We've all been there: a guy you like is at the same party as you, and this this is your opportunity to show him you're smart, funny and laid-back. But there's a problem. As soon as your eyes meet, you're struck down with shyness.
All the same thoughts come flooding into your head: “I'm not pretty enough”, “my jokes are lame”, “I shouldn't have worn this dress, I look fat” and so on.
First of all, none of these things are true. You're beautiful, your jokes are funny and your dress looks great. You've simply been caught up in an act of self-sabotage. It's easier to convince yourself that you're not good enough to talk to this guy than it is to put yourself out there and possibly face rejection, but don't worry!
Overcoming shyness comes with looking inwards first, and we're going to break down some of these walls you've put up, with 15 ways to be more confident around men even if you're shy.
1. Ask Yourself Why You're Not Confident
Men and women alike suffer from shyness and lack of confidence. You're not alone. Even the most seemingly confident people you've ever met suffer with anxiety sometimes, and will stress out about how they acted/what they said at the after-work office drinks last Friday.
It's natural to analyze our words and actions, but you shouldn't drive yourself crazy over-thinking everything you've ever said since the age of seven! Ask yourself why you're playing out your conversation with Chad in the photocopy room over and over again.
Did you really say something stupid and outrageous? Probably not. Does he think you're an idiot because you mispronounced the name of his favorite soccer team? Definitely not. Chad probably hasn't given it a second thought, so why should you?
Asking yourself why you're not confident is the first step to changing how you see yourself, and ultimately how to stop being shy around men. Now let's have a look at how you can increase your confidence and learn how to be confident with men.
Tap Into Your Inner Goddess
Ok, so this sounds a little cliche and acute; but think of the women you admire and what they have in common. Whether it's Rihanna or Rita Hayworth, Marilyn Monroe or Madonna, our icons and role-models are usually people brimming with confidence.
Being happy in your own skin shines through and is probably the most attractive quality in a person; man or woman. You don't have to be prettier, or thinner, or smarter, or anything else for that matter. Being happy to be you in your best asset, and will make you all the more attractive to a partner. You're a Goddess!
3. Take Care of Yourself
Being happy in your own skin means taking care of what's on the inside, as well as what's on the outside. The way we treat our minds and bodies has a tremendous effect on our outlook, so do what you love and you'll start to feel more confident with every new day.
For some, it's going to the gym and eating healthy. For others, it's having coffee with friends and making lists. Whatever makes you feel good, do it! You'll be amazed at how making yourself happy will attract men towards you.
4. Dress In Clothes That Make You Feel Like a Queen
So let's get this straight: this does not mean dressing in a ball-gown and glass slippers to your office job. The clothes you like and your personal style are completely subjective, so coveting other people's wardrobes is a pointless task.
Yes, Angela looks beautiful in her pant-suit and high-heels, but if you're happier in jeans and a band t-shirt, that's what you should wear. Confidence is an attitude, not the clothes on your body. Wear what you feel comfortable in and you'll start to feel more confident and you'll start learning how to stop being shy around men.
5. Ask Your Friends and Family For Affirmations
If you're feeling down, who always makes you feel better? Your friends and family, right? So, if you're not feeling confident, ask your nearest and dearest to tell you what they love about you. It's not fishing for compliments, but discovering what people like about your personality.
Maybe it's how kind you are to strangers, or how you can do funny impressions of celebrities. Whatever it is that makes your friends love you, find out and use it to build your own confidence.
6. Fake It Till You Make It!
You're not going to feel on top of the world every day of your life, but how you choose to react to each new challenge you face is completely up to you. Writing down and saying out loud things that make you feel more confident will have an impact on your subconscious mind.
By saying “I'm beautiful, I'm a great friend, I'm confident, smart and sexy” into a mirror in the mornings might sound a little crazy, but what you're actually doing is reprogramming your subconscious to believe these things. Just wait and see; after a few weeks of saying these things to yourself, you'll start realizing that they're all true!
7. Practice Conversation With Friends
If you have a date coming up, or you're going to a party where you know “he” will be there, practice some conversations with your friends to make you feel more confident. What subjects do you feel happy talking about?
What questions can you ask about him to get to know him better? If it's a work thing, how can you direct the conversation away from professional topics and more towards the personal? Acting out these different scenarios with your girlfriends will give you the confidence you need to approach and start talking to guys in social situations.
