In my last post, I talked about the inner components of confidence, while evaluating how confidence is the core component of human attractiveness.
Now let’s talk about the tangible, outward traits exhibited by truly confident people. Some human beings work from the inside out, allowing their inner worlds to feed their outer worlds. Other people work from the outside in, getting their behavior and appearance in order so as to support what’s going on inside.
Neither approach is better than the other, so long as we’re not begging for outside approval without having any real positive attributes – which (as we discussed) spells cockiness.
With all this in mind, what is it that confident people have?
Swagger is confidence in motion. It’s energy. It’s style. It’s the way you move, speak, and carry yourself. These are far from shallow traits. Quite the contrary, these are traits that encompass a sense of self-approval and self-dependence. In other words, if you own the space that you walk in, others are going to want to join you there because they’ll feel comfortable in that space. On account of you, they’ll know it’s safe there. You’ll draw in people by holding such a strong center. This sure beats being needy and trying to blend in with the wallpaper.
I’m talking about basic good hygiene here. If you look fantastic, but your breath is bad…guess what? You don’t look so fantastic! Your hair, your scent, your clothes, your overall sense of cleanliness – these things are giant contributors to confidence. Anybody who tries to tell you otherwise is probably deficient in these departments. And anybody who tries to sell you good grooming isn’t necessarily the devil. In actuality, these people are probably your friends! Advertising and sales get put down so much because they prey on people’s sense of envy — dangling models and other beautiful people before us — making us yearn to look that good. But you know what? Maybe we should aspire to such aesthetic excellence. Why not? Especially when the alternative is being unattractive.
Eye contact marks the difference between a strong and present person and a meek and distant one. Averting your eyes is a surefire way of alienating and/or offending people. Sure, eye contact can be intense – especially if it’s with a powerful or confident person. You might feel exposed, you might feel small. But PRACTICE this skill. Stay present. STAY IN TOUCH with your eyes. Otherwise nobody will be able to get a feel for you, which will prevent any possibility for attraction – let alone intimacy.
Yes, I just went there. I’m now saying you actually have to be marketable, on top of everything else! But I’ve gone there because it’s entirely true. Marketability is a critical human trait. Just like nobody wants to hire some isolated oddball loner, nobody wants to date one either. Now, I’m not saying to not be original or eccentric. Knock yourself out! But I AM saying that to build bridges between yourself and others, you have to keep at least one foot in mainstream society enough where you can communicate and live in harmony with others.
It was my father who first told me about marketability. He described it as the ability to thrive in any environment. What an awesome trait to carry. It’s been said that Tom Cruise developed great social skills because he moved around to so many different cities and states as a child. As a result, he was eventually able to navigate the upper echelons of the Hollywood power structure.
Think about internet trolls. Like mold, they thrive in darkness. Forget about thriving in “any environment” – these guys are most comfortable in their parents’ basements, posting cruel comments under anonymous names. That’s the opposite of marketability, let alone confidence! One quick way to find yourself thriving in any environment: learn about all different topics. Tennis, sailing, renaissance-era artists – whatever. How to set a table, which fork to use, how to tie a tie. In isolation, such things might not seem terribly useful. However, over the course of a lifetime, they’re a major key to hacking all kinds of environments. As known as being marketable.
Authenticity starts on the inside, but it expresses itself on the outside, hence its presence on this list. When your mother told you to “be yourself” before going on a date, she wasn’t kidding. You have only your own nature and essence to draw on. So don’t revise it. Don’t try to be something or someone you’re just not. Be proud of the sound of your own voice. Be proud of the way you naturally look. I promise you that in and of itself, these traits are entirely neutral. It’s CONFIDENCE that infuses them with attractiveness. Knowing this, you should not hesitate for one second to lean on who and what you are. If you have opinions, let them be known. If you’re more flexible-minded, be that way. If you show up in the world not being authentic, people will flag you in half a second – and then they’ll want to keep their distance from you.
Here’s a tricky one. Let me explain this carefully. I’m not saying you should pose a threat to anyone – of course not! What I’m talking about here is avoiding the all-too-common trap of being too “nice.” By nice, I don’t mean good-hearted. Everybody should try to be a good person – period. But sometimes, in our efforts to be peaceful and get along, we drift into a pattern of being too “nice.” We don’t want to make waves. We don’t want to make noise. So we try to be nice, so as not to offend anyone or leave so much as a ripple in reality. Well, that may seem like an OK way to go, but the problem is, it’s not authentic. That’s not who ANYONE really is. Human beings are deep, mysterious, and multi-layered. THAT’s what I mean by dangerous. I’m talking about your eternal depth. I’m talking about the sharp and rough edges of your God-given complexity. Let these be known. Don’t just go along to get along. That’s not confident – and over the long-term, it’s not even nice! Know why? Because it’s not nice to lie to people about who you really are.