What is Social Confidence?

What is social confidence? It might be the most important skillset and mindset for life success and satisfaction. This is the biggest struggle I see, evidenced by dishonesty, depression and loneliness, social media validation begging, and dismal dating experiences. Most people are faking social confidence or not even able to do that.

In this podcast we cover what it is, why it matters, and how to build it. We’ll look at:

  • Social confidence meaning / definition – how the definition makes a big difference to your mindset
  • A social confidence scale you can use to measure your progress
  • The 5 I’s of confidence – a practical step by step guide to building confidence objectively
  • Why is social confidence important? We’ll look at the justification for making this your top priority
  • Is social anxiety a lack of confidence? Can a confident person have social anxiety?
  • Social confidence for introverts – a special look at shyness
  • How to improve social confidence and how to boost social confidence in a practical way, no matter who you are


Listen here!


Full transcript (unedited)

What is social confidence? That’s what we’re going to be talking about in today’s podcast. Welcome back to brojo online. Look at what is possibly the most important elements to a healthy and enjoyable life. I’ll justify this later in the podcast. But my claim basically is that social confidence is the number one thing you should be focused on in life, and that all the things you really want out of life will stem from that. Think of it like the tip of the spear, everything you want out of life is going to follow from social confidence. And not unsurprisingly, given my biases. When I look out into the world and observe human psychology, social confidence is the biggest problem I see. Or should I say the lack of social confidence is the biggest problem I see is evidenced by how dishonest people are, how much depression and mental illness there is, the social media validation begging that every second person is doing in the dismal dating experiences that most people have. There’s a lot of evidence out there that people are not doing well, socially, not as well as they could be. And I believe that their confidence in the social setting is the main problem. I think most people either faking confidence or not even able to fake it. And so they’re either pretending to be someone they’re not, and therefore only having detached superficial connections, or they can’t even pretend. And so they’re isolated, lonely, seen as the weird person, whatever. So in this podcast, we’re going to talk about what social confidence is, why it matters so much, and how to build it no matter who you are. Let’s have a look at defining what it means to have social confidence. And what I want to do today is not only define it, but give you a scale so that you can measure how much of it you have, or how much of it anyone is, the reason I want to do a whole piece just on the definition of social confidence is because I think defining it incorrectly, is a huge part of the problem when it comes to social issues. See, appearing to be confident is not confidence. In fact, it’s really quite the opposite. Especially if you’re deliberately trying to appear to be confident you’re trying to manage other people’s impression on me, or that need to appear to be confident is motivated by fear and childhood trauma and shame and so on. Ironically, a person who’s truly confident doesn’t put any effort into trying to convince you that he is. And I think people confuse confidence with competence. People think confidence is about skills to our mastery, because you often feel more confident the more skilled you are. But they’re actually two separate domains, you can be very confident while being very low skilled in be very highly skilled and still suffer from imposter syndrome and feel like you’re a total fraud. Confidence isn’t necessarily attached to skill. And while skill building does help, and I wouldn’t ever deny that it’s helpful. It’s not necessary, or more specific to the theme of this particular talk. social confidence does not require you to be socially skilled, you will become socially skilled as you’re more socially confident that is a natural byproduct. But you can still be confident without actually having great communication skills, or a lot of friends or even being socially adept in any way. Being good at manipulating people into liking you doesn’t mean that you’re confident, it usually means the exact opposite of their, they usually means that you’re fragile, or you’re narcissistic, or you’re a nice guy, people pleaser. And these are all signs of sort of trauma based personality defects. I think the best definition, the working definition that you can use a real life is that social confidence is the ability to push yourself, to engage with people socially in a way that will benefit you in the long term without compromising your integrity. It’s essentially a practice of bravery in a social setting. So you don’t necessarily need to do well, by anybody’s standards. When it comes to the external trappings and rewards of socializing. It’s about how much discomfort you’re willing to put yourself through, and how much integrity you’re going to maintain while putting yourself through that discomfort. If you can do that a lot to a high intensity, you are very socially confident regardless of your current social status. There are famous people out there who are of the highest social status you could possibly imagine. And yet they never get out of their comfort zone and they’re terrified of being rejected and so on. So they’re not actually socially confident. They’re just socially abundant, which is not the same thing. So social confidence is a combination of both mindset and behavior. So how you think and feel and believe and what you do, but really, it’s mostly about what you do. See ultimately who you really are. What you are being is an action. Being is a, you know a verb, you can think you’re confident without actually being it. And you can be confident without feeling sure of yourself. And I’m not talking about fake it till you make it, I’m not talking about pretending to be someone you’re not. I’m talking about boldly engaging in behaviors that make you uncomfortable, regardless of thoughts and feelings, that confidence. And I really do believe, and I’ve seen this evidence with my coaching clients, and in my own life, that if you behave with confidence for a long enough time, you will also get external rewards, you’ll get deeper meaningful connections, you’ll have people that love you, you’ll find communication gets easier and easier, and you become more skilled. But those don’t need to come first they come second, they’re the reward for being confidence. They’re not the prerequisite for confidence. So I’ve recently designed a little model that I call the five eyes, as in the letter i in the alphabet, initiate introduce interest, invitation in intimacy. Okay, think of those as a grading scale that you build up your confidence with them. They’re all behavioral traits. And the more you practice them in, the higher levels that you practice, the more confident you are, whether you feel it or not. So the courage to initiate that is to initiate interactions with people to make the first move. That’s step one, introducing yourself. So breaking the barrier from stranger to knowing