It's 9pm on a Friday night, and you and your friends are getting ready for a huge party later. What to wear? Picking out an outfit and applying makeup is one of the most fun, yet most stressful things about preparing for a night out. The hardest thing for me, however, is always picking out an outfit when I am not feeling particularly confident that day. I distinctly remember getting ready for a party one night and fighting back tears as I stared at myself in the mirror. I swore my jeans were tighter than the day before, and I felt my
drop as I assessed the state of my hips in said jeans. How on earth could I be expected to go out and dance with my girls if I could barely face my own reflection? So, I did what any scared college kid does: I called my mom.
With my throat tight and my eyes watering, I told my mom about the dilemma I was facing. The tips she gave me about how to appear confident have changed the way that I socialize and live my life in general.
1. Hold Your Head High
It may seem obvious, but it can make a big difference in how people perceive you. When entering a new situation, it is natural to try to make oneself as small and invisible as possible. Yet a lowered head and downcast eyes is not as impressive or as memorable as a chin tilted up. No one but you needs to know that you are intimidated by your surroundings. Pretend that you know exactly what to do and people will believe that you do. Eventually, you might even start to believe it yourself. Still not convinced? Holding your head up will also eliminate any double chins in photos and stop you from walking into things, which can also make you appear more secure.
There is a quote from the Broadway Musical Annie that claims that you're never fully dressed without a smile . This theory holds true in virtually every aspect of life. What better way to appear calm and confident than to flash those pearly whites as if to say "I got this." I remember my dance teacher telling me as a child that it is much easier to cover a mistake if you smile throughout the entire number because the judges will get a sense of confidence from you and be less likely to notice a minor error. The same can be said for making light of any awkward situation. Bringing a little happiness and joy to any situation will make you seem much more at ease.
3. Make Eye Contact
This one goes along with holding your head high, but is still important enough to have its own section. It look me a long time to do this naturally, but eventually I was able to look people in the eye when meeting or talking with them, rather than averting my eyes and smiling sheepishly. Making eye contact lets people know that you're listening to them and also makes you seem more sure of yourself.
I'm pretty sure the Cheetah Girls were the original users of the word "strut," but has become a common theme in many popular songs. I personally like to take longer strides, which shows off my long legs. I used to be embarrassed that my legs were so much longer than my torso, but now I use it to my advantage. Walking with a purpose and with a little extra swing in your hips definitely makes you look like the HBIC.
5. Ignore the haters, focus on your girls (or your guys)
For whatever reason, girls are perpetually in competition with one another, especially when it comes to physical appearance and the attention of guys. When I go dancing with my friends, I sometimes find myself hyper-conscious of my clothes against my skin, and I worry that people will think I am fat or my outfit is tacky. You know what? Those people who have the audacity to talk about others are just as self conscious as you are, but they make fun of others to hide their own insecurities. Forget about them, they are not the reason you went out. Have fun with your friends and forget anyone who is not doing the same.
6. Remember: No one else is paying as much attention to you as you are
Remember all those times you would run to the bathroom in the middle of a party to check your hair, your makeup, and your pit stains? I have a piece of advice for you that changed my life, and hopefully it will help you too: No one else notices your imperfections. That zit on your forehead? No one sees it except for you, because you are thinking about it. At the end of the day, people are all worried about their own appearances a lot more than than yours. So just go out there and have fun. Eventually, if you act confident, you will become confident