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Self-confidence is an attitude which allows individuals to have positive yet realistic views of themselves and their situations. Self-confident people trust their own abilities, have a general sense of control in their lives, and believe that, within reason, they will be able to do what they wish, plan, and expect.

Having self-confidence does not mean that individuals will be able to do everything. Self-confident people have expectations that are realistic. Even when some of their expectations are not met, they continue to be positive and to accept themselves.

People who are not self-confident depend excessively on the approval of others in order to feel good about themselves. They tend to avoid taking risks because they fear failure. They generally do not expect to be successful. They often put themselves down and tend to discount or ignore compliments paid to them. By contrast, self-confident people are willing to risk the disapproval of others because they generally trust their own abilities. They tend to accept themselves; they don't feel they have to conform in order to be accepted.

Self-confidence is not necessarily a general characteristic which pervades all aspects of a person's life. Typically, individuals will have some areas of their lives where they feel quite confident, e.g., academics, athletics, while at the same time they do not feel at all confident in other areas, e.g., personal appearance, social relationships.

How is Self-Confidence Initially Developed?

Many factors affect the development of self-confidence. Parents' attitudes are crucial to children's feelings about themselves, particularly in children's early years. When parents provide acceptance, children receive a solid foundation for good feelings about themselves. If one or both parents are excessively critical or demanding, or if they are overprotective and discourage moves toward independence, children may come to believe they are incapable, inadequate, or inferior. However, if parents encourage children's moves toward self-reliance and accept and love their children when they make mistakes, children will learn to accept themselves and will be on their way to developing self-confidence.

Surprisingly, lack of self-confidence is not necessarily related to lack of ability. Instead it is often the result of focusing too much on the unrealistic expectations or standards of others, especially parents and society. Friends' influences can be as powerful or more powerful than those of parents and society in shaping feelings about one's self. Students in their college years re-examine values and develop their own identities and thus are particularly vulnerable to the influence of friends.

Self Confidence Tips

1) How to Feel Good When You Need to

Because self confidence and feeling good has a major 'hormonal' element, you can change the way you feel by re-living good times. If you can remember a time you felt really self confident, then excellent - use that! If not, then use a time you felt contented or happy. Taking deliberate control of your thoughts and emotions will have an huge impact on your self confidence and other areas of your life.

2) Beating Self Consciousness, Confidence Enemy No.1

Although useful for learning about the impact you have on others, too much
self consciousness is the No.1 enemy of self confidence. The trick is keeping your attention off yourself when you need to. Here's how...

a) When you feel self-conscious, (you can usually tell because you start to feel anxious), choose something outside of yourself to focus on and study it in detail. For example: examine a door, look at the different textures and shades of colour, wonder about who made it and how and so on. The important thing is that you're learning how to keep your attention off yourself.

It is a good idea to practise this technique in private first. Just sit quietly, practising focusing firstly on your own thoughts and then deliberately focusing outwards onto a picture or piece of furniture.

b) Social self confidence can be difficult to find sometimes because it is unclear what you are 'supposed to do'. In this event, concentrate on what your purpose in the situation is. Whether you're there to:

- find out if you like the other people present
- make others feel comfortable
- find out some information
- make business contacts
- and so on...

It's much more difficult to feel self-conscious if your mind is occupied with a task.

People are often most comfortable with others when working towards a common goal. The common goal of socialising could be making friends, the exchange of mutually beneficial information, expanding your knowledge of different types of people... it could be whatever you want it to be! The key is to have an aim. (Related:
Social Skills Article)

3) Watch Out for Undue Criticism - Especially Your Own!

Have you noticed that people will speak to themselves in a way they would never speak to others? You know the sort of thing - you break a glass and it's "You stupid idiot. You can't do anything right can you?"

Criticism that leaves the receiver feeling upset or depressed is rarely useful.

Challenging your own assumptions about yourself and other people can really help build self confidence. Here's a few to get you started:

Those confident-looking people have bad moments too - you just don't get to hear about them!

If you feel under-confident, it doesn't mean other people can tell. They're often too caught up with their 'own stuff' to notice!

If you catch yourself saying things to yourself like "I'm no good at anything" then rest assured, you're wrong about that. Everyone can compose a sentence, get successfully to the store, eat without choking and do a million other things. Emotion can make things seem hopeless when they rarely are.