that step two, showing interest and escalating the connection between the two of you, that’s step three, inviting people into your life going from where you met them to somewhere else, that step four, and then increasing intimacy becoming more vulnerable and honest and revealing more truths about each other. That’s ultimately step five. And that is a continuous endless process, you can keep being more intimate with people until the end of your life. So because I’ve gotten into the trend of jujitsu, lately, I’ve given it a scale like belts, okay, just like a martial arts. And this is where you can kind of figure out where you’re at and where you need to go. And some of you might be socially abundant, you have lots of friends and stuff, but you’re still a white belt. And others of you might feel that you don’t have many close connections. But when you look at what you’re able to do socially, you’re actually quite confident. So let’s have a look at where you’re at in the scale, white belt, you don’t yet initiate. All right, you don’t stop things, things have to come to you, if anything. So if you’re a white belt, what you need to focus on doing is getting out into the social world, surrounding yourself with opportunities. And trying your best to just begin interactions can be as small as making eye contact through to saying hi to someone breaking that barrier between interacting and not interacting with somebody. Next is blue belt. Now you’re someone who can initiate but it doesn’t really go much further than that. So your next focus is to start introducing yourself to start making sure that you know each other’s names and you know a little bit about each other is a classic line that you can use that is always true. So you never compromising your integrity, even though it’s a script. And that is to say something like I don’t think I’ve met you yet. Hi, my name is dead. It’s a really easy line to remember. And it’s always true of this as a new person. So it’s a great way to start introducing yourself, and you can use it anywhere. Gas Station dance class, the gym, that always works. The next is purple belt. So you can initiate an introduce. But it’s rare for you to express your feelings to someone about them. So now you’re going to start showing people how you feel about them. Just telling people if you like them, if you’d like something about them, if there’s anything about them that you appreciate or noticed steadily in them show that you’ve actually been affected by them and that you have feelings about them. Next is brown belt means you’re now quite comfortable letting people know how you feel about them. But you’re kind of stuck with meeting them where you met them say you meet them at a dance class, you only ever see them at the dance class, you’ve both established that you like each other. So now it’s time to start bringing people into your life, inviting them to things that you’re doing outside of where you met them, and creating a bridge where now they’re not just the person you’re in a dance class with now that your friend, you’ve gone to coffee together, you went to the beach together, went on a hike together, then now part of your life. Finally, we’ve got black belt, which is a never ending journey. So you regularly bring new connections into your life whenever you see fit. And you escalate that quickly to them joining you in your life and you know how you feel about each other. And now you’re going to just turn up the intimacy, you’re going to become more polarizing, more honest, more vulnerable. You’ll start setting boundaries with each other, and you’re going to create a deep and meaningful connection. So using the scale, you can figure out where you’re at currently, you can sort of have a look at what you’re most likely to do in a social situation. And rather than looking at how many friends you have, or how many people like you which might not reflect how confident you are. Have a look at where you’re at in terms your boldness and social situations and work on the step where you’re at with an eye to the next step. And just basically de escalating your fears. As you practice course, I know this kind of work is pretty scary, I’ve done a lot of it myself. And frankly, it was hard. I help people with this kind of work. So if you want to be able to make progress quickly, and learn lots of sort of tricks and techniques for overcoming your fears, and building your communication skills, get in touch And we can talk about coaching, why is social confidence important? I have a young daughter, if I could only have one wish for there was only one thing I was I was allowed to give her as a gift, it would be social confidence, it would be to be socially adept. Because I know that there is nothing better, that she could be good at than socializing. And everything else that she might want out of life will be enhanced, or achieved through her ability to confidently socialize. I’ve studied success for decades. And I mean, the science of success, from case studies of very successful people and digging through the whole history through to more broader and generic studies of successful people. And I don’t just mean successful financially, I mean, in a success as well, people who are confident, who love themselves, who would say that they have had a great life, as well as the people that have all the external trappings, like a great job or a great physique, or so on. And I’ve tried to deconstruct what is it they do differently to the others? What separates them. And one thing that keeps coming up in all of my research, is social confidence, their ability to form high value connections with other people, that is almost a guarantee for success, whether that’s the inner success of just loving yourself and having a great life, or the outer success of having a fantastic Korea, all of it is significantly enhanced by your ability to socialize. And if you lack that ability, then you’re dragging this huge weight. It’s a massive, uphill battle to succeed, either internally or externally. So this is why it makes such a big deal about it. And I’m not trying to discourage any of you who might feel like you lack social skills, or you’re really lacking confidence socially, and you think, Oh, well, then all hope is doomed for me. I mean, some of my clients are quite strongly on the autistic spectrum. Everybody, their whole life has told them that they cannot socialize well. And I’ve proven it wrong. With my work with them, they have learned how to do it, they have learned not only how to be socially confident, but how to be socially skilled. So there’s very few of you listening to this that are completely incapable of improving your social confidence. All right, if you can understand what I’m saying in this podcast, and you have at least enough for tell intelligence, to understand what you’ll need to do to become socially confident. So when I say that this is the most important thing for somebody to work on. That’s based on the research. And the optimistic upside to that is, it’s really available to almost everyone, in terms of a thing that you can grow and develop yourself, like humans are social species, aren’t we. So being socially confident is, of course going to be a generally valuable trait to have not to impress others. It’s a kind of shortcut, cheap, fake way of doing it. But in order to have a good life to enjoy who you are, as a person, let’s take the most obvious