The Difference between Confidence and Arrogance

Arrogance and self-awareness seldom go hand in hand.” – M, Casino Royale

You probably wanna be confident, and for people to see you that way. But you don’t want to be or come across as arrogant. Nevertheless, while striving for confidence, it’s easy to slip into arrogance, and thus get a negative reputation instead of a positive one.

This is why a discussion about the difference between confidence and arrogance makes sense. In it, I’ll be drawing from my know-how in psychology, as well as my 8+ years of experience as a confidence and communication coach.

Right from the start, I wanna state that there is no clear distinction between confidence and arrogance. These two traits run on a continuum, and to some extent, where one ends and the other begins is a matter of personal opinion. What one person may see as confident, another may see as arrogant.

However, there are patterns of social behavior that will be seen by most people as confident, and patterns that will usually be seen as arrogant. In order to understand them, it’s best to first get a good idea of the distinct mental foundations of confidence and arrogance.

The Confident Mindset vs. the Arrogant Mindset

Confident people typically operate from a very different psychological mindset than arrogant people. By understanding their mindsets, it’s much easier to tell them apart.

Confident people tend to see themselves as unique, capable and likable individuals, which gives them the courage to be outgoing and put themselves out there authentically. But they also know they have flaws, and they can be okay with them. They also know some people will simply not like them, and they can accept that too.

Arrogant people on the other hand, tend to see themselves not just as able, but as perfect. They think they are superior to everyone else, everybody should like them, and they deserve special treatment, all the time. It’s an exaggerated mindset, which leads to exaggerated social behavior.

Behind this self-image of perfection, deep down, arrogant people are often quite insecure. Many lack self-esteem or have an inferiority complex. So acting as if they’re perfect and deserve special treatment is just an attempt to get attention and social validation, in order to compensate for their feelings of inadequacy.

If you see yourself even partially in the arrogant mindset, I recommend you check out this special presentation, in which I’ll show you how you can shift your mindset effectively and build solid social confidence, using my own tried & tested method.

Based on these two distinct mindsets, you can deduce some of the differences between confidence and arrogance yourself, as they manifest in people’s behavior.

To visibly enrich the picture though, I will add my own practical conclusions.

The Behavioral Difference between Confidence and Arrogance

Here are some of the 7 key ways confident people and arrogant people typically behave differently:

  • Confident people are generally friendly and willing to talk to a variety of people.
  • Arrogant people are much more selective regarding who they talk to, often based on surface traits such as looks, clothing, or status symbols.
  • Confident people are talkative and they like to share themselves, but they’re also good listeners and they like to get to know others.
  • Arrogant people like to talk constantly in conversation, and they rarely care to listen. For them, conversation is all about them.
  • Confident people disclose themselves wholeheartedly. They talk about the good and the bad about themselves.
  • Arrogant people actively hide their flaws, but they constantly bring up their accomplishments, often embellishing them. They don’t so much talk, as brag.
  • Confident people compliment and appreciate others, but they can also give them a negative feedback when useful, or tease them playfully.
  • Arrogant people only do the negative part. They frequently judge, criticize, mock or put others down, whether present or absent, so they can feel superior.
  • Confident people ask for help, but they also give help back. Their relationships run on fair, reciprocal support.
  • Arrogant people demand, take, take some more, and even expect to be given without asking, but they rarely give back. They see their mere presence as sufficient reward.
  • Confident people are honest and they keep their promises. They often feel remorse when they hurt others and they try to show it.
  • Arrogant people lie, manipulate, break their promises and make excuses. They rarely apologize when hurting others, as they never see it as their fault.
  • Confident people have an assured but relaxed and open body language in social settings, most of the time.
  • Arrogant people have a body language that’s typically inflated, meant to convey superiority and dominance. A slightly raised chin is like their trademark sign.

Taken together, all these differences in behavior between confident and arrogant people form two very distinct pictures. Pay attention to these differences, and you’ll be able to accurately tell apart arrogance from confidence.

If you believe you’re on the arrogant side, you can work on deliberately changing your behavior following the list above, to lean more towards the confident side.

Keep in mind though, that your behavior is ultimately a result of your feelings and mindset. So, by far the best way to be able to regularly act like a confident person is to actually be a confident person on the inside.

Becoming this person means overcoming deep personal insecurities and acquiring the right mindset, at both a conscious and subconscious level. This is a whole process and it will take some work, but it is well worth doing.

To help you take the right steps in this confidence gaining process, I’ve created this instructional video, which I recommend you watch right now.

In this video I will show my step by step method to change your mindset and build a strong level of social confidence, which others around you will plainly be able to notice. This method has helped hundreds of people I’ve coached privately, and I’m certain it will help you as well.

Confidence is a great trait to have, but when it slips into arrogance, it become toxic. That’s why it’s essential to stay on the right path.

For more practical advice on confidence and communication from me, please join my free newsletter.

