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23 Self Confidence Tips To Help You Strike Up A Conversation With Anyone

23 Self Confidence Tips to Help You Strike Up A Conversation With Anyone

It’s not a stretch to say that confidence and the ability to strike up a conversation with anyone, anywhere, go hand in hand.

With that in mind, it stands to reason that if you’re looking to improve your conversational skills, acquiring some helpful self confidence tips would prove valuable.

So to that end, we’re going to discuss some simple self confidence tips that life-at-the-party-type people seem to know already and provide ways to start a conversation in the bargain.

Who knows? You might even start looking forward to big parties or business events from here on.

How To Gain Self Confidence

First off, why is it so important to gain more self confidence? Is confidence a skill you can learn?

The good news is, yes, confidence can be learned and improved. And as you master these simple self confidence tips, you’ll find you’ll also be improving your conversational skills.

self confidence tips - two men celebrating success

It’s a true win/win.

In order to gain self-confidence you need to believe in yourself. If you believe in yourself then you can succeed in anything you put your mind to. You may not succeed the first time you try, but you have to keep trying until you do succeed. Quick success does not exist in our society. Achievements only come to those who strive hard to get them. You get nowhere in life if you do not push yourself. You need to create a lifestyle that is right for you and nobody else. Do not settle for anyone else’s lifestyle or for a lifestyle that is beneath your standards. (Stacey Chillemi, The Huffington Post, 2016, 10 Steps to Boost Your Self-Confidence.)

23 Simple Self Confidence Tips to Help You Strike Up A Conversation Anywhere, Any Time

These super-charged proven-to-work self confidence tips will focus both on building self confidence and striking up conversations with people in any setting, at any time.

Start by trying just a few of these tips to get started and then build from there.

1. Accept yourself for who you are.

As self-explanatory as this one seems, self-acceptance is not always easy.

self confidence tips - woman hiking on a quiet road

If you’re like many of us, you tend to compare yourself unfavorably to other people. You’re prone to believing that other people have figured out all the secrets of life that you somehow missed.

It doesn’t matter how true or false that idea is; you still see yourself as somehow lacking.

Learn to celebrate who you are. Focus on those abilities and traits that make you unique. And remember that nobody is perfect.

As self confidence tips go, learning to accept yourself is at the top of the list.

Several studies have shown that self-compassion supports motivation and positive change. In a 2016 study researchers found that “self-compassion led to greater personal improvement, in part, through heightened acceptance,” and that focusing on self-compassion “spurs positive adjustment in the face of regrets.” (Charlotte Lieberman, New York Times, 2018, Why You Should Stop Being So Hard On Yourself.)

As long as you strive to be the best version of yourself you can be, that’s all that matters.

Every one of us comes with our own set of quirks and idiosyncrasies. They’re what make us unique.

2. Keep a journal.

You might wonder how keeping a journal can help build self confidence. Or what it has to do with ways to start a conversation.

self confidence tips - writing in a journal

But keeping a journal is an excellent way to practice self-reflection and evaluation.

Journals highlight your achievements and successes. They also help you correct mistakes and work on areas that need improvement.

Self confidence tips come in many forms, and indeed, journal keeping is one of the best of them.

3. Take note of the progress you make.

We tend to pay way too much attention to areas in our lives where we believe we fall short instead of focusing on what we do well.

Among the list of self confidence tips to work on is to learn to focus more on your successes and progress, both large and small.

It takes a little practice at first, but over time, you’ll find it gets easier and easier to see the positives.

4. Work on what you want to change about yourself.

True, you do want to learn to accept yourself, shortcomings and all. But it’s equally important to work on those areas of struggle that are getting in the way of your success.

You may never achieve perfection, and why would you want to? But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive to improve yourself where you’re able.  self confidence tips - self awareness

One of the most effective self confidence tips out there is to work on self-improvement.

Self-improvement leads to healthy self esteem. And that leads to you becoming a better conversationalist.

5. Learn when to say no as well as when to say yes.

It’s normal to want to be helpful and to do things for others. And you do want to do so whenever possible.

However, you can go overboard with saying yes to everything out of a sense of obligation or a desire to please.

When you can’t say no to things you don’t want to do or don’t have time for, it makes you miserable.

Help others out when you’re able but know your limits.

People are more understanding than you think. Have the confidence to say no when necessary. It will be okay.

6. Look for others who are struggling.

Large gatherings of people you don’t know can feel intimidating.

Keep in mind, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, odds are good others are experiencing the same discomfort.

It’s easy to pick out people who are uncomfortable. They tend to stand on the sidelines. They don’t make eye contact  self confidence tips - people meeting one another

Another of our self confidence tips is to approach someone who looks ill at ease.