or one of the most obvious, the career. Right, your job, your vocation. There’s an old saying, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know, as somebody who’s had, I think, 14 different roles in my career, for a wide range of spaces. And I’m somebody who escalated quickly in the Department of Corrections for a young person, I kind of went up the ladder very quickly. I’ll tell you, this is just true, that somebody who’s really hard work and really skilled and really diligent and reliable, is going to lose out to somebody who’s got better connections in the company. That’s not necessarily a good thing. But it is a true thing. You think of the key things that make someone really employable, or make someone really likely to be successful in entrepreneurship, you’re looking at social things. You’re looking at relationship building, you’re looking at sales and marketing skills. So psychology, you’re looking at leadership qualities, you’re looking at negotiation skills, somebody who’s really strong and all of these is going to go so much further than anybody else, no matter what their expertise is, if they don’t have those skills. You can be the smartest scientist in the world. But the dumb scientist in your lab who’s really good at connecting with people and building relationships is going to do better in their career than you probably see. Imagine if you’re also hard working and skilled and reliable, conscientious As well as being socially confident, the world’s your oyster. Another reason social confidence is so important is you’re very likely to procure mentors, and coaches and teachers naturally, when you’re somebody that is bold, socially goes for what they want understands that we’re a social species that’s interdependent, you’re very likely to be taken under the wing of people who are better at things than you are. There’s something appealing to confident, successful people about seeing a young version of themselves that gets them excited. And they want to nurture that and grow it as a way of sort of validating their own success. And it is such a massive advantage to be somebody who is attractive to mentorship. Again, any area of life you’re looking at, you want to become more socially skilled, do you want to become healthier, you want to do well in your career, if you’ve got someone who knows how to do it, take you under their wing, and help you accelerate and shortcut the process, then that’s most of your work done for you. And somebody who’s socially confident will be more likely to find and and procure mentors, and coaches and so on, then somebody who’s shy or difficult to talk to creating a network of mutually supportive people, there’s an old African proverb that I love can go fast alone, or go far together. Generally, people who are independent and don’t work with others, do move very quickly, because they don’t have to consult with anyone, and they’re not held back by the herd. But they do hit barriers and ceilings very quickly. Because they only know what they know. And they can only do do what they do alone. Whereas somebody who is able to harness the power of a tribe, of a community, where everyone supports each other, you can go anywhere that anyone else in the group has gone to, right, because you can tap into that knowledge base and that wisdom and learn from them. And of course, you can support others as well, which is very rewarding in and of itself, but also builds great connections. And so the community just gets stronger and stronger, people in the community are far more likely to do better. And whatever it is, they want to do better than the lone wolf, who’s only got the one mind working on the problem. Now there’s a famous study done by University of Harvard, the longitudinal happiness study, I believe it’s called, where for 70 years, they studied 1000s of people to see who ends up with the highest quality of life and why now you can look up the study yourself, so I don’t need to go into the details of it. But they essentially came to one clear conclusion. People with deep and intimate connections with others, were the happiest. Now there are some exceptions, there are some people who prefer to be alone and they genuinely mean it. It’s not just some trauma coping mechanism. But for the most part, if you’re a normal human being, which you probably are, the best thing you can do with your life is create great connections with other people, there’s pretty much nothing else is going to satisfy you more and ensure that your final days on this planet are enjoyable, loneliness as a killer, those of you who are lonely know what I’m talking about, I’ve been lonely, it’s a horrible place to be if you don’t want to be there. You can feel the stress you can feel how it hurts your health. My early 20s I mean, I really looked unhealthy. As a result, I believe of loneliness, of feeling like, I wasn’t really connected to anyone, even though I had lots of so called friends and socialize with people a lot. It was like an alien floating around in the humans pretending to be one of them was a horrible feeling. And now I don’t have a huge circle of people who I call friends only have a few. But I feel peaceful with it. I feel like I can just be myself around them that they know who I am. That’s unconditional love. And I can see how good that is. For me. I can see that if I’m on my deathbed when I’m 70. And I can see nobody’s going to remember my work like this shit. And nobody reads my books or anything, I’m just going to be another person who died another statistic. But if I’m holding the hands of my loved ones in that moment, and I look back at all the quality time I spent with my daughter and my wife and my few friends, or family. That’s enough, there really isn’t enough. I’m really quite satisfied with that picture in my head. Like I’ve already finished life. I’ve already clocked it. And I suspect that this is the case for most humans. I think we’re biologically wired for this. And so what else is the more important to focus on? Then building social confidence and creating connections with people? What’s going to bring you more rewards than that, internally and externally, there’s another hidden benefit that a lot of people don’t think of, and that is that socializing as a mirror. The more we interact with people and dive deep with them, the more we practically learn psychology, you can read all the books in the world I know I have. But when it comes to learning about human psychology, it’s really done on a one to one case by case Ace bases, that’s where you get the real information. And when I say mirror is, the more you learn about other people, the more you learn about yourself, you start to see what common human traits exist and what people tend to do in certain situations. And then you start to see yourself and other people. And I think the only thing that might possibly being more satisfying and having great connections, is to know yourself truly, to have explored what you are before you die, and to know it to the depths to the core. And other people are your mirror, they will give you their feedback, whether they mean to or not, and is the most satisfying and helpful information you’ll ever receive. So my advice, take it or leave it as once you have your basic needs sorted shelter, food, steady income, makes socializing number one priority. That doesn’t mean you get all needy for people. It just means that if you’ve got an