8. Treat Yourself
As with looking after yourself, sometimes you need a treat to remind yourself that you're a great person who deserves to be lavished from time to time. And who better to remind you, than you! This doesn't necessarily mean splurging on a new pair of shoes or going to the salon for a mani-pedi.
It could be as simple as taking yourself out to lunch or buying a new book to read in the bath. Whatever it is, big or small, making yourself feel special every so often will build your self-confidence and remind you that you're worth it.
9. Get Out Of Your Box
This is a less-scary version of “if you're scared of spiders, hold a tarantula” but the principal is the same. If you're nervous of talking to guys at parties, go to more parties! Bring your friends and don't put pressure on yourself to talk to men, but do go and have fun.
You'll find that you start to relax and enjoy the situation and, who knows, you might start chatting to a guy without even thinking about it.
10. Remember: He's Just A Man
It may seem like they're aliens sometimes, but men are just human beings like the rest of us. They get nervous, over-think things and regret saying stuff too. Remembering that the guy you're talking to is probably wondering if there's food in his teeth too will make you feel more relaxed and confident.
Putting men on a pedestal will make you feel inferior, so it's important to remind yourself that you're a happy and confident woman that shouldn't feel nervous or shy talking to anyone at all; not even the guy you like.
11. Listen and Learn
We often think that confidence means talking a lot, but ask yourself who seems more self-assured: the woman who is jabbering away without talking a breath, or the calm, relaxed girl listening intently and occasionally nodding.
While talking is important, listening to what someone is saying shows that you care and are interested in them. Not to mention, while the other person is talking it will give you time to think of a good response, if you're someone who struggles with making conversation on the spot.
12. Find Common Ground
If you find it hard to make small talk, finding common ground with someone is going to be your best weapon! As we've established, listening to someone is key in building relationships and your confidence level so, while they're talking, take note of anything that you have in common and bring it up later.
People love talking about the things they enjoy, and you'll find it so much easier and more natural to chat about something that genuinely interests you than pretending to be fascinated with, say, his collection of Roman coins.
13. Don't Worry About It
So perhaps you've had a great chat with a guy at a party but he saw you fall up the stairs on the way to the bathroom. Or maybe you said “nice to meet you, Chris” on the way out and then realized in the taxi home that his name is actually Mike.
These things don't matter! He has either completely forgotten that they happened, or he most likely thinks they're cute. Even if he was a little disgruntled that you forgot his name at the time, do you really think he's going to hold it against you?
Absolutely not. Letting things go and realizing that we all make mistakes is key to feeling more confident around men and not picking apart every social interaction with them.
14. Don't Bring Your Baggage To The Date
We've all been hurt. It sucks but it's true. So, if we've all been hurt, it's fair to say we've all got our fair share of emotional baggage – including men! While your last relationship might have ended badly, your date's may well have too.
Try not to bring up subjects like your ex and your past grievances on the first date. These are all things that make you the person you are today, but they can be brought up another time.
Your date will certainly have his own stories, but leaving your baggage at the door will ensure you feel confident in starting on a new path to happiness.
Related: How To Avoid Rejection From Guys
15. Be Yourself
Ok, ok, so this one has been said a thousand times before, but with good reason! It's so important to be yourself, whether it's having a chat with a new guy in a coffee shop, or going on your fourth date with him. We all want a partner who is open and honest, so finding out they lied about who they are would be devastating, right? The same goes for the other way around.
Why would you say you love The Lakers when you hate basketball? Or that you agree that Titanic was an awful movie when it's actually one of your all-time favorites. These seem like silly, trivial things, but they are all the little quirks that make you “you”.
If you start telling little white lies to endear yourself to your new partner, you're really telling yourself that you need to be someone else in order for them to like you, which will kill your confidence. They should like you for everything that you are, even if that means not liking basketball!
In conclusion, confidence is a state of mind, not the clothes you wear or the movies you like. Being yourself and appreciating all the things that you are, good and bad, mean that you can feel self-assured in every situation.
We all have our off-days, but if you go into every situation believing that you are the smart, funny and beautiful woman that you know you are deep-down, you'll radiate charm and confidence to all around you and, just like you know you can, learn how to be confident with men.
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