Beware the Simplistic Logic of Most Self-Help

The self-help industry is booming; and it’s been booming for years. On one hand, I think this is great, because it provides people useful tools and advice to help them grow, flourish and make the most out of life.

One the other hand, not all the tools and advice being provided are actually valuable. In fact, based on my own personal development experience for well over a decade, and nearly a decade of training and coaching experience, I dare say that the vast majority of the self-help literature consists of naive guidance and ineffective solutions.

The biggest issue I see in most self-help is what I can best refer to as its simplistic logic (and I use the word “logic” hesitantly).

The dictionary defines the term “simplistic” as: “treating complex issues and problems as if they were much simpler than they really are”. That’s exactly how a lot of the self-help literature treats people’s complex life problems, and thus offers crude, superficial solutions for them, solutions which inevitably fall short.

So I wanna share with you some ideas on how this simplistic logic works and how to not fall prey to it, so you can find and apply the best self-improvement tools out there, and see the best results.

I distinguish two major manifestations of simplistic logic in self-help. Let’s tackle them individually.

1. Reducing the Solution for a Major Issue to a Single Variable

Most self-improvement issues are multifaceted and complex. It makes sense for the proper solutions to them to not be too simple either.

Whether you wanna have more confidence, better relationships, better health or more money, you’ll probably have to address and tweak several variables to reach the desired outcome. Because success in such areas involves an array of factors, many of which are necessary, but not sufficient individually.

That’s not what you’ll read in most self-help literature though. On the contrary, you’ll often be presented one-simple-step solutions to reach your goals, which address a single variable. It’s the all too common “just do this and you’ll get what you want” approach.

For example, many self-help authors say that all you need to be happy is love. Or that all you need for a relationship to work is honesty. Or that all you need to have a thriving business is to care about your clients. I can see how such ideas can be appealing, as they make success seem straightforward. But they are gross oversimplifications.

There’s a popular book out there right now that asserts the one secret to outstanding achievement is a mix of passion and perseverance (referred to as “grit”). The book does a good job of showing that grit is important, and it offers inspiring examples of people who achieved great things with aid from grit. But it fails to prove that grit is the only big factor that matters.

Indeed, grit it is as a necessary factor, but not a sufficient factor for great success. For every person with grit who achieved great things, there are probably hundreds who only achieved moderate success at best.

Grit alone does not cut it. Other factors play key roles as well. Choosing goals that match your natural strengths and learning from mistakes are two more such factors in my view, but there are likely more.

So, whenever you see a book, course or article stating there is one simple key to getting something, be cautions. It’s probably exaggerating the role of one factor for success, while ignoring the others.

2. Failing to Explain the Process of Changing a Variable

Not only that a lot of self-help insists that a single variable is all you need to change in order to achieve a meaningful result, it also assumes that once you know that, you can just go and do it.

It treats changing that variable as a simple, straightforward action anyone can do with little or no additional instructions. Thus the term “just”, which is very common in self-help advice: “just think positively”, “just love yourself”, “just be confident”, and so on.

What many self-help authors either fail to recognize or deliberately ignore is that such changes are not basic, simple actions. Rather, they are complex psychological processes, which entail a set of steps and integrated actions that need to be taken.

For example, loving yourself is not something you can just start doing one day, because you’ve realized it is important. If that were the case, there would be no people with self-esteem issues on this planet.

Loving yourself involves taking a series of steps, at the cognitive and behavioral level, which if taken correctly create long-term positive changes in your self-image. I talk more about this process in this confidence video. Telling someone to just love themselves is like telling them to just build a harmonica. Hard to do if you lack any training or guidance.

That is why in my work as a confidence and communication coach, I focus on properly teaching people the actual process of becoming more confident or communicating better, with all the relevant underlying psychology. My experience has consistently shown me that it is not only the best approach, but the only approach that works.

By the way: if being more confident in social situations is something you seek, I highly recommend you check out my Conversation Confidence guide, from which you’ll learn my step-by-step method for achieving this, which draws from my almost a decade of training and coaching experience in this area.

Improving yourself opens up amazing new possibilities in your career, social life, and dating life. But you can’t do it effectively with a simplistic approach.

As alluring as simple tips & tricks type solutions can be, it’s crucial to recognize they will probably not benefit you, and seek a more mature, complex approach to self-improvement. If a solution to bettering yourself and your life sounds too simple to work, it probably is.

For more non-simplistic advice from me, especially on improving your confidence and communications skills, I invite you go here and join my free newsletter today.

The Lost Art of Receiving

Giving to others is a popular topic in the how-to literature. But receiving is not nearly as popular. To me, this doesn’t do justice. After all, every time a person gives (whether a compliment, a piece of advice, a present or a helping hand), another one receives. And receiving properly is, despite appearances, as important and intricate as giving.

Although how you respond to a ‘gift’ you get is party regulated by specific cultural norms, there are also principles that rise above one individual culture or another. There is a subtle, universal art to receiving, which derives from fundamental aspects of human nature.

