Sometimes you’re in a room full of people, and everyone seems to be having a great time except for you because you’re afraid to put yourself out there.
It’s difficult for everyone to be confident, especially in a new environment.
Maybe you just started a new job, moved into a new city, or are naturally a bit shy, affecting your confidence.
But let’s see if I can help you by showing you 10 things confident people avoid doing in social situations.
1) Shy away from introductions
Confident people proactively introduce themselves because they know that building connections with others is very important.
Plus, they make others feel welcome too.
That doesn’t mean you have to immediately go from person to person and start introducing yourself and telling them your name.
Try making it more casual by saying, “Hello, I don’t believe we’ve had the chance to meet yet,” or “How are you enjoying the event so far?”
With a more casual approach, you’ll break the ice and encourage more questions from others.
2) Give a weak handshake or shove their hands in their pockets
If you want to seem approachable, more relaxed, and display confidence in a social setting, you should pay attention to your hands.
Always try to offer a firm hand when meeting others.
Also, first impression matters. Believe me, many cultures take their impression of you from the get-go, and a handshake plays a big role here.
A weak handshake is a sign of a lack of confidence, but what’s even worse is shoving your hands in your pockets.
Not a lot of people can pull this one off and still look confident. It makes you look more nervous than anything else.
So, next time when you’re at some gathering, keep this one in mind and, most importantly, practice.
The fewer things you do with your hands (touching your face, neck, etc.), the more confident you look.
3) Pretend to know everything
Let’s say you’re at a party, and the topic of a popular TV show comes up.
Instead of confirming that you know everything about the show because everyone already watched it (except you, of course), try to be more genuine and say something like: “I haven’t seen that show yet, but I’ve heard good things about it. What’s it about?”
You’ll show more confidence if you admit your lack of knowledge about the TV show without pretending you saw it.
I’ve seen many people do this and when you ask them a specific question, they don’t know what to say and kind of look like a fool.
It’s not a nice sight.
4) Spread negative energy
Confident people like to stay positive and surround themselves with similar people and situations. They avoid spreading negative energy at all costs.
Negative energy is like fire. If you don’t contain it on time, it spreads faster than Sonic the Hedgehog.
Confident people understand that their behavior impacts the overall atmosphere. So even if they do contribute to negativity, they are willing to make amends.
5) Talk too quickly
Remember the college or even your high school? You’re in a classroom, and the teacher asks a question about a math problem.
Joanna, a confident student, raises her hand and waits eagerly to be chosen by the teacher while you shove your head in the book and pray to all Gods that the teacher doesn’t call your name.
When the teacher calls on Joanna, she takes a moment to gather her thoughts and then answers the question clearly and slowly, making sure everyone can follow what she’s saying.
She didn’t rush with the answer, and that made her confident in what she had to say and how she said it.
If someone asks you a question, don’t deflect. Answer it confidently, even if you don’t know the correct answer.
6) Try to fill an awkward gap
Confident people don’t fear occasional silence in conversations. They try to listen and reflect on what someone just said.
There’s an interesting part of Japanese culture that I find fascinating – silence is expected and not awkward.
Many Japanese people tend to be reserved and careful with their words, preferring to listen more than they speak.
This is called Chinmoku, and it’s when people empty their minds of distracting thoughts and focus on the present moment. They take a moment to absorb the conversation.
They teach us that silence isn’t great. But sometimes people just need time to reflect, think about what you said, and by that, they show you respect.
7) Avoid challenging conversations
Another thing confident people avoid doing is evading challenging discussions. They approach conversations that are challenging with an open mind.
They express their thoughts respectfully and want to hear what others have to say too.
This can be a political or religious conversation or even whose turn it is to wash the dishes today.
Insteaz of ignoring the situation, you should confidently bring the topic up and try to find a solution that works for both sides.
It’s always better to address the issue directly than avoid it.
This shows that you’re open to discussing challenges, respecting what others have to say, listening, and finding solutions.
That is the epitome of confidence right there.
8) Apologize when not necessary
Confident people admit when they’re wrong and offer apologies when necessary. What they don’t do is over-apologize for small things.
Last week we attended my son’s friend’s birthday party. There were a lot of parents there that we didn’t know, and we felt a bit uneasy (mostly me).
The icing on the cake was when my wife accidentally bumped into a chair, causing a loud bang.
But she just smiled and continued her conversation with one of the parents.
I later asked her why she didn’t say anything or apologize as everyone turned around.
She simply said that she didn’t do anything wrong.
It was a slight disturbance and didn’t cause any harm, and you know what? She was right.
A confident person in this situation wouldn’t immediately apologize because an apology wasn’t really necessary.
9) Avoid eye contact
We all had job interviews, some went great, and some went less great. Afterward, we often wonder how we can improve or what we can do better.
From my experience, intense eye contact belongs to the same category as a firm handshake.
When you first meet the interviewer, you greet them with a genuine smile and make eye contact. This sets a positive tone for the conversation and a positive first impression.
What’s even more challenging is maintaining eye contact while listening to the questions.
But if we try, we show that we’re engaged and genuinely interested in what they say. Nodding and occasionally smiling help too.
Try not to break eye contact even when you have to think or are unsure of the question. Show your professionalism and how confident you are.
10) Shy away from compliments
And lastly, confident individuals never shy away from compliments. Instead, they graciously accept them.
If someone congratulates you on a fantastic job, project, or great food you made, don’t pretend it was easy peasy, be confident about it, and try to say something like: “Thank you, I put in a lot of effort to make it successful.”
You’re not being arrogant here. You value yourself and everything that you do. And it doesn’t mean you’re a narcissist if you accept compliments. Narcissism is self-focused, while confidence is not.
Go out there, value more what you do, and be confident about it.
You’ve just read 10 things confident people never do in social situations. I’m sure there’s a good chance you already follow a few of these in your life, and that’s fantastic.
We should all push the barriers of our comfort zone more and do new and exciting things.
Even small and simple changes boost confidence, and that confidence can encourage more confidence, and so on.
As I previously said, nobody is born confident. Take your time, develop it at your own pace, and nurture it.