If you ask anyone what one trait is most irresistible in dating, they will tell you ‘Confidence.’ Confidence screams, ‘I know what I want and I’m not afraid to get it.’ People want to date a confident person. A confident person walks with determination, is approachable and appears happy. Being in a relationship with a confident person means that they are more likely to be direct with you about how they feel and what they want. A confident person takes action and makes things happen. But, is it possible to build confidence if you don’t have it naturally?
The person who lacks confidence worries that they are unlucky. If I wasn’t lucky enough to be confident why even bother. However, confidence has little to do with luck, rather it is a skill that you can build.
Confident people are more similar than they are different. They all posses similar traits though each person’s delivery will look different. It’s fair to say, I’m not confident YET! But once I give you the confident person’s, secrets you too can be more confident and attractive on your next date.
how does a confident person feel?
A person who is confident doesn’t feel something that the non-confident person does and that is threat or anxiety. The confident person doesn’t see dating as risky, nor are they worried about being rejected. Instead, they focus on the good, on the possibility of things going well. Because they aren’t easily threatened, their nervous system is calm and they experience little anxiety, even in novel dating situations.
In contrast, the person who lacks confidence feels anxious or aroused. Their nervous system picks up on cues that something could be wrong. They could be rejected or hurt if things don’t go well. As a result they listen to their body and they proceed with caution. The body and the mind are connected. The physiological symptoms of anxiety include a racing heart and changes in breathing.
how does a confident person think?
The confident person thinks in rational ways. Similar to the optimist they focus on success versus failure. The confident person looks at outcomes and chances of success. The confident person thinks, ‘If I don’t ask that girl out, I don’t have a date. If I do ask her out at least I have a chance.’
In contrast the anxious person takes dating very personally and if things don’t work out well they think there is something wrong with them.
how does a confident person behave?
On dates they:
- make or initiate contact
- have a strong handshake
- make good eye contact
- communicate what or who they like
- walk with determination and purpose
- they speak up and ask direct questions
- have a calm demeanor they don’t lose their temper easily
- they have opinions about things and have strong convictions
- good posture they take up space, appear comfortable in their own body
- end a date with certainty either follow up with a next date or state that they don’t feel there is a connection
how to be more confident
In easier to act with confidence when you don’t see things as frightening, you look realistically at your chances for success and you feel and think like the confident person.
Follow these 4-steps to build your confidence.
- Learn to Relax, a calm body is key
- Evidence-Based Thinking
- Find good role models
- Practice confident behaviors
learn to relax
Calm yourself down by learning to breathe from your diaphragm instead of your chest. Take three slow breathes in through your nose, hold in your low belly for a count of three and exhale slowly and completely, repeat for three times. Follow the big belly breathes with three slower more relaxed breathes. Do this for 10 minutes to lower your heart rate. Meditation is an excellent way to go deeper and to transcend your bodies anxious state. If you have trouble meditating on your own or would like to use an app, like Headspace or Calm. Exercise can also be incredibly beneficial, aerobic exercise such as swimming and biking help reduce anxiety.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT is one of the best tools to help you think rationally. CBT is less about merely thinking positively but asking the right questions so you can form logical conclusions. In Socratic questioning, a technique in CBT ask yourself,
- What is the evidence that my thought is true? Any evidence to the contrary?
- Is there an alternative explanation for the situation, how else can I look at it?
- What is the worst case scenario?
- Can I live through it even if the worst thing happens?
Take for example the fear of rejection, asks yourself, ‘what is the evidence that I’m being rejected?’ The confident person doesn’t see it as rejection. The worst case scenario is that they never tried, versus it not working out. In CBT the goal is to replace your negative thoughts with neutral ones. Say something like, ‘good for me that I took a chance.” If you focus on the confident behavior and less on the outcome you are more rational and less emotional.
find good role models
It’s easier to learn to be confident when you can mimic or copy a person who behaviors this way. Think of people you know who are confident and follow their lead. If you don’t have any good role models I’ve created a character for you. I call her Secure Sophia or Secure Steve. Sophia and Steve act with confidence because they have a Secure Attachment Style. If you need a role model ask yourself:
- What would Sophia do?
- What would Steve do?
You won’t gain confidence by sitting around and waiting. Confidence is like a muscle, the more you flex it the stronger it becomes. Set up goals for yourself. Goals should be measurable and attainable. Here are some examples of confident exercises:
- Say hello to that cute guy I see on the train all the time?
- Go to a local singles event and introduce yourself to three new people
- Get online and send out five new introductions per day.
Focus on the effort, not on the outcome. Did I meet my goal? Make up your own confident exercise, mark them down in your calendar so you don’t forget. Only you will know what makes you anxious and which behaviors you need to practice. Try practicing confident behaviors at work and with friends to give yourself more opportunities besides dating.
If you think that confidence is something that you are born with, think again. For more tips on anxiety management, check out my 7 tips for anxiety management. If you want to build your confidence muscle you will have to be intentional. Follow me on Instagram @backtolovedoc to find out more about Secure Sophia and my other characters as well.