We’re immersed in the era of social media and that often means living a large part of your life behind a screen. Checking in, tagging brands, and posting Insta stories of your day — but what about connecting IRL with others?
Something you may not have considered is confidence — and it turns out, younger Canadians are not brimming with confidence as you might have otherwise assumed.
A recent survey commissioned by Excel Gum discovered that Gen Z adults (aged 18 to 24), need a major confidence boost. A general lack of confidence in themselves leads a number of Gen Z Canadians to sometimes avoid interactions with new people (58%) and even skip plans with friends (45%).
Living life to the fullest in your late teens and early 20s is all about making connections with the people you meet. Whether that’s the guy at your local coffee store, or the girl in your class, a little boost of confidence can help you get to know them. Here are six approaches you can try.
Focus on others
Do you feel shy when you’re in a social setting? Why not prompt people to talk about themselves more? The result is that you’ll discover things you never knew about those around you. Plus, it’s a conversation starter from which you can share your thoughts and ideas. This could be as simple as asking someone how their weekend was, or where they grew up. People love talking about themselves, and it takes the pressure off you. Win-win!
Throw away labels
Be yourself, because there’s only one of you. Remembering this will allow you to act as you would naturally and share your personality with friends and colleagues. Labelling yourself as “nervous” can cause you to act more introverted than you should. Throw all labels you have for yourself and others into the ocean and you’ll feel the confidence boost it brings about.
Refresh in the moment
Have you ever been in a situation and refrained from talking because you feared you might have bad breath? Don’t worry — you’re not alone. More than half (56%) of Gen Z Canadians surveyed by Excel feel they lack confidence when they think they have bad breath. And one in three (32%), sometimes avoid conversations because they’re worrying about it. Don’t miss out on a possible connection with someone because of this. Carry a pack of gum in your pocket to help give your breath a quick refresh when you need it most. Easy.
Make time for you
This could be as simple as using a meditation app on your lunch break, reading, learning a new skill, or going to get your hair done. Investing time in yourself results in a happier, more confident version of you. Your hobbies and interests are likely shared by some of the people around you so get talking and shine brightly!
Wear feel-good clothing
Everyone has their own sense of style, and having the ability to showcase that is an amazing thing. Wearing clothes that make you feel good instantly helps you feel more confident and comfortable in your own skin. If you get compliments on your outfits, even better. But it’s all about wearing clothes that make you feel amazing. Try adding a pop of colour to your outfit and see how it enhances your mood.
Put on a big smile
Smiling is infectious and it actually can benefit your health and overall happiness. Dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin, are all released when you flash a smile. And according to Psychology Today, smiling can lower your heart rate and blood pressure, as well as relax your body. When you start smiling more, you’ll feel how it changes your confidence in social situations.
To prevent you from missing a connection ever again, Excel is highlighting real-life stories of missed connections from across the country. Check out the stories here on YouTube and get ready to strike up conversations with the new people you meet.