Getting ready for a date can be a harrowing experience, especially if you are not the type of person who has a lot of self-confidence. We can all be proud of ourselves, but knowing that and believing it are two completely different things.
Confidence is a key part of dating. If you do not have enough of it, your date will see it as a sign of weakness. If you have too much of it, you can come off as arrogant. In order to achieve the perfect balance, you need to work on a few things first.
What is confidence?
It sounds like a beauty pageant question, but it’s a valid one. If you have no idea what confidence is, you will not have a clue as to how you can achieve it. In terms of your love life, confidence has a different context.
Being confident in front of someone you like is slightly different from being confident in front of a crowd of people. Although both scenarios are intimidating, you are only trying to impress one person on a date.
That is where the situation starts to get confusing. A lot of people assume that gaining confidence means that you have to change your whole personality. Confidence is not an abrupt change in how you act. It should be a comfortable disposition towards yourself and everyone around you.
Take a look at how you behave when you are with your family and your closest friends. You don’t have to think twice about what you say and do. You are essentially being yourself. Being confident away from that setting means feeling the same kind of familiarity in the way you act, without having to consider what other people think.
People lose confidence because they think that others will disapprove of the way they look, act or talk. In order to maintain your confidence about those things, you have to ignore what other people think. If you are happy with the way you are, you shouldn’t be all that bothered when someone isn’t that into you.
How do you acquire confidence?
Before you can become confident, you need to assess what it is you can be confident about. You can’t just strut your stuff and assume that you have something to be proud of. You need to know what it is in order for you to feel good about it.
#1 List down your good qualities. Do not say that you don’t have any, because every person has something that they can be proud of. You can’t value yourself based on your looks alone. You have to dig deeper and find out what makes you a good candidate for a date. It could be your intelligence, your secret origami technique or even your golden heart. Whatever it is, own it and be proud that you possess such a trait. [Read: 11 tips to fall in love with yourself and be a better you]
#2 List down your bad qualities and work on them. Gaining confidence is not just about emphasizing your good side. It is also about knowing your weaknesses so you can find out how you can strengthen them. Physical flaws exist because it gives us character. Character flaws, on the other hand, should be evaluated and corrected accordingly.
#3 Wear something that looks good on you. Changing your style can be good in some instances, but you don’t need a wardrobe overhaul just to exude confidence. All you need is an appropriate outfit that enhances your best features. Don’t choose your outfit according to your date’s preferences. Wear what you want and make sure that it fits. How you like the way you look and feel in a certain outfit should take precedence over what your date thinks.
#4 Talk to yourself in the mirror. This is a little trick I learned from over a dozen women, and even some men. When you wake up every morning, go to the mirror and tell yourself how beautiful you are. Even if you don’t believe it, saying it out loud can feel really good. Once you do this every day, you will start to get in tune with the person in front of you. Your confidence will shoot up, and your days will start out with an amazing feeling. [Read: How to master the art of positive self-talk]
#5 Wear make-up when necessary, and never in excess. I love an awesome makeup tutorial as much as the next enthusiast, but I don’t think that it is practical to slather on ten layers of cosmetics just for a date. Natural beauty is divine, but a little touch-up here and there can do wonders for your face. A little enhancement won’t hurt and it is sure to boost your confidence.
When in doubt, always pick just one asset on your face to enhance with makeup. It can be your complexion, your eyes, your cheeks or your lips. Picking just one feature to enhance helps you avoid going overboard with bold colors and highlights. [Read: 16 first date tips to dazzle your date]
#6 Wear high heels. Or as high as you can tolerate. A little height can go a long way for someone with confidence issues. Heels don’t just add height. They also prevent you from slouching. The slight difference in perspective helps you feel poised and self-confident. Just remember to practice at home before walking a block in those shoes.
#7 Do a run-down of your body before your date arrives. Check your dress for stains and lint. Smell your breath and drink some water before you talk to your date. Smooth down your outfit, and check for wedgies and panty lines. Make sure your bag has all the essentials that you need, and maybe a bit of emergency money stuck in your bra or your shoe. Being prepared allows you to relax and not worry about the small stuff while you are on your date.
#8 Any embarrassing situation is not as bad as it seems. Even if you discovered that you had a piece of food stuck in your teeth or even if you fall flat on your face in front of your date, it does not immediately mean an end to your love life. Unexpected stuff happens, and the best thing you can do is laugh it off or ignore it. Being able to shrug it off as just a minor bump in the road will show your date just how confident you are.
#9 Smile. Smiling lights up your face and promotes feelings of warmth. Your date will feel more comfortable, if they see that you are enjoying yourself. Don’t even worry about how you look. A smile is the only enhancement that you need.
#10 Acknowledge your date. You might feel the urge to stare down at your napkin the whole night, but that won’t help boost your confidence. You have to face your date and interact with them as much as you can. Lead the conversation with questions about work or hobbies or common interests. If that doesn’t pull your date in, ask them about their day. Building a connection with another person by interacting with them allows you to become more confident in their presence. [Read: 20 ways to perfect your first date conversation]
#11 Enjoy the moment. As long as you revel in the positive outcome of your date, you can finally stop worrying about having enough confidence to get through the night. You don’t have to worry about making your date like you, if you’re both having fun anyway.
Being confident is not a talent. It’s a natural occurrence once you get over your self-doubt and self-deprecation. Developing enough confidence for a date can be daunting, but your shyness will melt away once you put yourself in a position that you can’t run away from. Go out on your date. Have fun. Have a few drinks. Let the world melt away.
[Read: 15 things to do to have the perfect first date]
Confidence is a self-esteem enhancer. Having enough of it can help open doors for you. If those doors lead to love, then you should start working on it now by using these tried and tested tips.
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