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Confidence dos and don'ts

Jessica Padykula is a freelance writer and editor in Toronto, Canada covering a wide range of  topics for several online lifestyle publications. She is a regular contributor for SheKnows, covering travel, style, relationships, health and...

How to look the part

Not everyone is as confident as they look. In fact even the people you assume feel completely at ease sometimes have to fake it. We’ve put together some dos and don’ts for looking like you’re totally comfortable, even when you aren’t.

Smiling, confident woman.

Do smile

Sometimes it's the simplest things that make the most difference and smiling is one of those things. Even if you don't feel happy, smiling can help nudge you in a more positive direction, plus it will help you look happier, more comfortable and definitely more approachable.

Don't act restless

Fidgeting (with your glass, your clothing or your hair) is a dead giveaway for discomfort. Do your best to keep your hands in a casual position – resting on the bar, holding your glass – rather than flapping them around like a pair of restless birds. It may take practice, but if you can keep outwardly calm, you'll appear calm on the inside, too.

Do make eye contact

Looking down or at everything but the person you're talking to makes you look nervous. Yes, we know you do this because you are nervous, but try your best to look people in the eye. Clear, frequent (staring) eye contact makes you look like you're listening and taking in what others are saying.

Don't giggle

A lot of people giggle when they're nervous or they don't know what to say, but laughing just to fill the air can make you look uncomfortable or just plain wacky. Save your giggling marathon for a girl's night or when something is actually funny. Otherwise, a smile or short laugh will do.

Do ask questions

Sitting in silence definitely doesn't send the most confident vibe to others. Don't babble, but asking intelligent questions shows you're engaged, interested and listening – all qualities of a confident person at ease in any situation.

Don't deflect

If you've managed to engage others and ask questions, chances are others will want to know more about you. Being nervous can put a damper on your desire to answer, but push yourself to participate in the conversation – you never know what you'll find out or who you'll meet.

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