option of doing something, think what’s the most social way I can do this. And when you’re around people think what’s the next thing I can do to enhance my social confidence? What’s the move I can make that’s bold. And keep doing that until you see the matrix and you go, Okay, I know how to make friends and loving connections with people now without being fake. And I can do this anytime I like I can see the code and I know what to do. And then you’re basically set for life and everything else is just kind of icing on the cake. Now I know I’ve made it sound super simple, because it actually is. But when you’re in the thick of it, it doesn’t feel that way I know that spend a lot of time being socially unconfident. But if you want help to develop the skills and the mindset needed to be confident, get in touch And we’ll talk about coaching, is social anxiety, the same thing as a lack of confidence, came with confident person have anxiety, or be socially anxious? Let’s answer that question. Now. I think a lot of people think of anxiety as being synonymous with low self confidence, that anxiety is like a symptom of not being confident in yourself. And they assume that confident people simply don’t experience that emotion. If that’s you, I just want you to notice their belief right now. Notice how it sounds that come from people never get nervous. Never get anxious. Are you sure about that many emotions that we deem as negative, we also associate with some sort of confidence problem. We think if we lose our shit and get angry, we have a confidence problem. We think of the movie made us cry, that we’re not strong enough. Think of we’re nervous or depressed or confused, that we’re lacking something. There’s something wrong with us. And it’s got something to do with our confidence. But what if that’s not true at all? Do you really believe that confidence is nonstop happiness? That social confidence is nonstop love and connection with people? Do you actually believe that? Why is the evidence for their confidence is not nonstop happiness, I have studied very confident people for a very long time. And not one of them, has failed to display the entire range of human emotions, not one. They all feel everything. Confidence isn’t a feeling, isn’t it? Yeah, I’m doing well feeling that might be happiness, a nice emotion to experience now and again. But you’ll find it so much more helpful to think of confidence as a way of being a consistent way of being. It’s in your behavior and your actions where confidence is measured, not in how you feel. Socially confident people still feel anxiety, they feel all the emotions they not might not feel them to the intensity and the degree that certain low self confidence people feel them. They might not escalate them, and compound them with miserable self image. But the initial normal natural human emotion, they certainly feel those, they just react to emotions differently. See, a low self confidence person will react to certain emotions with shame and misery and they’ll compound them. They’ll feel nervous, and then they’ll feel angry that they got nervous, and then they’ll feel embarrassed that they got angry about being nervous and what Dr. Russ Harris talks about this kind of stacking of emotions where one emotion reacts to another emotion. Most confident people just have the single emotion because they got no problem with it. They don’t have an emotion about the emotion. They just have that emotion. And so they have quite different experience emotionally than other people do. See what you think of his social anxiety is really just normal anxiety compounded by shame and confidence problems. Normal anxieties, fires a little bit of a buzzing in your stomach a heightened sense of awareness that can actually be a kind of thrilling experience. Like the thrill of walking out on stage before your band plays to a massive audience mean that’s a good feeling. I’d rather have that than happiness most of the time. But if you’re ashamed of being anxious, then that’s going to become a night Mi A for you. So one way to think of confidence, social confidence is really shamelessness. They don’t think there’s anything wrong with how they feel. They are totally at peace with whatever emotion arises. They don’t have a hierarchy, happiness at the top and anxiety at the bottom, they’re all equal members of the committee, every emotion counts, every emotion is helpful. That’s the perspective. And so when they have an emotion, their response to it is so different to someone who’s struggling, if you’re ashamed of anxiety, and if you call it social anxiety, you probably are ashamed of it, you’ll either fake it, which is your pretend to feel the opposite, you know, You’ll pretend to be really confident when you’re dying inside kind of thing. You’ll hide it. So you’ll just merge into the background, not letting anyone see that it’s happening. I hope that you don’t get caught, or your apologize for it. Like you’ll let it be known that you’re feeling this way. But in a really shameful way, like you’ve done something wrong. Or you might suppress it, you just get drunk or whatever, to try and, you know, drown the feeling. And of course, these approaches to having anxiety lead to disastrous results, socially speaking, you know, if you’re faking it, you’ll only have superficial connections, and you’ll feel alone, even when you’re surrounded by friends. If you’re hiding it, then you’re not really interacting with people, and you can’t get intimate with them. So you’ll just have no connections or none of any value. And of course, if you apologized, and you’re shameful about it, then you will provoke either pissy or scorn from other people. So they will look down on you, whether it’s with compassion or not, they’re still looking down on you. And of course, if you suppress it with alcohol, and drugs, and so on, then you really don’t have any social experience. It just doesn’t count. Like you weren’t even there. My biggest ever social revelation was that conference, people do have these emotions. They’re just shameless about it. And they can just say it without any sense of apology, and it actually becomes really endearing. My first ever experience of this, which I wasn’t mature enough to understand at the time, was I was at a party, there was a girl who actually had a crush on at the time. And her boyfriend was making a speech for a birthday. And a speech was just one line. I remember it perfectly word for word, you still make me nervous. Every girl in the whole party swooned when he said that, and I was just drawn to the floor. What? How can you reveal that you’re nervous, and everyone likes you even more. That thought had never occurred to me in my life that that was possible. I thought, nervousness must be hidden, along with other things like confusion and lust and anger. Or there was an emotion that if it gets revealed, you have it, you’re out, you might as well move to another town, everyone’s gonna dismiss you. The idea that it could actually be your strength, that people would like you more because of it. I just couldn’t wrap my immature little brain around that fact, that was clearly in front of me, this guy had the girlfriend that I wanted. And every other person in there probably wanted him as well. And he wasn’t a particularly amazing guy. But the way he said things like this sparked a little seed in my brain of understanding like, okay, there’s something