If we don’t feel confident, it’s because we’re concerning ourselves with how other people see us. Does that matter? Should it matter? And what can we do to fix the discomfort of feeling that way? Of course there are measures that can be taken and over time confidence can build up, but what about in the moment? Is there a quick fix to feeling inferior?
Remind yourself that most people are good people. When my children were small and coping with developing friendships I tried to whittle my advice down to its most basic form, a mantra if you will: “Be nice to everyone and everything will be alright.” If you’re nice to someone, there’s a very big chance they’re going to be nice back. If they’re not, the issue isn’t with you and they need to learn some manners. Don’t be choosy in your niceness; be nice to everyone. Don’t, however, be a pushover or a doormat. Being nice doesn’t mean allow people to take advantage of you. Give a compliment; look people in the eye; smile. Expect them to be nice back. You can’t read their minds, so stop presuming what they’re thinking. They could have any stressful thing going on in that moment and you might just put them in a better mood. Being nice to everyone covers you for all eventualities; it’s likely that everyone will be nice back and then everything really will be alright.
Make it a mantra and you’ll never forget it. Change the words if you like, but keep the sentiment the same. Believe it. Know it’s true and feel the change in your attitude in that moment. Immediately feel more confident. Simplicity is the key; My children heard it every morning as they headed off to school, and, I hope, it has stuck. My friend, on the other hand, used to shout to her son: “Don’t pick your nose and keep your hand out of your trousers!” Whatever works.