Start by asking a simple question, like “Am I the only one who doesn’t know many people here?”

Simple questions break the ice and get the conversational ball rolling. Give it a try.

Advice from a pro:

Consider this advice from Bernardo J. Carducci, a professor of psychology and director of the Shyness Research Institute at Indiana University Southeast:

One of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to starting a dialogue is they wait to be approached. Instead, Carducci says, you should make the first move. Carducci believes the formula for a successful conversation starts with “setting talk.” It can be as simple as commenting on the weather or an observation about your surrounding environment. For example: “Wow, the rain’s really coming down,” or, “Man, this line is long.” This lets people know you’re open to chatting, and if they respond back, you know they are, too. (Entrepreneur, 2016, How to Become a Great Conversationalist.)

7. Be a good listener.

Learning just to shut up and listen isn’t easy.

Too often, we only half listen when someone is talking. We’re too busy thinking about our response. But the most crucial part of being a good conversationist is the ability to listen.

Therefore, a surprising one of our self confidence tips we’re discussing is to just be quiet.

Ask a question. Prompt a response from the other person. And then shut up and listen when they give it.

8. Be yourself.

It’s a whole lot easier to exude confidence when you just be yourself.   self confidence tips - two girls laughing

Most people can sniff out a fake in less than 20 seconds anyway so why try and act like someone you’re not.

Sometimes when talking with new people, there is a tendency to try and behave in a manner we think is expected or desired.

The truth is, not only is trying to be something you’re not exhausting; it comes off as exactly what it is. Fake.

Have the confidence to be real. Just be yourself.

9. Exercise regularly.

Exercise? Really? What does that have to do with self confidence tips and making conversation? As it turns out, a lot.

Exercising is a form of self-care. And taking care of yourself, and striving to be healthy, makes everything you attempt that much easier.

And as for conversation, exercise is a great topic of discussion.

Many people are runners or head to the gym regularly. So what better way to start a dialog than to discuss your morning run or your afternoon at the gym.

Plus, when you exercise, you feel better. And that builds confidence.

Don’t underestimate the importance of exercise when it comes to healthy self-esteem.

10. Be complimentary.

Nothing lifts a person up more than a compliment. Complimenting someone is an excellent way to kick off a conversation.

One caveat here. Make sure it’s a real compliment. People can tell when you’re insincere. Luckily, it’s not hard to find something pleasing if you pay attention.

Maybe you’re admiring a sweater a person is wearing or your eyes are drawn to a piece of jewelry. Often, we keep those thoughts to ourselves.

Instead, say what you’re thinking.

When it comes to conversation starters, compliments are a great way to get the ball rolling.

11. Get plenty of sleep.

Sleep, like exercise, a form of self-care. Self confidence is greatly enhanced when you feel good, mentally as well as physically.

self confidence tips - woman sleeping

If you’ve ever attended a party feeling exhausted you’re all too familiar with how much more difficult trying to engage with others can be.

It’s hard to do much of anything well when you’re tired. And striking up a conversation with a stranger is no exception.

So yes, this is another or our self confidence tips. Make sure you get plenty of sleep.

12. Surround yourself with people who build you up.

Make it a habit of surrounding yourself with people who lift you up and help build your self-esteem.

Naysayers and overly critical people drain your energy. I don’t have to tell you what that does to your confidence.

Except for at work or similar settings, you get to control with whom you spend your time. Be sure it’s people who build your confidence and self-esteem.

13. Focus on the positive.

Focus on the positive. Resist the urge to be critical of traits about yourself you don’t like.

self confidence tips - person sitting on a beach with setting sun

Instead of berating yourself, focus on what it is about you that makes you unique.

And apply the same positive focus on others. Don’t look for things about others of which to be critical. Look for things that you like.

Positivity, whether about yourself or your surroundings, builds confidence and self-esteem. Banish negativity.

Think positively about yourself. Remind yourself that, despite your problems, you are a unique, special, and valuable person, and that you deserve to feel good about yourself. You are, after all, a miracle of consciousness, the consciousness of the universe. Identify and challenge any negative thoughts about yourself such as ‘I am loser’, ‘I never do anything right’, or ‘No one really likes me’. (Neel Burton, Psychology Today, 2017, Building Confidence and Self-Esteem.)

14. Challenge yourself.

Learn something new. If you’ve never tried yoga, for example, try taking a beginner class. Or maybe enroll in an art class.

It doesn’t matter what you do that’s new and different. The point is that you’re challenging your set routines and expanding your comfort zone.

