5 Ways to Increase Your Confidence When It Matters Most
Everyone has fat days, bad-hair days, and days when they don't want to set foot outside the house. But there are times when you just have to suck it up and rally. It's not like you can tell a potential employer that you'd rather do the interview when you're less bloated...or explain to your new guy's parents that you're having an "off" night. "There are ways to shake off insecurities quickly, so you can approach anxiety-inducing situations with confidence and poise," says Sam Horn, author of What's Holding You Back. These tricks will chase away self-doubt.
WHEN YOU'RE FLYING SOLO AT A PARTY...
If you're forced to attend a soiree alone, the fear is that you'll look like a loser with nobody to talk to. But that's so not going to happen if you follow these suggestions.
Get your makeup done beforehand. Even if you're just hitting up a house party, a little professional primping can make you feel more special and pulled together. And you don't have to break the bank most department-store cosmetic counters offer free makeup applications.
Use the buddy system. While you might not be able to bring a pal to someone else's bash, anything goes at your own place. Invite a good friend or two over for a drink before you head out. Your little preparty will not only relax you for the event ahead, but it'll also remind you that you're a fun, likable person.
Show up armed with compliments. It's totally a mind game, but feeding someone praise not only makes her feel good, but it also gives you an opportunity to strike up a conversation. Approach a girl to rave about her "so cute" bag or amazing necklace. She'll eat it up, then chat you up.
Smile. It's almost too easy, but flashing your pearly whites is one of the best confidence tricks out there. A friendly smile accomplishes two things: It boosts your mood and makes you seem more accessible to other people.
WHEN YOU'RE ABOUT TO TALK TO A HOT GUY...
You don't want to kick yourself in the ass for letting a hottie get away. These tips will help you make a move.
Try some role-playing. Before hitting the stage, Beyoncé pretends she's a temptress named Sasha. Create a sex-kittenish alter ego who's not afraid to hit on an attractive man and channel her. You want to be subtle here, so don't conjure up Jessica Rabbit.
Ask for an introduction. Have a mutual friend, or the bartender, play mediator and offer to buy him a drink. It's a classic trick because it eases you into conversation and keeps you from losing your nerve.
Draw his eye. Men are visual creatures, with eyes trained to follow movement. Pull his focus to seductive spots on your body by casually running a finger along your neck or over your shoulder. The awareness of his eyes on your skin will make you feel doubly desirable.
Make him laugh. Displaying a sense of humor about yourself will win a guy over every time, so show him the dorky way your dad dances or tell him about a prank that your coworker once pulled on you.
WHEN YOU'RE ABOUT TO SLEEP WITH A NEW MAN...
(And by sleep, we mean have sex, just so we're clear.) It's only natural to be a little nervous, but he doesn't have to know that.
Get waxed. Opting for a übersexy Brazilian bikini wax can boost your in-bed confidence. Actress Eva Longoria Parker reportedly said that going totally bare down there makes her feel "like Angelina Jolie. It opened the door to a whole new sexual side of me."
Spritz on a new scent. When you wear the same perfume day after day, you eventually just stop smelling it. A new fragrance, especially one that's out of character, can make you feel like a different person a sultrier version of yourself.
Turn off the lights. If you're busy stressing that your boobs aren't big enough or your butt isn't perfect, you're not going to have a good time. So if doing it in the dark will help quell your anxiety, just hit the damn switch and get on with it!
Play with him. Sex is supposed to be fun. Adopting a playful attitude will alleviate any pressure for things to be movielike and allow you to just be your fabulous self. So challenge him to take your bra off with one hand. It will add a little levity to the situation.
WHEN YOU'RE MEETING HIS PARENTS...
It's not like you're going to the White House, so just be your adorable self.
Cop a "who cares?" 'tude. What's the worst thing that can happen? It's not like you'll have to see them every day. So decide ahead of time that you'll act as nice as you can what happens from there is out of your hands.
Butter them up. Slip something sweet about their son into the conversation. If he gets up to help his mom, try a line like "He's one of the most considerate guys I've ever met." His parents will warm to you, setting up a camaraderie.
Sit next to them. Grab the seat beside his mom or dad. It's a nonthreatening position, so they won't be quite as intimidating to you.
Take off your shoes. Press your bare feet into the floor and take five deep breaths. This acupressure technique will miraculously relax you.
WHEN YOU'VE GOT A BIG WORK MEETING...
You know you're smart and capable, but job pressures can rattle even cool chicks. In order to be at your very best, you need to calm your nerves and remind yourself just how impressive you are.
Take a short walk. Instead of sitting there stressing, head out for a quick walk around the block. It'll boost your energy and reduce tension, putting you into a more positive and focused state of mind.
Make small talk. According to a study done at the California State University at Long Beach, light chitchat is a stress reliever, especially for women. Gossip with a coworker for a few minutes. The social interaction will ease the pressure and anxiety, so you can walk into the presentation or interview like it's not such a huge deal.
Psych yourself up. Before a big game, athletes will often clap their hands together and rub them back and forth to rev up. This body-language technique gives an energizing, empowering jolt to your brain. So take a page from their playbook and use this trick to get pumped.
THE LOOK OF CONFIDENCE
A self-assured attitude comes from within. But with the right clothes and makeup, you can fake it a little too.
A smile conveys confidence, and you'll be more inclined to flash your bright whites if they're, well, bright white. Or close to it.
A hot pair of heels doesn't just add inches to your height, it changes your strut, making you feel sexy, feminine, and in charge.
Not all women can pull off a saturated matte crimson pout. But even glossy ruby-colored lips signal that you're a fearless kind of chick.
Source: Amanda Sanders, celebrity image consultant for New York Image Consultant; celebrity stylist and personal shopper Ellianna Placas
inspire: live a better life
Editor's note: We will now be publishing Miss Manners articles twice weekly, but you will only see one question and answer per article. You can expect to see these articles appear on Tuesdays and Thursdays going forward.
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