Don't let yourself make sweeping statements about yourself - in the long run it is this sort of thing that can really damage your self image. If this happens, say to yourself calmly and gently, "Hold on a minute, that's not true". If you can come up with some evidence that disproves the sweeping statement, then even better. It may take a bit of effort at first, but the impact on your self confidence levels is huge.

Building self esteem is not just about thinking good of yourself, it's about not thinking bad for no reason!

Just because you have felt bad about yourself in the past doesn't mean you're always going to feel that way. I have seen hundreds of people surprise themselves once they have learned how to build self confidence in a way that it stays built!

The important thing is to get away from thinking "Why did that happen?", or "Why do I feel this way?" and towards "How would I like to feel?", "In what situations do I feel confident?" or, "What do I need to learn in order to have better self confidence in this situation?"

This change in thinking is so important that we devote quite a bit of time to it on the
Self Confidence Trainer.

Persevere and don't expect everything at once. Really learn how to develop your self confidence by following the tips from this site and the free Self Confidence Course and notice the small differences as they happen. Building good self confidence is a wonderful thing, and it's much easier than you'd imagine.


Top Ten Facts about Low Self Esteem

by Mark Tyrrell

Late in 2001, thinking about 'low self esteem' changed worldwide. The Rowntree Report (
The costs and causes of low self esteem) paved the way for more effective, research-based identification and treatment of low self esteem.

If you suffer from low self esteem (or have been told you do), or treat people with low self esteem (or think you do), please read on.

Mark Tyrrell, co-author of the
Self Confidence Trainer, completed a UK tours in 2002, 2003, 2004 & 2005 teaching thousands of health professionals the facts about self esteem and how to treat low self esteem in their patients. He has also co-authored a book on self esteem for Axis Publishing called The Giant Within - Maximise Your Self Esteem.


As you can imagine, Mark did a lot of research for his seminar 'How to Lift Low Self Esteem'. He has listed his 10 most important 'Tips' for you here.

1) Low Self Esteem Not To Blame!

We now know that all the ills of society cannot be blamed on low-self esteem (Prof Nicholas Emler - The Rowntree Report 2001). According to the latest research, low self esteem is not to blame for nearly as many problems as has traditionally been thought.

2) High Self Esteem Linked to Criminality

It is now clear that too
high self esteem or 'High Self Esteem Disorder' is often more of a problem. (This is NOT merely a 'disguised' form of low self-esteem, as commonly thought). So, if you are the victim of a bully then you can rest assured you don't have to feel sorry for them.

Hundreds of pieces of reliable research now show that bullies and many criminals are much more likely to suffer from unrealistically high self esteem and impulse control problems than low self esteem. An exaggerated sense of entitlement - expecting much from many situations - is more likely to lead to frustration and aggressive, antisocial, or even criminal behaviour.

3) A Little More Uncertainty Can Help

Contrary to popular opinion, people with low self-esteem are always very sure of themselves.

This manifests in their conviction that they are worthless or inadequate. As you will know if you have ever tried to argue with someone who puts themselves down continually, it is very hard to do! When someone with low self esteem becomes less sure of their own opinion of themselves and therefore begins to assess counter evidence regarding their worthlessness, their self image begins to become more healthy.

4) You Can't Argue Someone Better!

Telling some one they are great or wonderful when they are constantly negative about themselves will not work. Arguing with someone who is so sure of themselves does not work, as we all know. You will just break rapport with that person. We have all met people who feel more comfortable in relationships with people who treat them badly - because that person seems to see things the way they do.

People with low self esteem can be upset by 'disconfirming feedback.' In other words if something happens which indicates that they may not be as terrible as they thought, it can feel disturbing as it contradicts their way of perceiving. Healthy self esteem needs to emerge subtly, not as a sudden result of hearing you are 'really special' or 'fantastic'.

People need proof that unsettles the certainty that they are so 'defective' or inadequate and leads to a more realistic and balanced self-assessment. This can only happen when they become calmer and more relaxed so that they can observe themselves more objectively and less emotionally. When ever we are highly emotional our perception is distorted ('emotional hijacking') when people calm down around the idea of themselves then a healthier self-esteem can emerge!

