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How to fake confidence? S&B Style and otherwise

(24 Posts)
CoolToned Thu 30-Jun-16 20:44:12

They say fake it until you make it.

I'm an awkward person. Always have been. But I'm almost 38 now and I feel like I shouldn't spend the rest of my life being awkward and not having confidence.

Any suggestions?

phoolani Thu 30-Jun-16 22:54:08

I'm well awkward, but confidence comes from being comfortable with, and accepting, who you are rather than fighting it I think. Or at least the appearance of confidence which, in my experience, is the same thing. Also realising that 98% of people are totally winging it, and the other 2% are too stupid to know they're winging it, helps a lot.
What areas do you want to fake it in? Work? Social? Dress sense?

NettleFarseer Fri 01-Jul-16 08:39:33

Place marking....blush

chanie44 Fri 01-Jul-16 09:32:20

Highlight your best features and downplay the ones you don't like.

CoolToned Fri 01-Jul-16 09:42:34

Mostly work and social.

ZaraW Fri 01-Jul-16 10:25:31

Good posture is important I think. Mine has improved through years of Pilates and yoga. Also accepting yourself yoga has also helped me with this I love yoga ;)

botemp Fri 01-Jul-16 10:36:34

Would you describe yourself an introvert and/or highly sensitive? Our society places a lot of emphasis on confidence these days, that doesn't mean not having it in abundance makes you any less valuable. If anything, introverts and the highly sensitive contribute more but in a quieter way. It's not something to beat yourself up about but finding a different set of tools will help, there are some great books on introverts and the highly sensitive just for that.

The best advice my mother ever gave me aged somewhere around 13 during a particularly 'angsty' moment is the following, the entire world isn't as obsessed with you as you are. At worst people won't notice you but no one is actively thinking the worst things you think of yourself. The same way hopefully you don't think the most horrid thoughts of every single person you come across. Yes, there are some rotten people out there making comments that they shouldn't but it's all projection of their own discontent and actually has very little to do with you and says legions about them. As phoolani mentioned above being content with who you are will put you leagues ahead of most people and in turn you will recognise people sharing the same sentiments and connect on a completely different level. Sorry, I'm aware that all sounds very New Age and floaty but I assure you it isn't...

katiegg Fri 01-Jul-16 10:55:23

To echo a poster upthread, I think confidence, or the appearance of confidence, comes from accepting yourself as you are.

I'm not the most confident person in the world, far from it. But I have learnt that if I feel comfortable with myself, I feel more confident. So for example, I feel a thousand times more confident dressed in jeans and a hoodie, or even tracksuit bottoms, with minimal or no make up on than I do in a dress, heels and full makeup. I feel like I'm pretending to be something I'm not and that makes me feel awkward. Even on nights out with friends, I am usually the one most casually dressed - converse instead of heels, the least fancy top - but I feel more confident that way.

I don't know if that makes sense, and obviously, the reverse is true for many people who would feel more comfortable and confident in jeans and heels compared to my trainers and hoodies. But I think dressing/ doing what makes you feel most comfortable helps you feel more confident smile

MrsMarigold Fri 01-Jul-16 10:59:43

Confidence is a learned skill, be polite but assertive, stand up straight don't fidget and don't ever put yourself down in public - self-depracating humour will do you no favours, be prepared to show off your knowledge in areas you are well informed, be engaged but not garrulous. Dress well, iron your clothes and don't put others down. Avoid saying sorry too often.

pippinandtog Fri 01-Jul-16 11:08:45

I will remember botemp's mum's advice- sounds very wise.

amarmai Fri 01-Jul-16 14:44:41

Keep your doubts about yourself to yourself.No sense in voicing what needs to be ignored. YOu have as much going for you as most of s and working at improving what you want to improve will pay off.I am always amazed at how ordinary glam models are in mufti.

Sadik Fri 01-Jul-16 14:56:55

"there are some great books on introverts and the highly sensitive"
botemp, could you link to some, I think they'd be really helpful for my dd.

I agree with you about society putting more emphasis on confidence - dd finds school very hard, and I think that she'd have found it so much easier in my day (desks in rows, sit quiet and do your work, put your hand up if you have a question or need help).

P1nkP0ppy Fri 01-Jul-16 15:06:46

It's taken me to now to not give a toss about what others think; I'm clearly a very late achiever (62 😟)
I sadly spent all my working life trying to live up to (what I thought) other's expectations. Please don't make the same mistake!
It's only now I'm not working that I feel I can 'be me'.

hollieberrie Fri 01-Jul-16 15:34:55

Place marking - will be joining his thread after work. I am extremely sensitive and lacking in confidence.

