How to Feel More Confident When You're Intimidated

March 28, 2018 Emily Roberts MA, LPC

You can feel more confident in intimidating situations when you follow this advice: communicate. Learn how to communicate to feel more confident at HealthyPlace. Don't be intimidated -- learn how to get through that fear and feel more confident today.

It's hard to feel confident around others when you're feeling insecure or anxious. Many people struggle with finding the right words, talking too much or not enough, which makes everyone uncomfortable. It's very common to feel insecure around new people, in work or academic situations or when you're in the presence of a strong personality. It's possible to feel more confident, even in the most intimidating circumstances, with this quick communication tip.

How to Feel More Confident Around Intimidating People

I find that I feel more confident in anxiety-provoking situations when I recognize how I'm feeling and decide to do the opposite. My mind may be pushing me to stay silent, but I want to feel confident, so I have to act that way. What does that look like? A person who exudes confidence appears present (not multitasking), usually smiles, asks questions, listens and maintains eye contact. All of this may be too much for you to do with a snarky supervisor or passive-aggressive person in your life but you can learn to act that way interested.

It's Okay to Act Interested

One of the most effective ways to connect with others is to act interested. Eye contact or a smile isn't going to improve your confidence as much as talking to someone will. A simple “How’s your week been?” or “How did that project turn out?” takes the pressure off you and helps you connect with someone else.

Plus, starting a conversation shows others that you are secure. If you're afraid to break the ice and think., “What if they say something weird back or look at me funny?” remember this is an insecure thought that likely has a .001 percent chance of occurring. And if they did say something rude to you, how bad does that make them look? When you make it a point to act interested in others around you, you appear and become more confident.

Speak Up to Feel More Confident in Uncomfortable Situations

I find that a lot of people expect their coworkers, friends or family members to be the one to start conversations or to show they care. Try to avoid this; it sends the message that you are intimidated or aren't interested in other people in your life.

These people wait and hold back their thoughts and feelings until someone else gives them the green light to speak. Not only does this hold you back from developing self-esteem, but it also tricks your mind into thinking the other person is more powerful than you. No one is more powerful than you. Yes, you may have to abide by rules or guidelines with family, teachers or bosses but you are worthy of the same respect as they are.

We tend to make people “special” or feel that they are better than us due to the fear of getting hurt or the intimidating vibes they are giving off; this doesn’t help you feel more confident. When you take the lead to start a conversation or express yourself, or even just exchange pleasantries, you are showing more confidence and allowing them to feel important, too.

Express Yourself and Feel More Confident

It’s empowering to honor your feelings; your body knows when you are trying to suffocate them, and it doesn’t like it. Notice how you feel when you say something or communicate with someone about a topic that matters. It could be a question you’ve had all week, your feelings of excitement for someone or sadness for what they’re going through, or it can also be asking for what you want.

Just today, I had this urge to walk out of the office without letting a colleague know I was sorry to hear about his difficult weekend. I noticed the avoidance and realized I didn’t want to hear more sad news, but I also realized that I would feel terrible if I didn’t say something. I had to pause and think about what I was avoiding and what the fear was driving this.

On my way out, I peeked my head in to say hi and ask him how everything was going with his family. It was a two-minute conversation that made the other person feel validated and helped me feel better about myself. I care about this person more than I care about a few uncomfortable seconds. Don’t let fear keep you from saying what matters because when you avoid it -- your self-esteem suffers.

The bottom line is, to feel more confident with others you've got to communicate with them. It's common to be nervous but the more you practice in everyday situations, the easier it will be in the ones that make you squirm.

APA Reference
Roberts, E. (2018, March 28). How to Feel More Confident When You're Intimidated, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 13 from

Author: Emily Roberts MA, LPC

Emily is a psychotherapist, she is intensively trained in DBT, she the author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Being Who You Are. You can visit Emily’s Guidance Girl website. You can also find her on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

Maria Houston
April, 12 2018 at 7:56 pm

Thanks for the advice. I'll practice speaking up more!

Maria Houston
April, 12 2018 at 7:55 pm

I get more interested in others when my depression subsides.

Kathleen Ehmsen
April, 4 2018 at 7:04 pm

Thank you. This article will help me deal, hopefully with my sister

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