In this article, I’m gonna talk about this lost art and give you some practical advice on how to receive properly.

Always Show Appreciation towards the Intent

I like to think of giving as having two core elements:

  1. The intent of giving;
  2. The actual act of giving.

When someone gives me something, I find it useful two consider these two elements separately, and respond to them separately.

In my view, the person’s intent is virtually always positive. So, first and foremost, you always wanna show appreciation for the intent. It’s therefore astute to first respond to any act of giving by thanking the other person for their positive intention, by expressing your gratitude. Thus, you always start on a constructive note.

But what about the actual act of giving? How do you respond to it? That’s what my next point concerns.

Respond Authentically To Being Given

People often engage in games when they receive something. For instance, many folks believe they should always reject a gift at first, as a sign of courtesy, even if they like it, or even need it badly. “Oh, no, I can’t take it”, they say, and the other person must then insist.

Although cute, I rarely find this approach beneficial, nor do the people I coach on the topic of receiving. It’s dated.

If a person gives you something, they most likely enjoy doing so and it does not inconvenience them. So, plain authenticity is a much more helpful response than playing games. Thus, my advice is to respond genuinely from the get go, and simply accept what you are given.

Also, in the odd case when someone gives you something that happens to actually be a bad gift for you (like a pet cat if you have a major cat allergy), it’s okay to politely explain yourself and refuse the gift. The prior step of showing appreciation for the intent will smooth out your response significantly.

Say Something Positive and Specific about the Gift

This simple trick can turn receiving from a trite, predictable act, to a unique and memorable experience for both parties: when you receive something, take a few seconds to notice it and see what you like about it, or how specifically you might use it. Then make a comment in which you express just that.

For example: “Wow, the colors on this shirt are awesome! I love wearing lively colors.” Or: “This cactus is gonna look great in my garden, next to the tulips.” Or: “You made good points in your feedback. I will definitely consider it.”

No need to try to make a particularly cool or witty comment. Any basic, positive and specific remark will do the job fine. It will show the other person that you genuinely value their gift and you wanna make the most of it. This goodwill will usually matter the most to them.

Don’t Feel Pressured To Give Back

People often hesitate to receive gifts because they feel that with them comes attached an obligation to respond in kind. To them, any accepted gift creates more owned debt.

While I can relate to this mindset, I do not find it too realistic or constructive. If a person gives you something, it’s usually because they want to, not because they expect something back in return. So there is no need to feel obliged to reciprocate. You may often wanna reciprocate because you authentically feel like it, but it doesn’t mean you have to.

There are some people though who give to receive, but pretend to give with no strings attached. Like buying you a nice gadget or piece of jewelry, expecting you to go out with them in return. But by rejecting their gift and then feeling bad or accepting it and then feeling in debt, you only encourage them to play this manipulative game.

I find the best approach to be to accept their gift and think of it as having no strings attached. If it did have strings attached, it’s really the other person’s problem. They need to learn to express their desires openly rather than trying to pressure people into giving them what they want. And this is one way you ‘educate’ them in this direction.

If you often struggle with receiving without feeling the pressure to respond in kind, you will benefit greatly from working on improving your social confidence, because it means you are lacking in this department. You wanna fix the problem from the root upwards.

Considering this, I recommend you check out this practical confidence presentation I created, in which I’ll show you my tried and tested method for gaining social confidence, as effectively as possible. There are priceless gems of advice for you in it.

Being a good receiver is something you learn with practice and a bit of guidance. Just as being a good giver is, and many other social skills. By being both a good giver and receiver, you can effectively nurture your relationships with other people, making them as enjoyable and rewarding as they can be.

For more advice on improving your communication skills, social confidence, relationships and social success, I invite you to join my free newsletter and continue this journey of discovery with me.

How to Improve Your Critical Thinking Skills

We live in a world full of information. Every day we are showered with hundreds of messages and ideas about a variety of issues, coming from our computers, our TVs, our phones, street advertising, or the people we talk to.

Unfortunately, many of these messages are not exactly accurate, and buying into them can be highly detrimental to us. This is where critical thinking skills come in, as a set of skills that enables us to correctly and logically asses the ideas we are exposed to, develop our own opinions and make decisions.

Not only that critical thinking skills help us possess accurate ideas, but by doing so, they also permit us to develop powerful arguments and counterarguments in our discussions with others, thus making us much more persuasive. They’re both a mental and a communication asset.

I’ve started working on developing my own critical thinking skills more than 15 years ago, back in high-school, when I joined my school’s debate club. Later I began training others in debate and critical thinking, and still later I added critical thinking enhancement as part of my communication coaching services.

Drawing from these experiences, I wanna share with you 3 powerful strategies to improve your critical thinking skills, make better decisions and be more persuasive. Here they are:

1. Question Conventional Assumptions More Often

Our minds are highly predisposed to just absorb the ideas they get exposed to, without judging their truthfulness first. Especially ideas we hear a lot. They are, in a way, like sponges for any type of information. And while this has benefits, it also goes often against critical thinking.

