By Christoph Schertler, Creator of The NLP Confidence Builder
Confidence is one thing that everyone wants more of. The funny thing about confidence is that we all have it in certain situations. But for most people, the area they feel lacking in confidence involves other people, so these exercises are designed for this purpose. Each exercise takes only 5 minutes a day if you do it all at once, or longer if you spread it out.
There are 3 steps to this exercise, each one designed to build a little more confidence each time.
Step One - Eye Contact
Do step one for 10 days. Each day, go out in public whether it's shopping, on a lunch break at work or just for a walk around your neighborhood. Your job is to make pleasant eye contact with another person. You don't need to stare, but you also can't just steal a quick glance and then look away either. Short, but definite eye contact is what we're after here with a pleasant, casual feel.
On Day 1, you will make eye contact with one person.
On Day 2 , bump it up to 2 people.
Day 3 , three people and so on until by Day 10 you are making eye contact with 10 people. Don't stick to one gender (only females) or one kind of person (the elderly or children).
It's important that you don't take other people's reactions personally when you're doing this. Many people will look down or away but that's just how we're all programmed to react. Don't worry about it. Besides, if the eye contact is short and non-threatening people won't react much anyway.
Step Two - Say Hello
Step Two is a bit harder but is huge for your confidence. Start back at Day One and make eye contact with one person, but with one addition. You are going to greet them in a friendly clear voice. You can say 'Good Morning', or 'Hello' or whatever feels natural to you. Don't take too much time picking the 'right person', just do it with someone you're passing on the street that is looking up.
Follow the same pattern as Step One: increase the amount of people you say 'Hi' to every day until you're greeting 10 people on Day 10. Again, forget about any reactions this exercise may cause in other people and remember to stay pleasant no matter what.
Step Three - Random Conversations
Step Three is again a big step away from the first two steps, but its also easier in some ways because you're only interacting with one stranger a day.
Here's the plan: You are going to engage in a short conversation with a random stranger. Again, don't pick a certain type of person and don't worry about what their reaction will be. You're simply going to ask them 2 questions, thank them and move on.
Some suggestions: At a bus stop, ask someone if the so-and-so bus already came. Then ask them what time it is. Then say 'Thanks'.
At the grocery store, ask someone (not a store employee) if a product they're looking at would be good in the soup (or whatever) you're making. Then ask them another question related to the product. Then say 'Thanks'.
At work, ask that attractive co-worker that you're scared to talk to how their weekend was. Then ask them if they had fun. Bonus points if you can do it with friendly eye contact and a smile. Then say ' Good to talk to you'.
After a few days of random conversations with people, it gets a lot easier to talk to anyone in a confident way. After a month or two of doing these exercises, you'll feel much more confident in any social situation.
Edited by: Lawyer Asad