here that’s happening that I don’t do. And if I knew what it was, things will change for me own it, rather than either. That is the secret. Once I discovered that secret. My social life changed dramatically. My struggles with women went away completely. My inability to trust whether or not my friends were real, solved. Previous beefs I’d had with certain family members resolved. Right? This was the key. I had to reveal what I feel, even if it’s anxiety, as if it’s totally fine. And in doing so, I made it fine. It was talking about it like it’s okay, that made it okay. I once stopped a girl on the street and told her that, you know, I thought she was gorgeous. And I wanted to say hi. And she was a little suspicious because she couldn’t believe that I was this confident. That’s how she put it. So what’s up with this, because I’ve been, you know, practicing this kind of socializing for a while, and I was pretty comfortable with it. At least bold enough to do it. And she just couldn’t get her head around it. She had never seen this done before. She thought maybe it must be a scam or something. She’s like, you’re too cool and confident. Something’s up. I say no, I’m not. And I took her hand and I put it on my chair so she could feel that my heart was pounding. I was nervous, nervous as shit. I was just so used to being nervous and doing it anyway, at this point that kind of didn’t occur to me that I might not appear to be nervous. There’s a bias called the spotlight effect. I think it is. Which is you think you’re so much more obvious than you actually are. And you think that all your thoughts and feelings are right there on the surface when actually you’ve got a poker face. And I was experiencing And then I thought it was obvious that I was nervous, but to other people, it really wasn’t. And when I put her hand, and she could feel it this undeniable evidence that I’m having strong feelings, nervous feelings, she melted like a candle. I’ve never seen anything quite like it, she was so stoked that she had had that effect on me. And so amazed by the contrast between my behavior and my feelings that I could behave confidently while feeling nervous, that in itself became the conversation, we had this idea that you can be nervous and confident, she had never considered that before. Now, it’s not like she’s still in my life or anything. But that was just such an amazing experience for us to have together. And all I did was own my nervousness, I put it out for everyone to see. And it was her favorite. But social anxiety is just anxiety in a social setting, we don’t need to give it an extra name and make it sound like it’s some other thing. It’s just being ashamed of being anxious when you’re around other people. That’s it. We all get anxious around other people, we should be to some extent, if they’re strangers or to new environment and make sense to be on edge a little bit. Other people are the biggest threat to people that there is I mean, we’re humans were top of the food chain, the most likely thing to harm you is another human being anxious as fine, anxious as sensible, the walk around thing, yay, everybody’s fine all the time, you’re gonna get hurt. So why you think it’d be wrong to be anxious in a new environment, especially if you have other things that contribute? Like if you have mental illness, or you’re more introverted, there’s certain things where you’re more likely to be anxious? Or they’re just make sense? Why would it be considered wrong and shameful? Anybody who gives you shit about being anxious is a horrible person that you shouldn’t have in your life anyway. So it’s a great qualifier. If you’re like, oh, man, I’m so nervous right now. And they’re like, loser, and just be like, Okay, that’s not going to be my next friend. That’s simple, don’t need to waste time there. Stop telling yourself that you’re afraid of other people, because it’s not quite true. You’re just ashamed of anxiety. And if you weren’t other people wouldn’t intimidate you so much, you’re worried about the response to your anxiety not about actually be a threat and a general sense, you can practice this by doing what I call showing up without pressure. So if you want to build your social skills and your social confidence, that you want to do it without feeling pressure and feeling like it’s a big chore, just give yourself the minimal possible push, which is show up. Right, whatever the event is, let’s say you’ve been invited to a party, at least get to the party, you don’t have to stay very long, you’re allowed to leave whenever you like, but don’t stay home, just at least arrive at the party. And then if you can try to initiate a conversation with at least one person, just say hi, introduce yourself, maybe, but no pressure to go any further with that if the current conversation naturally keeps going, and you feel comfortable to keep doing it, then you do. But if it doesn’t, that’s fine. You don’t have to force this to any sort of destination. And then basically, you just stay at the party as long as you want to, and you leave as soon as you don’t want to be there anymore. Or you anticipate that it’s getting uncomfortable. If you do nothing but that it’s essentially a form of exposure therapy, the more often you do this, frequently without pressure, the less scary social situations will seem. And then you’ll be able to see that, hey, even if I do have anxiety, it’s fine. Nothing bad happens to me. So maybe I can talk about it. If you are going to tell people that you’re feeling anxious, and I hope that you do use the same vibe as you might talk about what the weather is outside today or what you ate for breakfast, like it’s the most normal, okay thing to talk about ever. Like it’s almost Monday. Like it’s not a big deal. Now, it might feel a little bit forced, even fake perhaps to talk about it like that. While you’re trying to do is you’re resetting your belief system, to acknowledge the truth that anxiety is a normal human emotion. So we’re actually being truthful, even if it feels wrong. So if you were to be truthful about anxiety, you wouldn’t attach shame to it and say, I’m a bad person for having anxiety. Now, you’re a human being for having anxiety. The only people that don’t really have anxiety are psychopaths. And everybody else who doesn’t appear to have anxiety is pretending. I promise you that I’ve studied 1000s of people they’re pretending don’t worry about it. They’ve all got it too. And the good foot connection with you will say me too, or I understand. And the Barefoot connection will dismiss you reject you or be mean about it. But think of the difference between like, oh my god, I’m so nervous to be I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I just I’m such a loser. That’s one way of saying it. Or you say like, damn, so many people here it makes me anxious. So what have you gone on? Right? It can be seen in those two different ways and you will give vastly different responses. Now if you want to accelerate your progress and become really shameless without ever feeling like you’re stepping off the cliff and doing something terrifying. Get in touch Now help coach you through the process. Let’s talk about social confidence specifically for introverts. I’m gonna do a special mention for introverts for a particular reason, and that is, extroverts can still have confidence issues. But a generally leads them to do things that actually create social