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How do I grow my self confidence in order to talk to new people?

College is all about starting a new chapter in your life. You may go off to a different state or even internationally in order to get your education.
Inevitably, this means leaving behind old friends in high school. As a shy person I was wondering how one may go about building up some self confidence in order to get to a point when starting conversations with strangers doesn't feel as horrifying. And as a result, making new friends.


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6 answers

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Lisa’s Answer

Start small. Find one new person that has similar interests as you and then the both of you can meet new people and build your self confidence.

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Gabby’s Answer

I was in your same shoes when I started undergraduate. I have always been very shy and an introvert. However, the best way for me was to look into clubs and social events that I was interested in and attend them. This is a great way to meet people that have the same interest as you. This may be very intimidating and you may have to get out of your comfort zone to talk to people. Also start with your roommate or RA if you have one. Sometimes, while attending club meetings, people will actually talk to you and want to get to know you, especially if you are new. I would not pressure it or think to deeply about it because it will naturally happen.

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Jennifer’s Answer

A lot of people seem to naturally be confident while other have to work at it, which is completely normal. Good news is some self esteem and confidence improves with age and life experiences. Getting out in to the real world after High school is your first step.

Jennifer recommends the following next steps:

It can be very nerve racking to approach someone new and start a conversation, so try making small talk with people you most likely won't see again. For example, if you are at a restaurant ask your waiter or whoever is taking your order if it's been a busy day. Talk about the weather with someone who is pumping gas at the same time you are.
By starting off approaching and conversing with people you will probably never talk to again is a great way to build confidence. You don't have to worry about making a fool of yourself because you probably will never see them again. Eventually you will feel comfortable enough to approach people that you will see on a daily basis. Just remember you are not the only one trying to make it in this world, everyone else is probably feeling the same way you do. 😊😉

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Elaine’s Answer

I'm impressed that you have a level of self-awareness to recognize this is an area you would like to improve. Personally, I believe building relationships takes time. Giving yourself time might relieve a little anxiety built up at the mere thought of conversations with strangers. When you have the opportunity to sit back, listen and observe people you see regularly, in and out of the classroom, you might notice things you have in common. Seeing commonalities helps move people from the "stranger" category and possibly give you some general things to talk about with ease.

You've reached out to strangers in career village. You have a desire to connect. I believe you will!

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Adriana’s Answer

I would like to recommend a book called "How to Have Confidence and Power in Dealing with People" it really did help me a lot in breaking the ice, etc.

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Haylie’s Answer

As Jennifer mentioned, some people are naturally good at starting conversations and some people need to work at it. It is daunting at first, but the more you do it, the easier it gets. There are plenty of conversation starters like the weather or complimenting people on their outfit.

The great thing about starting college or starting at a new place in general is that you get a clean slate and you can decide who you want to be and what you want to be known for. You are not the only one who is feeling nervous since there are hundreds if not thousands of people at your college campus who is in the same boat.

Haylie recommends the following next steps:

There are lots of great books with relevant research and experience regarding this topic. One book I always recommend for meeting new people and making friends is "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie.