You’d think that just being yourself would be the most natural thing in the world. The truth is, it's often one of the hardest things to accomplish. It takes a certain amount of confidence and a good amount of comfort, to be able to be yourself with others. So, the question becomes, how to be yourself with someone you have just met, and with whom you are not necessarily confident or comfortable?
The answer is: practice. The more you practice talking to new people and letting your true self shine through, the more comfortable and confident you will become. You will realize that people are far less judgmental than you fear, and definitely less judgmental than you are self-critical.
While you are practicing talking to new people, here are some simple tips to help you get comfortable and confident more quickly:1. Guide the Conversation Towards Your Interests
One of the fears that prevent us from being comfortable and confident in a conversation, is that we will have nothing to say. If this is a fear that you face, then try guiding a conversation toward your interests. It's much easier to talk fluidly when you are talking about something that actually interests you. You will have a lot more to say, and you will feel more confident saying it. Usually, you can find common ground with a person – a shared interest – which has the advantage of making the other person feel comfortable as well. If you can't find any common ground, then the person you are talking to probably isn't right for you anyways!2. Practice Telling Your Stories
If your concern about how you will sound and what impression you are making is holding you back from telling a personal story or sharing an insight, then practice it beforehand! It may seem counter-intuitive to practice being yourself, but it can really help to have a clear idea of how you want to express yourself before engaging in a conversation. You'll find that in the moment, your story will flow more naturally than if you hadn't practiced it! This will prevent you from suffering that most common of conditions: "Why didn't I say that" disease!3. Tell it Like a Friend Would
Sometimes, we hold back from sharing something personal because we don't want to come across as too self-involved or prideful. This can have the negative effect of making us seem insecure or timid. On the other hand, if you talk about yourself too much, it can come across as self-promotional. To avoid this sticky situation, try telling it like a friend would. Instead of recounting a story or describing a quality from your point of view, think of how a friend, colleague or family member would describe it. Then, tell the story like they would. For example, you could say, "My best friend always believed in my talent as an artist." This makes you seem humble, reinforces your statement and can be a more comfortable way of talking about yourself all around.
These three simple tricks will have you chatting like it's the most natural thing in the world in no time.
Call Livelinks Chatline to try it for "yourself"! As always, it's free for women to chat, and men get a chat line free trial.