For some people, self-confidence with regard to personal relationships is challenging. You may find that you have confidence in many other areas of your life - your business, talents, and so forth - but lack the confidence to have successful personal relationships. For some, this is due to something that has happened in the past - once bitten, twice shy, so to speak. For others, it just seems to be how they're wired; they just can't be the social butterfly they wish they could be. If any of this describes you, read on for some tips and suggestions that may help.
The first step to improving your confidence is phasing out that internal voice in your mind that keeps telling you it is not possible; begin by asking yourself “what is the worst-case scenario? What else is possible here?" These questions will allow you to see that nothing is as bad as you thought it would be.
- Your Contribution - If you feel insecure when you think of your interpersonal relationships (or when you think of starting one), it might help to remember that you have something of value to contribute to that relationship. Lack of confidence may stem from a sense that relationships are only about you pleasing the other person, or getting him or her to like you. However, it's important to realize that you have something to contribute to the relationship which will benefit the other person - you!
- Be Gracious - Graciousness is the willingness to allow others to be who they are without a point of view. People who lack confidence in relationships tend to walk on eggshells, afraid they will say or do something to cause the other person to turn against them. When you try to be careful of not offend anyone, it feels like a lie and everyone will think you are a liar and become distrustful of you. To build confidence you have to give up worrying about other people’s points of view. What would it take to be present in your life in every moment, without judgment of you or anyone else?
- Silence the Negative Inner Voice - First, you have to recognize it - listen to your inner voice. What's it saying? Do you hear, "You're not good enough," "No one would ever put up with you," or "I just can't go over and talk to him/her?" Once you begin to hear these thoughts, it's time to take action and choose to let them go. Often, such negative self-talk is a habit and you don't even realize you're doing it. You have to forge new habits of positive self-talk instead. It’s never about like or right or wrong or good or bad or dislike. It’s always about: What other choices are here? What else can I choose?
- Recognize You're Not Alone- Pretending like you don't have trouble with confidence is not going to help. You'd be surprised at how many people who seem naturally born confident actually took time and effort to cultivate the art of self-confidence in their relationships. Be willing to put some energy into building confidence in the interpersonal relationship. Start each day with a question. "What else can I be or do that will generate more confidence today?"