Many people can relate to the idea of being shy. It’s often associated with people who lack confidence and self-esteem. However, there’s more to it than that. In today’s society, it seems as if everyone has a phone in their hand.
This constant connection to other people means we are more aware than ever of what others think and feel about us. As a result, we have become hypersensitive to any social evaluation or judgment.
It’s no wonder many of us have become intimidated by strangers and afraid of public speaking.
However, this doesn’t have to be the case for everyone.
If you aren’t naturally social, you could become more confident if you set clear goals and strategies for improvement.
By learning to be more socially confident, you could also increase your chances of making new friends, finding love after a breakup, or returning to the dating scene after a hiatus.
Social Anxiety vs. Social Anxiety Disorder
Many people experience anxiety and shyness, but this doesn’t necessarily lead to social anxiety. Social anxiety is the fear of feeling embarrassed or humiliated due to what other people think of you.
While there may not be a formal diagnosis for social anxiety, many people who suffer from it have a condition called Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD).
Some characteristics of SAD are feeling self-conscious about your body, being afraid to make mistakes in front of others or engaging in conversations with strangers.
SAD can is treated by working on developing more confidence and positive self-esteem.
If you are experiencing some of these symptoms and want to learn to be more socially confident, check out these tips below.
How To Feel Confident In Social Gatherings
The first step to feeling confident in social gatherings is honestly assessing your strengths and weaknesses.
- What are your skills?
- In what areas do you lack confidence?
Once you identify the areas you need to improve, it’s time to start setting goals. Another critical step is to set a time limit for each social gathering.
Determine a specific amount of time you want to spend with people, and stick to the designated amount.
It will help keep you focused on meeting new people rather than spending too much time with someone who doesn’t interest in or intrigues you.
Finally, it’s crucial to be present and pay attention during conversations.
To avoid getting distracted by other people or your phone, put your phone on silent or put it away before a conversation starts so that you can focus entirely on what the person has to say.
How to Prepare for the Event
You can use many strategies to prepare for events requiring social skills. For example, try practicing your public speaking by using your phone while talking into the camera and recording yourself.
If you’re not good at public speaking, a great way to test out how it feels is by attending an open mic night or volunteering for a local political campaign. It’s essential to stay motivated and constantly work on improving your skills.
Another strategy is to start small with your social confidence. The first step in getting better socially confident is identifying one event or situation where you feel self-conscious or afraid of judgment.
You could also ask a friend for help if you’re struggling with a particular situation; after all, people want the best for their friends.
Once you identify an event or situation that can help develop your skills, start preparing and practicing it.
What to Expect at the Event
Going to an event can be nerve-wracking. You are meeting new people, and you could be trying to make a good impression on them. However, the key is not to overthink it.
The best way to counteract the anxiety of meeting new people is to consider it a learning opportunity.
Learn what you can from the event and use that knowledge again when you are next in one of those situations. For example, note where all the exits are or where people sit as everyone has their individual pattern of existence.
This way, you’ll know what to expect when you are in a similar situation next time.
Have you ever noticed people who seem a little bit more outgoing than you? Maybe you’ve seen a friend get up on stage at their work event and destroy it. Or maybe, you’ve been the person who is shy or awkward in social situations.
Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses that you can try to improve.
If you want to learn how to be more confident socially, try challenging yourself. Maybe making a new goal for yourself could help put your focus on a specific area of improvement. For instance, if you want to become a better public speaker, maybe one of the first things you could do is practice speaking in front of a mirror and recording yourself so you can review how you sound. And don’t forget about the importance of practicing saying “hello” or introducing yourself when meeting new people.
It will significantly increase your confidence and make you feel more comfortable talking with others.
Stay Calm Within Yourself
Before becoming more social, learning how to stay calm within yourself is essential.
There’s no way to be confident if you are constantly worried about what others think of you or if you are anxious about your performance.
It’s easier said than done, but the first step is being mindful of yourself in social situations.
The next step is to practice staying calm in front of others. You could do this by practicing deep breathing exercises before going into social situations and trying not to let your thoughts race.
It will give you the chance to observe your thoughts without judgment and decide whether they are helpful or not.
If they are unhelpful, try replacing them with something more positive to feel calmer and more confident during these moments.
How to Control Body Language
Being more socially confident means learning how to control your body language. Body language is something that everyone is aware of and something that you are constantly interacting with; learning to control it will fill you with confidence.
First, knowing what your body language is communicating with others is essential before fixing it.
You must be aware of the non-verbal cues you give off when you feel anxious or nervous, like avoiding eye contact and fidgeting.
Second, it’s essential to learn how to take control of your body and use it as a tool for confidence.
For example, standing up straight, looking people in the eyes and not fidgeting will communicate that you feel comfortable in their presence.
If you’re sitting with good posture and showing interest in things they have to say, they will probably sense your comfort level and feel more at ease around you too.
Learning how to control your body language will help people understand what message you are trying to convey to them.
Keep Conversation Flowing
One way to be more socially confident is to focus on maintaining a conversation with the person you are talking with; if you get stuck for words, try asking open-ended questions that require more than a yes or no answer.
That way, you can get into the following topics:
- What are your thoughts on specific events or issues?
- What types of music do you like?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- How would your friends describe you as a person?
Those questions will help keep the conversation flowing and break down any personal barriers nerves might have set up.
Furthermore, they’ll also give you a better understanding of what your conversational partner is looking for and how they want to be engaged in the conversation.
Learning to keep conversations flowing will make it easier for you to maintain a good rapport with others.
Practise Makes Perfect
One of the best ways to build confidence is through practice. But, just like anything else, being confident takes time and effort. So, to be more socially confident, you must practice in various settings.
It could come from volunteering, teaching someone something new or even taking on a new job.
The more you put yourself out there, the better your chances of getting better at socializing.
Another great way to make progress on this path is with role-playing.
Role-playing is an excellent tool for building confidence because it can help you overcome fears and anxieties associated with specific situations.
By repeatedly putting yourself in these uncomfortable scenarios, you will eventually get comfortable enough that they become less scary and difficult to deal with before they happen in real life.
Control Your Thoughts and Feelings
The idea of being more socially confident is something that we can control. By taking control of your feelings and thoughts, you will be able to increase your chances of a better future with fewer fears and worries.
An excellent way to be more socially confident is by controlling what you can control.
For example, if you’re feeling nervous about a social event, think about what you have in your control that day.
Maybe there’s something specific that you know will go well for you or allow you to have some fun.
That would take away some of the stress of the situation and allow your confidence to grow.
If possible, list things within your control and focus on those items for the night or the week leading up to the event.
Take your time to plan for any social events you will be attending. Prepare for each event, as we have spoken about above, and keep challenging yourself by putting yourself out there to be the best version you can be.