Behaviour of a confident person | Sunday Observer

Behaviour of a confident person

4 April, 2021

Often, we talk about confidence in terms of social skills and interactions with others, but you can apply the word to many different areas. We all want to be more confident. You can increase your confidence by exhibiting the behaviour of a confident person. You build confidence because of your behaviour and actions. You don’t become confident to exhibit those behaviours.

It might not seem like it, but you had a hand in shaping yourself into the person you are today even if you feel like you’re just the way you are. If you want to improve your confidence, try exhibiting some of these traits. Practise them enough and you’ll gain the competence it takes to be confident.

Three words

“I don’t know.” A confident person doesn’t have to pretend like they’re knowledgeable about things they don’t know. Trying to be a know-it-all is a sign of insecurity. Confident people understand the extent of their ignorance and use it to drive their curiosity. If you knew everything, there would be nothing left to learn. When you do have value to add because you have knowledge in an area, you add it. But you also feel one hundred percent comfortable with what you don’t know.

Awkward gap

Confident people will allow for dead space in conversations. They don’t try to alleviate the anxiety that comes from not knowing exactly what to say at the moment. They’re comfortable just being there in the moment and don’t need to fill a void. In general, confident people don’t have that itch to always talk at someone. They do the opposite of what Steven Covey said most people do: “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”

They pause before speaking because they’re actually listening, taking the time to digest what you’ve said and are forming a response instead of just ‘waiting to talk.’

Engaging with the environment

I’ve used this strategy many times to build rapport and feel more comfortable in new environments. If I go to a new area when I don’t know a lot of people, I’ll introduce myself to everyone right away. Confident people don’t default to standing or fading into the background. Nor do they have to be ‘the life of the party.’ Just enter the environment, make yourself known in a warm way and settle in.

Eye contact

They maintain eye contact not in a way that comes across as creepy — like you’re trying to win a staring contest. Nope, warm and inviting eye contact that makes people feel at ease. Maintaining eye contact shows certainty. People respond well to those who seem sure of themselves and steady eye contact is a behavioural signal of the type of certainty people are attracted to.

Certainty doesn’t mean you think you know everything. It just means you feel confident that you’ll be able to handle anything that comes your way because you’ve done the work to become competent.

You can build that sense of competence in a number of ways — through fitness, building knowledge, practising your social skills, having experiences that make you well rounded such as traveling.

The bottom line — the most certain person in the environment is the most confident person. Human beings crave certainty and assurance. If you’re the person who appears the most at ease and sure of themselves, people will gravitate toward you.

Body language

One of the rules in the book 12 Rules for Life is “Stand up straight with your shoulders back.” This piece of advice doesn’t just help you feel more confident and exude it — it’s a metaphor for a confident way to live. When you have that type of body language, you’re exposing yourself to other people, which includes the possibility of embarrassment and rejection.

The vulnerability of the position is the foundation of the confidence itself. You can’t be confident about going through the world without exposing yourself to potential pain and rejection.

They speak up

They literally project their voice so they can be heard. Pro tip: talk louder and talk from the depth of your solar-plexus instead of from your head. If they have something valuable to add to the conversation, they’ll add it.

They keep their mouths shut, too

Law number four in the 48 Laws of Power is “Always say less than necessary.”

Confident people speak up, have conversations and engage, but they don’t run their mouths.

‘Loudmouthed’ people who brag — are insecure and using fake bravado to mask their insecurities.

You don’t have to show off for people to understand that you’re smart and talented. If you engage, without needing to overcompensate, they’ll see it, too.

Being confident

People who are naturally confident became that way because they had great feedback early in life - good parents, a skill that made people admire them and looks.

Based on that good feedback, they were inspired to practise interacting with others more. That leads to more positive feedback, which leads to more inspiration to practise.

You can develop better social skills, leadership skills, business skills, creative skills, whatever skills you need to have a better self-image.

Practising your confidence, however, does require you to put yourself out there and expose yourself. No amount of thinking about improving your confidence can replace the act of working on the behaviour.