Social Confidence for Nerdy Guys

Welcome (back). We continue on our endeavor. Let’s finish this list. Defining the key aspects of mastering the skills of confidence and socializing. This is part 3 of the list. Look here for part 1 and part 2.

This part is focused on how you relate in a confident and healthy way with others. As well as how you can effectively socialize.

Let’s get started. There is still a lot to cover.

Confident relations – connection integrity

65. Be relaxed

A relaxed person is an enjoyable person.

Take it easy – learn to let shit go. Grow to be comfortable around other people. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Enjoy what is happening around you. Chilling out makes you enjoy life more. Take a deep breath and let things go…

A good way to relax is through breathing exercises. Try this rhythm for instance.  Taking the gas off can give a more relative perspective. Of yourself and the world. People are drawn to tranquility – repelled by tension.

Accept the world and yourself as it is.

It’s all cool.

If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.”

Dalai Lama XIV

66. Be honest as fuck

Most people lie.

Lies are all over the place. Small lies, big lies.  You do it as well, all the time.

I mentioned being honest with yourself. Being honest to others is as important.

Most small lies you make, you don’t even notice. A white lie here, some bending of truth there. Though constant honesty is a better long term strategy. 

When you lie, deceive or manipulate, it will haunt you forever for a long time. You have to keep track of your icky web of lies. Big lies will be found out, small lies will just hurt people.

Being manipulated is not something people tend to forget. So do yourself a favor. Stop lying. Permanently. Relieve yourself of one of this anxiety promoters!

Say what you think. Tell people the truth. Everyone deserves it. You can do this without an intent to hurt people. Adjust your style accordingly. People respect you for being bold and frank. Although maybe not immediately.

It is a relieve to speak your mind.

Don’t get me wrong. It is a hard thing to do.

A huge challenge, still struggling myself, but totally worth it.

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.”

Thomas Jefferson

67. Be likable

Some people you just want to punch in the face!

You have my permission, hahaha. But only if you can be the person who displays the opposite traits.

Think about that one person that always uplifts you. Who is it always nice to hang out with? And why? Be more like him/her! You know the type of person I mean.

Be the one who uplifts others. Not the grouch of the group. Help others enjoy their life. Joke, laugh, be nice, be honest, give compliments, help people up.

You can be others positive anchor.

But do this out of a place of giving, not neediness.

I didn’t say Tvlakv isn’t a bastard. He’s just a likable bastard.” He hesitated, then grimaced. “Those are the worst kind. When you kill them, you end up feeling guilty for it.”

Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings

68. Be the first to smile

And smile dammit!! :)!

Be assertive. Crack that first smile.

When meeting someone, making eye contact on the street, at work, wherever.

Most people just think, think, think…. Being too much in their head. If you display positivity and confidence through a simple smile, others almost always reciprocate with a smile.

It makes you feel good. It makes them feel good. Show people some positive acknowledgment. One that comes from a strong position.

People don’t smile back? Meeeeh, fuck them :)! They are either still too occupied with themselves or just dicks. It is your positive action that counts! Move on and find another uplifting connection.

It is thrilling when people smile at you!

Share the gift.

smile world heather wolf confident

69.  Use Body language

Our bodies are apt to be our autobiographies.”

Frank Gellett Burgess

Our entire body is an elaborate communication device. Sending and receiving, all the time.

Somehow, despite what our rational thinks, a lot get’s said through our body. Confidence, cowardice, pride, joy, all kinds of temperaments and emotions. All displayed through our stance, expression and how we carry ourselves.

We mostly think that this body language is the result of our thoughts and emotions. And they are. But! Here is the huge loophole! Our emotions are also the result of our postures and expressions.

It is a two-way neural highway.

Try hunching over and grimacing when you are happy. A sure way to ruin your mood! Or the other way around – try standing up straight, pump your arms above your head. Do this when you are feeling down. By changing your body, you can feel the energy and confidence flowing through.

