The term “confidence” gets thrown around a lot.
But there are a lot of unhelpful stereotypes out there about what real confidence looks like and how it works.
Being genuinely comfortable and happy with who you are tends to manifest in subtle ways that are easy to miss if you don’t look for them.
In fact many of us are highly drawn to charismatic, confident people without even realizing they’re manifesting many of these ultra powerful traits…
This is an honest look at what you’ll notice about those who are truly comfortable in their own skin.
It’s not necessarily like everything you’ve been told…
1) They’re soft-spoken
The person who’s comfortable in their own skin speaks slowly and quietly.
They have no need to shout or talk like a football hooligan.
If you don’t listen to what they say, that’s your loss, and they know it.
Don’t get me wrong:
This isn’t quiet in that pretentious “I’m such a sensitive delicate flower who’s better than you” way.
This is just normal volume and plain-spoken. The kind of person who’s clearly not looking for attention or applause.
2) They’re listeners
Those who are highly comfy being themselves don’t feel the need for a lot of attention.
This also manifests in the fact that they tend to listen more than they talk.
This isn’t just about being low-key or “chill.”
It’s also that they have no desire to prove themselves or reach out and seek new connections.
If people express an interest in them or want to talk, so be it.
They’re not out there actively seeking out new friends and associates.
They’re mostly just listening until and unless something strikes them as worth providing their input on.
3) They’re genuine
People who are comfortable in their own skin tend be very authentic people.
They don’t pretend to be somebody they’re not or drive a certain type of car to feel special.
They express who they are in a real way and they communicate in a direct and honest way.
This makes them ideal romantic partners, coworkers and friends.
4) They’re unpretentious
In every way, confident and self-loving people are unpretentious.
As I said, they don’t cling to outer status symbols, nor do they try to be something they’re not.
Even if he or she is very rich, the unpretentious man or woman mixes with people of all kinds and doesn’t see the world in a hierarchical way.
They feel comfortable being themselves and generally try to help others feel comfortable being themselves as well.
This brings up the next point…
5) They’re bored by labels
Labels aren’t always wrong, but they’re almost always reductive.
“Oh that guy’s rich and drives a Lamborghini…”
“Oh that lady’s a single mom battling addiction…”
It’s not that these labels are necessarily untrue, it’s that they reduce people down to one or two things about their lives and ignore the real complexity and 360-degree reality of people’s identities.
People who are secure in themselves don’t feel the need for labels.
They can hear that a guy is rich and owns a Lamborghini, but they’re more interested to find out what else he does or is into behind the surface label, and the same for the single mom battling addiction…
Life’s in full color, and labels don’t do it justice!
6) They’re not materialists
Material possessions clearly matter at least a little bit.
Without food, shelter and basic clothing we’d be shivering in the cold somewhere (or sweltering in the sun without water, depending on the climate).
But basing happiness on how much you have and what you have ends up being a futile quest, since everything is only temporary.
People who are comfortable with who they are have found a way to enjoy their own presence and life without relying on buying goodies or material possessions.
They may like to own nice things, but they never depend on them for their sense of wellbeing inside.
7) They admit what they don’t know
People who like being who they are don’t have an issue admitting what they don’t know.
If there are gaps in their knowledge they freely admit that.
They’re willing to be educated or told information or perspectives they weren’t aware of.
The reason why is that when somebody is fundamentally secure with who they are, their ego is not at stake or threatened in any way by being wrong or not knowing something.
They feel no twinge of fear in admitting “I didn’t know that,” or “I guess I was wrong.”
8) They support others
Those who are secure in themselves enjoy supporting others.
They see the world as full of win-win opportunities.
You can win and so can they.
Helping other people doesn’t increase their competition, it increases the overall joy and thriving going on in the world.
And that’s a good thing!
9) They love to work together
This brings up the other point, which is that very secure people love to collaborate.
Whether that’s working together on a business project or collaborating on planning an event or a party, they’re all in!
When somebody isn’t looking for validation they free up a lot of time and energy.
This eliminates a lot of the insecure roots of unhealthy rivalry and also frees up a lot of potential to do useful and effective things with their time.
10) They avoid unnecessary fights
People who feel comfortable in their own skin avoid unnecessary fights.
There’s nothing for them to prove…
If they have a conflict or somebody mistreating them or others, of course they’ll argue or fight.
But if they’re facing down juvenile insults from a drunk person or listening to a colleague rant on about views they find stupid and trying to force them on people?
They just walk away.
Why waste time arguing with people who are just looking for a fight or taking their insecurity out on others?
It’s a waste of time!
11) They have a sense of humor
When a person is comfortable with themselves that includes having a sense of humor.
This may even sometimes be jokes that are a little bit at their own expense.
They’re not too pompous or serious about themselves because they already know their own value.
The truly secure person enjoys jokes because they know life is serious and upsetting enough without also depriving it of levity and laughter.
12) They aren’t afraid to say no
People who feel secure in themselves have strong boundaries.
They aren’t afraid to say no.
Unlike typical “nice guys” or women who feel pressured to be “agreeable,” the truly secure person values themselves.
They can and will draw the line when necessary.
In their work, their relationships and every area of their lives they will put their foot down when necessary and say “no thanks.”
And they’ll mean it.
13) They sample trends but they don’t submit to them
None of us are completely immune to trends, including what’s popular or “cool” in society.
From a book or film that’s becoming massively popular to a style of clothing or tattoos, even the most high self-esteem person is influenced.
The difference of somebody who’s comfortable in their own skin is that they might sample trends but they don’t submit to them.
In high school they were the guy or girl who dropped in on various cliques instead of just one.
In adult life they’re friends with people of many different types instead of just one or two people who mirror them.
They probably had a Blackberry phone back when it seems like everybody had a Blackberry phone, but it doesn’t mean they’re a conformist.
They’re influenced by trends just like any of us, but they’re never captive to them.
14) They’re fine with zigging when others are zagging
People who really feel fine with who they are have no compulsion to follow crowds.
They’re fine with zigging when everybody else seems to be zagging.
Society’s becoming more and more progressive? They’re becoming more conservative.
Jobs are going more and more digital? They’re working on a new project that’s very much real-world and offline.
They have no need to be approved of or understood by others.
Walk a mile in somebody else’s shoes
The metaphor of walking a mile in somebody else’s shoes is often used to teach compassion and empathy…
But imagine walking in somebody else’s shoes who’s full of confidence and completely comfortable in their own skin.
Let’s imagine Tom Cruise is as happy and “clear” as he looks and you’re him for a day…
You’re feeling on top of the world: what would that be like, really?
It would mean knowing your value deep in your bones, having a firm and meaningful purpose and walking into any place fully expecting a warm reception and recognition and leaving with no problem wherever you didn’t get such a reception…
It would mean, perhaps for the first time in your life, realizing that there’s no better place to be than in your own skin.