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.
For me, it was initiation: having a group of men recognize me as being a man like them. Nothing else did it. I still had this and that fear, but I could always go back to that.
Act like the man you want to be. Do that long enough and it will become a habit.
Put yourself in awkward social situations, by your own choosing....go into a grocery store and buy one grape, make a big deal about it. Ask to see the manager if they wont let you buy one grape...
Solve problems. Start out small and work your way up, building on each success and learning from each failure.
Fake it till it becomes real.
As someone who works in a grocery store, I can say that there would probably be no need to call a manager. You would, however, be labeled as "that crazy guy who bought 1 grape" for the rest of the time you shop there. They'll probably think you're stoned, as well.
For heaven's sake, don't do it during peak business hours (usually 4-7 PM), and you probably shouldn't do it near where you actually do your grocery shopping...
Being a hassle to people whose job is helping you isn't a manly thing to do, and it's not going to make you manly.
In general, "facing your fear" by putting yourself in/allowing yourself to experience awkward situations will help most people in your situation.
A) You aren't a coward, you are an introvert. Take a little time to study more about introverts, ask around here, there are plenty of us. Also do some searches on this site about it, we have had some good discussions.
B) You aren't a coward, a coward wouldn't have the balls to start this thread. You made that first step. It didn't kill you, it didn't harm you, it did nothing but invite men over here to discuss this with you and even will lead other to open up. That is leadership and strength.
C) So build on that. Every day try a little something new. Week one can just be working at looking at someone in the eye. Then step up to making sure you smile to a stranger. Then step up to just saying hello. Take baby steps, just make sure you make them. Your confidence will grow and you will learn that it doesn't hurt to do so.
D) As you do this, also remember that you are(I'm guessing) an introvert. Nothing will happen over night, and you will not dynamically change who you are. If you need alone time to recharge, do it. If you only spend an hour at the party, only talked to a few people and you need to leave, do it. Focus on the fact that you did things, and just build on it.
E) Continually remind yourself that the only person you have to impress is the one in the mirror. Who cares about Joe Schmoe and what they think. Make that a mantra, make sure you love who you are and the rest will fall in place. There will always be people you can please, but with you loving who you are, the ones you can please will already be pleased and will have already gravitated towards you.
Great writing Shieldes!
As you progress with people you will one day run into the one who snubs your new friendliness.
Resist the urge, from your greater boldness, to tell that person "f*ck you, assh*le"
Shieldes is right. There's nothing wrong with being an introvert. Just don't be afraid.
The best way to combat a lousy inner-monologue -- which is your real problem -- is to prove it wrong. You have to force yourself out of your comfort zone. Assert yourself when the occasion calls for it. Speak when you have something to say. Force yourself to endure it. It'll suck at first ... but it won't be as bad as you're thinking it is, and you'll get used to it.
Thank you so much for this advice. This by far the best advice I ever received.
Excellent advice, Shieldes. Do we have an introvert group here on AoM? I would join it!
I do want to say, "Fake it till you make it" is good advice for some things, and so is "do positive self-talk." For some things, for me, it just wasn't enough -- but it was still good to have a go at it.
Use external queues to instill the goal internally. That is what is meant by fake it till you make it.
Adjust your style of dress. Some put pebbles in their shoes to remind them to stand well. Perhaps a bracelet to remind you of your goals.
If you lack "social skills", one research etiquette and go out with friends to social situations. Even having dinner with a friend counts. Pay attention to how others in the area are interacting.
A lot of it is really practice and experience. Know your "epic failures" will go unnoticed by most. Your nervous and in that setting everything feels epic. You can do it but you need to have a clear goal, a metric that is measurable and sub points to that goal.