Understand how you feel and perceive yourself, through posture. As well how others perceive you, through your body language. This way you can actively alter your mood – as well as create the right perception in others of you.

It may seem a “fake it till you make it” technique. But if this makes you feel better, is it fake?

There are many books on this subject. Pick one up. Or read an online article, study body language in real life. It will support your development.

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

George Bernard Shaw

70. Eye contact

“look me in the eyes”

Imagine this being said; seductive, aggressive, friendly or ensuring.

The words alone are useless. The context is the key. People’s eyes will tell you everything. You will tell everything through your eyes.

Look in someone’s eyes and see the depth of communication possible. Use those bags of brackish water.

Your eyes talk profoundly.

Reading other people’s eyes is an elaborate skill to master. Start by learning to make and maintain this with others.

There is a score of studies on eye contact. A lot of them conclude that effective eye contact makes others perceive you as; confident, warm, honest, competent, sincere and emotional stable. With eye contact you create a bond, a sense of intimacy. Making you and the other person feel more positive about one another.

Practice this skill – it seems hard at first. But grows more natural over time.

Understand as well how people react to eye contact. Do they reciprocate, how long? Also see how people look away. A scared skittish avoidance? A polite gazing away? Or disinterest? Watch and learn about human interaction.

All cues of how others feel and how you relate.

Priceless!

Eye contact is way more intimate than words will ever be.”

Faraaz Kazi

71. See the true meaning of gestures

One other non-verbal way we communicate is gesturing.

Some very crude, some very subtle gestures. Waving with your hands, pointing, and a host of facial expressions. We are sensitive to these gestures. It’s innate. Though some people override the programming by thinking too much. A mistake.

Listen to your gut. Then you know what people are meaning. We as animals, despite our different cultures, have a set of basic emotional expression. (Re)learn what all these gestures mean. Whether it is a group or individual interaction.

As  you learn to discern gestures, you’ll notice what is left unsaid.

Next, you’ll learn how to apply gestures yourself.

A blur of blinks, taps, jiggles, pivots and shifts … the body language of a man wishing urgently to be elsewhere.”

Edward R. Murrow

72.  Be high status or indifferent

Social ascendency, innocently disguised as high fashion, good taste or prestigious expenditure, was the same the world over.”

John Keay

Remember the herd.

Our herd.

Back in the good old times. High-fiving on the savannah. It was just like high school. You had subgroups, some were cooler than others. Some lamer. In defined groups, a hierarchy naturally arises.

Placing ourselves in hierarchies is an instinctual tendency. In the past, we had to put up with this shit. An order was necessary for survival.  We learned to recognize and react to behaviors. Dominant and submissive. We acted accordingly.

Status still plays a role in modern society. Even in seemingly ‘flat’ hierarchies. Through our history, next to a natural stratification, cultural layers arose. Exhibited through instinctive and programmed signs and behavior.

These learned and innate signals, define your status in relation to others and vice versa. Though cultural status mostly enhances the natural signals. Confident people often end up ‘higher’, because of the dominant signals they send. Also, high-status people feel more confident.

Note – this is status as to how people relate through social instincts. This is not a universal sign that one person is better than the other. It is just innate social programming.

Luckily you are smart. You can learn how to discern the subtle signals (eye contact, body language, clothing, voice use etc.) people send and portray to one another. You can understand how and why people interact.

The question then arises. How should you act to be confident?

In my opinion, there are two tactics.

Learn to portray high-status signals. Or stop giving a fuck.

Tactic 1 Display status and power

First of all. This doesn’t mean being a dick to others. But it does mean stop acting like a pussy. Don’t let other people boss you around.  Be confident and don’t submit to other people’s whims.

Power you can radiate through developed confidence. The confidence you have because you are an expert for instance. By knowing a little about a lot, you can be a cognitive authority, thus confident.

Being physically fit will give you an edge, as well as dressing well.

Display power through wide and space occupying body language. You are the ‘boss’ – display you own your domain. Being dominant yet aloof. Speaking slow and less, yet deliberate.