Have you Googled "HSP" (highly sensitive person)? It's a recognised thing - was a light bulb moment for me, described me to a T and helped me understand myself a bit better. I have a good book about it too, will search for a link.

retainertrainer Fri 01-Jul-16 15:34:55

Talk slowly. My manager is always cool and calm and considered-I jabber away,don't think about what I'm saying before I splurge it all out,then I cringe at how awkward and blundering I am!

hollieberrie Fri 01-Jul-16 15:37:42

Yes I talk really fast too blush

Good Book about sensitive people :


OlennasWimple Fri 01-Jul-16 15:45:36

S&B wise, work out what gives you a boost and make time for yourself to do it. For me it's doing my hair properly, for you it might be having a nice manicure, or something others can't see like matching undies

botemp Fri 01-Jul-16 15:51:47

The whole HSP started somewhat with Elaine N. Aron, I recommend her book The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You and since you mentioned your DD, Sadik, also by her, The Highly Sensitive Child: Helping Our Children Thrive When the World Overwhelms Them.

On introvercy Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking.

Both books have sprouted a whole industry around them, think workbooks, application to business, etc. but these are good starting points simply for the insight.

CoolToned Fri 01-Jul-16 19:57:45

I actually don't think I am sensitive - I have been told I'm apathetic actually. But whenever it comes to volunteering myself or making the first move to talk, I always struggle. The other day I attended a networking event for people in my industry, and I did not know how to approach people. Until one of the fellows approached me and said, "you gotta learn how to approach people".

It's like I never know what to wear. And sometimes, I say seemingly weird maybe even inappropriate things. Like the other day, my superior talked to me and asked how the project was doing, and I said, "I'm not finished yet, I'm very slow, it takes time to blah blah..." when I could have just said, "it's going well, and I should be finished in X days" right?

It's like when people talk to me, my mouth just goes on.

botemp Fri 01-Jul-16 21:03:53

I have been told I'm apathetic actually

Do you believe that to be true? HSP and being sensitive don't necessarily equate as the same thing. People sometimes assume I'm a little cold or dismissive if they don't know me well when the reality is I'm very empathetic but if I allow it to reign free it would emotionally drain me continuously. It's a form of learned self-preservation that I only became aware of after the fact.

Fwiw, you don't sound apathetic to me, an apathetic person simply wouldn't care all that much about what other people thought of them where you clearly do.

MadSprocker Sat 02-Jul-16 10:33:06

What field do you work in? That will help with clothes advice. Also what body shape/size are you? Hair colour/ skin colour?

I have found as I get older, I have more confidence in myself and my choices, and what I look like (I am 40 btw), and care less. But I have had to learn that, some of it through talking therapy. There is a lot of pressure on women to have a certain image.

CoolToned Sat 02-Jul-16 20:32:44

I'm a uni student (masters) but interning in a tech research company. I'm rectangle/apple shaped, 14-16. 5'8. Black hair, cool-toned light skin.

MadSprocker Sun 03-Jul-16 09:51:56

Do you have to wear smart office type clothes?

You have height, which is great. I am no colour expert, but it sounds like you would suit cool toned brights.

Do you prefer to wear baggy clothes, or would you wear fitted stuff? When people have little confidence they often shroud themselves in baggy layers, which are so unflattering, whereas a fitted outfit will make you look more streamlined. By fitted, I don't mean showing flesh.

Make Pinterest your friend to find good clothes shapes for your body type.

TondelayaDellaVentamiglia Sun 03-Jul-16 10:08:12

learn to stand nicely...examples of all the prom photos on fb atm...8/10 of the girls who are all beautiful, in gorgeous frocks, with fabulous make up are utterly ruined as they are standing with their shoulders up around their ears, fists clenched with blank expressions

do try to engage with people, a small glance/nod/smile as you pass through a room means they will notice you in a good way...bustle past with your head down and your resting bitch face on and it puts up barriers. Even in a shop or a cafe, you'd be surprised at the difference you will get in service/assistance if you appear more approachable

Talking with people, slow down and do not gabble, and listen to what they are saying back and avoid negatives your example above not finished/very slow is not going to win you friends and admiration, so as you have noticed that one maybe work on that first?

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