Confidence is everything. My husband once asked me what I saw in him more than 15 years ago when we were set up on a blind date (kidnapping, really, but that’s a story for another day). He thinks I’m out of his league, but he is oh-so-wrong. He is the most quietly confident person I’ve ever met. He’s handsome, he’s sweet, kind and he is so intelligent. He’s also modest, funny, easy to get along with and he’s just a good person. You don’t meet many people who are just inherently good; but my husband is one of them. The real truth, however, is that he never once let on to me that he thought I was out of his league.
Never; he never shied away from me, and he never let on that he harbored the feeling for many years that he might just not be good enough for me (it’s the only way around, believe me) and I was shocked when he admitted that. He is so confident. I bring this up not because I’m talking about my husband, but because I’m talking about a conversation we had the other day. We went to a dinner recently and met some new faces. My husband and I were both turned off by the lack of confidence one of the couples had as they discussed business with my husband. I remember thinking the entire time I cannot even figure out how the wife ended up being hired by her company.
She agreed with anything anyone said to the point that she then backtracked and contradicted herself if someone else thought differently. She was so concerned with what others thought of her that it was sad. I felt bad for her; how can she not have any confidence? I’m not the most confident person in every situation, but you better believe that I’ll fake it until I make it – or until I can leave and go grab a cocktail and drown my sorrows. I typically find myself feeling more confident when I remind myself that what others think of me is none of my business; or that I’ll never see these people again.
Either way, I’m sitting here thinking about confidence and how having it can change your life. it can make you more attractive. It can make you more likable. Not having it can be a turn off. It’s why I think that everyone could use a little reminder that you have to be confident; even when you are not, you have to sound like it. Fortunately, I have so much advice about that for you.
Stand tall and smile
So…you don’t know me. You don’t how what I look like, how I speak, what gestures I make (unless you cut me off or drive under the speed limit…then you can use your imagination). Apparently, people think I’m a you-know-what when they meet me. They immediately judge me for my appearance and other things, and it makes people not want to chat with me, like me or give me the time of day. When I realized this was a habit, I decided I had to do something about it. I have great posture already, but it turns out that a woman with great posture and great shoes without a smile just looks mean.
Now I smile, stand tall and make myself relax a bit more when I’m speaking to others. It’s more natural after a while for me, but it works. People are less intimidated and more open to speaking with me, and all it takes is a smile. Apparently, it transforms your face.
I don’t care if you are the least confident person in the room; act like it. You have to fake it. Eventually, you will become more confident. Practice makes perfect, and you will never see this as truer than when you are faking confidence. Just own it and forget what anyone else thinks.
Nothing drives me crazier and comes off as needy and nothing lacks confidence more than someone making a statement and forming it as a question. I absolutely detest when someone does that. It sounds like you’re just waiting for others to agree with you. Don’t worry about what others think or feel; make your case and then make it a statement. Asking only makes you look silly.
Make eye contact
Again, nothing sounds or looks as though it lacks confidence as much as someone who cannot make eye contact. Did you know, as a matter of fact, that many people feel that those who make eye contact when they speak or listen are more intimidating than others? That automatically makes others feel as though you are confident. I do not naturally like to make eye contact when I speak to others, and it’s something that I’ve had to make a concerted effort to do. However, I’ve noticed over the years that I’m much better at it now than ever, and that it makes a huge difference in how people perceive me.
Photo by Getty Images