So a very effective way to improve your critical thinking skills is to put some effort every day into deliberately stopping when you hear or read and idea, and asking yourself (and, if suitable, your interlocutor too): “What’s the evidence that this idea is true?” In other words, you don’t just accept the idea as true, you ask for reasons to accept it.

If convincing evidence is presented, you accept the idea and move on. If not, it’s worth maintaining some doubt towards that idea.

As you practice this, your minds gradually gets used to it and it becomes a habit. You build into your thinking a natural tendency to regularly question ideas, a healthy dose of skepticism.

2. Gain a Good Understanding of Logical Biases

Logical biases are tendencies to misjudge information, reason incorrectly, and reach false conclusions.

For instance, overgeneralization is a common logical bias, which consists in the tendency to jump too quickly to a general conclusion from a small number of sample cases. For example, you meet two lawyers who are arrogant, and you conclude that all lawyers are arrogant.

Although we like to think of ourselves as rational people, the truth is that all of us frequently fall prey to biases. However, by learning about the kind of logical biases that exist and working to identify them in our own thinking, as well as in the thinking of others, we get better at spotting them, and we increase our critical thinking abilities.

There is lots of information online about logical biases. I also talk about them often in my free newsletter, which I suggest you join. The better you understand biases, the easier it is to spot them and protect yourself from them.

3. Learn About Topics from Multiple Perspectives

When we learn about a topic, it’s common to learn about it from only one source, which has a particular view on that topic, although many other views exist, some of which are at least as credible, if not more.

The problem is that if you only know one theory about something, in the absence of alternative theories, it will often seem believable even if it’s severely flawed. Knowledge-deficient minds are often credulous minds.

This is why it’s good to learn various theories about any topic and acquaint yourself with an array of perspectives on it. It makes you wiser and it trains your critical thinking skills.

For example, if you live in a very religious Christian environment and you learn that we are the descendants of Adam and Eve, that explanation sort of makes sense if you don’t know any other explanation. But if you also learn about the theory of evolution by natural selection and the evidence to support it, you have a competing explanation that’s likely to make you question the previous one.

This in itself is an invitation to research some more and think some more about this issue, which develops both your knowledge and your critical thinking on the issue. It can be frustrating to come to doubt an idea you’re used to holding, but it pays off in the end.

As you practice questioning conventional assumptions, you gain a good understanding of logical biases and you learn about topics from multiple perspectives, the entire way you see things changes. It’s like you’ve been looking at the world through a dirty window until then, and now the window gets cleaned and the image becomes much clearer.

With strong critical thinking skills, you are apt to distinguish good ideas from bad ones, make wise choice in life, communicate in a persuasive manner and have a real impact on the world.

For more advice from me on how to improve your critical thinking skills, as well as your communication skills, I encourage you to get onboard my free social success newsletter. The content I publish in it is always top-notch.

Why Social Skills Are the Shortcut to Happiness

People today are putting more conscious effort into figuring out what makes them happy and pursing that happiness. And there are many ideas out there about happiness, coming from a variety of sources: parents, teachers, friends, books, articles, media and advertising.

But I think that a lot of these ideas miss the mark; which is why I’d like to share my own perspective on the importance of one key asset in achieving happiness: your social skills. I believe they matter and they can benefit you so much that I deem good social skills a veritable shortcut to happiness.

Relationships as the Main Pillar of Happiness

Over the past decades there has been a lot of research in the field of psychology about the factors that make us happy. And the one that constantly stands out is our relationships with others. Individuals with quality relationships, who feel loved and appreciated, and have an active social life, are typically the happiest out there.

This makes perfect sense considering that we are social animals, who’ve always lived in some sort of social milieu, either a band, or a tribe, or a social group within a bigger town or city. And social cooperation has been essential in our survival and progress as a species.

social skillsPsychologist and neuroscientist Matthew D. Lieberman really drives this point home in his book, Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect.

For instance, he argues that what our brains do by default when they don’t have any particular task is to contemplate social situations and examine the social world; which shows the central role that social relationships play in our lives. Truly, there is no denying their importance.

The Best Path to Good Relationships Is Not What Most People Think

However, most people are drawn into poor views about the ways to get respect, appreciation and good relationships.

Society in general has taught us that the best ways to get such things are by being wealthy, or having a respectable profession, or following the latest trends. And so, a plethora of people are chasing these things, hoping they will get them the kind of fulfilling human connections they yearn for.

I find it particularly interesting to discuss with folks who wanna make a lot of money. There are lots of reasons why many people wanna be rich. Through money they seek experiences, variety, freedom or security.

But digging deeper into their motivations, I find that, above all, most believe money is the top way to earn the appreciation of others, in order to feel good about themselves and be able to build fulfilling relationships.

