We all have that one friend who can effortlessly “light up any room”, but the good news is we can all feel equally confident.
Researcher and journalist Erika Casriel has revealed the best “mind tricks” to overcome your shyness and get more from life, love and work. (You won’t need to imagine people in their underwear, either!)
Feeling more confident in life’s social situations:
Conversations with new people often involve three main stages. The first is an introduction, the second is seeking topics of common ground, and the third is summing up and possibly exchanging contact details.
“Once you internalise these steps, you will always have a mental map of where to go next”, explains Erika Casriel. “To develop warmer interactions, practice looking up with a welcoming smile in the mirror”.
Arrive early at a social situation, to give yourself extra time for meeting new people one-on-one. Speak with many different people for short bursts of time, because this will relieve social pressure on them too.
Feeling more confident in love and matters of the heart:
Erika Casriel’s research has suggested that it can be helpful to create a “carefree alter ego” when seeking out romance. “Step outside your buttoned-down identity”, she says.
Removing your normal boundaries towards flirtations will make you more open to new people. Being self-effacing will also encourage love interests to show their vulnerabilities to you, as well.
Make a joke at your own expense, or share an embarrassing story. This will instantly help you feel less shy, as people exchange their own moments of “awkwardness” in return.
Feeling more confident at work or within your community organisations:
Experts suggest this mind and body trick, to help you feel more confident liaising with a boss or community leader:
“Imagine your body growing until your head skims the ceiling. Now your boss looks like a 5-year-old child who wants a hug. See yourself smiling warmly, and the interaction is more likely to go well”.
Focus on how you can help your workmates, rather than articulating what they can do for you. By bringing people together, you will experience a sense of collaboration. This will immediately help you feel less shy in expressing new ideas or concepts.