How to be confident as a short person

by Aaron , February 11, 2017 ,

A short man is not less than a tall man.

It took me a while to realize just that.

Today, I want to talk about confidence. It’s a topic I get asked quite a bit. Seriously, I’m an introvert.

I’m the opposite of confidence.

However, many say I look confident.

1. Be amazing at things you do.

I confess. I’m pretty competitive. My girlfriend has a love-hate relationship with that side of me. When I do something, I just have a tendency to want to be great at it. When I put my mind to it, I’ll compete.

Here are a few funny stories, when I jog at the park, I like to imagine someone in front of me as a competition. I’ll follow his speed and then try to chase him and keep my distance. That is the way I am.

Back to the topic. When you’re short, you need to be great at things. You need substance to overshadow your height.

Think Tom Cruise. He’s an amazing and successful actor. While news do pick on his height, it’s doesn’t overshadow his success as an actor. Not to mention his wife is taller than him too.

We as short men need to follow the ‘Tom Cruise Way”.

Be amazing at what you do and the money will follow. Trust me.

Being short, I realized I have to work TWICE as hard as someone who is taller than me. This means putting twice the effort in EVERY single thing that I do whether it’s

  • Work
  • Workout out
  • Anything that I do

2. Dress well.

If you dress well, you will feel better, you will look more attractive and women will like you more or find you more interesting.

One thing I noticed is when I dress well, people treat me differently. Call it judging the book by it’s cover. I’m calling it respect.

If you look presentable and dress respectfully. You’ll feel more confident.

How to be confident as a short person

3. Be optimistic

Something I’m still learning. Expect the best out of any situation, believe people perceive you attractive and desirable. Stop thinking people are judging you. It’s tough. I know.

4. Learn to look confident.

Here’s the thing, feeling confident and look confident are two different things. Some people always look confident 24/7.

Short men can learn how to look confident by practicing.

How to be confident as a short person

If you think you are confident and look confident, ask your friend or others if they think as you do.

My girlfriend always say I look confident. Deep down, I’m not. Many times I put on an act, guess what? It works!

Here’s the thing, our perception of ourselves isn’t always as accurate as we want it to be.

I always thought I lack in confident but to my surprise, it’s the complete opposite. So, feeling confident isn’t enough, you need to convince others that you are confident.

Practice, practice, practice.

5. Have faith that you will succeed.

Many times, life can get a tad shitty for short men. I know. I’ve been in your shoes.

I’ve been bullied, laughed at for being short, not taken seriously, got rejected because I was short and more.

Trust me. MOVE forward.

Have faith if yourself. It’s easier said than done but it’s something you need to do.

The thing you need to know is we will NEVER be accepted in society’s expectation of men height. The best part is, NOT EVERYONE judges us. So why give a fuck right?

It’s all bullshit. a construction, that is passed through generations. And the best way to deconstruct things like that is to prove they are wrong. The premise that tall men are better than short men comes from an ancient

Don’t let one criticism change who you are.

Short men are attractive. Don’t believe me? Read all these stories of short men dating taller men. Some women do find short men attractive.

Summing up:

Everyone can make it. Believe in yourself, you are the most important person in your life. Peace.

Anyone can make it. YOU, ME, the short guy beside you. Believe in yourself. If you don’t? Who will?

Confidence is not something everyone is born with. Most of us have to work at it.

One of the fastest ways to grow your confidence is by starting with small changes, and practicing them every day. These essential tasks are valuable for anyone of any age, at any stage of professional or personal life.

Here are 10 ways to become a more confident person, which will help you achieve your goals.

1. Take stock

Write down or type everything you are good at. Be sure to list any item you can think of, even if it does not apply to your current job. For example, you may make the best chicken soup known to mankind. Write it down.

Do you keep a clean house? Put it on the list. Are you great at memorizing every single song you hear on the radio? Yep, it goes on the list. Read over your list. Never take your skills for granted. Take pride in what you do well, and do not be afraid to share those things with others.

Make the soup, and take it to work.

2. Learn how to accept praise

It is OK to receive a compliment. No matter how large or how small the compliment is, say thank you.

Do not brush praise off. Accept it, own it, and realize that you are worthy of the compliment. This is tough, especially after years of not accepting. With practice, form a new habit of thankfully, and gracefully, acknowledging your admirers.

