It seems like everyone has a friend who is effortlessly charming, ready to boldly engage any passerby in a thoughtful conversation at the drop of a hat. For the rest of us mere mortals, however, mingling at a wedding or chatting with a stranger in an elevator can bring out our most timorous qualities.
The next time you feel shyness creeping in, quit staring at your shoes and try locking eyes with the person you’re speaking to—or anyone else, for that matter. Eye contact gives your partner the impression that you actively listening and interested in what he or she is saying. According to Quantified Impressions, a Texas-based communication-analytics company, you should shoot to engage in eye contact for 60 to 70 percent of every interaction.
Another confidence-boosting tactic: Try mentioning that you are shy in the conversation. Just putting your minor social anxieties into words can lessen their hold on you and help you enjoy the evening, worry-free.
Do you find yourself acting like a chatterbox at dinner parties but a wallflower around the office? If so, try these strategies for building confidence at work.