It’s such an illusion! Both my coaching and social experiences have showed me over and over that: not only is money not a necessity to be appreciated, but chasing money is the long and inexact road to appreciation. The power of wealth to nurture good relationships has been vastly exaggerated by the rampant consumer culture we live in.

Really, the most popular ways to gain appreciation, considering the time and effort they require (a lot), the amount of respect they earn you (often not that much), and the type of respect they earn you (often superficial and fleeting), don’t amount to good investments.

Social Skills Are a Much Better Path

I believe the methods described above constitute the long, roundabout path to appreciation and good relationships. The straightest and shortest path is in building sharp social skills.

You see, when you have good social skills you are able:

  • To express yourself in an articulate, convincing and alluring way.
  • To talk with a wide range of people, on a wide range of topics.
  • To empathize well will people, to understand their motivations and views.
  • To know how to adapt to others while staying true to yourself at the same time.
  • To show social intelligence and navigate complex social dynamics.
  • To manage your emotions well in social situations.

This makes social skills the direct and the best tool to connect with people, make a positive impression and nurture good relationships. All else takes longer to acquire and works less effectively.

Put two people at, say, a party, one who is a successful lawyer with lots of money, wearing a trendy suit, but with average social skills, and another who is a person with an average job, average income and average clothes, but really good social skills, and I guarantee you this second person will blow the first one out of the water in terms of likability.

While having money, working in a respectable job and being fashionable all have their merits and benefits, my point is that if you want great relationships, you should focus on developing your social skills above all. They will help you much more than these things.

Social skills take some work to improve as well, but the return on investment is much better. And fortunately, there are lots of resources out there to help you, from books and articles to classes and coaching programs.

With this in mind, I recommend you get onboard my free social success newsletter, to receive regular practical advice from me on sharpening your social skills, directly into your Inbox.

When you join, you’ll also get instant, free access to an instructional presentation in which I’ll show you my proven formula for becoming socially confident.

Go here to join the newsletter right now.

Life has a lot to offer. And social skills are a key tool to help you collect much of its fruits. Sharpen your social skills, get out there and use them, and I promise you that your happiness will soar.

How to Not Be Boring in 4 Simple Steps

As a confidence and communication coach, I work often with people who (accurately or not) believe they are boring when making conversation. This makes it hard for them to find the drive to be more outgoing, and difficult to build a gratifying social life.

If you are such a person and you wanna learn how to not be boring, I wanna share with you 4 tried and tested action steps you can take to accomplish this.

Each step addresses one key aspect of making interesting conversation: mindset, verbal communication, non-verbal communication, and lifestyle. So together they form a powerful solution to visibly improve your conversation style and boost your charisma.

1. Are You Really Boring, Or Is It Just in Your Head?

The first crucial step, which you absolutely mustn’t skip, is to question this idea that you are boring, scrutinize it rationally, and try to determine if indeed it’s true.

You see, of all the people I’ve coached over the last 7+ years who believed they’re boring, getting to know them and their conversation style, for well over half of them I’ve concluded that this belief was just in their head. It was a false, limiting belief; and they came to see that too.

So, statistically, there is at least a 50% chance that you’re not really boring. Think about this, very seriously.

If indeed you discover that the idea you’re boring is mostly a limiting belief, then it’s important to begin disregarding it and change your behavior accordingly. Try to open up, talk to people more and be more social, reminding yourself it’s okay to do so.

More important though is to understand that the limiting belief you’re boring reflects a lack of confidence, and work on fixing this deeper issue. Only by learning to believe in yourself and gaining self-confidence will you be able to fully and permanently eliminate the perception that you are boring.

Now, confidence building is no trivial process. It involves certain steps and actions, which if done correctly, lead to visible progress at a rapid pace. I lack the space here to go deeper into this topic, but I have created a special presentation in which I discuss it in detail.

Go here to watch the presentation and learn my step-by-step process for improving your self-confidence and social confidence, which has been used successfully by hundreds of people before you. And make sure you watch it all the way.

2. Make Specific Statements More Than Generic Ones

BoringNext, let’s consider that you really are sort of boring. One of the top changes you can make to your conversation style in order to fix this is to make more statements that are specific and descriptive.

Boring people usually talk in short and generic statements. They’ll say stuff like: “I went to the beach yesterday. It was nice.” And they’ll stop there. The other person will reply: “Oh, cool!” And that conversation thread will end there.

I much better way to talk about that is to say it like: “I went to the beach yesterday. It was nice. The beach is very spacious, and the sand is so white and soft! I loved to just walk around barefoot and take in the view.”

That’s more specific and a lot more exciting. It’s certain to make the other person pay more attention and wanna chip in.

Specific statements add more details, they paint a vivid picture, and they stimulate the listener. Get used to using them, and your conversations will be a lot more interesting.

3. Add More Passion to Your Speaking Style

The non-verbal part also matters a lot. I frequently find that boring people speak in a low, monotonous voice. Many times they are slouched and they’re looking at their shoes instead of their audience. It ties in with the lack of confidence I mentioned earlier. Unsurprisingly, they frequently get ignored.

