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If I need to improve someone's self-confidence, self-esteem, and conversation skills, how would I go about doing it?

Books that improve self confidence is one option, but I think some sort of counselling or face-to-face course would be a better choice.

Has anyone faced a similar situation before? Can someone suggest a reliable organization or institution (in the US) who offer such counselling sessions?

I would greatly appreciate all responses.

Thanks.
KC.
 
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KC: If I need to improve someone's self-confidence, self-esteem, and conversation skills, how would I go about doing it?
Take them to the nearest bar and suck down a few beers.
 
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I don't think anyone can teach confidence.
I had that problem.
It improved, but not much.
Facing facts helps.
Comparing your achievements to other successfull people.
Find someone your friend thinks is very successful, a person your frind would look up to, discuss strenghts your friend has comparing to that person, br realistic and serious, make him seriously think about it.
Give more attention to your friend and be very confident yourself when you are with him. Having someone confident near impoves it a lot. Have your friend deal with situations he usually avoids. Force him to do that. If he has to talk to some manager because of bad service, have him do that.
He may hate you and fight with you at first, but he will learn.
 
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Sounds like you want one of those "team building" courses from the .com boom, where the entire company would go backpacking in the mountains and be told to sing songs about how great they were in harmony.

The stopping of that nonsense has been one of the few positive side effects of the blowing of the bubble
 
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Originally posted by Rita Moore:
I don't think anyone can teach confidence.



confidence cant be taught but surely confidence can be developed in any person.

How do you develop it in other person.. different people have their own different methodologies.

But yes, it can be developed.
 
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Not being confident has many reasons. Foremost is fear. Fear of not being accepted, fear of faliure, fear that it may not work kinds. So first fear has to be brought under control. Needs lot of self analysis. Best is to sit down and write down what stops one from being confident. While doing this it is very essential to be impartial and to the point. Listing of Strengths and Weakness would help in judging one's present position. From there action, real action is needed to weed out unwanted fears. This will surely help. Having short-term achievable goals is the next step. Slowly confidence can be bulit in this way.
Good books, counselling, everything will help in the way. Sometimes when I am down with confidence, even action movies give me a pep.

HTH,
Raghav
[ January 11, 2005: Message edited by: Raghav Sam ]
 
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Have them join an amateur performing arts group!
Confidience is acting.
 
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The best way to build someone's self-confidence is to spend time with them and listen to them.

If someone dropped a self-help book in my lap saying, "This should help you.", I would interpret it as "You are broken. Fix yourself up and maybe then you'll be worth my time."

John's comment about going out for beers isn't so bad. Alcohol helps some people open up a little.

I believe that confidence is drawn from how we see ourselves in the reflection of others. Direct interactions (such as one-to-one conversations) condition us to perceive indirect interactions as negative or positive.

For instance, let's say I have many direct interactions in which people laugh and make fun of me. When I walk by a group of people laughing (indirect) I will probably assume that they are laughing at me. Those people probably never noticed me walking by but my negative conditioning has caused me to assume the worst.

Really take the time to actively listen to this person. Enough positive experiences of direct interaction can really change someone's life.
 
R K Singh
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Originally posted by Angela Poynton:
Confidience is acting.



hmm.. I dont agree..

When you try to live upto your lie then confidence might be acting.

IMO confidence is about being above the fear of failure. Confidence is a function of lot of other parameters too.

Your PM might have confidence in the team meeting but very much possible that he is not confident on road talking to policeman for overspeeding.
Or there are people who are very confident for personal affairs but in professional life they are not that confident.

A rich person does not need confidence to enter in 5 star hotel but a taxi driver needs confidence to enter in a 5 star hotel.
It does not mean that taxi driver does not have confidence.

Confidence also comes from repeatation. If you are doing same thing again and again ten you will have confidence in doing that thing.

If someone does not have confidence in public speaking, then he should try to speak as much as possible in public.
This is the way these classes develop confidence in their students. They give so many chances to do the same thing again and again that it becomes normal for them.

AW if someone wants to gain the confidence by himself, then he, himself only has to take the first step. I belive that everything is only three steps away. First step to think about it, second step to do something about your thinking and third step will automatically follow the second.
[ January 11, 2005: Message edited by: R K Singh ]
 
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i too agree that that confidence cant be taught but can be developed.
sometimes it happens that one loose his confidence but it is not on permanant basis. it is temporary effect.
here i feel one should use all the ways like books also if possible meet a counseller. discuss the prob with friends. in all cases try to think +vely.
try to learn self motivation techniques. though it is simple to say but difficult to gain.
 
