How To Be Confident With Men
If you are agonizing over how to be confident with men, I want you to stop beating yourself up over having insecurities and instead embrace your timidities.
Lots of relationship advice for women claim that men want stronger and more assertive women. Though there is truth in this, this advice is misleading. Men don’t want women to act like other men who happen to have vaginas, they want to love and be loved by real, soft, feminine, succulently sensual and sensuous women. They don’t want assertive partners who manage, control, dictate, demand, etc. They don’t want stronger women who are also emotionally hard. And they don’t want confidence in a woman if it’s false confidence. Women with false confidence confuse vulnerability with weakness and men fall in love with a woman’s vulnerable side.
The best place to start when trying to find your voice and feel less insecure in love is self-care. By self-care I don’t mean looking fluffy and smelling luxurious to please men; I mean being healthy and kind to your being.
When you eat well, exercise and take the time to listen to your emotional and mental needs (listening to your self-loving inner voice), you start to put up personal boundaries around your relationships. You start to know when something feels wrong AND you speak up in your relationship.
Lots of times we logically know what we should and shouldn’t be tolerating in a relationship, but not only do we not heed warnings, sometimes we don’t even know how we feel about a man’s behavior toward us. We don’t actually feel the alarm bells going off inside us when he behaves badly, so we figure that things can’t be that bad.
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Many of us have been programmed to ignore our emotional responses and do what we are told. If you grow up frequently being told what to do, you lose a sense of how you feel about something and when you become an adult you do what you think you should be doing based on the guidelines set forth by others. Or… you rebel.
Confidence is all about reclaiming your feelings and finding a way back to your choices. The best way to reclaim your feelings is to start paying attention to them. Start asking yourself in a given moment, How do I feel about this? If you find you are obsessing over the idea of eating 3 candy bars, ask yourself what your body really wants to eat. When you are fixated on how to regain a guy’s interest, ask yourself if you really feel happy about the relationship or are just dedicated to the chase.
When you start taking the time to listen to your feelings, you will get to know your honest and pressing needs, and this will help you know what you will and won’t tolerate in a relationship. Truly knowing your personal preferences will help you KEEP those boundaries firmly in place. With boundaries in place, you start feeling even better about yourself and more powerful in your choices. It’s a cycle.
Getting To The Heart Of Things
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Lots of times we drive men crazy because we ramble on and on about our needs without actually being direct about what we want. I know it can feel very uncomfortable being direct about what you want, and who can blame us women when words like needy and clingy are thrown around all the time to describe nightmare female partners. But the truth is that your needs don’t necessarily make you needy. What makes your energy feel clingy to a man is your inability to just say how you feel and ask for what you want without dancing around the issue.
How many times have you wanted to talk with a man about commitment and ended up either having a talk with him where you ended up blundering on and never getting to the point or sending him an email that was 2 pages long and didn’t make much sense?
The best way to share your feelings and be more ‘assertive’, is to state your feelings, concerns, needs, wants, dislikes, etc. in a sentence or two:
- “I feel uncomfortable about sleeping with a man without exclusivity.”
- “I don’t want to take out the trash anymore.”
- “I am concerned about our sex life.”
Avoid the reasons, excuses, etc. because they sound like apologies. Never apologize for your feelings and for having needs. That is a total lack of confidence.
What also you don’t have to do (which lots of women put upon themselves) is to have a solution to your feelings and needs. Let him come up with the solution with you. You can go to a man and say that you feel bad about not being in a committed relationship after dating for so many months, but don’t go on about what you think you both should do about it.
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Risk leaving resolutions up in the air when you talk with him. Lots of times, we bark out a solution such as: “We should take time away from each other”, “I should probably start dating other men”. We do this because we are afraid to hear what he has to say. We would rather protect ourselves and say it first than risk hearing him say something that we possibly might not like.
How To Be Confident With Men: Wear Your Heart On Your Sleeve
Speak with him from your vulnerability. Expose your underbelly and risk emotional intimacy. Don’t treat him like he’s a coworker, speaking with him about your feelings like you are giving a presentation at the office conference meeting. Be tender and open-hearted.
So many women don’t even know what emotional intimacy is, but when you have it with someone, I promise that the confusion goes away. The easiest way to start creating an emotional connection with your man is to start sharing things about yourself that you find too revealing. Now, do this over time, at a healthy, slow pace (people with intimacy issues usually blurt out their life story on the first date), and make sure he has proven that he is trustworthy. But risk feeling unnerved, vulnerable, goofy, and even insecure in his presence. By insecure, I don’t mean that you feel ‘less than’ but that you should feel uncomfortable being so exposed. Share yourself more honestly (let your feelings, thoughts and conversations match-up), and from a softer heart-space.
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The idea of opening up and creating tenderness in the space between you and a man may make you anxious and even freak you out. Don’t try to run from that feeling. Sit in it (not on it) and even share it with him; “I have to tell you I feel anxious and scared about getting close to someone and revealing myself, but I want to so I am being honest right now about my limitations.” And then avoid saying anything else. No defending, assuming he feelings weird, asking him what you both should do about that. Just be still in the silence and wait for him to respond.
It’s that simple. A man with true confidence will admire your honesty and your communication skills, and more importantly, he will feel SAFE with you.
Learning how to be confident with men is learning how to accept yourself. It’s not about learning how to impress a man, it’s about realizing that you don’t have to impress anyone. It’s about exposing the true you—flaws and all—and asking if he will join you in the journey toward unconditional love. Mature, caliber, emotionally available men understand will walk with you.