There is a very strong link between your interpersonal skills (also called social skills and life skills) and self-confidence. Today I focus on five of them that I consider to be very important skills to develop.
What are interpersonal skills?
Interpersonal skills are the skills and abilities that a person uses to build relationships, communicate and interact with other people on a social level, at work, in groups and one-to-one. Improving and building on your interpersonal skills will go a long way towards helping you develop a strong sense of self-confidence.
They include things like:
Communication can happen over the phone, face to face, letters, via email and a bunch of different ways. The key to all of them is that information is passed from yourself to another person successfully because they fully understood your message.
When you learn how to communicate effectively you not only get your message across but you also get your voice heard. This in turn helps to build your self-confidence – especially if you believe people very rarely want to listen to what you have to say. Effective communication happens when you do your best to minimize potential barriers and misunderstandings that may occur.
Of course sometimes you say or write something that someone takes the wrong way.
They are upset and they want to let you know that. Your listening skills will be the key to avoiding an upset/argument and sorting out any miscommunication quickly.
Not to be confused with hearing or waiting for your time to speak without really taking in what is being said!
When you listen you are paying attention to what the person is actually saying (not thinking about what you want to say to them).
You listen to how people say things, the language they are using as they speak and you watch for the non-verbal communication that is going on as they speak. Things like their posture, facial expressions, how close they are standing to you – will give you important clues about how they are feeling.
When you truly listen nothing else matters in that moment except what that person is communicating to you. This is not the time to try and interrupt or speak over them.
Give them time to finish and avoid getting defensive.
Developing your listening skills is a powerful key towards building self-confidence in yourself. Just remember to assertively speak once the person has finished what they have to say.
To be assertive means to be able to stand up for yourself and your rights. It is your ability to honestly and directly express your feelings and thoughts (even your desires) in a way that is appropriate. Being assertive gives you a great ability to express yourself clearly.
You become more open with people and you find you become very insistent too without being over bearing or dominant.
For me assertiveness is about getting what you want without having to trample over or bully the other person to get it. It is a skill that you can learn over time and it is a valuable one because most confident people are also assertive.
I remember the first time I had to be honest and direct with my mother. My heart was pounding out of my chest and I was so happy when I did it.
Years later my mother actually told me how proud she was that people couldn’t take advantage of me anymore and that I now speak my mind. She knew it was a skill I never had in the past.
Without a doubt this is one of the top interpersonal skills worth developing (along with being assertive). If you can simply get yourself into a position where you think and behave more positively and you are able to assertively express yourself you will find your self-confidence grows in leaps and bounds.
The great news is it really doesn’t take much to become positive.
You just have to make a choice then watch your thoughts, words and behavior.
Be alert for moments when you are not thinking or speaking in a positive manner and correct what you are saying and/or thinking.
It may take you months of reprogramming your mindset but it is SO very worth it. People love positive people.
Misery loves company too so you get to decide which you prefer to hang out with. Understanding that what you give out and who you are brings to you like minded people will hopefully help you to focus more on bringing in positive people by thinking more positively.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can hang out with positive people or marry someone positive in an effort to balance yourself out!
Being positive is not something you can get from others – it is something you need to foster and develop in yourself.
Reflect, re-assess, re-start and develop
A fundamental rule of living is that we are never done with our own personal development until we are dead!
You can always learn no matter how old you are (great examples are 80 and 90 year old grandmas using Facebook!) and as long as you are willing to look at what went wrong you will always be able to build on your self-confidence. As you work towards developing your interpersonal skills things will go wrong.
Maybe you will say something nasty when you didn’t want to, or you will spend a day feeling gloom and doom.
This is all part of the process.
The key to success is never letting it dominate your thoughts, feelings and behaviour for too long. Like falling off the horse you need to get right back on your journey and continue working towards building your self confidence.
There are other interpersonal skills that you can develop like the ability to stay calm (which comes from learning to be assertive), the ability to clarify, empathize, and even negotiate. Developing these skills within yourself will help you become a confident and calm person with great charisma that people will attract great people into your life.
“Charisma is a sparkle in people that money can’t buy. It’s an invisible energy with visible effects.”– Marianne Williamson