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How to be confident around new people

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I can tell you the way I am: In my comfort zone – which is with my friends,…

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How to be confident around new people

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I can tell you the way I am:

In my comfort zone – which is with my friends, my close co-workers and with my family, I’m this confident, bubbly, funny and bit strange yet endearing character (or so I’m told). I crack jokes, I make people smile, I’m a bit dizzy and silly.

Put me in front of a group of people I don’t know and bloody Nora, I am a totally different person.

I struggle to make small talk. I become very aware of my own voice, how I sound and I hate it. It makes me mess up my sentences, mumble, not make sense and sound almost monotone. I lose my sense of humour. I smile for too long, I don’t smile for long enough. I make awkward silences even awkwarder by avoiding interaction by looking at my phone or giving yes/no answers.

I don’t speak out and I certainly don’t stand out.

I would love to be once of those people who can confidently go up to anyone, introduce themselves, shake hands and really hold.. no, really LEAD a conversation with a confident smile.

Since I’ve got my new job, I decided I’m going to be that person.

I’d been in my old role for almost 4 years, so it was easy to be perceived as fun, happy and confidenct. But in a new surroundings with new people, I was worried about how much I would be able to let go.

It’s a clean slate and all, so I’ve made a few changes.

Some of these following things I’ve been doing and I feel like I’ve made a substantial improvement. Some of these things have not been as easy and I’m still working on them. So let’s go:

 How to be confident around new people.

  • Smile and say hello first.
  • Go in for a handshake when you meet someone and when you say goodbye.
  • Learn to make some key phrases part of everyday life. ‘Did you find us okay?’ might be a good starter if you’re holding some form of meet and great/interview, for example. I’ll always say ‘it was lovely to meet you’ or ‘thank you for your time’ dependant on the situation.
  • Remember that most people want to be accepted by new people and tend to think of their own flaws over your flaws.
  • Always make eye contact when talking.
  • Speak clearly and loudly.
  • LISTEN to what the other person is saying. I often find myself thinking more about what I’m going to say next, or what I should say, or how I should be standing that I zone out and don’t listen to the whole conversation, then have to just smile and nod rather than give a good, solid response that can keep the conversation going.
  • Smile. Again.
  • Smile some more and greet everyone you see – make eye contact and say good morning to everyone in the office/shop/place you are working. Do not walk around with your head down, with your eyes on your phone or generally trying to do anything to avoid that awkward moment where you lock eyes with one of those human beings and don’t know what to do about it.
  • Compliment people. I find it hard to accept and give compliments, but I’ve found it easier with a bit of practice. If you think someone has lovely thick hair, tell them! If you love the colour of someones eyes, tell them! It’s not creepy, unless you’re forever commenting one person constantly!
  • If someone asks how you are, always reply positively! Smile and say I’m great thanks, how are you?’. Although it might be tempting to sigh and say ‘I’ve been better’, positivity and confidence go hand in hand!

Ok, I realise these are a lot of points to try and remember and think about, but try to pick at least 4 and work on them. When you’ve got them down, pick the next four.

Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and don’t make excuses as to why you can’t do any of the above.

It’s so easy to talk yourself out of doing something you don’t want to do.

Get a hold of yourself and try to figure out what the barriers are to making any of the above next steps a habit.

Tell me, what characteristics do you think makes a person confident?

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36 comments

  1. Wonderful tips! I am a naturally shy and quiet person myself so might put some of these in to practice!
    Good luck in your new job!

    Emma | frillsanddoodads.com

  2. Great tips. My biggest problem (problem between brackets) is that I can’t control my smiling when I’m around new people! I just tend to smile like an idiot and pull stupid faces :-S I wish I knew how to just chill, relax and stay calm and not feel the need to be so overly expressive and probably look like a loon, lol.

  3. I’m the exact same as you! I’m so socially awkward, it’s painful. Eye contact is a difficult thing for me. I panic about whether I’ve been looking at them for too long, if I’m looking away too often or even which eye to be looking at!

    This post really helped me put everything into perspective, and made me realise what I need to fix up. So I’ve made a goal for myself! Thank you for these helpful tips! xx

    Emily ⎜ Daisy Locks

  4. It was so nice to read that I am not the only person who struggles with this! I too have just started a new job and am working on being more approachable with people (your tips will definitely help!) but there have still been more awkward silences in the lunch queue than I’d like 🙁 Thank you for sharing this x

  5. You sound a lot like me and I hate it. It really takes practice to get used to people and nice advice btw, I’m gonna do it. 🙂

  6. These tips are good. I have a similar thing, with people I know I’m quite open and funny and all that. But with big groups of people I’m a bit more shy, if it’s one or two new people then I’m ok and I can get along fine.

    I’m actually better with new people when I am by myself, if I take Kris I tend to hide behind him a little.

    But since this year, after making more and more of things that I want and not what I think is the more accepted choice, I am a lot better at new situations with new people.

    1. I tend to hide behind people too. I think it depends on the situation whether I’m more comfortable on my own or not.

  7. All great tips. I go in phases I struggle to be confident in groups I don’t know. I have got better but I have had to work at this. It certainly doesn’t come naturally. I think that as you say focussing on the other person, showing interest and smiling is the was to go Lucy x

  8. I hate meeting new people – will definitely try and use some of these tips.

    Lizzie’s Daily Blog

  9. Great advice Corrinne, I’m the same when meeting new people or in group situations. Defo gonna try some of your tips out next time Adele xxx

  10. Fab post 🙂 i deffo get a bit awkward around new people sometimes. I also find myself thinking too much about what to say and stumbling over the conversation. Especially if it’s something I don’t know much about! x

  11. Thank you for this post. I recently moved from Malaysia to Canada and had been struggling a little to make conversations and friends. The English accent is different and my self confidence hit an all time low because sometimes I felt I need to concentrate twice harder to listen.

    Reflection of Sanity

  12. Same here! I so not good at keeping a conversation going.. But I am working on it !! you know by asking certain questions.
    I really like this post. Helped allot!

    Jade x

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