If you want people to care about what you say and find it interesting, you gotta seem passionate about it. If you are excited about what you say, others will get excited as well. So put more energy in your voice tone and body language: speak louder, have intonation, hold better eye contact, stand up straight and use gestures.

It may feel unnatural at first, but you’ll get used to it, especially as you’ll notice how others pay more attention to you. Plus, I’m not saying you should become a loud, over the top talker. Just a moderate dose of added energy and passion in your non-verbal communication will do the trick.

4. Make Your Lifestyle More Interesting

I often say that conversation is to a large degree a reflection of your life. The content you talk about pours in from your life. So the more interesting your lifestyle, the more interesting what you can talk about is.

If your life revolves around a dreary job, watching TV, sleeping, eating and daydreaming, it’s not that bad, but it’s clearly not an interesting lifestyle either. It could really use an upgrade.

It doesn’t mean that you need to wrestle alligators every day and attend royal balls every night to be interesting. Small changes and additions to your life can make a big difference in the things you can talk about and how appealing what you say is.

Try taking on new hobbies, reading books, trying new stuff, working on side-projects or getting involved in various communities. All of these are great ways to augment your lifestyle and your conversations.

Being boring is a fixable issue. It’s just a matter of understanding how to not be boring, and applying that know-how. In my coaching, I’ve seen many people make the leap from boring to fascinating. With proper guidance and the readiness to implement it, I’m sure you can as well.

I have more practical conversation and confidence advice for you in my free social success newsletter. I invite you to join it right now, and start receiving it on a regular basis.

How to Deal With Sensitive People

People who are highly sensitive emotionally can be hard to handle. You never know what seemingly innocent statement or action will hurt their feelings and shut them in or set them off, and when that happens, it’s usually tough to fix the situation.

I’ve dealt with my fair share of sensitive people in life. Also, in my communication coaching, I frequently work with people who are dealing with a highly sensitive person or more in their own lives, and they wanna do it better. Based on these experiences, I wanna provide you some practical advice on how to deal with sensitive people effectively.

Avoid These 4 Sensitive Kinds of Statements

I’ve found that there are 4 kinds of statements in particular that are likely to trigger a sensitive person:

  • Jokes about them. Because they don’t see them as friendly jokes, they seem them as you mocking them.
  • Criticism, even when it’s pointed at groups they identify with, not at them directly. Because they take it as a rejection of their own person.
  • Disagreeing with them. Again, because they perceive it as a personal rejection rather than a disagreement on a specific idea.
  • Firm commands or blunt orders. Because they commonly feel belittled when receiving such orders.

If you wanna have better relationships with sensitive people, bear in mind these 4 types of statements and cut down on them when dealing with sensitive people.

I do not encourage you to avoid them all the time, at any cost. They still have a role in communication. Sometimes a negative feedback or divergent opinion is important to be expressed, despite the fact it will upset the other person.

I do encourage you though to work on consciously recognizing when you’re about to make a type of statement that may trigger emotionally a sensitive person, and carefully weigh the cost vs. the benefit to see if it’s worth it. Sometimes it will; many times you’ll be much better off if you just shut up.

Learn Sensitive People’s Expectations

Beyond things that upset the majority of sensitive people, each sensitive person has their own little triggers. This is because each has their own map of reality, which includes their own views and expectations on how others should treat them. And you may not share the same views.

For example, you may go out to dinner with a person who expects you pick up the check, and even though you’re fine with doing that, you don’t even think about it, because in their place you would not have the same expectation. Such differences in perspectives create further complications.

SensitiveThe best way to deal with this thorny issue is to try to learn more about people’s expectations, especially the highly sensitive ones.

Ask them questions about the things they value and how they like to be treated. Listen attentively and try not to judge them, encourage them to communicate openly with you.

The better you understand a person’s expectations and perspectives, the better equipped you are to fulfill them. This doesn’t mean that you always have to cater to their expectations. Sometimes they will clash with your own needs, and your needs will come first. But it’s still good to know their expectations and be able to cater to them when you want to do so.

Fixing the Situation with Style

Unavoidably though, as effectively as you manage your words and actions around sensitive people, once in a while you will still do or say something that will upset them.

Most folks are bad at handling such situations. They will often try to apologize and fix things in a way that only makes things worse. I’ve heard many apologies like: “I’m sorry! But it was only a joke. What’s your problem, anyway?”

Such a comment will not work well with a sensitive person, because it further invalidates them, making them feel even worse.

When it comes to apologizing to a sensitive person, I have one golden rule: show them you are not rejecting them as a person. Because that’s really the big problem with sensitive people: they take jokes, criticism, divergent opinions and blunt orders as a personal rejection.

For example, after making a joke that got them offended, a good comment to fix the situations is something like: “I’m sorry, I was just joking. You know I think you’re a cool person and I like spending time with you.”