3. Read. Read. Then go read some more

Nothing inspires others or instills confidence in oneself more than knowledge. You do not have to know everything about everything, but having a wide base of awareness of the world around you is a boost to your self-worth.

If you feel unsure of yourself in political discussions, brush up on the latest debates. Not sure what a first down is? Read up on football. Read about art, fashion, entertainment, the Middle East. Search blogs, magazines, and more. Learn about the latest music trends. Study up on the latest movie reviews.The ongoing process of learning will make you a well-rounded, more confident person.

4. Try new things

How does trying new things build confidence? It doesn’t. The decision to try that new thing and follow through with it does. Challenge yourself to try something new at least once a month. For you extreme confidence builders, make it once a week.

Try a new restaurant. Sign up for an art class. Take up freelance writing. Volunteer at a local food bank.This is truly a life-changing exercise. Even if a particular endeavor doesn’t work out, you had the courage and confidence to do it.

5. Get healthy

Living a healthy lifestyle has an everlasting impact on your confidence. This is not about how you look, although yes, that does help your self-esteem. It is about feeling good, making the right choices, and being confident in your life.

Drink more water. Stop eating junk food. Start walking. Join a gym. Restock your pantry and refrigerator with only your favorite healthy fruits and vegetables. You do not have to become a fitness guru to benefit from the confidence-boosting effects of a healthy lifestyle.

6. Surround yourself with support

Is there a life sucker in your world? You know, that one negative friend or family member that brings you down just by being around him or her?

Distance yourself from such a person. Surround yourself with those who make you feel good about yourself. Yes, this is hard. It will be the hardest thing on this list to accomplish.

Don’t know people that make you feel good? Find them. (See No. 4.) No matter how much faith you have in yourself, the friend that isn’t really your friend will destroy that confidence. Move on from that chapter in your life, and make a new, confident future for yourself.

7. Dance

Seriously, just dance, even if you do not know how. Turn the music up, and let it go. In your living room or in your bedroom, even in the middle of the, gasp, grocery store.

You can take this literally or figuratively. The goal is to be yourself. Always. Do not be afraid to let your personality shine. Be confident in who you are, and let the world around you see that person.

8. Jazz up your wardrobe

Do you have a closet full of T-shirts and jeans? Is everything in your closet the same color of black?

Try a couple of new clothing items to go with what you already have. For those on a budget, this only takes a few good, quality items.

A new sport coat, a brightly colored top that looks good on you, even a new tie or statement necklace will change the way you see yourself.

If you aren’t sure what looks good on you, ask a friend or a co-worker to help you out. There is no shame in being fashion backward. Simple changes in your outward appearance not only make you feel better about yourself, but they also change the way others perceive you.

9. Ask for extra work

What?? Yes, request extra work. This will challenge you to do your best. Completing this work will build your confidence in your abilities. Your supervisors will notice your initiative and reward it.

This will also build your courage. Often, extra work exposes you to people in your company you haven’t worked with before.

Remember, when praised, accept it gracefully.

10. Appreciate others

As your confidence grows, help others grow their self-esteem. Helping others feel great will have the same effect on you.

If a co-worker turns in a great project, tell him or her and mean it. Do you have a friend that always does kind things for you? Thank the person.

Is your family always there for you? Tell them how much you appreciate their support, and return that support.

Be genuine, be honest, and people will recognize your sincerity.

How to be confident as a short person

So many successful people credit their sense of self and their confidence to their success. But not many people really explain how to build confidence, or how to become confident. It’s tricky, because confidence is built on different things, but overall it is built on choices and accomplishments that feed your passion, and that make you feel happy and proud of who you are. Discovering these things is one of the most worthwhile pursuits of you life. Here are 1o ways you can begin building your confidence:

1. Get Things Done

Confidence is built on accomplishment. If you achieve small and big goals, you’re going to feel much better about yourself. It begins with your day-to-day goals, what do you need to accomplish today, and every day this week or three days this week to help meet your goal? If you accomplish the goals you set for every day, chances are you will begin meeting weekly and monthly goals, which brings you in range of your bi-annual and annual goals. Keep in mind that progress is incremental, and big changes do not happen overnight. You’re going to feel like you can take a big project, and set an ambitious goal because you believe you can meet it. Set a goal for yourself, and go for it.