5) Child Abuse Increases Likelihood of Low Self Esteem

People who were abused as children (physical beating or sexual abuse) are more likely to suffer unrealistic low self esteem as adults. This is because of constant repetition of a 'message' that they are of little value or just an object to be used. In a way they have been 'brain washed' by constant criticism or abuse that they are a certain way.

When a person begins to question this former conditioning or brainwashing then a healthier and more accurate sense of self can begin to emerge. However the person may have to be de-traumatised so the emotional brain responds differently in future (rather than solely learning to think differently about stuff). However the way we think and our assumptions need to be observed, understood and if necessary challenged. (explanatory styles)

(Note: Most people who have low self esteem were not abused as children.)

6) Healthy Pleasures Are Vital

We need to engage in activities which we enjoy and in which we can 'lose ourselves' regularly. The better one's sense of themselves the less they tend to use words like 'me, myself, I, mine' (personal pronouns) Someone's mental and even, to some extent, physical health can be directly related to how 'self-referential' they are in their conversation - as people become healthier they use the 'I' word less, in the same way that when your knee stops hurting you don't need to rub it any more.

People should be encouraged to focus their attention away from themselves as well as to be able to take their own needs into account. A healthy balance should be encouraged as should the development of real practical skills. Real responsibility should be encouraged so that self-worth can respond to external evidence on an ongoing basis.

7) Make the Most of Success

Low self esteem requires a particular attitude towards success. Whenever you succeed at something, you must 'write it off' as good luck, chance, or someone else's responsibility.

To gain a more realistic view of yourself, you need to take appropriate credit for your successes. In the
Self Confidence Trainer, we call this skill 'Converting'.

This involves learning how to convert real successes into statements about yourself. The other part of the picture is to view perceived failures as temporary and not statements about your 'core identity'.

8) Build on Solid Foundations

For anyone to be psychologically and physicaly healthy on an ongoing basis, there are a set of requirements that must be built into life. This is the checklist I use with my patients:

The need to give and receive attention

Taking care of the mind-body connection

The need for meaning, purpose and goals

The need for a connection to something greater than ourselves

The need for creativity and stimulation

The need for intimacy and connection

The need for a sense of control

The need for status

Of course, it is likely that at any one time, one or more of these may be slightly lacking in your life, without dire consequences. However, in the long-term, they must all be catered for one way or another.

9) Characteristics of Genuinely Low Self Esteem

Social withdrawal

Anxiety and emotional turmoil

Lack of social skills and self confidence. Depression and/or bouts of sadness

Less social conformity

Eating disorders

Inability to accept compliments

An Inability to see yourself 'squarely' - to be fair to yourself

Accentuating the negative

Exaggerated concern over what they imagine other people think

Self neglect

Treating yourself badly but NOT other people

Worrying whether you have treated others badly

Reluctance to take on challenges

Reluctance to trust your own opinion

Expect little out of life for yourself

10) It's not just about Positive Thinking!

Positive thinking can be useful in that it challenges you to form a different view on things. However, most of the time it just takes the form of arguing with yourself, and as we've seen from 4) above, this doesn't work.

To change your self image and improve low self esteem, you need to believe in an alternative opinion of yourself, not just repeat platitudes about how great you are really!
Overcoming Shyness and Social Phobia

Shyness, (sometimes inaccurately called 'social phobia'), affects most people at some time in their life. Young people in particular find overcoming shyness difficult as they improve their social skills. And for some, shyness seems to persist into adult life, almost as if it has become a 'habit'.

Shyness has its roots in
self consciousness and usually dissipates as people mature and become more experienced. However, for some it can 'stick', and then action is required.

Although most people think in terms of 'overcoming shyness', it is more likely that you will become comfortable in social situations by learning the strategies of self confidence along with social skills. Then, shyness is no longer the issue, as social nerves will melt away as a new 'habit' takes their place.

Shyness versus Social Phobia

It is my personal opinion that social phobia is too often diagnosed where people are simply experiencing natural shyness. It is perfectly natural to be a little timid in a situation where you don't yet know the 'rules', or what to do. In fact, most people experience some degree of nerves when, say going to meet friends, especially if it is somewhere they haven't been before, or someone new will be there.

