6 Ways To Boost Your Confidence When Asking People Out IRL, Because It Does Take Nerve
I've never been very good at asking people out. I’ve tended to hold back, drop increasingly obvious hints, and then wait impatiently for the other person to make the move. I was just too nervous to just say what I wanted and take the initiative to ask that person out. While sometimes my method worked, I'll never know what could’ve happened and what opportunities I missed out on by being timid. If this is all beginning to sound a little too familiar, knowing a few ways to boost your confidence when asking people out can be a total game-changer.
If asking someone out IRL is something you're scared to do, Andrea Amour, founder and dating coach at UpDate Coaching tells Elite Daily you are far from alone in those feelings. "At some point or another, all of my clients have asked me how to ‘hit on’ people," says Amour. But she stresses that asking someone out isn't really as hard as you may fear. "In reality, in the digital age, people are craving human attention. We're all plugged into social media, podcasts, TV, and music, but we're all lonelier than ever. If you have the guts to actually open your mouth and say ‘hi,’ you're already differentiating yourself from a majority of the population,” Amour explains. “And if you turn that ‘hi’ into a random conversation, the person you're talking to is going to think you're the nicest person in the world. No one talks to anyone anymore, which is, frankly, sad for everyone."
While that is definitely encouraging to hear, it still may take a little bit more to get you over the hump of actually asking someone out. In that case, here's how real-life relationship experts say you can boost your confidence, so that you're ready to make a move.
1. Shift your perspective.
If you’re too nervous to even say that first “hello,” Laurel House, celebrity dating and relationship coach and host of the Man Whisperer podcast, tells Elite Daily it's time for a shift in your mental perspective about who needs to be impressing whom. “There’s no reason for anxiety if you reframe your feelings into an attitude of ‘I’m interested to see if I’m interested,’” says House. “So many daters give their power away and place too much weight on the other person liking them. This often happens because the person who you are talking to might be attractive, interesting, wealthy, funny, or for some other reason, intimidating, and you immediately mentally lower yourself,” she explains.
But here’s the thing: You have no idea what that person actually thinks, says House. “While those fears and insecurities might be taking hold of your mind, thoughts, and therefore attitude and confidence, the truth is that you don’t know them well enough to know if they are worthy of it. Because you don’t know enough about them. But you are interested in knowing more.”
2. Remember all the reasons you’re amazing.
Sometimes, the best offense is a good defense, which is why House says tackling your self-talk is going to make a huge difference in your confidence. “Remember who you are, what you stand for, what you have to offer, and bring to the table. And then bring it!” she advises.
3. Practice talking to strangers.
Want to feel comfortable talking to your crush? Start by getting comfortable talking to strangers, says Amour. (I know, I know... stranger danger. Use your best judgement.) Amour suggests practicing starting conversations with cashiers and baristas, or even familiar faces on the train. “You can literally say anything, just to become apt at starting conversations with a total stranger. Then, you'll feel more confident when you want to start a conversation with that pretty woman at the bar or that hot guy at the gym,” she explains.
4. Have some easy conversation starters ready.
If you’re worried about getting tongue-tied, Amour says it doesn’t hurt to have a few conversation starters ready, so you can ease into asking the person out. “I like to compliment people,” says Amour. “ I've complimented people's jackets, backpacks, cell phone cases, hair, eyes, and eyebrows,” she laughs. “It’s an easy way to start a conversation. Who doesn't want to talk to someone who says something nice to them?”
If opening with a compliment feels too forward, Amour suggests asking a question instead. “While I sit in coffee shops, I've said things like, ‘That's a nice backpack, what is it?’ Or at a bar I say, ‘What kind of drink is that?’ as ways to start a conversation. My personal favorite: ‘Can you watch my stuff while I go to the bathroom?’ It works because it immediately assumes I trust that person, which feels good to them. When I get back from the bathroom, I say ‘Thanks’ and segue into a conversation. Works every time,” she reveals. (Again, use your best judgement here. Don't leave any valuables in the hands of a stranger for the sake of flirting.)
5. Empower yourself with “I” language.
When it comes time to actually ask some one out, something as simple as adjusting the language you use can give you a confidence boost, NYC relationship expert and love coach Susan Winter tells Elite Daily. “The technique I teach my clients to bolster their confidence is to start with ‘I’ sentences of inclusion,” she says. “The idea behind this line of thinking is ‘I’m already doing this thing. Join me if you like.’ It feels more empowering as it’s not a question, but a statement,” she explains.
6. Don’t worry about being perfect, just focus on being your authentic self.
Ultimately, House says you can take some of the pressure off by focusing on just being yourself rather than trying to say the "perfect" thing. “It has been ingrained in your mind, attitude, and therefore conversations and actions that you must publicly embody perfection at all times,” says House. “Perfect is boring. Perfect is not relatable. Perfect makes others feel like they have nothing to add and they are therefore not needed. Perfect lacks humanity. Being imperfect and authentic is scary, but essential. Be quirky, silly, deep, even vulnerable. That's what makes you ... memorable and them wanting more.”
The ultimate takeaway here is that much of what makes asking someone out scary, is projection. But with a little practice, and a change in perspective, the experts say you are likely to discover that not only is asking someone out not the big, intimidating deal you think it is, but it's mostly really welcome. Don't worry, you're amazing and you've got this.