2. Monitor Your Progress

The best way to reach your goals, big or small, is break them into smaller goals and to monitor your progress. Whether you’re trying to get promoted, get a better job, get into graduate school, change careers, eat healthier or lose 10 pounds, the best way to know if you’re making progress is to monitor it. Try to quantify your accomplishments: the number of applications you’re submitting to jobs or graduate schools, what you’re eating and how much you’re exercising, write down whatever your goal may be. It will help you stay on course, and you will build confidence as you see the progress you’re making in real time.

3. Do The Right Thing

Most confident people live by a value system and make their decisions based on that value system, even when it’s hard and not necessarily in their best interest, but in the interest of the greater good. Your actions and your decisions define your character. Ask yourself what the best version of yourself that you aspire to be would do, and do it. Even when it’s really hard and it’s the last thing you want to do and it means a short-term sacrifice on your part, in the long run you’re going to like yourself more and be prouder of who you are.

4. Exercise

Besides benefitting your health in general, exercising helps memory retention, improves focus, helps manage stress and prevents depression. It’s harder to be anxious when there is no excess energy to draw upon, and outside of being difficult uncomfortable at times, exercise improves every aspect of your life. So stay active, and create time to take of yourself.

5. Be Fearless

Failing isn’t your enemy, it’s fearing failure that truly cripples you. If you set big goals and have big dreams, you’re going to feel overwhelmed, and you’re inevitably going to feel like you can’t do it. In those moments you have to look inside yourself, and gather every ounce of courage you have and just keep going. Every single wildly successful person has been afraid, and they’ve kept working and taking risks anyway, because what they are trying to accomplish is more important and urgent than their fear they will fail. Think about how much you want to achieve your goal, then put your fear to the side, and keep going, one day at a time.

6. Stand-up For Yourself

When your goal, project, etc. is in its early stages, and someone says that your goal is stupid, or that you can not do it, it’s tempting to believe them because they’re joining the chorus of doubts inside your head. Logically you think, “How can I be right when this person and all these doubts in my head are telling me I can’t do this? That this idea is stupid.” And you have to tell those people, especially the voices in your head, that they’re wrong. You have it in you, so tell them you believe in your goal, you believe in yourself, so you’re going to accomplish it. There’s a great line in 10 Things I Hate About You, when Joseph Gordon-Levitt is about to give up his pursuit of Larisa Oleynik, and Heath Ledger gives him a pep talk, ending it with,”Don’t let anyone, ever make you feel like you don’t deserve what you want.”

7. Follow Through

People respect people when they say they’re going to do something and they do it. More importantly, you will respect yourself if you say you’re going to do something and you do it, and belief in yourself will come easier, because you know you are not afraid of the work. Action gives your words meaning, and it will help you pave a path to accomplishing your goals, strengthening your relationships and feeling proud of who you are.

8. Think Long-term

The foundation of unhappiness is decisions made for short-term comfort that impede long-term goals: if you’re trying to save money, you can’t go out to eat as much, if you’re studying for the GMAT or LSATs you can’t go out with friends as often, if you’re trying to lose weight, you can not eat french fries often, etc. Big goals require big sacrifices, you have to dig deep and really discipline yourself. In the moment it is tedious and frustrating and makes life significantly harder, but it will pay off, and the pride you feel will be worth it. You have to decide if your short-term comfort is more important than your long-term goals, but know that long-term goals will bring you far more happiness in the long run than your short-term comfort.

9. Don’t Care What Others Think

There are going to be so many people who will tell you you can not accomplish your goal. Whether is it rejection from employers, schools, or just negative feedback from friends or family, people will try to tell you your goal is too big, or that you’re not ready, or that you can’t do it, that it’s never been done before, etc., and you absolutely can not listen to them. You must be resolute. While they tell you the odds are against you, etc., just remember most people are wrong about most things. People change the world every day, despite everyone around them telling them it can’t be done. If you think you can do it, you can it. Don’t listen to them, believe in yourself and keep going.