ParagS Kulkarni
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one more thing
yoga, pranayam, meditation will definitely help.
 
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Do you have Aspergers syndrome? If so, you might want to do more research it ,ask jeeves. I know here in the uk there was an advert in ClassicFM about helper people with Asperger syndrome handle the social scene.

You might want to try Mindful Meditation also, it stops me from being clumsy like Steven Hawkings.
 
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I need to improve someone's self-confidence...

Is that "someone" aware of his or her need to improve self-confidence, etc? Or is it just you who needs him/her changed?

Books that improve self confidence is one option, but I think some sort of counselling or face-to-face course would be a better choice.

I agree that practical approach to this issue will more likely give practical results

Has anyone faced a similar situation before?

Yep. In my case a good reality check and a little help from my friends did the trick. And my willingness to change, of course...

Can someone suggest a reliable organization or institution (in the US) who offer such counselling sessions?

I have friends. Reliable, caring, wise, and patient. I come to them, and they come to me for help. It works for us so far.
 
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get drunk and u will never lose confidence when ur high..always carry a flask of whiskey with u in case u need to be confident .
(I am not trying to be sarcastic, just trying to be funny ..LOL)

Well, the best way is to face the fear..like if u lose confidence when u give a lecture in front of several people, try giving lectures and gradually u will overcome fear. Positive thinking/high self esteem is also important. u can read books about positive thinking.
[ January 12, 2005: Message edited by: Tanveer Rameez ]
 
kayal cox
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Thanks everybody for all your suggestions and advice. I thought it would be good if I can give some more information. For starters, it's a "she"

The biggest hurdle to cross is conversation. She tends to not speak about her problems, and I haven't been successful in getting past the outer shell you know. So, If I or someone else tries to give her words of comfort or advice, then we only get automatic replies. You know like how Matt Damon initally responds with "I know" in Good Will Hunting when Robin William keeps saying "it's not your fault". Of course, later he breaks down, but that doesn't happen with her.
one other problem is, for some issues, there isn't much that you can say to console or comfort. So, when the issue is bad, what can I say to make her feel better. Only time is the healer, but till then, what do we do?

John: Take them to the nearest bar and suck down a few beers.


Unfortunately, she does not drink alcoholic beverages

Rita: I don't think anyone can teach confidence.


Hmm, I do think confidence can be taught. I have seen it others and I have seen it in myself. I am trying my best to follow the rest of your suggestions.

RK Singh: But yes, it can be developed.


Thanks, I agree too.

Raghav:
Not being confident has many reasons. Foremost is fear.


The main problem with her is fear of rejection, not being accepted. And the outcome of this is, she has kinda lost the ability to speak with modulation, and tonal differences. Her words are always monotonous. There is no difference in pitch, even when talking to children. She replies in one words, and doesn't do much to advance the conversation.

Marc: The best way to build someone's self-confidence is to spend time with them and listen to them.
...
Really take the time to actively listen to this person. Enough positive experiences of direct interaction can really change someone's life.


I try to be around as much as possible. I make an effort to do things together, but listening is a problem, because like I told she doesn't talk much. If I sit with her watching TV, unless I keep saying stuff, we end up sitting in silence for hours.

Parag: sometimes it happens that one loose his confidence but it is not on permanant basis. it is temporary effect.


Right, I also think that this is a temporary problem. But it's a catch22 situation, you know, like requiring experience to find a job.

Parag: here i feel one should use all the ways like books also if possible meet a counseller. discuss the prob with friends. in all cases try to think +vely.


I am worried, that I myself would aggravate the problem by suggesting counsellers, bcz she might think she things are so bad that she needs professional help.

Gerald: Do you have Aspergers syndrome? If so, you might want to do more research it ,ask jeeves.


No, I dont think it's Aspergers Syndrome. But I will definitely try to follow up on the meditation.

Dmitry: Is that "someone" aware of his or her need to improve self-confidence, etc? Or is it just you who needs him/her changed?


Yes, that person knows change is required. Its affecting her in a lot of ways, failure to get a job, even though technically qualified because she doesn't handle interviews right, failure in finding a partner etc.

What I find most disturbing is her apathy.
Anyways, after posting in JR, I looked around, and found some courses in the local colleges that offer some courses that might help us - one is a painting class, something I know she would like to try out, and there are a whole bunch of courses on public speaking, relationship nurturing etc. Maybe I would sign her up for some of those.
 
