How to be confident around new people

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

how to be confident around new people

How to be confident around new people?
Many people ask the same question and before i can tell you the answer let me first tell you a short story.

Salma fears cats so much. One day she saw a black cat in the street that looked aggressive. Salma panicked and stared at the cat in a weird way. The cat on the other hand was so afraid of Salma. It thought that Salma is going to attack her because she was staring at her.

At this point if the cat attacked Salma to defend itself Salma would be able to confirm her initial assumption (that the cat is aggressive). On the other hand if Salma kicked the cat the cat would confirm its initial assumption (that Salma is an enemy)

So what does this story has to do with being confident around new people?
Read this post to know the connection.

This is why you don't feel confident around new people

Most people do like Salma and the cat did. They make incorrect assumptions about each other and as a result they get each other wrong. A friend once asked me how to be confident around new people, i told him you must be able to see reality instead of seeing a biased version of reality. (see How to become confident)

Lets assume you believed that someone found you boring, what will be your reaction the next time you see him? Most probably You won't talk much! after a short while the person might actually believe that you are boring!

The same will happen if that person thought that you are arrogant. His false assumption will be confirmed by your silence.

If you want to feel confident around new people then you must understand how to see reality correctly. People make false assumptions about each other and even prove them true and that's why they lack confidence.

To be confident around new people you need to understand this fact

Most normal people want to be accepted by the new people they meet. Whenever two people meet each of them think about his flaws before he thinks about the flaws of the other person.

I am not trying to tell you that no one feels confident around new people but what i am trying to say is that most people will be concerned about themselves more than they are concerned about you.

Knowing this fact alone should make you confident around new people.
Here is a summary of what you need to do in order to be confident around new people:

  • 1) Never make false assumptions: Never make false assumptions about the people you meet especially if you don't have solid proofs
  • 2) Never act upon these assumptions: Even if you mistakenly made some false assumptions just don't act upon them (see How to identity limiting beliefs)
  • 3) Know that most people want to be accepted: Once you understand that the person you are talking to needs acceptance just like you then you will become confident around new people

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