10. Do More Of What Makes You Happy

What do you love to do in your spare time? Is it to get outside, hike, kayak and enjoy the outdoors? Or do you live for lying on your couch and watching all the excellent television that’s available? Whatever it is you love, create space for it, because life is short- you need time to enrich your life and to recharge to be your best self.

How to be confident as a short person

I’m a twentysomething freelance journalist, writer and blogger in New York City. I write about everything I’ve done wrong as a twentysomething woman here in the trenches.

I’m a twentysomething freelance journalist, writer and blogger in New York City. I write about everything I’ve done wrong as a twentysomething woman here in the trenches. Take my advice at your own risk.

How to be confident as a short person

New challenges and opportunities can be exciting, but they can also test your self-esteem. Whether you are launching a new business, stepping into a bigger management role or even representing a new product, you likely lack the day-in-day-out experience that makes you knowledgeable and relaxed for that first big meeting or presentation.

A little nervous energy can make your delivery dynamic and productive. Too much and you will come off insecure, unsure, and amateurish. That’s not a particularly good image to convey when trying to impress an audience or close a big deal. Some can fake it ’til they make it, but most people need to feel confident to convey confidence in a high-pressure situation.

You can find your confidence even in scenarios where you have little or no experience. Here are three techniques I combine to be confident in new situations.

1. Identify Three Points of Credibility

Confidence comes when you can comfortably be authoritative. If you lack credibility in your own mind, you’ll convey weakness to others. People are desperately looking for experts and leaders, but are naturally skeptical in today’s over-marketed world. It takes more than one or two references these days to assure a cynical buyer. Think of it this way: First time’s a fluke, second time’s a coincidence and third time’s a trend. Find three known people or entities to support your expertise or point of view before you present and you’ll feel like there is an entire army behind you. As an example, my three credibility points include being a For Dummies author, building an Inc. 500 company, and having authored four Amazon No. 1 best-selling books.

2. Document Your Expertise

Chances are you didn’t get this opportunity by accident. Everything you have done to this point has led to this moment. Now you need to share what’s in your brain in a methodical and organized manner. So write it down. Make a list of the 10 insights you have about this situation. Just the act of organizing your thoughts into simple bullet points in a document will remind you of why you are the right person to make this happen. If you come up short on credible statements, take it as a signal to bone up and do a little more research. Your ability to quickly gain expertise in your new scenario will give you as much confidence as having all that information in your brain in the first place.

3. Rehearse the Role Required

Professionals make communication and presentation look easy. That’s because there is a lot of rigorous rehearsal behind that performance. If the documentation is solid and well constructed (See No. 2) you can trust the material, and focus on how you present yourself and the information. Don’t just leave your delivery to chance or improvisation. Take the time to think through your delivery and practice it several times out loud. Race car drivers mentally drive the track hundreds of times before actually racing live on the course. This allows them to deal with the unexpected without losing control or their confidence. If you are not well rehearsed, you’ll be grasping for ideas. Better that everything important is natural and automatic so you can concentrate on your body language, and most importantly, the people in the room listening to your communication.

A little preparation can go a long way to make you feel secure even in the unknown. Build on the strengths you have so people can see you address the unfamiliar with positive energy and inner confidence.

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Woman’s Day spoke to psychiatrists to learn the tools to building confidence.

How to be confident as a short person

Anyone who’s ever been on a first date, job interview, or participated in public speaking has probably experienced a lack of confidence at one point or another. This isn’t because everyone who dates or is hunting for a job is insecure, of course, it’s because confidence isn’t inherent — it’s mental. Even the most confident people will find themselves in situations that make them feel anything but confident. That’s why the most common advice when it comes to how to be more confident is to simply fake it. The vast majority of people aren’t born with confidence oozing out of them. It’s something that is built daily, even (and maybe even especially) when you don’t feel it at all. Luckily, though, as NYC-based psychiatrist Dr. Zlatin Ivanov explains, it’s never too late to build confidence — especially if you have the tools to do so.

Know where you’re at & start where you’re at.

Dr. Cheri McDonald, a life mastery coach and licensed marriage and family therapist, tells Woman’s Day that knowing that “now is the best place to start” is an important key to beginning the journey to confidence.

“This first step includes being accountable for how you want to show up in your life. Begin with taking inventory of where you are and where you desire to be in expressing the charism of confidence,” Dr. McDonald says.