People will react automatically to your dominant signals. Challenging your displayed dominance. Or act submissive.

The world more often rewards outward signs of merit than merit itself.”

François, duc de La Rochefoucaul

Tactic 2 don’t give a fuck

Personally my favorite tactic.

There is no more human herd. There is no fixed structure. There is no cherry picking off people by god or the universe.

So don’t give a rat’s ass about it. Being indifferent to the cultural and natural signals. Basing your confidence in a grounded feeling of trust in yourself. Evaluated by your inner locus of control.

Do and act from your inner motivation. Not external cues. You plainly don’t react to the ‘status’ cues. Positive or negative. Stay strong and autonomous this way. You are more confident by not playing. Paradoxically, by ignoring the status ‘game’ you will win it.

In other words.

It is all about respecting yourself. Expecting it of others as well. Although, whether they give it or not, you don’t give a fuck.

The great thing about fact-based decisions is that they overrule the hierarchy.”

Jeff Bezos

73. Stop apologizing

rule in life apologize confident

In life, do what you need to do.

There is absolutely no reason why you should apologize for anything. You do your things for a reason. People can take offense by anything. But that doesn’t mean your course of action was wrong. Do your thing and take credit for it. Stop overtly apologizing.

Don’t be a wimp. Don’t grovel for every little thing, you think, others may be upset about. We are all free radicals in this world. Respect your own course of action.

Definitely don’t apologize if you tell the truth or your opinion. People may not agree. That’s cool. You can discuss differences of opinion. Do people want to be ignorant of the truth? That is their problem. Not yours. No reason for you to apologize.

Though like any great rule, there are exceptions.

Do apologize when you fucked up.

Got others into trouble? Offended someone unjustly? Then say sorry, when a sorry is due.

74. Stop seeking approval

I much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the masses.”

Johannes Kepler

Ready to fuck up and lose the respect you gained from others? Be a needy little bitch.

If you only look for the approval of others, you will never get it. Tangent to overtly apologizing, this is a counter-productive strategy. You don’t need other people’s approval. In fact, it is a sure way of not getting it. Get accepted by yourself, becayse of the value you add to the world.

Why be a pleaser? People will value you less. You should definitely help people in need. Support them, or just do something nice. But do this because you think it is the right thing. Not because you need someone’s acceptance.

So, when interacting with others, don’t be needy. Don’t vie for their respect, attention, love or whatever. You already can get enough from yourself. Acknowledge yourself with respect and love instead. Others will follow your example.

Not that you need it.

We are unhappy because we think that love is something we require from someone else.”

Arthur Japin, In Lucia’s Eyes

75. Stop giving approval to get it

Stop this degrading behavior.

We already established you get acceptance or not. That’s cool. You are going to be fine with that, because you accept yourself.

Why would you approve of people going against your values, so you can be accepted? This is a clear sign of insecurity. One you should conquer. Give approval to people who deserve your respect. Otherwise, you are diminishing your self-esteem. You accept others because you appreciate who they are. Not because you want something in return.

A tiger doesn’t lose sleep over the opinion of sheep.”

– Shahir Zag

76. Stop idealizing people

Never idealize others. They will never live up to your expectations. Don’t over-analyse your relationships. Stop playing games. A growing relationship can only be nurtured by genuineness.”

Leo F. Buscaglia

No one is what they look like.

The cool girl on the streets, the rock star in the magazine, or that hot and coming new colleague. Everyone has flaws, insecurities, and problems. So don’t idealize!  Don’t look up to people. Like they are just a step higher in the universal ranking.

They are not, we are all at the same level.

So no more perfected images of people.

You can learn from others though! You can learn a lot!. But don’t go looking at others, for what you need to find  in yourself.

77. Stop trying to impress

The more you try to impress people, the less impressed they’ll be.”

Mark Manson

78. Poise

Composure.

A certain stable grace, a solitary peace. No nervous submissiveness or fidgeting.

Develop a poise in life. Through cultivated confidence and inner peace.