Not only does learning something new increase your confidence, but it also gives you a whole new set of topics to use in conversations.

So as self confidence tips go, challenging yourself is worth exploring.  self confidence tips - woman thinking

15. Learn from your mistakes.

It’s inevitable that you’ll make mistakes in life.

Learning new tasks and testing your abilities is exciting. But it can also lead to failures. At least initially.

But don’t fear failure. Failure is just a way of showing you how to succeed.

We’ve all crashed and burned at times in many areas of our lives. And that’s okay. Because if you don’t stretch yourself, you can’t fall.

If you never fall, you’ll never learn how to get back up and do it right.

Let your failures lead to your successes. Learn from your mistakes.

16. Be kind and understanding to others.

Learn to put yourself in other people’s shoes.

All of us at any given time are struggling with things that no one else knows about or understands. So another of our self confidence tips is always to keep this thought in mind.

Show kindness to those around you. Smile at people. Strike up a conversation with your mail carrier or the checkout clerk.

Reach out to someone who appears uncomfortable at your next gathering. Help that person feel at ease.

The bonus is, being kind to others has a way of coming back to you as well. It’s good for everyone.

17. Stop filtering and rejecting every thought.

I remember when I was a teenager and I would meet new people. Everyone would be chatting and laughing.

I’d think of something to add to the conversation but couldn’t muster the nerve to say anything.

self confidence tips - woman encouraging silenceI was sure that whatever I had to say would sound silly or stupid. So I just stood there with my mouth clamped firmly shut.

Fortunately, with age comes wisdom, and I eventually got past this habit of filtering my words before speaking.

If you worry about sounding silly, you’ll never utter a word. Just go ahead and jump into the conversation when you have something to add.

You’ll find that more often than not, your comments will add to the dialog and keep it flowing.

18. Show interest in what others have to say.

It’s natural to talk about our own experiences, but it’s also important to show an interest in what others have to say as well.

Ask questions when appropriate. Sometimes a simple, “Tell me more about that. It sounds interesting” is enough to keep a conversation rolling.

Most people’s favorite topic is themselves. So show interest in what they’re sharing. Not only is it polite, but you might learn a thing or two yourself along the way.

19, Ask questions.

As we’ve already briefly touched on, asking questions is a great way to keep a conversation going.

Sometimes one question will send the discussion into a new and exciting direction.

Asking questions in conversation with others shows that you’re listening. It conveys an interest in the topic at hand.

You gain confidence when you’re able to engage in conversation with others successfully.

So asking questions is another of our self confidence tips worth trying.

20. Resist the urge to nit-pick about yourself.

Too many of us spend way too much time picking at our perceived shortcomings and faults.  self confidence tips - woman pointing to self

As we’ve already discussed, it’s a given that we are all flawed beings. But it serves no useful purpose to nit-pick at yourself.

Self-criticism is one of the biggest causes of low self-esteem.

So another of our self confidence tips is to stop nit-picking. It gets easier the more you work on it.

21. Collect stories.

When it comes to making good conversation, you needn’t rely on just your own experiences for conversational topics.

Become a collector of stories. Talk about things you’ve read about, or perhaps something you saw on TV or in a movie.

Stories are happening all around us all the time.

Most of us have a vast store of topics tucked away in our brains. Any of these stories can make for good conversation.

Use as many stories, from as many sources, as you can. And if you make a habit of collecting stories, you’ll always have something to say.

22. Be present and give your full attention.

When engaged in conversation with others, be present. Give the person or persons you’re talking to your full attention.

Nothing is more irritating than talking with someone who’s always looking around the room or gazing off in the distance.self confidence tips - two women enjoying a meal together

When you’re talking to someone, give that person your full, undivided attention. Anything less is just plain rude.

23. Be willing to throw out the first pitch.

Sometimes you have to be the one to kick a conversation off.

Instead of waiting to be approached, throw out the first salvo. It doesn’t have to be anything earth-shattering. A remark about the weather is a tried and true favorite.

You can comment on the length of the line at the checkout counter. Or at a reception, remark that the food offerings look good.

The point is, you let others know you’re open to conversation. If no one else is stepping up, you get things started. The rest will flow from there.

The Irresistible Power of Self Confidence in Conversation

As you should see by now, there are many self confidence tips you can try to improve both your level of self-esteem and your conversational skills.

Being a good conversationalist starts with confidence. With a little practice, you can become the life of the party.

Do you often feel a lack of confidence in social settings or in striking up conversations with people you don’t know? If so, there are plenty of tools to help you gain more confidence and improve your conversational skills. Check out our vast library of transformational downloads to get started today.

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