I’m a professional people person. It’s a two-sided coin. On one hand, I am GREAT at making connections— like I’m the type of person who, before I met my husband, LOVED a first date. On the other hand, I know first-hand what a TASK it can be to put what I call “People-Person Pants” on, and be outgoing when all you want to do is read a book on the couch.
I have met a lot of people who are uncomfortable in situations with strangers. The classic “What if they don’t like me?” gets them in the dumps before they even darken the door of a social situation. Confidence around social situations is tricky. Obviously, I come from an abundance mindset—I spend a lot of my time helping others find their confidence, their brand, and their footing in social situations that most would find scary or intimidating. So, here I am with five truths behind Faking Confidence in Scary Social Situations. Whether you’re networking, finding your place in a new friend group, or meeting strangers in general, these are pretty tried and true!
1. Remember: Everyone is Thinking About Themselves— In a crowded room, it can be really tempting to focus on all your insecurities. “Will people notice that I ____?” “Do people think I’m ______?” I’m here to tell you — Everyone is thinking the same things about themselves. People are 9/10 so wrapped up in what THEY’RE saying and how THEY’RE acting that they truly pay very little attention to the small things you’re focused on.
2. Think Tall Thoughts— shoulders back, stand straight. No crossed arms. Open stance to welcome interaction. Please stay off of the wall. If you’re looking to meet a lot of people, stand near the entrance or near the middle of the room. Don’t fidget your clothes or look down at your feet.
3. Understand the Social-Value of a Pause (think before you speak) Life is not a podcast. We don’t have to speak over one another in order to get our points across. Listen to someone’s full thought before you interject your own thoughts, feelings, or experiences into the mix. If someone asks you for your take on something, it’s totally okay to pause before answering. Take your time to provide thoughtful answers!
4. We Have Two Ears and One Mouth. Use Them Proportionately— There’s nothing more off putting than someone who mistakes a conversation for a monologue opportunity. The best way to command a room is to take an interest in its occupants. Ask more questions.
5. Genuine Interest Is Underrated— BE GENUINELY INTERESTED. Nothing will come off more intentional, confident, and commanding than a person who is genuinely interested in learning something. Ask detailed questions about what someone does for a living. Seek to understand a stance or an opinion. Be creative in your questions. Life is not all about the content you can deliver. This world is full of people and perspectives you’ll never know if you don’t ask. Speak from love, and you’ll LOVE the things you learn!