practicing in advance some of the techniques discussed previously, you’re more likely to feel confident enough to reveal your unique individuality.

Always remember that you were born with confidence. You are a unique individual… Why blend in when you were born to STAND OUT!

Have some fun and let the world see the real you 

Reveal Your Inner Brilliance To The World!!!

 

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25 Comments

  1. August 5, 2017 / 2:35 pm

    Love this Wendy. Some really great tips here, some which I try and others that Ive not overly thought of. Thanks so much. Look forward to slowly but surely catching up (or at least trying to) with all your posts. You always get me thinking and you constantly inspire me. Hugs my friend xo

    • Wendy
      August 5, 2017 / 7:38 pm

      Brilliant Miri – thank you so much. You definitely ‘boost my confidence’ with your lovely comments which are VERY much appreciated.. Hugs returned Miri.. xx

  2. Sumith
    July 29, 2017 / 9:10 pm

    Brilliant post Wendy. Thanks for these tips!

    • Wendy
      July 30, 2017 / 5:23 pm

      Fab – so glad you enjoyed the post Sumith! xx

  3. July 18, 2017 / 4:19 am

    Wendy these are great tips! Thank you for sharing! The planning ahead really speaks to me, it allows me to be confident inwardly so that when I get there, I can go with the flow. <3 Sending you love. Hope your granddaughters are doing really great. Debbie

    • Wendy
      July 18, 2017 / 10:08 am

      Brilliant – I’m glad you could take some ‘tips’ away for future use! My granddaughters are doing brilliantly Debbie.. I went to their ‘dance show’ on Friday which was just adorable.. xx

      • July 18, 2017 / 3:34 pm

        Aww that’s great Wendy. Tell them Debbie in LA thinks they are wonderful

        • Wendy
          July 19, 2017 / 4:32 pm

          I certainly will!! How lovely xx

  4. July 18, 2017 / 2:43 am

    Great advice! The negative committee needs to stay at bay!! X

    • Wendy
      July 18, 2017 / 10:08 am

      Most definitely! xx

  5. July 17, 2017 / 10:58 pm

    You are spot on with these tips. Why wait and get ready once you’ve arrived?! Make sure you are better prepared than the ‘negative committee.’ They’ll be looking for all that could go wrong, and you’ve gone and out done them by getting yourself all gussied up and confident that once you walk in, head up, smile on, shoulders back, those ‘voices’ might as well have stayed in the parking lot. Yes, Ma’am!

    • Wendy
      July 18, 2017 / 1:15 am

      Yee Haa! Yep – chuck the ‘negative committee’ out of the car ‘en route’.. great idea!

      • July 18, 2017 / 1:17 am

        Thought ‘ya might resonate. Seriously though, xcellent post!!!

        • Wendy
          July 18, 2017 / 10:15 am

          That means a lot coming from you Jen – thank you!! xx

  6. July 17, 2017 / 6:31 pm

    Oh what a fantastic post (as always). I am soooo socially awkward it’s untrue! I am also guilty of doing everything I can to get out of presentations at work, worse still the dreaded ‘role play’ tasks in training! 😣 for me it’s having the focus on me & the fear of messing up. On the total flip side I give/present lots of training at work & am always really confident & supportive. I am often told I come across really confident which surprises me every time! I guess it’s really only in new/unknown work situations/environments the ‘fear’ kicks in. However, social events are my nemesis so I’ll definitely be trying some of your tips ( especially about what to wear as I am not at all body confident!)
    P’S. I’ve had the shoe disaster too! A pair of heels that fit when I bought them (on a very hot day, resulting in swollen feet) but were too big & kept slipping off when I wore them to my sister’s wedding! (it was freezing & my feet were cold & had shrunk!) 🙈👠

    • Wendy
      July 17, 2017 / 8:07 pm

      You’ve just ‘boosted my confidence’ Catherine – thanks! When you know that you’ve got ‘training’ coming up next time, practice telling yourself ‘positive things’ instead of dreading it.. The fact you can ‘be confident’ when delivering shows what’s possible which is brilliant! Yikes with the ‘shoe disaster’.. I ended up ‘shoeless’ at the party but I’ve also had the experience of shoes sliding on and off because they ended too big – horrible! Let me know how you get on with the ‘tips’ at your next ‘social’ .. Good luck xx

    • Wendy
      July 17, 2017 / 8:09 pm

      ps – Body confidence definitely comes from inside your own head.. what you tell yourself about yourself is key and also never compare yourself to other people… xx

  7. July 17, 2017 / 6:18 pm

    Brilliant and well-presented advice as ever. I am fortunate to be reasonable at coping socially but I must admit I can find some things here that will help improve it further. The planning and rehearsing really resonates. Now I just need to be invited somewhere to give it a whirl 😂 xx

    • Wendy
      July 17, 2017 / 8:11 pm

      Brilliant and I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and managed to take a few tips away to try… good luck and I’m sure you’ll have an absolutely ‘brilliant’ night.. wherever it may be! xx

  8. July 17, 2017 / 5:53 pm

    Thank you Wendy. Your post has given me some new tools for my next big social outings. X

    • Wendy
      July 17, 2017 / 5:56 pm

      I look forward to hearing all about your ‘success’… xx

  9. July 17, 2017 / 5:51 pm

    Thank you Wendy. You have done a thorough job of inspiring me. X

    • Wendy
      July 17, 2017 / 5:55 pm

      Aww – thanks Brigid – funny – I was being inspired by your latest post and tapping my feet to the music while you were obviously reading mine at the same time.. How’s that for synchronicity! x

  10. July 17, 2017 / 3:15 pm

    Wendy, great post. oh i am out of touch with your blog. I posted on confidence yesterday but noting as detailed as this.

    Your post is super detailed and great.
    Regards bella

    • Wendy
      July 17, 2017 / 5:01 pm

      I’m a bit ‘out of touch’ with my blog too Bella and definitely with everyone elses.. I just don’t seem to be able to ‘catch up’ at the moment.. ahh well – tomorrow’s another day! I’ll pop across now though to have a catch up on our ‘confidence post’.. x

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