Stop limiting yourself.

Another first, big step to finally becoming confident? Stop limiting yourself, Dr. Ivanov says.

“Get rid of any limiting thoughts and mindsets. They hold you back. Thoughts like: ‘I don’t know if I can do this…’, or ‘I’m not sure if this is the way to be done…’, or ‘What if I’m wrong?’ simply keep you distant from reaching your goals,” Dr. Ivanov tells Woman’s Day. “How would you know if you never try? It’s OK for mistakes to be made. Through the mistakes we learn how to do things the right way. And it is one of the best ways to build confidence.”

Fail first, succeed later.

You can’t expect to become confident without first attempting to be confident. And this means that somewhere along the way, you’re probably going to fail. This is progress, though. And it’s important, whether it’s perfect or not.

How to be confident as a short person

“A baby never asks if this is the right way to walk,” Dr. Ivanov says. “One tries to walk, falls, stands up and falls again. Until it is confident enough to make the walk of its life. Practice makes perfect.”

Stop using your parents or your past as an excuse.

If you find yourself using your upbringing as an excuse for not making the changes in your life necessary to become confident, try to stop yourself in your tracks.

“Some people use their parents as an excuse for their lack of confidence, or the conditions they were raised in. If you keep blaming your past, nothing will change,” Dr. Ivanov says. “​Instead of blaming yourself for the past and thinking: ‘I should have done that then instead…’ or ‘I should have listened to what they told me back then…’ encourage yourself on building confidence in the future: ‘I know I can do this!’ and ‘I am positive this will work!’, etc. And keep trying. No one has the golden key of knowledge of how everything works. But that is why we have to keep trying.”

Remember: you own your life.

Those decisions you’re afraid to make? The confidence you’re afraid to show? All of that is fully in your control, and it’s up to you and only you to act on all of it. Knowing and believing that this is your life and your decisions is a huge step to feeling confident enough to make those decisions.

“You own your life, so what decisions you make now is entirely up to you,” Dr. Ivanov says.

Visualize your “true self.”

Odds are you’ve thought about how you would be different as a more confident person. Would you be more successful? Happier? More outgoing? More social? Dr. McDonald suggests actively visualizing this person as a way to become more confident, more quickly.

“Positive visualization is one of the most powerful tools we can get immediate access to use in building our confidence. Studies show that what you focus on and visualize manifests in desired outcome, as seen in an experiment by Australian Psychologist Alan Richardson who took a group of basketball players and tested their ability to perform free throws,” Dr. McDonald says. “He divided them in three groups: the first group practiced daily; [the] second group visualized making free throws with no physical practice and the third group did not practice or visualize. He found the group who visualized made significant improvement and were almost as good as those who physically practiced.”

Do one small thing outside of your comfort zone every day.

An international speaker and bestselling author of You’ve Got This! The Life-Changing Power of Trusting Yourself, Margie Warrell says that one way to practice confidence is to participate in a “train the brave” challenge for seven days.

“Commit to doing just one thing every single day that stretches you and takes you out of your comfort zone,” Warrell tells Woman’s Day. “Put a chart on your wall and tick off each day’s progress as you go along. This takes the ‘fake it til you make it’ hypotheses but sets it up in a way that has parameters. Just one thing every day for seven days is specific and less overwhelming than a general ‘act as if’ advice.”

Consult your future self.

Another trip from Warrell? Take that future version of yourself you’ve been envisioning and, well. talk to them.

“Imagine it’s a year from now and you’re looking back at your situation today. What would your future self want you to do?” Warrell suggests. “Most of us focus on the short term and discount the cost of sticking with situations we’re not happy with. Consulting with our ‘future self’ helps us look at our situation through a larger life lens which often helps us get more present.”

Embrace discomfort.

If you dread that feeling of being nervous or insecure during a job interview or first date, then congratulations: You’re human! This discomfort may fade over time as you build confidence, but it will never completely go away — and that’s actually a good thing. As Warrell suggests, embracing this discomfort is key to becoming more secure.