We have to be very careful not to assume that there is something wrong with this. Social nerves are natural, as long as they don't get out of hand. Focusing on them and making them into a 'big thing' will only make matters worse.

When learning about social situations, young people need the chance to find their own way, without being labeled with 'social phobia'. This is not to say that social phobia does not exist; I know it does because I have worked with people suffering from it. However, in the vast majority of cases, the solution is social skills training, and perhaps relaxation and rehearsal, rather than drugs.

If a person can maintain a degree of calmness in a situation, then they are much more likely to be able to learn about how the situation works. However, if they are highly anxious and internally focused, both their emotional state and focus of attention will make it more difficult to pick up on subtle social cues.

The other key point about overcoming shyness is that most of socialising is an unconscious process. That doesn't mean you should be asleep when you're doing it (tell that to people I speak to at parties ;-), it simply means that much of human communication is non-verbal. That is, 'it's not what you say, it's the way that you say it'.

If you become highly anxious, this will tend to focus your conscious mind on your immediate environment, getting in the way of those unconscious processes.

Tips For Overcoming Shyness

Check out the tips in the article on self consciousness, particularly the ones to do with where you focus your attention.

·        Practise becoming fascinated by other people. Ask them about themselves, and concentrate when they answer you. Remember what they tell you about themselves so you can talk about it later, or on another occasion.

·        Great socialisers make other people feel comfortable and interesting. How do they do that? By being really, genuinely interested in other people. If you are talking to someone and you feel boring or inferior, ask why that is. Is it really all your fault?

·        Practise using fewer 'personal pronouns' when you talk about things. Sentences beginning with 'I' are not only a turn-off for the listener, they also keep the focus of attention on you, which increases shyness. (Note: Of course, part of friendship is giving away things about yourself, but only when you feel it is appropriate to do so.)

·        Remember that the way to overcome shyness is to focus elsewhere. Like on imagining what it will be like to really enjoy the social event, on how it will feel to be full of energy, or to be having a great conversation with someone.

The exercises and techniques contained within the Self Confidence Course should help with shyness because they focus on what to do to feel confident, rather than how to avoid feeling shy.

Overcoming shyness is about doing the things that allow you to enjoy social situations, not wondering why you feel shy! Good luck and I hope this article has been useful.


Self Consciousness - What Is It Good For?

Sound like a strange question to you? Since most parts of a human have evolved to be useful, apart from the appendix, perhaps, what is self consciousness for?

First, let's look at what we mean by self consciousness. Here's an example...

Self Consciousness In Action

You're standing with a group of friends, happily chatting away, the conversation going along nicely. Then someone says to you, "John, you're good at that, why don't you tell us how you do it?"

And Bang!, the way you feel changes completely. It's as if a spotlight has been turned on you and the rest of the room lights dimmed.

All of a sudden, your cheerful, easygoing nature of 10 seconds ago is nowhere to be found! What happened?

Well basically, your focus of attention has shifted to yourself, otherwise known as self consciousness. You may also have received a shot of adrenaline as a stress response.

Now we have 2 potential problems:

If your adrenaline levels go too high, your brain will cease functioning in a way that allows you to think clearly, and you will feel like running away. Obviously not what is needed for a social situation!

If your focus of attention gets 'stuck' on yourself, i.e. in self consciousness mode, you won't be able to discuss the topic you've been asked to talk about. High adrenaline levels will make it more difficult for you to shift your focus away again.

What is Self Consciousness For?

Strangely, the ability to be self conscious may well help in socialising, in the long run. To be good socially, we need to be able to empathise with others. And to do that, we need to put ourselves in others' shoes.

When you do this, you imagine being them and then check how you would feel if you were in their position. So, you are using self consciousness for a good reason, rather than self consciousness using you!

So What Can You Do About Self Consciousness?

OK. Well let's look at the adrenaline first. If you're getting this sort of stress response then it would be wise to learn some relaxation techniques, for 2 reasons:

Used correctly, relaxation will 'decondition' your anxiety response. To explain - if you are reacting with anxiety very quickly in this sort of situation, it may be because you have had similar experiences in the past, and your body has learnt to respond this way, faster than you can think.

There are 2 main things to do:

a) Rehearse the situation whilst deeply relaxed, so that your brain learns a new response.

