So much is written about confidence, especially in dating. In fact, you trip over it in all sorts of articles geared towards both men and women:

  • “How to be More Confident in 3 Easy Steps” – Men’s Health
  • “Mindy Kaling’s Guide to Killer Confidence” – Glamour
  • “You Need to Install Some Confidence” – New York Times

But, rarely does it give you actual points to help you grow your confidence. The best types of advice articles are the ones that can help you, step by step, actually gain confidence the natural, organic way.

Confidence 1c

Define It

Let’s start off with, what exactly is confidence?

To truly become something, we must know it and understand it. The easiest definition is “the surety of one’s own decisions.”

We spend all day making choices: “Do I use this opening sentence or that one?” “Should I wear the pink shirt or the grey one?” “Should I go up and talk to him?”

When a confident person makes a choice, they follow through on it.

Think about the last assignment at work you did that was well received, that you worked hard on. If your boss asks:

“I’m not sure about this line 3 here…”

“It’s right.”

“Are you sure?  Wouldn’t it be better to have…”

“Nope, it’s right. I’ve got all the stats to back it up.”

You are sure of your choice and therefore confident. When a confident guy sees a woman he wants to approach, he says to himself, “I’m going to go talk to her.” And, he does. Because he’s sure of his decision.

Own It

For the most part, confidence isn’t about “right” or “wrong.” It’s about picking a point and defending it.

Everyone has different opinions, and if you try to cater to what you think they want to hear, it’s not going to work well for you. At worst, you’re dead wrong and at best, you’re a waffler.

It’s better to live and die by the sword than flip flop all over the place.

Confidence 2c

Non-confident man:

“I want to take you to my favorite restaurant, Blue Water Grill!”

“Oh, I’ve not heard good things about that place.”

“Well, I mean, it’s not my favorite place it was just a place.  Where do you want to go?”

The man is doing what he’s been “trained” to do and please the woman, but it comes across as weak.

Confident man:

“I want to take you to my favorite restaurant, Blue Water Grill!”

“Oh, I’ve not heard good things about that place.”

“Really?  I don’t know who you’ve been talking to, but it’s fantastic.  I mean, we can go somewhere else, but you’ll miss the meal of your life!”

Fake It ‘Til You Make It

This can be tough because you may feel like a poser, but many studies prove that it works.

The theory of masks is that when you put them on, either literally or figuratively, you feel the ability to act in ways that you normally wouldn’t.

Some of my exercises to clients is to have them put on a figurative mask for an evening. “Tonight, act like James Bond,” or “You are Cleopatra tonight.” It gives you the freedom to act differently and step outside of yourself. And, as you see people’s reactions to you, you can start to add bits of this persona to your own, fleshing you out more and becoming more confident.

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Hunt Ethridge is a Hoboken-based dating consultant and a fashion writer. Currently, he is the Senior Dating Coach at New York Dating Coach (www.newyorkdatingcoach.com).