Hello guys, this is my very first discussion post and I would like your advice gaining confidence in myself. Whenever I see myself in the mirror, I see a coward. I feel as though that I don't have what it takes to be a confident, outgoing and proud guy like everyone else. I feel like I'm such a loser sometimes. I'm also lack in social skills. I'm sort of a shy person, and always afraid to engage in social interaction with other guys around age (I'm 25 btw). I get so afraid of being judged and observed by people and cared way too much of what others think of me. I am good and friendly person, it just that I don't have a social life and that I'm feel afraid to be a real man. So I was hoping if I could get some feedback on how to improve my self-esteem and become a confident guy.
I feel as though that I don't have what it takes to be a confident, outgoing and proud guy like everyone else.
That's because we are surrounded by extroverts who have no problem being demonstrative, and we take that for confidence. It's not necessarily.
I get so afraid of being judged and observed by people and cared way too much of what others think of me.
You've tied your self-esteem to others' opinions of you. I did and still often do...it's a terrible way to live, because then I am afraid to stand up for myself.
feel afraid to be a real man
What is a real man? It's easy to look at others who are born to be the squeaky wheel, make large waves as they move through life and feel lesser. Screw the "real man" bit. Focus on being yourself for awhile, the real man will come, the real man that is you.
As one who still battles it, all I can say it's something you need to work on, every day, and that there will be no quick fixes, tricks you can do. It has to come from within, be as natural as breathing, or as the first thought that comes to you when you are at rest. I won't repeat all the good, specific advice already put down there, it is important you do what you feel works for you, and that is going to need to be out of your comfort zone in order to grow.
All the best to you!!
In my experience, conspicuous extroverts are rarely as confident as they seem. Insecurity hides better in noise. The more confident one is usually the introverted guy that isn't afraid to speak when he has something to say ... and isn't afraid to shut-up when he doesn't.
You've tied your self-esteem to others' opinions of you.
Carl is right, and you need to unlearn that habit. You'll be so much happier, and ironically, you'll find it so much easier to make friends, if you can let go of it. There is some sort of paradox going on, that the needier you are for people to like you, the more you drive them away.
I would also add that your fear of others opinions is actually more of your own negative self-image that you're "projecting" onto others. But even if they DID have negative opinions of you (they probably don't--they're your own beliefs), you need to not allow your happiness to depend on their opinions. Otherwise, you put yourself in an emotional blackmail situation, and you will be held hostage for the rest of your life, always grovelling for approval.
Been there, done that. :(
One more thing to add: you don't need "self-confidence", you need to "lose your self". The smaller your ego is, the less of a target it is. Don't worry about self-confidence, instead, you won't need it once you get over the self-esteem issue. Once you cease obsessing about your self-image, you'll discover that you can handle a great deal of social pressure, quite comfortably, like Marcus here:
Watch every single episode of this:
There are a few episodes about self-esteem, but most of them are about building rapport. Watch them all, regardless. They're posted newest-to-oldest. They'll make more sense if you watch them in order of oldest-to-newest.
Thanks for the vids, I'll work on improving my self-esteem.
Thanks, I'll remember this great advice.
My analysis, for what it is worth. The way you describe yourself you sound like you're passive-agressive, or not an "A-Type" personality. While that is not a bad thing if you're not too passive-agressive. The main stream idolizes the Type-A personality they drive themselves to their goals, take charge, and basically carry themselves as though they have worth. They are the 'doers'. I too am passive-agressive but for the last year I am working towards becoming more 'agressive' (Type-A). My problem lies with my disconnect with my feelings and my wants and needs. I'm working on getting in touch with the way I feel and what I want and expressing those feelings and wants. This is causing some problems with some people in my life as the change can be quite dramatic and unexpected but I think it is worth the trouble.
I agree with the consensus. Some things I'll add:
Who says the "social life" you see for 20-somethings in the movies, or among your friends, is the best social life? If you study other cultures, or even just subcultures in the US, you'll find that not everyone has a group of 3-10 best buds they see once or twice a week. Some people have just 1 or 2 really good friends, and a bunch of acquaintances. Some people have groups of friends that don't overlap (softball buddies, bar buddies, etc.). Don't feel pressure to conform to the social norms unless you think that's really what's best for you.
To improve your social skills, come up with a script of questions. I don't know the types of people you're meeting or how, but for professional networking try: "Hi. I'm Chris. [shake hands] What do you do? Where are you from? What brought you to this area? What do you miss most about [hometown]?" or, for a more social setting, "What brings you here? How do you know [host]? How long have you been coming/known X?" After 3 or 4 such questions, at a cocktail party or networking event, it's polite to go meet someone else. Having the questions lined up means you don't have to stumble awkwardly to keep a conversation going. Asking people to talk about themselves will make you seem flattering (in the good way) and put everyone at ease.
I try to always leave social events while I'm still having a good time. If you wait until you're bored or there's so few people left it's awkward, people will remember you as bored and awkward, and you'll remember social events that way, too.
If there are regular events you can go to with the same core group, that's a big help, too. As a regular, you can introduce newbies to other regulars. You can have follow-up conversations, which are easier than first meetings. Even better if it's an organization for an activity you're really good at.
Well said! I fully agree that one needs to do a reality check vs what they think is "normal". Normal according to the media does not most peoples reality.
Love the lesson on how to network.
Thanks Rebekah! Thank you everyone for your helpful advice!
I've used this and suggested it to some other people with good results.
How to "get out of the shell".
1) Find a truck stop diner.
2) Learn to drink coffee and eat apple pie (not too much pie)
3) Do it at the truck-stop between 4pm and 7pm when the truckers are there for dinner. Sit at the main counter/bar not a table or booth.
4) At some point a conversation will be going on and you will have something to say. . . say it. You will be appreciated since truckers like having contact with real people face to face and that is why they stop at truck-stops, along with the fuel, food, shower but also to talk to people. Just stay away from the "trucker life and employment" because you probably don't know what company is good to work for or what the best way of getting paid is. . . but if you do know how the interstate system works in you area and can steer them away from bottle necks or construction they will really thank you.
This works well for becoming "comfortable in you own skin" in a semi-random situation. The "relief valve" if you will is you probably won't have to see or deal with anyone of them ever again. The benefit of that should be obvious. Being into sports will be a benefit especially if you can be the "scoreboard".
I would begin to take a hard look at the people you feel may be judging you (worst case scenario they are). Are they worth your time and concern? I'm willing to bet they are not. Try to spend time around people you respect and admire instead. Pretty basic but it takes maturity to be at peace knowing there is a percentage of people out there that will dislike you no matter what you do or how you act.