How to be confident as a short person

“Doing something when you’re not really confident often gives rise to nervous feelings in our body. Butterflies in our belly. Sweaty hands. Tight chest. When we embrace the physical sensations as evidence that we are being true to ourselves — a sign that we are ‘on the field’ rather than sitting passively in the stands watching life pass us by – it shifts our experience of them,” Warrell says.

Leave perfectionism behind.

Repeat after me: Being confident is not the same thing as being perfect. Leave your perfectionism behind and you’ll be better for it, Warrell says.

“We women often set the bar so high for ourselves that we hold back from trying things because we’re afraid we’re not going to nail it perfectly, first time, every time,” Warrell explains. “By lowering the bar of what success looks like and giving ourselves permission to just be ‘okay’ as we start out, it liberates us to dare to try things we’d previously held back on.”

How to be confident as a short person

Today I’m going to teach how you to appear more confident.

Why? Because confidence is one of the most important skills in life that you can acquire (other than learning to use the Force, obviously).

I know how important even a little bit of confidence can be in everyday situations, whether it’s negotiating with your boss for a raise, buying a car, giving a presentation, or meeting your fiance’s parents.

We’re naturally attracted to and will have our opinions swayed by those who have (or appear to have) a lot of confidence.

Nerds usually get the short end of the stick in the “naturally confident” department, but that doesn’t mean we can’t acquire it like a new skill, Matrix-style!

How to be confident as a short person

So today we’ll discuss five steps that you can take to start seeing a difference in self-confidence immediately.

Before we jump in, I should note that many of our coaching clients report “increased confidence” as a consequence of the program. Which makes sense, because after you’ve changed your nutrition strategy, lost some weight, and learned to pick up a barbell, you start to understand what you’re truly capable of. Which is a huge confidence boost!

If you’d like to learn if our 1-on-1 Online Coaching Program would be a good fit for you, you can click on the image below for more info:

How to be confident as a short person

Stop slouching

How to be confident as a short person

If you can develop good posture, a trait that always seems to bypass nerds, you’ll appear approximately 145% more confident within seconds (I definitely made up that stat, by the way).

I used to have awful posture through most of my life (which caused lots of lower back pain). It wasn’t until I made a conscious effort to focus on standing up straight and strengthening my lower back that the pain went away.

In order to stay on target, I actually hung a “POSTURE!” post-it on my bedroom door so I wouldn’t forget each morning. Here’s how you can get started:

  1. Stand up as TALL as you can, like you’re a puppet and somebody just pulled the string that’s attached to the top of your noggin.
  2. Pull your shoulder blades down and back as far as possible – This will feel really weird if you spend a lot of time hunched over a desk.
  3. Pick your chin up and look straight ahead – stop looking down while walking around, there’s a whole world out there for you to see.

How to be confident as a short person

If you have trouble pulling your shoulder blades back, try doing two back exercises (say, lat pull downs and dumbbell rows) for every one chest exercise in your workout. This will build up the muscles in your upper back and allow you to actually pull those shoulder blades back together.

Want something easier?

Try standing with your heels, butt, and head against a wall, and then pull your shoulder blades back until they’re touching the wall too. Do this daily and increase the length of the stretch each time.

If you spend all day in a chair, try this: sit down in your chair, and then stand back up WITHOUT having to rock forward. If you have to lean forward even slightly, you’re doing it wrong.

Sit straight up like you’re always ready to stand without having to lean forward. Your lower back will probably get tired as hell sitting like this because it’s not used to the new position – work on it.

Do planks every other day (working your way up to two minutes), and you’ll have a rock-solid core and incredibly strong lower back.

This is probably the hardest step of all, as you’ve probably spent years and years developing poor posture without even thinking about it. Spend a month making a concerted effort to have better posture however, and you’ll be well on your way to a more confident appearance. Pretty soon you won’t even have to think about it!

I mentioned earlier that back exercises like pull-ups and inverted rows can help a lot with posture. If you have no clue where to start on your strength training journey, make sure you download our guide: Strength Training 101: Everything You Need to Know.

It walks you through every aspect of starting a strength training practice, from equipment, specific workouts, and how to know when you should progress to lifting more weight. You can grab it for free when you join the Rebellion below!