Talk deliberate and slow, so you won’t need to fill voids with uuhms or aaahs,.. Better yet, accept the voids in conversations, enjoy them even.

Carry yourself with the respect and honour you deserve.

The key to winning is poise under stress.”

Paul Brown

79. Learn from your judgements of others

We can only compare the outer world to our inner world.

The way you view the world and yourself – determine your experience.

This is conscious, but also very unconscious. You have traits that you want to express more. You also suppress traits you deem wrong. These unflourished traits are hidden in your subconscious. But they are indirectly displayed to your consciousness. This happens through projection.

The theory in short is; the more you hate a trait in someone else, the more likely you are avoiding it in yourself. As well as the more you revere someone’s competencies, the more you want to let these traits shine in yourself.

Be an observer of how you judge others. As to learn what you already want to improve!

jung projection others self confident

Socializing and bonding – people lubricants

80. Seek to understand, then to be understood

People want to be understood.

It feels good. There is an innate drive. Instead of gratifying your own needs first. Delay them and try to understand your conversational partner first.

It’s the considerate and emphatic thing to do. Increasing the odds people like and accept you. Contrary to starting off with your own rants. Listen to others, try to understand. Their thoughts, ideas, and who they are.  Once you do, people will be more open to what you have to say.

What you don’t understand you cannot treasure”

Sunday Adelaja

81.  Never whine, complain or criticize

Do you like listening to complaints? Or want to hear someone utter lame rants?

Probably not. Then don’t complain yourself. Stop the habit of whining when things don’t go your way. Don’t whine to others and don’t whine to yourself. Best case scenario you get some pity. A little shot of acceptance and caring. But on the long run, you repel people.

People neither like you criticizing all the time. It’s a negative vibe – pushing away positive and optimistic people. Be positive and open to what is happening instead.

Never tell your problems to anyone…20% don’t care and the other 80% are glad you have them.”

Lou Holtz

82. Give earnest appreciation

Remarkable, cool, funny or good.

Appreciate it. Don’t hesitate to give people honest and positive appreciation.

‘Hey, cool shoes.’ ‘You are happy today.’ ‘Thanks for lifting my mood.’  

Don’t fake this, just be honest how you feel. If you like someone – or appreciate their demeanor. Tell them. It can be a small compliment – as long as you mean it. But honest heartfelt feedback is awesome. Creating a genuine connection.

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a
listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all
of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

Leo Buscaglia

83. Presence

Be here. Preferably now.

An active presence in conversations.

Not thinking about yesterday’s troubles or tomorrow’s worries. So you can talk and listen consciously. People you talk to will notice the difference. Focus on what you are doing. You can do this by focusing on your physical being. Like noticing your breath. Or feeling your feet on the floor.

Focus on listening. Not crafting your next question or remark. Just be. If you truly listen, you know what to say next.

Acknowledge others during their story. Using small verbal and non-verbal encouragement. Like nodding, showing you listen actively. Try asking clarifying questions, to show interest and learn.

Turn off your phone. So you are focused. Not distracted by irrelevant cat pictures popping up.

And again, eye contact! Look people in the eyes. Not avoiding their eyes, but acknowledging them through visual contact.

Your true home is in the here and the now.”

Thích Nhất Hạnh.

84. Warmth, compassion, and empathy

The lower a human being descends, the more asleep and inhumane he becomes. Those beings that lack Compassion, Love, and Peace are the true targets of the ego system…”

Jacqueline Ripstein

To become charismatic, people need to feel good around you. So people are drawn to you. Like you are their social heater.

One of the important charisma aspects is ‘warmth’. Being compassionate and emphatic. So how do you become a warm person?  Start by being more grateful. Filling your heart with grace, instead of it being an empty shell. People notice if you are thankful in life. Loving what you have instead of longing for all you don’t have.