Create a 'trigger' to allow you to 'fire off' your relaxation response when you need it most.

You can do this best by learning how to relax very deeply. If you do meditation, or yoga, you probably already know how. Otherwise, you could use the sessions on the Self Confidence Trainer created specially for this purpose.

Once you know how to relax quickly in the situation itself, your anxiety response will soon stop occurring at all. You will also have the reassurance of knowing you can calm yourself if need be, further increasing your self confidence.

Now let's look at your focus of attention.

As we discussed above, self consciousness is the state of mind that occurs when your focus of attention is on yourself. But to talk smoothly about a subject, your focus needs to be on the subject! The more deeply focused on the subject you are, the more eloquent and flowing you will be.

So, self consciousness gets in the way of socialising because it stops you focusing on what you need to focus on: the topic of conversation.

Self Consciousness Tips

So what can you do to change your focus of attention?

A few things

·        The first thing to understand is that adrenaline and anxiety 'lock' your attention, making it more difficult to switch what you're focusing on. Why? Because if it was a truly dangerous situation (which is what this response evolved for, it would be no good if you just drifted off and started thinking about what was for dinner!)

So, becoming calmer will make it much easier to change your focus when you need to. (See '1' above.)

·        Learn a discipline such as self hypnosis, tai chi, autogenics, or meditation. This all focus around teaching you to become calmer, and involve taking deliberate control of your focus of attention.


·        Practice switching your focus of attention on a day to day basis. You can do this whilst walking, sitting at work, anywhere really. Simply focus in on one thing as tightly as you can, then switch to something else. They could be objects in your environment, or ideas or thoughts.

It's particularly good if you do this whilst a little emotionally stimulated, such as watching an exciting TV program, or a film at the cinema. At the most tense moments, deliberately switch your attention away, and don't allow yourself to switch back until you have focused fully on the new object or thought.

These 3 tips will make it much easier to control self consciousness. It may not happen all at once, but you will notice the difference if you persevere.


It is not surprising that in today's "got to look good" society, facial blushing causes people a lot of pain. At its extremes, the embarrassment from blushing can become so acute that the sufferer avoids social contact. Talking to other people, whether in person or even on the phone, is often associated with blushing.

Here are some things you can do about it.

(Please note: Here we are talking about the common social blushing that nearly everyone experiences at some time. There is a condition called hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) that is often treated with surgery. Normal blushing does not require such an extreme solution.)

So Why Do We Blush?

The first thing to understand is that blushing is a perfectly natural thing. It seems to be nature's way of disclosing our true feelings about a situation. Some have theorised that blushing is naturally attractive as it is safer in evolutionary terms to have a partner that cannot lie without detection. (Of course this is not fail-safe!)

Tips to Avoid Blushing

Relax Out of It

Blushing tends to get worse at first as people start to get embarrassed about their embarrassment, creating a sort of vicious circle. The more tense you get as you start to blush, the more the blood is forced to the face. One trick is, when you feel it coming on, to deliberately drop your shoulders, relax your body, and push your stomach out. This takes a bit of doing at first, so you might want to practice.

Announce It, Don't Hide It

One thing that allows the circle to continue is the 'hiding' of it by the blusher. I used to blush much more than I do now (most people do from time to time). The way I dealt with it, and a way that has helped clients of mine, was to announce it when it was about to happen. "Here we go, I'm going to go red now" or "Oh, I think I might blush".

Accept It, Don't Fight It

You need to shift your relationship to the blushing. At the moment you are trying to hide it because you are embarrassed about it. If you can work on relaxing about it, it will get better. This will be helped by you accepting it as a current part of yourself. You can try saying to yourself "At the moment, I am a blusher". I t sounds strange, but if you can bring yourself to like that part of you more, it is more likely to go away!

Other Peoples' Opinions

Part of the embarrassment about blushing is caused by the thought that others will see you as weak or silly. However, everyone has had the experience of being embarrassed, and it's not nice for anyone. Any decent person will be sympathetic about it. Anyone who thinks less of you for it is most probably not worth knowing anyway!