abundance, like showing off or performing really highly impressing people with their skills. So even if they don’t have particularly high quality or meaningful connections, they can still surround themselves with people even if they’re really low confidence. Whereas introverts tend to struggle a lot socially if they also have confidence issues. I mean, I’m an extrovert I had a lot of confidence issues when I was younger, but I was surrounded by people. Now they weren’t real connections. I was pretending to be something I wasn’t. But I was a natural show off and naturally bowled from being extroverted Babs, whereas the introverts that I work with as coaching clients, and that I know personally, if they’re also struggling with self confidence, they tend to really do poorly, socially. And I’ve narrowed it down to what I think the main issue is, and that is people confuse being introverted. With being shy, or socially reclusive. They are not the same thing. Now, there’s been some updates to the term since I was in university, but an introvert is a personality type to trait really. Okay, it’s got a lot of positives and kind of struggles the same as being an extrovert, but being shy and being introverted are not the same thing. If you’re introverted, and you have confidence problems, then you may be shy. But if you’re introverted with high self confidence, you won’t be shy. Shy is not part of the package. It is an extra thing, a symptom, if you will. You think of traits that a lot of people think of as introvert traits, something like apologizing for everything all the time, especially yourself, not standing up for yourself, and many people dominate you, or allowing people to interrupt you in conversations. A lot of people think that’s introversion. That’s not introversion. Okay, that’s low self confidence is poor social skills. All right, those are behavioral issues and confidence issues, not personality trait issues. What I see too often, especially in my clients is once people find out the word introvert and that label, they become attached to it. As we all do. As humans, once we find an identity, we tend to cling to it, even if it’s unhelpful. So people go, I’m an introvert, and that becomes like their excuse for being avoidant and anti social, and allowing their shy fears to dominate them completely. They go, I can’t help but I’m an introvert. So I know, you have social confidence problems in behavior or technique issues that you could solve. You can’t solve being an introvert, you don’t need to, it’s not a problem. But don’t blame your personality, the trauma wounds and your you know, difficulties with skill sets. Those are things that can be fixed, and should be if you feel that you hate people, or that you’re scared of them. But you also feel lonely, and you would really want love if it was possible and easy to do. Then it’s not an introvert problem. It’s a shyness problem. And shyness is solvable. Mahatma Ghandi, Barack Obama, the actor Emma Watson, they’re all identified as introverts. Are they shy? are they struggling socially? Now they’re doing pretty well, aren’t they? But about as well as he can do in terms of social success. So what are they doing differently to the other introverts, the key as I always say, is shamelessness. Rather than apologizing for being an introvert and trying to sort of either overcome your traits by being something you’re not, or withdrawing so that other people don’t dominate you or aren’t affected by your weaknesses? onus, but you’re an introvert, the best you can and make other people cater to it. Don’t adjust for other people make them adjust for you. being introverted doesn’t mean that you can’t speak with loud volume. Right? That’s not part of introversion. It doesn’t mean that you can’t demand respect from people set boundaries. It doesn’t mean that you can’t stop people from interrupting you slow them down when they’re oversharing, and not giving you a chance. These are all behaviors that are available to you, no matter what your personality type is, once you start thinking about a basic script that you can start with, it’s kind of like training wheels. It might be something like, Oh, hold on a second. I’m an introvert. So I need time to think so just slow down and pause so that I can respond to you. This kind of sentence is a shameless expression of introversion, you’re saying, Yeah, I’m introverted, but that’s fine. You’re going to have to work with it be the same as if I’m tall. You have to look up to look into my eyes. I’m not going to stoop down for you. Being tall is not a bad thing. It’s just a thing. But if you want to work with me, you have to look up because I’m up here, right? If I’m an introvert, it means you have to slow down. You have to say one point at a time so that I can digest it. You have to be okay with wanting to meet in a one to one quiet ish place. You have to be okay with me saying look, I’ve had enough socialize Isn’t that today I need to go and unwind and not take that personally, you’re the one that has to adjust to me if I’m extroverted or introverted, not the other way around. Because introvert and extrovert is not a problem. So I’m extroverted, maybe ambivert, if you want to get technical, but I can work with anybody extroverted or introverted. And I will adjust to make sure that our ability to communicate is up there. But of course, extrovert and introvert is not the same thing, quite the opposite in some areas. So there’s some things that you can focus on and accept that will make socializing easier for you keeping things one to one, generally, you’re not going to enjoy or do well in the group when you’re introverted. Not because you can’t, but just, it’s not your preference, you’d rather intensely focus and go deep with someone, then spread yourself thin, in a superficial way. So one of the downsides to being an extrovert, and I can tell you from experience is that groups don’t actually provide any real intimacy, you can add shared pleasure, she had experiences that make fun memories. But in terms of like, where’s that person you need when you’re feeling depressed, that’s not going to come from the group. The group doesn’t want part of that unless you’re talking about like a support group, which is really more of an introverted environment anyway, one person speaking at a time, everyone listening intently, taking your time, in going to a loud rave with all your mates making heaps of noise, you don’t walk away feeling more connected after that, unless you’re taking ecstasy, which I’ve never done. So you have the advantage, one to one intimate connections are actually your strength, and they are what’s going to give you a high quality of life. So rather than thinking like, oh, I should have more friends, like all the extroverts do, think about like, Let’s go deep with the few friendships I have. Let’s go deep with my partner and my child. If no one else, that’s fine. Because in the end, that’s what’s going to satisfy you’re not having a large number of friends who wouldn’t be there to pick you up from the airport if you needed it. But in terms of overcoming shyness, without compromising or lacking integrity, when it comes to being an introvert, focus on taking up space, that means risking rejection and negative reactions by saying your piece sitting where you want to sit, eating the last piece of pizza, kind of taking up your entitled space, as a living being on this planet means