By Crystal Becerril > Senior > English and Journalism > Boston University; Photo by A.R. > Sophomore > Graphic Design > UMBC
Sometimes a little “liquid courage” helps you let loose at parties and you might be less self conscious about doing things that you find fun. There’s no reason you cannot hold that same esteem while sober, so are here are five steps to boost your confidence outside of the party scene.
1. Stop being Critical of Others
When you find yourself criticizing everyone else, it’s easy to pick out what the worst offenses in people may be. However, you might quickly find that these same qualities that you see and dislike in people are the same qualities you hold. It seems you are the best at instantly judging others’ wardrobe and mannerisms. But you hate these kind of judgmental people, so why are you one of them?
“If you’re critical of yourself and critical of others, you’re going to talk yourself out of things,” said Monica Leggett, a certified life and relationship coach.
Turn off your critical side and try to focus on what’s going on with you and your friends.
2. Cut the Fake Personality
Sometimes it’s amazing when you see someone around campus and then see him or her at a party. The party environment obviously brings out a different side of a person than the classroom might, but if you find that you drastically change between the two, you might consider discovering who you truly are.
“I believe that it has to do with your mindset and that internal dialogue that you have with yourself, said Leggett. “You need know that you’re worthy of being a friend to someone and be willing to be open and authentic, be willing to say what your really thinking.”
3. Surround yourself With Genuine People
There’s a reason that one certain group of friends seems to always be having so much fun while another other group sits around giving dirty looks to everyone else. If you’re going to be yourself, you need to find people that have similar interests with you, or that are open-minded enough to accept different ones.
“Rather than looking at the more superficial, the people that are most successful in relationships are those with a deeper connection level,” said Leggett.
If you like to go out and shop all weekend, find a fellow shopper or someone that doesn’t mind walking alongside you while you splurge. If you are a movie buff, find someone that loves going to the theater. Or, if you like sitting in your apartment all day playing video games to avoid doing work, well, stop by my apartment.
The point is: Find those who will be both true to your friendship and to their own personalities, not just complaisant.
4. Update your Look
While you shouldn’t rely on the external to find your confidence, there’s no denying that it helps. “If I'm dressed to the nines I feel pretty good about my self even without the use of substances,” said Elisabeth Fenn, a University of Vermont student. “Having good friends around helps too, and the combination is unstoppable.”
5. Face your Fears
“It takes a little bit of self-discovery,” said Leggett. The reason we feel so free with alcohol and drugs is that both “inhibit some of those negative inner fears that we have.”
If you’re incredibly shy, sometimes others might get the impression that you don’t want to talk to them—believe me, I’m this kind of person. But there are people that do want to approach you and meet you; you just need to let them.
“It’s about trying to build up that positive mindset, accepting who you are, going to the edge of your fear,” added Leggett.
Well, there you have it. While there’s nothing wrong using certain substances if you wish, the point is that you shouldn’t need to rely on them for a good time. “I believe that you don't need alcohol to have a great time, and that in fact people will respect that you have enough confidence in yourself to have a blast completely sober,” said Fenn.