How to be confident as a short person

Being in an argument or receiving criticism from another person truly sucks. But instead of going straight into attack mode, there are ways to help you stop being defensive while learning how to communicate well with others. I’ll be honest: About four years ago, I had no idea how to communicate without being defensive. Ever since I was younger, I always felt like I had to prove myself to everyone because I felt I was different. When I would be the butt of all jokes, instead of standing up for myself, I would point the finger at others or simply cry because I was completely frustrated.

After studying interpersonal and organizational communication in college, I began to understand what being defensive meant and how to tackle conflict in a healthy way. According to Psychology Today, Anna Freud, Sigmund Freud’s daughter, helped illustrate that there are nine common defense mechanisms that everyone goes through in her book, The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defense. Whether you realize it or not, you’ve probably gone through most of these categories throughout your lifetime.

When it comes to using defense mechanisms, it tends to coincide with protecting ones self. But it’s also in conjunction with how well you can communicate; once I learned how to productively talk about issues and disagreements with others (and I’m still learning to this day), I had the ability to truly express myself and what I was feeling. I learned that listening was just as important as speaking and jumping to conclusions was not going to solve anything. After a bit of time, the walls of defense started to go down, and I realized how quickly an argument can be solved once you allow yourself to be vulnerable and be OK with the thought of being wrong. Below are a few ways to communicate well without being defensive. This can take some time to adjust to, but once you learn how to stop putting your guard up, you can learn how to feel comfortable having with others without completely breaking down.

1. Be Secure In Who You Are

You’re less likely to get defensive or hurt over something when you know for sure that it’s not true. Being secure in yourself is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself because you won’t need to be validated by anyone else besides yourself. According to Psychology Today, Austrian psychoanalyst Heinz Kohut said that finding a healthy medium of narcissism is actually good for you. Being a self-confident person, or healthy adult narcissism as Kohut called it, allows you to be able to handle those harsh criticisms, broken promises, or miscommunications with others. This can resolve a lot of issues when someone criticizes you, because of instead of jumping to conclusions, you can talk to them calmly without feeling like you have to defend yourself every minute.

2. Stop Retaliating & Genuinely Listen

Being in an argument with someone doesn’t mean that you should be thinking about your next attack move while they are talking. You should try to genuinely listen to all of their points and see where they are coming from. When people get defensive, sometimes they automatically think that the other person is wrong. While that may be the case, there’s a way to explain your part without completely ignoring what they have to say. According to The Huffington Post, the next time you’re in an argument, take a moment to actually listen without strategizing your next thought process so you can defend yourself, because the less you try to protect your identity, the more better you may feel.

3. Use “I” Statements

Have a clear indication as to why you feel defensive. Once you can understand why you feel the way you do, the person you’re arguing with may be able to comprehend your emotions better. According to Psych Central, using I statements can allow you to keep the focus on your feelings and can prevent unfair accusations onto others. Instead of projecting your undesired feelings or thoughts onto another person, try to solidify what you need and how you want your emotions to come across.

4. Think Long-Term Instead Of Short-Term

When you’re getting defensive, start to contemplate on the end goal. Being impulsive with your emotions means you’re only thinking about how you feel at the moment. Strategize your thinking so you can accomplish long-term goals instead of trying to win the battle. According to Psychology Today, concentration camp survivor Victor Frankl had said, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” Before you make any quick judgments, take a deep breathe and try to pay close attention to the result of your actions. Will they benefit you in the long run? Can you come up with a better response? Being defensive doesn’t mean you have to be negative, there’s a way to have a positive outlook while still protecting your identity.

5. Learn How To Receive Criticism

During those moments when you receive harsh criticism, there’s a way to acknowledge it without being defensive. According to Forbes, remember the benefits of getting feedback even when you don’t want it. Take the time to listen to what they’re expressing to you, ask them why they are feeling this way, and strategize how you can use this to benefit you as a person or an employee. Even if you don’t believe what they say is true, you can still be the bigger person, thank them, and walk away. You don’t need to worry about what others think about you because you already know how you feel about yourself. While it can be a negative situation for a few moments, you can always turn it around into a positive by letting the negative feeling go.

6. It’s OK To Be Wrong

No one can be right 100 percent all the time, it’s just not possible. And even though you would love to be right, there are those moments when you may need to realize that the person just might be correct about what they are saying. According to Forbes, make sure you give yourself permission to be wrong, and also give that permission to others, too. By doing this, you’re accepting the fact that it’s OK to not get everything right on the first try, but also not to accept failure as the only defeat.