Furthermore, show you care through thoughtfulness. Remember names, dates, anniversaries and other details. Compliment people sincerely. Relate to people. Using empathy to connect, showing sensitivity towards people’s feelings. Practice empathy by being interested in others. Ask for the stories of people’s lives. And of course, you do this primarily face to face.

Another way to deepen your empathy: read fiction. Fiction lets you imagine other people, their actions and thoughts, in your heads. Changing the written word in an alluring happening. By imagining fiction, you learn how people can feel in real life. 

Thinks this is too hard? Want to fake this? Impossible. Instead, learn to care and understand people. Everyone has the capability. Relax your posture and open up your expressions.

And of course, smile!

85. Become truly interested

If you want be liked and have deeper connections, show genuine interest in people.

Step 1 – Encourage others to talk about themselves.
Step 2 – Listen.
Step 3 – Repeat.

Listen and let others do the talking. Find the right paradigm to be truly interested. Or probe with questions to find a subject you both love! There is always something that may amaze you about someone. Ask away and listen well.

Because you listen consciously, you can ask the right follow-up questions. A simple ‘why this?’ Or ‘why that?’ will do most of the times. 

People love talking about themselves. Endorphins shoot through your veins if you do. Indulge others with this reward. Creating a fluent and enjoyable conversation.

With simple questions and attention, others feel good and important. Start enjoying to listening and bonding over mutual interests.

You can close more business in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.”

Dale Carnegie

86. Use names

A name pronounced is the recognition of the individual to whom it belongs. He who can pronounce my name aright, he can call me, and is entitled to my love and service.”

Henry David Thoreau

Your name is like magic. You identify so much with those few letters.

Become a wizard and wield this magic. You can conjure up likeability by using the power of names.

It just feels good to hear your name. An anchor of acknowledgment. When you meet someone new, remember their name. Repeat it after hearing it. Then use is throughout the conversations.

87. Admit when you are wrong

Don’t be a dick about it.

Just admit that you were wrong. There is nothing bad about making mistakes.

Admit it, learn, move on.

respect excuse confident

88. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing others

People make mistakes.

We all do it, all the time.

It sometimes feels good to point out mistakes of others. Making you feel superior. People don’t think it’s cool though. Nobody wants to get their faults pointed out.

How to avoid that. Level with others by talking about your own failures first. You create a more honest evaluation. Because of this equal footing, others are less defensive. Thus more acceptant to constructive feedback and learning from it.

As a matter of fact, we are none of us above criticism; so let us bear with each other’s faults.”

L. Frank Baum, The Marvelous Land of Oz

89. Give others the opportunity to save face

What if someone truly fucks up?

They offend you or others. By mistakenly making an off-handed disturbing remark. It can happen.

Allow people to correct themselves. Give them the oppurtunity. Don’t immediately put them in their place. Stay silent or ask why they think something like that. There are numerous reasons why people act stupid. Be gracious by giving them the chance to correct.

Let not a man guard his dignity, but let his dignity guard him.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

90. Mirror friendliness – mirror rudeness

There is a whole elaborate theory to mirroring behavior of others.

But what strikes me most, is that you gain respect by mirroring temperament.

Reciprocate friendliness to friendly people. Because this is the way they expect others to act, it is what they respect.

Same goes for people with a big mouth. Don’t give way and offer a blunt response in return. Rude people respect rudeness in return somehow. What people expect and respect from others they often display themselves. Indulge them by returning the favor.

Behavior is the mirror in which everyone shows their image.”

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

91. Fool around

Socializing is supposed to be fun. So have fun!

It is totally fine to fuck around and enjoy yourself. Life is just not that serious.

Just plainly annoy, tease and fool around in a good-natured way. It opens people up, creating a fun and creative atmosphere. Do you enjoy uptightness? Nope! So lighten the mood by being a bit silly.

Booyah, let it go.

I have great faith in fools – self-confidence my friends will call it.”

Edgar Allan Poe

92. Learn to make jokes

A man and a friend are playing golf one day at their local golf course. One of the guys is about to chip onto the green when he sees a long funeral procession on the road next to the course. He stops in mid-swing, takes off his golf cap, closes his eyes, and bows down in prayer.