Retrain Your Body

Self hypnosis can help greatly as you can train your body to relax as you feel the blushing coming on, or have the thought that you might blush. If you do any relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation, once you are really relaxed imagine the feeling of the blushing and have yourself relax with it. Practice feeling accepting towards yourself as you feel it coming on. You can imagine how you would feel if you saw someone else suffering the same way, and then feel that way towards yourself.


7 Ways to Boost Your Self Esteem Quickly

Low self esteem can trip you up just when you need your self esteem is be at its best. These 7 tips will help you feel better about yourself quickly:

1) Think back to when you did something new for the first time.

Learning something new is often accompanied by feelings of nervousness, lack of self belief and high stress levels, all of which are necessary parts of the learning process. The next time you feel under-confident, remembering this will remind you that it's perfectly normal - you're just learning!

2) Do something you have been putting off.

Like writing or calling a friend, cleaning the house, tidying the garden, fixing the car, organizing the bills, making a tasty and healthy meal - anything that involved you making a decision, then following through!

3) Do something you are good at.

Examples? How about swimming, running, dancing, cooking, gardening, climbing, painting, writing… If possible, it should be something that holds your attention and requires enough focus to get you into that state of 'flow' where you forget about everything else. You will feel more competent, accomplished and capable afterwards, great antidotes to low self esteem!

And while you're at it, seriously consider doing something like this at least once a week. People who experience 'flow' regularly seem to be happier and healthier.

4) Stop thinking about yourself!

I know this sounds strange, but low self esteem is often accompanied by too much focus on the self. Doing something that absorbs you and holds your attention can quickly make you feel better.

5) Get seriously relaxed.

If you are feeling low, anxious or lacking in confidence, the first thing to do is to stop thinking and relax properly. Some people do this by exercising, others by involving themselves in something that occupies their mind. However, being able to relax yourself when you want is a fantastic life skill and so practicing self hypnosis, meditation, or a physically-based relaxation technique such as Tai Chi can be incredibly useful.

When you are properly relaxed, your brain is less emotional and your memory for good events works better. A great 'rescue remedy'!

6) Remember all the things you have achieved.

This can be difficult at first, but after a while, you'll develop a handy mental list of self-esteem boosting memories. And if you're thinking "But I've never achieved anything", I'm not talking about climbing Everest here.

Things like passing your driving test (despite being nervous), passing exams (despite doubting that you would), playing team sport, getting fit (even if you let it slip later), saving money for something, trying to help someone (even if it didn't work) and so on.

7) Remember that you could be wrong!

If you are feeling bad about yourself, remember that you way you feel affects your thoughts, memory and behavior. So when you feel bad, you will only remember the bad times, and will tend to be pessimistic about yourself. This is where the tip 'Get Seriously Relaxed' comes in!


Once you have tried out a few of these, consider making them a permanent part of your life. For most people, good self esteem is not just a happy accident, it's a result of the way they think and the things they do from day to day. Good Luck!

6 Key Social Skills

Social skills are arguably the most important set of abilities a person can have. Human beings are social animals and a lack of good social skills can lead to a lonely life, contributing to anxiety and depression. Great social skills help you meet interesting people, get that job you want, progress further in your career and relationships.

Happily, like any skill, social strategies and techniques can be learned…

The main social skills are as follows:

1) The ability to remain relaxed, or at a tolerable level of anxiety while in social situations

Regardless of how skillful you are in social situations, if you are too anxious, your brain is functioning in way unsuited to speaking and listening. In addition, if your body and face give the unconscious message that you are nervous, it will be more difficult to build rapport with others.

2) Listening skills, including letting others know you are listening

When you had dinner with Gladstone, you were left feeling that he was the most charming person you had ever met. But after dinner with Disraeli, you felt that you were the wittiest, the most intelligent, the most charming person.
Dr Warren Bennis PhD, University of California

There is little more attractive and seductive than being truly listened to. Good listening skills include:

·        Making 'I'm listening' noises - 'Uh-huh', 'really?', 'oh yes?' etc.

·        Feeding back what you've heard - "So he went to the dentist? What happened?"

·        Referring back to others' comments later on - "You know how you were saying earlier…"

·        Physical stillness, eye contact and attentiveness while the other person is talking.

3) Empathy with and interest in others' situations

A major part of social anxiety is
self consciousness, which is greatly alleviated by focusing strongly on someone else. A fascination (even if forced at first) with another's conversation not only increases your comfort levels, it makes them feel interesting.

