by Dr. Jack Singer
Ever walked into a room full of unfamiliar faces and felt a chill of discomfort down your spine? You can gain the confidence to make a good first impression that leads to lasting relationships, even when you feel intimidated.
Follow these easy tips to make yourself a hit when it comes to breaking the ice:
- Be confident in yourself. Know your strengths and try to accentuate them. If you feel nervous at first, then pretend you’re confident. Move your body as if you’re confident. Use your voice as if you’re confident, and soon your feelings will follow.
- Dress to impress. Dress comfortably in your best outfit to fit the occasion. Your clothing is an expression of who you are. It’s one of the first things people notice, and a wise choice of wardrobe can give you a head start in putting your best foot forward. If you’re not sure what type of dress is appropriate for the occasion, confide in a trusted friend. Clothing and appearance can feed your confidence or drain it. Feed your success by presenting yourself in the best light possible with the outfit you choose.
- Keep a realistic perspective. Remember that in most social situations, many of the people in the room are just as nervous as you are. Be yourself, take a deep breath, and dive in. Few, if any, will judge you if you’re polite, friendly, and interested in the people around you.
- Smile. When you smile, the world really does smile with you. Instead of waiting for a reason to smile, greet each person you meet with a warm handshake and a friendly smile. You’ll almost always get a warm, positive reception when you do. You’ll make the other person feel at ease, and you’ll begin to relax, too.
- Make easy conversation. You can make the task of conversing with a stranger easier with small talk. Seek to find common ground by asking non-threatening questions about the person’s background, interests, or family. You’ll quickly find something you both have in common, and the conversation will flow easily from there.
- Listen. One of the easiest ways to be considered the life of the party is to listen more than you speak. In conversation, ask questions that cause the person speaking to open up and explain further. People love to hear themselves talk. Effective listening takes the pressure off of you to come up with things to say in a conversation.
- Give yourself permission to mess up. If you put pressure on yourself to handle every situation perfectly, you’ll be a nervous wreck. Instead, tell yourself that mistakes are okay. The more conversations you enter into, the more you’ll learn about how to effectively communicate and the more friends you make at the same time.
By following these very simple guidelines, you can become a master of breaking the ice. In social situations, strive to feel calm and relax, which will help you make friends with ease. The ability to converse easily with strangers and turn them into friends will benefit you in every area of your life, equipping you to seize opportunities that once passed you by.
I am also available for phone consultations with athletes around the U.S. and in-person visits with athletes in Southern California. Call today toll free at 1-800-497-9880 for a free 20 minute telephone consultation with Dr. Jack Singer.
Jack N. Singer, Ph.D.
Certified and Licensed Sport and Clinical Psychologist
Diplomate, National Institute of Sports Professionals, Division of Psychologists
Diplomate, American Academy of Behavioral Medicine
Certified Hypnotherapist, American Academy of Clinical Hypnosis