While defending yourself is never a bad thing, being defensive all the time can get exhausting. Instead of trying to save face when a tough situation arise, take a moment to find your space, acknowledge what they are saying, and try to benefit from it. There’s a reason why this person is feeling a certain way; the last thing you want to do is ignore what they are saying and push their feelings aside like it doesn’t matter. Be considerate, but straightforward, and in the end, hopefully you will feel like a winner instead of trying to defend yourself over and over again.

Images: Giphy ; skynesher/E+/Getty Images

What Is Confidence?

Confidence means feeling sure of yourself and your abilities — not in an arrogant way, but in a realistic, secure way. Confidence isn’t about feeling superior to others. It’s a quiet inner knowledge that you’re capable.

  • feel secure rather than insecure
  • know they can rely on their skills and strengths to handle whatever comes up
  • feel ready for everyday challenges like tests, performances, and competitions
  • think “I can” instead of “I can’t”

Why Confidence Matters

Confidence helps us feel ready for life’s experiences. When we’re confident, we’re more likely to move forward with people and opportunities — not back away from them. And if things don’t work out at first, confidence helps us try again.

It’s the opposite when confidence is low. People who are low on confidence might be less likely to try new things or reach out to new people. If they fail at something the first time, they might be less likely to try again. A lack of confidence can hold people back from reaching their full potential.

Believing in Yourself

Has someone told you that you’re smart? Funny? Kind? Artistic? A good student? A good writer? A good athlete?

When people praise us or recognize our skills and capabilities, it can boost our confidence — as long as we believe these good things, too. If you’ve ever doubted the good things people say about you, that’s the opposite of self-confidence.

To feel truly confident, you need to really believe you are capable. The best way to get that belief is through using your skills and talents — by learning and practicing.

Confidence helps us move forward to discover and develop our capabilities. When we see what we’re capable of and take pride in our achievements, confidence gets even stronger.

How to Be More Confident

Everyone can work to gain more confidence. Here are a few tips to try:

  • Build a confident mindset. When your inner voice says “I can’t,” retrain it to say “I can.” Or you could also say, “I know I can learn (or do) this if I put my mind to it.”
  • Compare yourself kindly. It’s natural to compare ourselves with other people. It’s a way to understand ourselves and develop the qualities we admire. But if comparisons often leave you feeling bad about yourself, it’s a sign to work on your confidence and self-esteem.
  • Shake off self-doubt. When we doubt our abilities, we feel inferior, unworthy, or unprepared. That can make us avoid people and situations we might enjoy and grow from.
  • Take a safe risk. Sign up for a school committee, volunteer to help with a project or bake sale, or try out for a team or talent show. Raise your hand in class more often. Talk to that cute kid in your science class.
  • Challenge yourself to do something that’s just beyond your normal comfort zone. Pick something you’d like to do if only you had more confidence. Give yourself a little push and do it. Now that you’ve done that, pick something else to try — and keep repeating this same process. Confidence grows with every step forward.
  • Know your talents and help them shine. We’re taught to work hard to improve our weaknesses. Sometimes that’s important, like bringing up a bad grade. But don’t let working on a weakness prevent you from getting even better at the things you’re good at.
  • Do your homework. Study. Do assignments. Prepare for class, tests, and quizzes. Why? If you’ve been keeping on top of class work all along, you’ll feel more confident in tests and finals. The best defense against test anxiety and school stress is to keep up and do the work steadily.
  • Dare to be the real you. Let others see you for who you are — mistakes, insecurities, and all. Insecurities are easier to move past when we don’t feel like we have to hide them. Embrace your quirks instead of trying to be like someone else or acting in a way that’s not true to you.

It takes courage and confidence to be real. But the more real we are, the more self-confident we become. Confidence builds self-esteem.

Keep At It

Confidence levels go up and down for all of us, even the most confident-seeming people.

If something shakes your confidence, show yourself some understanding. Don’t criticize yourself. Learn from what happened, think what you could have done differently, and remember it for next time. Talk about what happened with someone who cares. Then remind yourself of your strengths and the things you’ve achieved. Get back in the game!