This comment reassures the person that the joke did not mean anything bad, and will likely make them feel much better. Get used to making such comments with sensitive people at least once in a while, if you wanna stay on their good side.

Sometimes, Dealing with Sensitive People Cautiously Is Not Worth It

The strategies above for improving your communication with sensitive people are based on the premise that it’s worth it. The sensitive person has some noteworthy redeemable qualities that make it worth trying to have a good relationship with them.

Sometimes though, this is not the case. All the effort to be on your toes constantly, adapt yourself and try to fix things in dealing with a sensitive person, is simply not worth it considering what you get in return. The benefits do not justify the cost.

In such cases, you’re better off not trying to cater to a sensitive person, and treating them as you would treat most people (which I imagine is a considerate, but not hyper-considerate way). If it upsets them or drives them away, so be it.

Some folks are not comfortable with hearing such advice. They don’t like the idea of letting people get upset at them, stay upset at them, and sometimes leave them. Usually I find this is because they care too much about having other people’s approval. They want everybody to like them and they wanna get along with everybody.

This is simply not a healthy attitude. You wanna learn to be okay with some people not liking you and not enjoying your company. You wanna learn to stop seeking everybody’s approval.

With this is mind, I recommend you check out this practical presentation, in which I’ll teach you my step-by-step, tried and tested method for gaining social confidence and stopping seeking people’s approval. If you struggle with breaking bad relationships or tolerating disapproval from others, this presentation will help you a lot.

Dealing with sensitive people is tricky. But with a good grasp of their psychology, strong communication strategies and the right attitude, it is something you can do effectively. Such tools are what I’ve offered you in this article.

For more communication and relationship advice from me, get right now onboard my free newsletter and I’ll talk to you some more there.

The 3 Layers of Learning in Personal Development

There are many ways to learn and grow as an individual, using a variety of tools. But not all of them work as effectively, and each tool entails a unique mix of advantages and disadvantages.

I’ve been involved in the personal development field for more than a decade: first as a practitioner only, then as a trainer, and now as a coach. In time I’ve reached the perspective that there are only 3 major tools a person can use in their self-improvement, and each one signifies a certain layer of learning.

The higher you go with these tools and the deeper you go in these layers of learning, the better results you achieve in your self-development. So I’d like to talk about these layers and help you get a better image of what you can do to see the changes you want to see in your life.

Layer #1: Articles

The internet is riddled with how-to articles on every imaginable personal development topic. Such articles are the first and most basic tool for self-improvement.

Articles are usually short and simple, each one only takes a few minutes to read, they are fairly easy to find, and most of them are free. So it’s obvious why, when facing a problem in life, people are quick to jump online to search for some articles with advice on how to solve it.

The trouble is that, although reading articles is a good start to learning how to deal with a certain problem, if the problem is fairly complex (and most personal development problems are), it will not be nearly enough.

This is why often, people who try to solve intricate issues like a lack of confidence, poor social skills, anger problems or toxic relationships just by reading some articles, although they make some progress, they fail to fully fix the issue or they take a reaaaally long time. The tools of the next layer may just do the trick though.

Layer #2: Books

booksBooks are the next level in personal development. When you feel like you’re not getting good enough solutions for a problem from articles, it’s wise to look for and pick up a good book addressing your type of problem. This can be a physical book, an e-book, an audio guide, etc.

As a general rule, books provide a much better learning and growth experience for a few keys reasons:

  • They offer more in-depth advice, which works better when put into practice than the more superficial advice you find in articles.
  • They address the multiple facets of a problem, from more angles than articles do, because they have the space to do so.
  • They typically organize all the info into a system, a method, which is much easier to apply then a bunch of scattered tips and advice.
  • People who write books tend to be more competent than people who write only articles, which makes for a higher quality of information on average in books.

Of course, books have the disadvantage that they cost money, although usually not that much. Price tag considered though, if you’re serious about making a crucial change in an area of your life, it’s highly valuable to get at least one book on that topic instead of stopping at reading articles.

I’ve read many personal development articles over the years, but I’ve also invested in many dozens of books, and looking back, it was definitely worth it.

Layer #3: Coaching

Coaching is in my view the most advanced tool for personal development, and it reaches the deepest layer of learning. By ‘coaching’ I mean any type of one-on-one learning, whether it’s coaching, counseling, therapy, etc.

Coaching people on a daily basis, I understand its dynamics and I’ve witnessed its benefits clearly. The main reason why coaching is a very powerful tool has to do with the fact that, being a one-on-one experience, everything is entirely customized to deal with your particular issues, in your particular circumstances.

When you work with a coach, you move from, for instance, “here is how to gain confidence in general” to “here is how you can gain confidence, given your specific beliefs, personality structure, lifestyle, and life experiences.” Plus, you get constant support to implement effectively all the insights you’ve gained. And that matters, a lot.

