Confidence - How to Show It Even If You Don't Have It
Many of the women I talk to say the same thing: of all the things they find attractive in a man, confidence is #1. The wise man will understand this and use it to his advantage. If you're going to have any level of success with women, you're going to have to be confident, or learn to fake it. This article will explore men's confidence - what it is, how it appears and how to fake it.
"Confident" verses "Cocky"
To begin this discussion, let's look at the difference between "confident" and "cocky". On the surface, they appear to be almost the same thing - and in fact, they come from the same place, and hold much the same outward appearance. However, a cocky person's subtle quirks are easily exposed by, and a real turn-off to women - exactly the opposite of what you want. So, how do we differentiate confident from cocky? The difference ultimately is the internal motivation. People who really are confident show it easily. Those that try to appear confident (without some coaching) come off as cocky.
Women are masters at picking up the difference, so it's tough to disguise. But - it CAN be done! We'll explore that in a few minutes. First, let's look at some differences in traits between the confident and the cocky man:
|The Confident Man||The Cocky Man|
|Posture||Comfortably erect||Slouching or too erect|
|Eyes||Look right into her eyes||Shifting around - not into her eyes|
|Hands||Relaxed, at the sides, on table, etc.||Constantly touching something or himself|
|Speech||Relaxed, slow and specific.||Strained, tense, choppy, fast and too loud or soft|
|Talks About||Her, others and things in general||Himself|
|Face||Pleasant, easy expression||Facial "ticks" or odd expressions|
|A Plan||Has one!||Doesn't think he needs one|
Of course, you want to focus on the traits shown by the confident man, not the cocky one. The more you think about them the easier it is to adopt them. This is the way the mind works. It can only hold one thought at a time and reacts to everything. For example, if you think about your nose, while you're trying to concentrate on her, you're going to start feeling it itch. So, fill your mind with other things - things that build confidence.
So, practice being confident, and watch out for or correct any cocky behavior.
How to Fake Confidence
1) Dress and groom yourself well.
Dress better than the best-dressed person you expect to meet. If you don't, you'll feel inferior subconsciously which will manifest itself as nervousness outwardly. Also, make sure you're properly groomed. You do this for the obvious reasons just stated, but even more important - if you're not well groomed, you give any woman you meet a reason to look at you more closely - and, women can be critical enough without your help! She'll start to pick up small details that translate in her mind into your lack of confidence. By grooming yourself well, (including your hair, nails, moustache and beard, ear and nose hair, eyebrows, and having a good shine on your shoes) you won't have to worry about this on top of everything else.
2) Build it up from inside.
Confidence is very difficult to fake, so you're going to have to help yourself by adopting a confidence "physiology" What does this mean? Specifically, by creating thoughts of confidence in your mind, your body will react and display that confidence. So many of the "quirks of confidence" come out in very small things - like an almost imperceptible smile from the corner of your mouth or the brightness in your eyes. These are all subconscious indications of confidence. You want as many of these coming through as possible.
First, give yourself an easy pep talk. Tell yourself, "I look great today!" and "I feel good about myself." These seem silly at first, but consider that your subconscious mind doesn't know the difference between reality and the things you tell yourself - if you do it with conviction. Of course, you're going to have to actually think you DO look good, so give yourself a leg-up and dress well, be well groomed, etc. Then, when you look in the mirror and say you look good, your brain adds the thought, "Yep - he's right!"
Next, run some confidence-building thoughts through your mind. To do this, get into a comfortable, quiet place - your living room or bedroom is best, but even your car will do - sit quietly for a moment and relax. Try to remember a time that you felt totally comfortable and confident. Try to remember the exact feelings you had and then recreate them. Try to feel exactly like you did when you felt calm, comfortable and confident. Now, with these feelings in place, imagine walking up to a woman you've never met and saying "Hello." If you lose the feelings, go back and recreate them and try again. Continue this until you can keep the feelings going while imagining talking to a new woman.
What you're doing here is programming your mind for success. You're telling your mind in the most direct way possible what you expect of it. It will respond if you give it the right messages clearly enough. Most of us spend time thinking of the worst thing that could happen. Then, what happens? The worst thing! Don't do this to yourself. Use your mind to build positive experiences and expectations.
3) Remember the term "Calm Confidence."
