Everybody’s a critic. Especially ourselves. People always have more to say than we want to hear and we’re often never short on opinions or criticism.
What’s important for you is knowing for yourself what is true and valid and not allowing others, or yourself, to twist, manipulate and otherwise devalue your own perceptions of who you are.
As a relationship writer having had a nickel for every moment I’ve faced putting myself out there, getting rejected, getting kicked in the gut while I’m down, being mocked, laughed at and trolled by people, I’d be somewhere sunbathing topless in Costa Rica, sangria in hand by the seaside.
Yet I’ve continued to put my best foot forward knowing full well I’m not perfect. My youtube videos are pretty terrible, people don’t get my wet and outlandish sense of humor and I am left to deal with the results of my convictions and refusal to conform.
However, the beauty in it is the total freedom to be who I want and to have the kind of relationship I want and deserve- I’m confident enough to take charge of my needs and to be undeterred by the consequences.
But they really aren’t consequences at all. I put myself out there and I’m thrilled by the rewards of freedom and peace of mind. The more I decide to take on in the world in an effort to build confidence, the easier it gets.
Every day of our lives we are consciously taking in certain messages and feedback from the people around us, and we are processing those messages into both positive and negative thought processes. Processes that determine how we feel about ourselves and ultimately, how much value we represent in the eyes of other people who may be interested in a sharing a romantic relationship with us.
I often refer to myself in terms of having a “disproportionate” amount of power in my favor when it comes to my relationships. However, the power I hold has nothing to do with being arrogant, showy, egoistic, nor any other maleficent manifestation of instability. In fact, those aforementioned don’t represent any form of power at all but instead, confirm weakness and ignorance, and sends people running the other way.
You must learn to possess a specific type of power- the kind that yields you endless rewards in the form of esteem, respect, and most important of all, love. True confidence draws people in, in so many ways.
Be mindful of the company you keep
When I was single there was girl I used to tote around with at the clubs. She was the bar fly and she was always more or less invisible by everyone until last call. The men took one look at her and unless they were teetering on drunken amnesia, they’d rather rub up next to a dead mule.
I noticed a pattern very early on that when I was out with her, we never got to the front of the line, we never got in free and the men never once bought us drinks because she was an overall embarrassment and terrible excuse for a lady. It wasn’t very wise on my part that I had chosen her to associate with as a companion.
Always make sure that the people you spend your time with are presentable, sophisticated and reflect some type of decency. It didn’t take me long to figure out that girl I used to run around with was a boorish swine and low and behold, everybody who saw me with her assumed I had to be one as well (birds of a feather flock together). And I attracted just the type of men I wanted to avoid, if I even attracted any men at all.
If you’re going to be guilty by association, be guilty among those who are honorable and respectable. Who you spend time with says a lot about you- both your friends as well as the people you date. Lay down with dogs, you’re bound to wind up with fleas.
Listening cannot be understated
It’s astounding that people actually have to be reminded how important it is to listen to other people. What’s more is that it should be unsurprising that people who have poor listening skills are often seen as unattractive and undesirable to others.
Being a terrible conversationalist isn’t sexy. It’s actually a huge turnoff. Most of us know all too well how it feels to sit there bored out of our minds listening to someone talk endlessly about themselves. And they mysteriously wonder why no one worthwhile wants to be around them.
Having a decent conversation involves actively listening, acknowledging the other person’s thoughts and feelings and denotes politely waiting for your turn to speak. The more you demonstrate your ability to do that, the more favorable and preferable you will be among those who are actively competing for attention in the world of relationships.
Just the act of listening to others is poetry in motion. You convey that you are confident in yourself just by allowing others to speak and acknowledging what they have to say- you can walk and chew gum, a very rare thing among countless people who are too inept to see the craftiness in listening to other people’s ideas.
A friend of mine asked, “How do I stop people from running me over and taking advantage of me? I’m too afraid to assert myself because I don’t want to hurt other people’s feelings.”
Since when are other people’s feelings more important than your dignity and emotional health? People are not that fragile that they cannot be told that they are stepping over the line and to check themselves at the door when they need to hear it.
Instilling boundaries garners respect. People aren’t going to push your buttons if you don’t allow them to. Telling people what is acceptable and what isn’t is integral to being authoritative and being respected. A confident person knows what their boundaries are and moreover, knows when others are attempting to cross those boundaries.
If you don’t instill boundaries, people aren’t going to know when to stop. And unfortunately, a lot of people get a raging hard on seeing how far they can push others in an attempt to gain control.
Show that you are confident by being in control of the way others treat you. You possess all the power when you refuse to relinquish it to others.
Trust your instincts
To be confident in your relationships is going to take an element of basic trust within yourself to honor your judgment and reasoning- and to listen to yourself knowing that your instincts do not lie but instead serve as a tool to keep you safe and out of harms way.
In the world of dating and relationships, it’s inevitable that some of the people you are bound to run into will not have your best interests at heart. They may want to hurt you by using you, seeing how far they can push you in an attempt to cross boundaries and by manipulating you. To them the thrill is in the chase and in the destruction they leave behind, not in securing a long term relationship.
If the relationship isn’t right or falls by the wayside of the boundaries we have and should delineate from the very start, we have to trust ourselves enough to know what is right for us and to walk away from what could be potentially very damaging.
When you are confident enough to trust your instincts, there is a very small margin for error or misjudgment when it comes to determining who and what type of relationship is ideal for you.
Being confident is listening to and honing in on your instincts, and relying on them as a source of security and knowledge. You can’t go wrong when you are confident enough to know yourself inside out- which, in full circle, is the essence of what confidence means.
Being confident is the best gift you can give to yourself- and the good news is, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. The more you exercise your confidence muscle and allow it work for you in the ways you intended, the more rewards you will reap in your relationships.
These are just a few very basic ways in which confidence is and becomes an acquired lifelong behavior and source of satisfaction in how it relates to having a fulfilling relationship. Stay tuned, there’s more to come.
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