Beat self-doubt, conquer shyness: follow our expert guide to a more confident, happier you
We're not saying down a bottle, but a glass of wine can help with confidence. 'Just holding your glass in a certain way changes how you feel and the way people respond to you,' says body-language expert Judi James. If you hold it close to your chest or face, you'll feel insecure and look guarded. Hold it at stomach level. 'You'll look confident and open, so people will want to talk to you,' says Judi.
Stand upright and look purposeful. 'A relaxed, upright posture was early man's signal that everything was OK,' says Dr Victor Thompson, a chartered psychologist. 'It gives your mind a message that all is well.'
Feeling nervous before entering a room filled with people you don't know? Then give yourself a talking to (preferably when no one's looking!). Think positive and say to yourself, "I am enjoying this, I can do it", when you're trying something difficult and new,' says NLP practitioner and hypnotherapist Gloria Thomas. Talk to yourself in the present tense. This is more effective than using the past or the future tense and reminding yourself of what you've done previously or what might happen in the future, because it will give your subconscious a direct image that it can easily work with.
Got a hot date? Brush up on some clever ways to create empathy and bolster your self-assurance, says Judi James. If you're seeing a new man, try these tips. 'A slow blink is an animal sign of approval, and touching your date's arm briefly is a great way to a fast-track rapport.'
Everyone loves receiving a compliment! You don't have to gush or be over the top, but just a friendly comment about someone's necklace, top or hair will put both of you quickly at ease. 'When you say something that's either positive or encouraging to someone else, it has a double-pronged effect on your own confidence,' says psychotherapist Gladeana McMahon. 'Firstly, it works by making you feel better about yourself because you've made them feel good. Secondly, they're very likely to turn around and pay you a compliment in return, too.' It's a win, win situation!
'Focusing your attention entirely on the other person you are talking to is a guaranteed great way to get over your nerves,' says David Vaughan-Thomas, a performance coach who specialises in interpersonal skills. 'Make an effort to forget how you're feeling; instead, really listen to their every word, and pay special attention to their facial expressions and gestures. It's a skill that will boost your confidence by drawing people to you.' Who can fail to want to talk to someone who's so absolutely interested in them?
Posted: 18/09/2012 at 20:17
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