The major drawback of coaching is that it costs, and it costs considerably more than books. While you’ll usually spend $20 to $50 on a good book (physical, digital, or audio), you can expect to pay at least a few hundred dollars for a full-fledged coaching program.

Provided you find a good coach, I believe it’s definitely worth it though. But I also realize that for many folks, such a financial investment is too much for their current possibilities.

So if you have a meaningful goal you wanna achieve and you can afford some coaching to help you, I definitely encourage you to use it. You’ll see much, much better and faster results with reliable one-on-one support. Otherwise, consider both books and articles.

Of course, working with a bad coach will probably help you less than reading a good book and applying it on your own. And a bad book will likely help you less than a few good articles. But a good coaching program is net superior to a good book, which is net superior to a few good articles.

On the assumption of competent authors and providers, it’s worth shifting your self-improvement from articles-based to books-based, and then, if you can, to coaching-based. By investing some money in the right tools, you save a lot of precious time and you get way better results.

For more personal development and social success advice and articles from me, I invite you to join my free newsletter. And to take your learning to the next level, check out my Conversation Confidence audio-book.

3 Simple Rules for Better Friendships

I believe that quality friendships are a very important factor for our life satisfaction. People with good, reliable friends are consistently happier and healthier than those without.

Unfortunately, the topic of friendship is often disregarded in the personal development literature, although many people struggle with making friends and having fulfilling friendships. There is a lot of advice out there on dating and romantic relationships, on networking and business relationships, but not nearly as much on building and maintaining fulfilling friendships.

Well, I wanna do something about that. Today, drawing from my personal experience creating and nurturing a social circle, as well as my years of coaching experience helping others to enrich their social life, I’d like to share with you 3 simple rules for better friendships.

1. Choose Friends Based On Shared Values, Not Just Shared Context

We are very inclined to turn into friends the people we happen to be around a lot of the time. For example: coworkers, or school colleagues, or neighbors we pass by daily. The context brings us physically close to them regularly, and so we try to turn that physical closeness into emotional closeness.

friendshipThe problem is that just because you happen to be colleagues with someone or live next to them, it doesn’t mean you have that much in common in terms of values. And shared values are the one truly major factor that makes friendships deep, lasting and rewarding.

Sure, going to the same class with another person probably reflects a common interest in a certain discipline. But that’s only one, somewhat trivial commonality, so it’s insufficient to make a solid foundation for a highly-rewarding friendship.

This is why one of the best things you can do is to have a rich social life, to actively seek to meet lots of people (besides those that context naturally brings near you) and to pursue friendships above all with people who share similar values with you. It takes more work than just picking what’s around by virtue of context, but it leads to much more rewarding friendships.

2. Don’t Ditch Your Friends When You Find Romance

I see this happen all the time: somebody has a group of good friends they hang out with regularly and have fun, then one day they find themselves a girlfriend/boyfriend, and soon enough they end up completely ignoring their friends and losing touch with them.

Many claim this happens because they don’t have time for their friends anymore. But one can always make time for relationships that matter. The real issue is actually two-folded.

Firstly, folks often believe their romantic partner can take on the role of their friends as well. Usually though, they couldn’t be more wrong. There is a certain type of connection between friends (especially same-gender friends) that you can never replicate in the relationship with your girlfriend or boyfriend. Something vital gets lost in the translation. The truth is that both friendships and romantic relationships have something irreplaceable, so it’s a bad idea to try and absorb one type of relationship into the other.

Secondly, people often assume that the emotional high they get initially from a romantic relationship is gonna last forever. And their friends don’t seem that important when romance makes them feel so good. Again, they are mistaken. That initial high will wear off soon enough, and then they will find a big void in their life. But by then their old friends may no longer be there to fill it.

3. Turn Friendships into Mastermind Groups

Traditionally, friends are seen as people you hang out with, chit-chat with, and have some laughs with. But there is so much more potential to friendships, especially those based on shared values.

People with values similar to you understand you, they likely have know-how or experiences relevant to you, and they wanna see you succeed. So it’s a good idea to leverage your relations with them for growth and achievement. And they can do the same, of course. It’s reciprocal.

You can use your time together not just for light fun and conversation, but also as a way to share your goals and struggles, discuss them, give each other feedback and guidance, encourage and motivate each other, and try to help each other reach your goals. You’ll all benefit a lot from this.

In this form, a friendship has been augmented with the role of a mastermind group. A group of people focused on helping each other be all they can be in life. Thus, the friendship becomes more valuable and, over time, much stronger as well.

If you struggle with making or keeping friends, especially because of a lack of social confidence or social skills, make sure you check out this instructional video where I present my step-by-step formula for building social confidence. Also, join my free social success newsletter, where I’ll share regular and practical social advice with you.

There is a subtle art and science to having quality friendships. Once you’ve mastered it, you’ll very likely see the people you call your friends and the time you spend together as some of the most precious pieces of your life. Good friends and good relationships matter that much.