How to Feel More Confident in Social Situations
It's not uncommon for people to be uncomfortable in social settings, especially when there's a lack of familiarity with the group.
And if you become increasingly self-conscious and assume that people aren't interested in talking to you, the problem is likely to get worse.
Especially if being anxious and avoidant results in fewer people engaging with you.
So, how do you break this pattern?
A straightforward way to help boost your confidence is to use the ‘acceptance prophecy.'
What is that, you ask?
It means that when you meet someone new, if you hold the belief that you are going to like them, they are more likely to like you.
In the Journal of Psychological Science, Stinson et al. (2011) had test participants who labelled themselves socially insecure complete a self-affirmation exercise.
When the researchers followed up with the participants both 4 and 8 weeks later, the self-affirmation group reported feeling less nervous and more secure than the control group.
Merely expecting to like people before you meet them makes it more likely they will like you (this is also known as the ‘acceptance prophecy’).
And this can be an incredibly important strategy to use if you struggle with the 'rejection prophecy.'
As you can probably guess, the rejection prophecy involves expecting people to dislike you, which leads to behaving nervously, which increases your chances of being socially rejected.
So, if you are uncomfortable in social situations, I highly encourage you to try the acceptance prophecy. It could help make social outings more enjoyable.