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Smooth operator: so what if you're not the most confident gal around? Act like you are! (GL Life).

Some girls just seem to glide through life. You? You still can't figure out where to put your arms when you walk or what to say when you meet someone new. Don't sweat it. The truth is that no one is born confident. It's a skill you learn. It might take some practice, but follow our tips to becoming super smoooooth on the social scene.

HOW CAN I BE CONFIDENT WHEN MEETING NEW PEOPLE?

Say you joined the yearbook staff. You walk into your first meeting, and a group of girls are chatting and laughing together. You recognize a few faces, but you don't really know any of them. Do you walk over and jump right in? Or do you quietly take a seat in the corner?

NERVOUS NELLY SAYS: Never draw attention to yourself. Stand far enough away so you don't bother the other girls, but close enough so one or two of them can see you. Keep your eyes down so they don't think you're being nosy.

CONFIDENT CHICA SAYS: Nice try, but staring at your feet and pretending you don't see the group won't fool anyone. Plus, nobody wants to talk to someone who looks uncomfortable or, worse, disinterested. Instead, grab a seat near the girls, and make eye contact with the one who's talking. Smile and show that you're interested, but don't try to steal the spotlight. Wait for someone to introduce you to everyone, or do it yourself. When there's a lull in the convo, smile and say, "Hi, I'm Emily." Then, jump into the conversation, throwing in comments like, "Wow, that's amazing!" and "What happens next?"

I FEEL SO AWKWARD AND UNGRACEFUL, EVEN IF I'M JUST WALKING AROUND.

Do you walk with your arms across your chest, shoulders slouched, eyes down? And you wonder why people don't smile at you and say "hi." A confident walk speaks for itself. Even if you're feeling a little shy, nobody will ever guess it.

NERVOUS NELLY SAYS: But, if you walk quietly, with your eyes down, nobody will bother you.

CONFIDENT CHICA SAYS: Walking all wishy-washy definitely makes you look insecure. So, strut your stuff like you're in control--it makes a difference. Relaxing your body is the easiest way to calm your nerves. Take a deep breath, and walk tall--head up, shoulders back, eyes forward. Let your arms swing freely at your sides. Practice until it feels natural.

HOW CAN I GET MY VOICE TO STOP SQUEAKING WHEN I'M NERVOUS?

Every time you try talking when your crush is around, your voice squeaks and cracks? Yikes--this is a telltale sign you're freaking out. Is there a way you can stop your voice from sounding like a high-pitched whistle?

NERVOUS NELLY SAYS: Eek! If that happens, don't talk at all. Just smile and hope nobody asks you any questions.

CONFIDENT CHICA SAYS: Yeah, right, and miss out on making a crush connection? Try this: Each morning, in your room, hold a pillow over your mouth, and scream to warm up your vocal chords. Then, keeping the pillow there, talk in a nice, full voice. Or sing along with the radio as you get dressed for school. If you were in a weightlifting contest, you'd build up your muscles, right? Think of this as building up your vocal chords to have a squeakless conversation with a potential BF.

I TOTALLY GOOFED, AND I FEEL LIKE A BIG DORK. NOW WHAT?

A little spit sprayed on a popular sophomore when you laughed at her joke. You barged into a conversation like a buffoon. Now what? Can you join the Witness Protection Program? Will your parents agree it's time to move--tomorrow?

NERVOUS NELLY SAYS: See? Being confident is full of potential disasters! Back under that rock.

CONFIDENT CHICA SAYS: No one is super-smooth all the time! Apologize if necessary: "So sorry I sprayed it instead of saying it. Don't you hate when that happens?" But don't go on and on about it. Saying something as simple as "Smooth move, (your name)," takes away any awkwardness and shows you're confident enough to accept yourself for who you are--flaws and all. So, keep your head up, and cut yourself some slack. Even the Queen of The Social Scene trips up every now and then.
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Article Details
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Author:Baade, Robin
Publication:Girls' Life
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Aug 1, 2002
Words:711
Previous Article:Rah rah rah. (GL Life: Ask Lucky).
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