speaking with the volume that’s needed so that other people can hear you. Right? It means putting your hand up and disagreeing at the team meeting, when you feel that you disagree, even if it took you a long time to come to that thought. taking up space is how you battle shyness. You don’t need to battle being an introvert, it’s fine. Stay an introvert, you don’t have a choice anyway. And really important that you measure quality over quantity, just because you don’t have as many friends as the other extroverts do, you’re not as popular as they are. That’s not a measurement that actually matters. For the kind of life you want to have, and for feeling good about yourself as a person. But if you measure wrong, you can actually ruin everything, you might have already some great one to one connections. And if you just appreciated them and realize that that is the end goal here that when it comes to social confidence and socializing, what you want is strong one to one connections to emerge from it, then you might already be socially successful. But if you’re like, Ah, I don’t have enough friends, because everybody else has heaps, then you’re actually going to undermine what you’ve achieved. Sometimes being lonely is about a measurement problem. You think the numbers aren’t high enough, when actually you’ve got more than enough depth of connection to be satisfied socially. Because if you’re an introvert, he struggles with socializing, and you want to learn from someone who’s on the other side of the fence, get in touch And I’ll help you build your skills. How do you build social confidence? How do you boost your confidence? Let’s talk about that. We’ll look now at some general practices that improve social confidence. So this isn’t a specific to any personality type or any particular struggle. It’s more of the general things that I believe from working in the space as a coach, for more than a decade now. Work for everybody, to anybody, no matter what your problem is, if you apply what we talked about in this video, you’re going to see improvements in your social confidence. Key thing to remember, social confidence is not about being liked by other people, or being seen as impressive or being popular. That kind of stuff is just comes from neediness and shame and trauma. If you’re pursuing those goals, that’s not coming from a healthy place. Ultimately, social confidence, ironically, is really about your relationship with yourself, which will create an abundance of deep relationships with other people. If you’re solid with who you are. It’s very easy to connect. It’s very easy to get intimate, and you’re no longer needy for it so you don’t push it away. In terms of opportunities. social confidence is really focusing on being bold and shameless and pressing yourself to build that in a relationship. Do you imagine the duality of a person where there’s the one you are being in the one watching? And you think of a kind of like maybe a father son relationship or mother daughter Think about those two people getting along well, them liking each other. That’s what we want that social confidence when you can go into a room. And even if everybody hates you, you’re cool with you as you are, and you’ll judge me if you want. I mean, that’s social confidence. You don’t need everyone in the room to like you to be socially confident, and backed up, everybody likes you all the time, you’re probably faking it back back, that you’re definitely faking it. So focus on building yourself rather than your social circle, your social circle will naturally build as you work on yourself in social settings. A lot of people look at socializing as kind of like either hunting or high date, you’re either going out there to get something while you’re out there. But trying to avoid getting hurt, a better way to look at it is training, you’re going there to work on yourself in an environment that provides you what you can’t do on your own other people’s interactions, their feedback, their reactions, managing their behavior, in certain situations, you can’t fake that stuff, you’ve got to go out and do it in the real world. But it’s like a gym. This is your equipment that you train on to get stronger. I don’t mean objectifying people. Exactly. I just mean, if you go home alone, that’s fine. Right? You don’t take the equipment home from the gym with you, do you? Do you. So in this video, we’re going to talk about using the five eyes, a little system that I’ve developed to build your confidence in a strategic way without compromising your integrity. And what you’re going to be measuring is your boldness in terms of behavior, rather than, like your feelings of competence, or confidence doesn’t matter. If you don’t feel confident while you’re doing this stuff. It matters that you’re doing this stuff. That’s a key element here. So the five eyes are initiate, introduce, show interest advisor into your life and build intimacy. Yes, I remembered the more so initiating interaction starting something, then introducing yourself breaking the stranger barrier, then showing some interest in them so that they know that you have feelings towards them, and inviting them into your life so that a friendship of some kind develops. And then of course, increasing the intimacy being more honest and transparent with each other. That’s the kind of scale that you’re going to work on. It doesn’t matter how you feel or what you think as long as you’re constantly pushing your behavior to boldly move up that scale. If you’re worried that you should be feeling competent, keep this in mind. Imagine these two people, we got one who feels really nervous and awkward. In it, they go up and they ask out this girl on a date is that confident or not? Compared to the person who feels really confident, but they stay home alone, avoiding people, it should be obvious a confidence is really about your behavior. Now, if you’re the person who feels real, bold, and brave, and doesn’t feel any sort of fear and ask the person out, well, that’s nice to have, isn’t it. But it’s the same behavior as the person who felt nervous and awkward. And actually, the person who felt nervous and awkward gets extra points because it’s harder for them. So really, confidence is about uncomfortable behavior. So you just start small and you move up incrementally. It’s exposure therapy, you don’t do anything that’s too terrifying. You don’t compare yourself to others and try to catch up to them. You just do your own word, you imagine you get to the gym, and everyone else there is buff, and you’ve got like a flabby DadBod. And they’re all lifting huge weights, and you’re just doing push ups, that’s fine, because you’re on push ups right now. And you’re not going to go so hard, you injure yourself or run away from the gym. Because you’re not as good as the others, you’re just going to do your own little workout and slowly escalate over time. Fuck what everybody thinks. And that’s the same approach to build yourself socially. I’ll give you some examples of increments, starting from low going up to high stakes. So you can kind of figure out where you are on the scale already. Start there, and then use the examples to move yourself up. As you get bold enough. Basically, whatever step you’re at, stay there until it’s comfortable. And then move on to the next step. And just keep doing that for the rest of your life. So right down the bottom, we might have just making eye