One of the most obvious signals to a person's lack of confidence is in their nervousness. A confident person is usually calm and has easy, natural gestures and mannerisms. By adopting the correct physiology through the techniques just discussed you will add greatly to this. However, pay attention to your actions (but don't dwell!) and, if you find that you're gestures become erratic or large, play them down. Focus on the calm confidence you're trying to show.
4) Hold a drink in your LEFT hand!
First, holding a drink (even if it's only water) gives you something to do with your hands and prevents you from fidgeting. This is important: always hold a drink in your left hand - not your right! Why? Because drinks, being cold will give your hand a cold, clammy, wet feel - a dead giveaway to nervousness!
5) Don't smoke before or while meeting someone.
Many people use smoking as a relaxing activity and falsely believe that it makes them calm. In fact, cigarette smoke is a stimulant. If you smoke before you meet someone your physiology will change, giving off all kinds of signs of being nervous including:
* Increased blood pressure
* "Flushed" face and hands
* Constricted pupils
* Dry mouth
And a hundred other signals - any one or two of which are enough to set off red flags in her head. Further, it gives you "smoker's breath." Women constantly report that bad breath is one of their main turn-offs.
On the other hand, if you are a smoker and you don't keep the nicotine level high enough in your blood stream, you're going to get minor withdrawal symptoms including the "shakes" - another giveaway. So the answer is to have your smokes well before you plan to meet someone. Then, brush your teeth, use mouthwash, etc. to help eliminate the breath problems. Your body will have a chance to even out the nicotine levels and return you to a more balanced state.
You should never smoke while you're meeting someone new. Why not? First, there is a heavy backlash against smoking these days - sometimes even by smokers themselves! Having your prospective woman complain about smoke in her face is not a good sign. Second, holding a cigarette in a nervous hand amplifies any shaking you may have - no matter how minor. Third, it really doesn't look very cool to have a burning weed hanging out of your mouth, regardless of what the ads say!
Remember: it is never inappropriate NOT to smoke.
6) Limit the coffee, tea, sodas and other stimulants.
Just like with smoking, these increase your nervous signals. One cup of coffee may help clear a fogged mind, but an entire pot is going to make you wired. So too with sodas and even candy - many contain high levels of caffeine, and should be avoided.
7) Shut the hell up!
Nervous people just yammer on about only things they know about. By being quiet, other than to ask "leading questions" (those that require more than just a "yes" or "no" answer), you let her do most of the talking. Not only does this help to conceal your nervousness, it also gives her another focus - herself. You'd be surprised how great a "conversationalist" you become by letting the other person do all the talking!
Obviously, you can't go on and on without saying something, but don't confuse a speech with a response. Especially when you first meet someone, you just need to make contact and focus on your goal - getting the home phone number. It doesn't take many conversation tools to do this. Further, she is probably better at talking than you are anyway. Let some mystery help you along to your goal.
Many people spend years perfecting their crafts. Consider making a speech; very few people are born good public speakers. However, wouldn't it be easier to speak in public about something you already know well rather than about something you don't? And, wouldn't it be even easier if you had hours of practice beforehand? Of course! You can practice these confidence-building techniques anytime and you'll find that they eventually become second nature.
Making It By Faking It
Wow, what happened? Once you've faked it for a while, you're going to find something strange - you'll actually become confident! Certainly, your newfound success will help here, but it is really much more than this. Like I said before, when you adopt a confidence philosophy, your body begins changing it's physiology! With enough practice, you're going to find that it becomes second nature - not because you're getting good at faking it (you are by the way), but your body begins to accept it as fact! And, guess what - you actually become a more confident person!
Your mind and body don't know what is real and what's not. Do you doubt this? Then how do you explain the success of commercials? By repetitive viewing or listening, we begin to remember products and eventually buy them. Just as well, by repetitively changing our philosophies, and therefore our physiologies, we are actually changing ourselves. It makes you wonder; if a 30-second commercial can change your perception or memory about a product, what can a 60-minute television program change?
So, here's this article's lesson: "fake it until you make it!"
Got a love, relationship or man/woman question? I answer all letters. You can write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org for answers. For more information about my book, "Being a Man in a Woman's World", visit: www.remingtonpublications.com
Copyright (c) 2001, Dr. Dennis W. Neder
All rights reserved.