We’ve all been there. We need to introduce ourselves and we want to make a good impression, but how do we do that?
It starts before you even open your mouth.
Decide what comfortable looks like
Firstly, you need to get your energy right. Don’t get weirded out by the idea of personal energy – it’s not some strange construct about chi or laylines, it’s just the ‘vibes’ we give out. I’m sure some of you are reading this and thinking ‘what utter nonsense’, but think about this for a second…have you ever walked into a room where nobody has said a word, but you can tell that there is tension – that things aren’t right…that’s the energy I’m talking about. In reality it’s probably a combination of body language and our subconscious minds. We pick up on all sorts of small signals and they give us a feeling of right or wrong, good or bad, safe or dangerous, comfortable or nervous.
When we meet people, we want them to think certain things of us and feel a certain way about us. Unless we have ulterior motives we probably want them to like us – to feel comfortable and at ease. So how do we achieve this? Let’s start by thinking about the sort of people we feel comfortable with…are they nervous or self assured? Are they relaxed or uptight? Are they highly strung or laid back? Are they vigilant or unaware? Generally people feel comfortable with people who seem comfortable themselves. They seen confident, self assured, relaxed and happy.
I you don’t feel it- fake it
So we want to appear to be confident, self assured, relaxed and happy. If you feel that way then you are already most of the way there, but what if you don’t. The easy answer is fake it. Most people aren’t very good at telling if someone is genuinely confident, or just pretending to be, so fake it ’til you make it. Think about your body language. Imagine someone who feels the way you want to feel and think about how they look. What is their posture like? How about their eye contact? Are they fidgeting? Do they have a prop? What are their hands doing? If you can picture it, then you can copy it. Maybe you could even imagine floating into their body and assuming their mannerisms…
What if it all went perfectly?
Sometimes the reasons we feel anxious or nervous are because we have thought about all the things that could possibly go wrong. We go over and over the situation, thinking about what mistakes we might make or all the negative things people may think about us. Unfortunately, rather than helping us to prepare, this just makes us fearful. This in turn affects the energy. How comfortable do feel around people that are scared? I know it can be easy to think about all the worst possible outcomes, but with practice you can start to think about all the things that could go well. What if they really like us? What if it goes perfectly? These thoughts lead to confidence and a positive feeling.
When we meet people, what ever the situation, we have some hopes about how it’s going to go. If it’s a job interview, we want them to give us the job. If it’s a date, we want them to want to see us again. If it’s a new job we want to fit in with the new team and become liked and valuable. As much as we hope it will go perfectly – what if it doesn’t? Is it life or death? Will we have another chance to change things? Being confident is not about believing that everyone will like you, it’s about knowing that you will be OK even if they don’t. So don’t put too much pressure on yourself and relax!
The nicest people to be around tend to be those that just enjoy the company of others. So put your best foot forward, relax (or pretend to) and enjoy the opportunity. Who knows where it could take you?
If you struggle with social situations or have problems with confidence and self esteem there are many ways you can get help. Hypnotherapists like myself are ready and willing to help you to feel how you want to, either through hypnosis or through a myriad of other psychological tools and tricks. Don’t suffer unnecessarily – make the change!