4) The ability to build rapport, whether natural or learned

Rapport is a state of understanding or connection that occurs in a good social interaction. It says basically "I am like you, we understand each other". Rapport occurs on an unconscious level, and when it happens, the language, speech patterns, body movement and posture and other aspects of communication can synchronise down to incredibly fine levels.

Rapport is an unconscious process, but it can be encouraged by conscious efforts.

·        Body posture 'mirroring', or movement 'matching'

·        Reflecting back language and speech, including rate, volume, tone, and words

·        Feeding back what you have heard, as in 2) above

5) Knowing how, when and how much to talk about yourself - 'self disclosure'

Talking about yourself too much and too early can be a major turn-off for the other party in conversation. Good initial small-talk is often characterised by discussion of subjects not personal to either party, or by an exchanging of personal views in a balanced way.

However, as conversations and relationships progress, disclosing personal facts (small, non-emotional ones first!) leads to a feeling of getting to know each other.

6) Appropriate eye contact

If you don't look at someone when you are talking or listening to them, they will get the idea that:

·        You are ignoring them

·        You are untrustworthy

·        You don't like the look of them (!)

This doesn't mean you have to stare at them. In fact, staring at someone while talking to them can give them the feeling you are angry with them. Keeping your eyes on them while you are listening, of course, is only polite.

Of course these are not hard-and-fast rules, eye contact for instance, varies between cultures, but in general, practicing these will improve your social skills if you find social situations difficult.


Self Confidence for Women

 WOMEN can gain an insight into any lack of self confidence by delving into some handy scientific research. The differences between mens' and womens' brains show that women are more likely to worry than men.

How many of you ladies miss out on fun and opportunity because you are too busy worrying?

For women, lack of self confidence is built upon worry and procrastination. Women who tend to ruminate rather that act are less likely to:

- feel comfortable in new situations
- relax when things don’t go to plan
- seize an opportunity as it arises.

If, for women, self confidence is the ability to:

- face new challenges with optimism
- walk into a room full of people with wet hair and less-than-perfect make up
- still trust that a smile and a friendly manner will be what interests and engages others.

Then how can we learn to override the introspection that says “Things won’t be ok?

Women can learn self confidence

Self confidence, contrary to popular belief, isn’t always bestowed at birth; it can be learned.

Have you ever seen a child taking their first faltering steps? Despite falling down a thousand times, within a short space of time they are walking all over the place, then running, dancing and jumping. In the same way we can build a set of skills that enable us to feel better about ourselves.

So what confidence-destroyers are we women more prone to?

·        Natural nerves!
Some nerves are natural for both sexes, a new date or an important meeting with your boss will often cause a few feelings of anxiety, the trick is not to waste time negatively predicting the outcome.

·        Catastrophising!
When you think that you don’t look your best, maybe not had enough time to get ready or having put on a few pounds, one of those ‘honey I look a wreck!’ moments; it is easy to feel that everything else will go badly as a result. The sure thing is that if you dwell on that single thought you are not going to enjoy the event.

·        Negatively ruminating
How often have you said “What if she really meant…?” “I know that Mary has invited us to their party, but I think she only invited us because she felt she had to?”
Women tend to be more sensitive to others’ needs, and more aware of changes that might improve a situation or make it more comfortable for someone. Unchecked however, this ability to think things over can turn into over-analysis and make life miserable as this internal process leads to confusion, anxiety and inaction.

4 Tips To Build Confidence In Women

The ability to relax
When there is an event that naturally brings about a few butterflies, spend some time thinking about times that you have done well at something, remember what it is like to feel good, then take a few moments to imagine yourself with those feelings in the future.

Notice how your posture, facial gestures and words feel and sound, and what a difference it makes to the enjoyment of any event. If it is a meeting or public performance, remember that preparation and a belief in a positive outcome are key, even if we can’t exactly predict the outcome we know that feeling relaxed releases the thinking part of the brain to get on with the job in hand to the best of our abilities.


The shower that need not become a monsoon
Just because one thing isn’t as we would like it, it doesn’t follow that the rest of the day or evening is going to be awful. Women who appear confident don’t let a bad hair day stop them from enjoying life.

