How NOT To Guide Someone Lacking Confidence

When someone looks up to you for guidance, it becomes very easy to say the wrong thing, particularly if they have low confidence. Even those among us well versed in social encounters find ourselves struggling to impart good advice to someone.

While every situation is different, there are a few negating advices often conveyed to those who seek support for confidence. In order to show compassion and help someone lacking confidence, it is important you follow these tips:

Steer Clear Of Forceful “Positives”

“Just try being more positive!”

Avoid that mundane saying. Be positive, try positivity—anytime you use the word “positive,” the other person feels worse. They have been told to have an optimistic outlook their entire life, but without being given any reason to do so.

Moreover, not everyone with low confidence exudes negativity; they just tend to find faults in themselves.

Avoid Undermining The Situation

“It is not that big a deal.”

Say a person feels anxious to speak in front of a large audience, and you decide to convey the “so what” expression for taking pressure off the situation. While it may seem that you are lightening the stress, in reality this makes you appear rather dismissive.

Don’t Pile Blame

“The only thing stopping yourself is you.”

It is bad enough to cope with doubts about self without succumbing to additional blame. People with low confidence already know their attitude is their own creation! They need motivation, not statements of the obvious.

Instead of pointing out what stops them from being confident, give reasons that should help them take the daring next step.


Don’t Rely On Comparison

“Look at this person; she is in the same situation as you, and she is doing better.”

Low self-confidence comes from low self-esteem. Being compared to someone is one of the things that initiates low confidence. The constant pressure of “not being good enough” results in immense self-blame. Psychological studies reveal that social comparison is what contributes to distorting our own view of ourselves.

The next time you try to boost someone’s confidence, do so by disconnecting them from everyone else. It’s well and good to give examples, as it helps when you look up to people’s life stories. Corporate keynote speaker Scott Burrows’ powerful life story and his ultimate success as a renowned keynote inspirational speaker is one prime example of how you can provide confidence-boosting resources.


What You Can Do…

Sometimes, all a downhearted person needs is someone to vent their frustrations to and someone who can be there for them. Support them in their challenges until they find their own footing.

Lisa Scholfield

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