His friend says: “Wow, that is the most thoughtful and touching thing I have ever seen. You truly are a kind man.”

The man then replies: “Yeah, well we were married 35 years.””

Liked that?

Me too, so will many others! Learn to tell this and a whole host of other jokes.

Let’s be honest. There are many people who can’t make a decent joke. Or for that matter, understand them. Learn about humor, memorize a few go-to jokes, practice funny situational remarks. Then use them! Making people laugh is the highway into their heart. Look here for a small primer on humor.

Learn this and your social value skyrocket.

Or at least you can laugh in loneliness now.

A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs — jolted by every pebble in the road.”

Henry Ward Beecher

93. Learn to tell stories!

Next to jokes, tiny stories in themselves, learn to converse in a compelling narrative.

Learn to tell stories. Beginning, middle, comic twist and ending. Simple as that. It is not just the content – it’s mainly the presentation. Engage people through the narration of fictional and true events. A good story does not have to be real. Use your full vocal capabilities. Your speed, timbre, tonality, pitch and articulation.

If you are able to do this, people will hang on to your every word.

After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”

Philip Pullman

94. Engage people’s emotions

emotions people end of the day maya angelou confident

Last but not least – almost done

95. Don’t try to master everything at once

Let me be honest. I made a long fucking list of things.

No-one in the world masters all of these elements. But this piece does list the many aspects that can make up your social badassery. Start with developing a few key elements. You will see growth in others aspects as well. You probably already noticed the overlap in subjects.  

Start with basics. Go from a framework to technique level. Don’t worry about how fast you’ll learn. As long as you make progress!

It takes a long ass time to master anything. Set your direction, move forward and have patience. I am for sure still on this long road called self-development. But I daily reap the benefits.

Don’t be scared and start taking your first steps.

It is more important to know where you are going than to get there quickly. Do not mistake activity for achievement.”

Isocrates

96. Time Management

Your life is short – become awesome in productivity and time management. So you have the time to develop, to do more, to enjoy more. To become the best you!

Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.”

Anthony G. Oettinger

97. Become the most interesting person

Take on this epic quest of development. So you can be the most interesting person you know. Start living more, start doing more, be more awesome, be cooler, do shit so you won’t regret and do shit you will regret!

Become the most interesting person. Even if it is only for yourself.

Others will see, but ‘meeeeh’ does it even matter? If you do this will, most likely you will meet many other highly interesting people!

I am weird, and you know what? That’s OK. So are most interesting people.”

Em Bailey, Shift

98. Give the right fucks

To reiterate; don’t give a fuck.

There are a lot of trivial people and subject that demand your attention.

But you are the fuck distributor. And fucks are in limited supply! Give fucks were YOU think fucks are due.

Don’t care about what other people think of you, follow your own values (inner locus) – no need for conformism and social recognition.

I can try to explain this better. But I recommend one my favorite articles for that.

I don’t fuck much with the past but I fuck plenty with the future.”

Patti Smith

99. Boost confidence and thumos through soundtracks

Need a little help during your quest. Try boosting your thumos by listening to epic soundtracks.

I love Two steps from hell for instance. Their music drags me from depression to legendary battle mode. The way you feel while watching an adventure film. You know during epic scenes, were your feeling the shift from entertainment to thrill. Ready for action!

Use that inner drive and boost it.

Listen for instance to this and this.

Music is the strongest form of magic.”

Marilyn Manson

100. Nothing is written in stone

no rules wisdom wise fools sir douglas bader confident

101. Enjoy the ride!

Well done into making it to the end!

Thanks for reading, it was a huge quest no doubt. I know I posed a lot of shoulds, woulds, and coulds. But these strategies do work. Only by reiterating them, I (re)learned a lot again! Setting new goals and re-adjusting my behavior to learn more. 

Remember, though, think for yourself!  Be critical of everything said. But be open to advice.

But most of all, enjoy the ride!

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