How Can I Help Someone Who Lacks Confidence in Social Situations?

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Updated November 01, 2014.

Question: How can I help someone who lacks confidence in social situations?

Answer:

Help a person who lacks confidence in social situations by praising positive behaviors. For example, if your friend tends to shy awy from parties, congratulate her for taking a chance and going out with you Saturday night. Even if she isn't the life of the party, letting her know you are impressed with her courage will help to build her confidence.

Help your friend even further by doing things together that will help to build self-esteem and social skills. For example, you might suggest that the two of you could try volunteering to talk with elderly patients at the local hospital.

Challenge your friend by setting goals that the two of you can achieve together, such as doing a reading in a poetry group or performing karaoke at a local restaurant. Choose activities that will help push your friend outside her comfort zone. Be sureto model confident behavior as you face challenges together.

Help your friend by being supportive and offering a positive spin on any negative thoughts she has about herself. If she says, "I can't give a speech, everyone will think I am boring," counter her statement with something like, "I find you very interesting, and I know other people will as well." Encourage your friend to bounce back from setbacks and view them as learning opportunities.

Sources:

Healthy Children. Ways to Build Your Teenager's Self-Esteem

Psychology Today. Building Confidence and Self-Esteem

Psychology Today. Five Ways Friends Help Build Our Self-Confidence
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