Marc Peabody
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found some courses in the local colleges that offer some courses that might help us - one is a painting class,



That sounds like a pretty good idea. I think there is a good hobby out there for everyone. Some people just take a while to find it. If your friend finds a good avenue for expression it could solve most of those confidence issues.

Worst case scenario, there's always Prozac.

Oh, has your friend played DDR before?
[ January 12, 2005: Message edited by: Marc Peabody ]
 
kayal cox
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You know, she hasn't played DDR before. Now, that is a good idea. Let me see what I can do with that. Of course, she might not share the craze that I have for it.. but it's worth a shot. And I have always found that physical activity tends to create some positivity
 
Dmitry Melnik
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Before she got stuck in the apathy, what kind of person did she used to be?

Is there any thing that actually brings her out of her apathy? and make her smile, or cry, or get angry, or feel whatever but apathy?

Is there any situation where she does not feel rejected (does not fear to get rejected)? Like with her kids, or pets, or in routine social situations?

How about body activity? Does she dance? does sports? plays games? makes love? Does it affect her mood at all?
 
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Don't mean to read too much into the little bit you have given, but was she abused physically or mentally? There might be more to this. You might be trying to teach confidence where if she can overcome another potential problem, the confidence might comeon its own.

Maybe teaching confidence is just a band-aid.

To me, it sounds like it might be something deeper.
Granted, that's without knowing her. Just throwin that out there.
[ January 12, 2005: Message edited by: Matt Fielder ]
 
kayal cox
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I typed out a long and detailed response to Dmitry's and Matt's post, and then realized that I was probably violating her privacy. And I am not sure where to draw the line. Suffice it to say that, I do know what her problems are (its not abuse, or anything serious like that), and I do know what the solution is.

Lets say right now, if she manages to get a job, she will mostly be on the path to becoming alright, because that would give her confidence a huge boost. She would be forced to interact with other people, and thats good for her.
And for her to get a job, I need to get her to speak well, speak with a positive note, speak confidently, and not answer in blunt, curt sentences. Handling interviews is a skill in itself - how to subtly market one's own strong points, how to field questions in unfamiliar areas, how to inspire trust in the interviewer.. Maybe I should find a course or book on handling interviews.
 
Dmitry Melnik
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I was probably violating her privacy. And I am not sure where to draw the line.

That's right. There is no need to dump private stuff on a public forum. My idea was to help you to find things which do or can bring her up, and keep her there. If you know the answers -- you can use them to her benefits. You do not have to limit your interactions to conversations only. Sitting silently for hours is not quite effective IMHO. I would try to get her involved in any kind of activity or conversation which she is comfortable doing or talking about, which she can do with great confidence (or even pleasure and joy, if she can). Arguing IMHO is Ok also, you can argue in a way which would help building her self-confidence Let her escalate and push.

Lets say right now, if she manages to get a job, she will mostly be on the path to becoming alright

Agreed. And I think it would be better if she were confident in handling job-related interactions with other people. It matters for her recovery, how friendly or competitive the environment would be at the new job. IMHO having a job in hostile environment may harm her. So, pick jobs wisely

And for her to get a job, I need to get her to speak well, speak with a positive note, speak confidently,

As a training I'd ask her to tell about her job experience or project she is most proud of. Or about the kind of job she enjoys the most, about successfull projects, etc. If she has confidence and positivity (and she does) she'll sound confident and positive.
 
kayal cox
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Thanks Dmitry

I appreciate your responses, and some of the questions you had raised were not things that I had thought about previously.. Knowing or atleast thinking about the answers would certainly help me figure out what would be a good way to handle this!
 
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I think the most important thing is being supportive.

I'll give you an example that happened with my wife. She was in a situation where she had to actually show up at the courthouse at a particular time to deal with a ticket. Left to herself, she might have stayed home and things would have gotten worse.

I helped write up her side of the story, so she wouldn't actually have to recite it. Then I went with her to the courthouse, and offered to do the talking for her if she wanted me to.

As it turned out, having me there, and knowing that I would be there for her if she needed me, was enough support that she was able to deal with it herself. All I had to do was wait in the waiting area. She took the writeup in and talked to the court official herself. They even dropped the ticket.

Since then, she's gotten much better about being able to deal with situations like that. A success or two can really do a lot for one's confidence.
 
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