Make a list of the qualities that you have and next time that you tell yourself that you look awful and that the evening is ruined before it has started, remind yourself that you can’t see into the future!! And of the other things that make a good party apart from a perfect hair do. A recent survey said that people who smile a lot are rated more attractive than those who don’t.


Developing an optimistic outlook
Women are more likely to read more into facial gestures and voice intonation, a useful trait but sometimes we get it wrong. So before the miserable demons of ifs, whats and maybes get their teeth into your thought patterns, work on developing the power of optimism the tool that vanquishes negative rumination and allows the possibility of fun times.


Action v rumination
I have noticed that one of the key skills of women who appear confident is the ability to notice that even if they are feeling a little nervous inside they take their attention to the world around them.

No longer dwelling on the internal chatter, they can enjoy the people they are with, they may also notice that they don’t have the longest legs or are not the liveliest woman in a room; but that is a fleeting thought and they carry on engaging and enjoying. Giving the people around top quality attention…. showing an interest makes them feel wonderful! They will remember it even if you spent a short time with them.

For women, contemplating our internal ruminations can be a creative process that leads to beneficial actions, fun times and rewarding relationships. Taken too far however, it becomes a road to inaction and anxiety.


Why High Self Esteem is a Bad Thing

It’s understandable why many people think that high self esteem is the antidote to low self esteem. In life generally, if you have too little money, lots of money is attractive. If you don’t have enough food, a banquet is highly appealing.

But you need to think about high self esteem differently. Self esteem is more like paracetamol – the right amount will help you, but too much is a very bad idea indeed.

Truly low self esteem is a terrible thing; having the opinion that you yourself are worthless – are rubbish – is a condition no-one should have to endure. But high self esteem is a serious obstacle too, if not for you, then certainly for those around you.

Some characterstics of people with high self esteem are:

·        Being prone to self satisfied boasting

·        Tending to be smug and superior

·        Abusing relationships, assuming their needs come first in any situation. If this doesn’t happen, they will become angry and bullying

·        Adopting an air of superiority, simply because they have skill or luck in a particular area of life

·        Being blind to their own faults and so are unlikely to change or improve themselves

·        Tending to have impulse control problems

There is also now a wealth of evidence linking high self esteem to criminality.

I often hear clients suffering from real low self esteem compare themselves with the swaggering, loud uber-confident lad at their school, or the superman in their boardroom, but that does them no justice at all. I would much rather spend time with someone who has lower self esteem than someone with super-high self esteem – they are generally just nicer people!

Understanding that that super-confident individual has a handicap as real as their own can make a great difference to the way they feel about themselves.

With self esteem, as with so much in life, balance is everything

7 Tips to Maintain Low Self Esteem

An alien, having just landed on earth, comes up to you and says, “I have been hearing a lot about this condition you humans call ‘low self esteem’”. Tell me, what is ‘low self esteem’, and how do you create it?”

You, thinking yourself a bit of an expert on low self esteem, are about to correct the friendly alien – after all, low self esteem isn’t something you create is it? But then you get to thinking.

“Hmmm, well if you were going to set about creating low self esteem from scratch, I guess this is what you would do”, you say. The alien listens attentively…

1)      Firstly, blame yourself for lots of things that go wrong, or even those things you hear about going wrong for other people. Have an emotional reaction to this, namely anxiety.

2) Make negative sweeping statements about yourself and avoid challenging them. Things like “I’m stupid”, “I always do that wrong”, “Why is my life such as mess”, “I’ll make a mess of it so there’s no point trying”. And most importantly, believe they are true.

3) Whatever you do, don’t identify the problems with your thinking styles and create a step-by-step, solution-focused plan for improving them and learning new thinking skills. This sort of problem-solving will seriously impair your ability to create lasting low self esteem.

4) Blindly accept negative or abusive comments made about you by others, without regard for their motivations, their own warped view of life or any facts that contradict their statement.

5) Do not identify any self-defeating patterns you have established in your life, or make concrete plans to alter them.

6) Forget about your achievements, or (just as good), write them off as ‘nothing’. Ensure you do not gain any emotional satisfaction from achievements by the use of statements such as “anyone could do that”.

7) Make sure you do not meet your basic needs as this will make creating low self esteem much easier