20 tiny behaviors that instantly make someone seem confident and self-assured

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What comes to mind when you picture a confident, charismatic man or woman? 

If you’re like me then it’s not so much the outer characteristics but a sense of calm and can-do attitude that you get around this person. They just seem like they have their life under control and are living at an above-average level of wellbeing and know-how. 

This impression we get from confident people isn’t by accident: there are actually a number of small and subtle behaviors that make somebody come across as confident and charming. 

Here’s a look. If you’re already on this same page then you’re coming across more confident than you realize. If not, it’s never too late to start picking up these confident and charismatic behaviors. 

Let’s dive in! 

1) Assertive voice 

Two people of equal appearance, skill and reputation are often separated by one thing:

Their voice.

By having an assertive voice that is confident and clearly able to be heard, an individual states his or her right to be in the world.

There’s no shame or hesitancy, just a clear and well-articulated voice.

2) Being present 

What’s the difference between someone who’s present and someone who’s absent?

It’s the awareness that this individual is hearing, seeing and sensing what’s around them. 

It’s the clear small signs that they are actually living in the present moment, not lost in their thoughts. 

This creates a clear sense that this person is confident and should be taken seriously. 

3) Calm breathing 

Confident people breathe calmly. 

It may seem like too small of a thing to notice, and often the way somebody breathes is indeed at the subconscious level. 

But it makes a big difference. 

Those who breathe shallowly or in big gulps come across as flustered and anxious, whereas those who breathe calmly and consistently are judged as confident and in charge of themselves. 

4) Deliberate gait

Confident people walk in a purposeful and intentional way.

The way somebody walks, or their “gait” is extremely important to how they come across. 

The German language even has names built around the way somebody walks, such as Wolfgang (somebody who walks like a wolf). 

Unlike those who swagger or walk in an intimidating way, the truly confident individual walks modestly but in a way that is deliberate and purpose-driven. 

5) Eye contact 

Even though it’s just a tiny action, there’s a big difference between those who make eye contact and those who don’t. 

The kind of person who avoids eye contact or looks away rapidly after making it comes across as anxious or low self-esteem

By contrast, somebody who holds eye contact sends a clear message that they are proud of who they are and assert their place in the world.

6) Frank manner 

Frankness is a quality that can actually be quite charming. It can also be funny, such as when comedians say something with no filter that’s inappropriate but true. 

Those who say what they mean and mean what they say seem very confident. 

They have taken the filter off their words, and it shows a level of authenticity that’s often lacking in others. 

7) Gregariousness 

Being friendly and gregarious is another behavior that makes somebody come across as very confident. 

The key is that it shouldn’t be over-the-top. 

Whereas some people are so effusive and friendly it makes them seem insecure, the confident individual is gregarious and friendly in a relaxed, low-key way that makes them come across as deeply secure and charismatic. 

8) Helpfulness 

Confident people are usually quite helpful in subtle ways. 

It may just be opening a door or helping give somebody directions. 

They show their confidence and well-being by being helpful to others

9) Insightful 

Insight is another subtle behavior that shows confidence. 

When a person is willing to share their observations and insights about a situation, they come across as confident and wise. 

This isn’t about showing off, it’s just about their ability to have insights beyond the average. 

10) Joking casually

Joking is another way of being gregarious and generally friendly that sets somebody apart as confident.

There is one exception here, however:

The kind of person who jokes in order to get attention or waiting for everyone to laugh comes across as insecure and try-hard. 

To be effective, jokes have to be casual and unforced, without hoping for or expecting any reaction. 

11) Knowledgeable 

The tiny behavior of knowing what they’re talking about is highly powerful. 

Those with knowledge come across as charming and high value. 

The only exception is when they are trying to show off or make a production of how knowledgeable they are. This is most effective in small doses.

12) Looking up from phone

So many people these days seem attached to their smartphones or devices with crazy glue.

The man or woman who’s willing and able to look up from their phone comes across as much more confident and engaged with the world. 

Instead of hiding in their phone, this person is present in a way that’s confident and encourages others to seek them out and value them. 

13) Modesty 

Modesty is another small behavior that’s very attractive. 

Those who know their talents and value but don’t make a big thing of it come across as extremely impressive. 

By being impressive without trying to be impressive (and without demanding others find them to be) they pull off a major power move. 

14) Name recollection 

Remembering people’s names and calling them by their names is another tiny but confident behavior. 

Those who ask names and remember them come across as masters of their own domain. 

They recognize others and value them by learning their name and calling them by their name. 

15) Organized 

Being organized is another important and small behavior that encourages people to see somebody as confident and high value. 

By having his or her schedule organized and knowing their plan for the day, an individual demonstrates that they respect themselves and other people. 

16) Purposeful outlook 

There’s no replacement for a strong purpose in life. 

The confident individual weaves their purpose throughout their day in many small ways. 

They always have a reason for what they’re doing, not just random impulse.

17) Quiet at times 

There are times when the most powerful thing a person can do is stay quiet. 

Confident people often turn to this, and it works very well. 

They stay a bit neutral and don’t always comment unless there’s a reason to do so, increasing their gravitas and charisma. 

18) Respectfulness 

Confidence is often reflected in respectfulness. 

Whereas insecure people often whine and interrupt, confident people are respectful. 

They give respect first and continue to do so unless there’s a reason not to. This shows their confidence. 

19) Selectivity 

The kind of person who chooses something without much thought comes across as not valuing themselves very much. 

A confident individual is selective. 

They are decisive and thoughtful, choosing what and who they want, not just whatever happens to be available. 

20) Tolerating disagreement 

Society often portrays confidence as somebody who’s in-your-face and very direct. 

Low-key confidence that makes a stronger impression, however, are from those who don’t bother with useless fights.

The kind of person who can tolerate low-key disagreement instead of starting drama over it, ends up coming across as much more confident than the one who gets visibly worked up over it. 

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