contact or smiling at people. Right? No conversation has walked past them, just look them in the eyes. Some of you that’s the first step because you’re so socially anxious, and so on. Next might be initiating conversations really save people, like members of your family, or people who work at a shop. Where as you start the conversation rather than them doing it, that’s the only little shift you’re making. So you normally talk to these people anyway, but you’d wait for them to initiate you say hi, first you look them in the eye so on you get things started. Next might be what I call non transactional conversations. And this often happens when you’re buying stuff to the supermarket or the clothing store or the gas station. And they’ll be the minimal amount you need to say to make the transaction happen. Try saying a little bit more might be just asking them how their days going. We might be making a comment about what’s going on in the environment. Like man, it’s busy in here, just this little bit extra that you don’t need to say to get the conversation through to the end of the transaction. Just to push yourself beyond staying in that safe space. Next step might be introducing yourself and you can do this anywhere. So you might be at the gas station you like man, it’s busy in here. He’s like you I know. I’m like I don’t think I’ve met you yet. I’m Dan by the way, I come to this gas station all the time. Oh, you’re John. It’s really easy to do. It sounds hard, but it’s really easy to do. And like I’ve said in previous stuff, you know, you can just say, Look, I don’t think we’ve met yet. My name is Dan, as always true to say that if you haven’t met them yet, right, so it’s a safe little lining keepers a script to push yourself into that introduction level, we turn the person from a stranger into a known associate, maybe the next step will be giving small, safe generic compliments just showing a little bit of interest, you know, might be just something like, Oh, I like your shirt, or I noticed your tattoos, man, they look real badass, the thing that you know, they’re going to like to hear, just show that you have noticed them that you do prefer them to other people for some minor reason, to build up the courage to start showing people that you actually have feelings for them from the the next step might be actually showing feelings for people telling people that you like them, telling people that they’re the favorite person in your art class or whatever. Start showing people that you clearly like them and prefer them over others. Next level might be stained to being bit more honest about your preferences might start low level, like talking about what your favorite type of music is, and what kind of music you hate, through the high level, like where you stand on the Israel conflict or something like that. But you can build that up slowly. When you show preferences, it’s quite a vulnerable intimacy building thing, you’re showing people who you really, we really stand what you want and don’t want. And this is going to make or break your relationship with people as it should. Next, we might move into the inviting stage. Now you might start low level, we just start telling people, you know, man, I really enjoyed talking to you, I hope I see you again sometime. So you just sort of showing interest in seeing them outside of wherever it is you met them or where you usually see them. And then of course, the next level after there would be to be more specific and inviting people in and say like, I’d love to see you again, I’m going to this gig on Saturday night, you should come with me. You know, like oh, we’re both into hiking, let’s go for a hike on Sunday, and taking them away from wherever you met them into your life quite directly. Finally, taking the risk of a proper rejection. Next Level Up might be holding strong on your more polarizing opinions and preferences. So allowing conflict to occur between you and other people, because you disagree on something, and allowing people to be polarized by you. So they can see where you strongly stand and they’re either going to level it, maybe the level after that would be showing direct interest to an intense level, whether it’s sexual, or deep love, being able to tell people like man, I really like you, or saying I want you to come home with me tonight, I’m really taking that all out, like I’m really into. So decide whether you like me or not, because this is going further if you do after that you might work on building more vulnerability, sharing your weaknesses, your secrets, the things you’re ashamed of demanding that they do the same in return so that it’s reciprocal, and balanced and safe. And standard reliefs open up to people. And then from there, you’re basically at the final level. And the next thing would be just boundary setting and long term relationship planning, you know, so working with people on how you’re going to interact with each other so that you survive for the long term. And I’ll finish with a very important tip. And that is to exploit the recency bias. If you don’t know what that is, we give more emotional weight to things that happen more recently than in the past most of the time. So this is the reason their doctors might give kids a lollipop at the end of the visit. So their final memory of the doctor is this nice treat. And that memory will have more weights than the pain of getting their flu shot or whatever. So you can do this to yourself to make socializing something that you’re able to maintain and sustain without kind of being overwhelmed by fear and discomfort. So first off, never push yourself too hard, just to some level of discomfort as enough. And secondly, make sure you end on a high note in some way, shape, or form can be as simple as rewarding yourself with a treat after you’ve done some socializing. Or it could be finishing your night talking to the safe person that you really liked your favorite friend, you know, one thing I used to do when I was, say in a bar, I’d go talk to a girl, maybe I get shut down. And then I’d go back to my table of friends and have a laugh again, I would make sure that before I went home, that was the final thing I did. So my final memory of socializing is having a good comfortable, safe time with my friends don’t end on a low note. Let’s say you just got a vicious rejection from somebody and you’re really embarrassed and humiliated. Peep socializing until you have an enjoyable experience. So even if you just chat to the guy at the gas station on your way home, and just have a pleasant little interaction with them, make sure that’s your final memory. And you’ll be able to sustain motivation, which is a big problem for a lot of people working on their social confidences. They get barrage by all these uncomfortable social feelings, and they just need a break from it. Because that’s their final memory it starts to feel like a chore. So I hope this is a really helpful podcast. And I hope that I’m able to help you further should you need to get in touch And I can coach you on building social confidence. I’ve done it with hundreds of people. Pretty much everyone can do it. It’s not some mystery. It’s just a lot of skills that you need to build and behaviors you need to practice And really it is available to you if you want it bad enough Thank you for watching or listening and I’ll see you next time


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