Have you ever stopped to wonder why children are so confident? How is it so easy for them to do whatever they feel like doing and speak to whomever they feel like speaking to whenever they feel like it? How can they make friends so easily? My oldest daughter is 4 and has so many instant best friends! She will see somebody around her age, say “Hello, my name is C! I like your *insert item* (toy, hair, dress, dog, etc). Do you like my new *insert item*? Do you want to play?” If the answer is yes, then BAM! instant best friends! If the answer is no, she’s sad for a moment, but eventually she moves onto the next “friend” who comes her way. I like to think of this as marketing herself. She’s already confident, but she markets herself in a way which makes herself appealing to her new audience and the majority of the time she ends up with a new BFF. I believe this is the same situation for us as adults the only difference is we don’t have the same confidence as children and most of us do not know how to market ourselves.
I have moved around a lot my entire life because of the military and I attribute my confidence when it comes to speaking to new people from experience. When I was a child I would make a wish that friends would just flock to me, but it never happened and I had to go out and meet new people. If I never had to make new friends at each duty station I would have never learned how to market myself. I never had trouble making friends.
As an adult, it was easy, but my challenge was when I married into the military (believe me it’s totally different from being active duty) and had children. I felt as if I were being judged all of the time as a military spouse and a mother. It wasn’t until my move to Maryland when I realized nobody cared!!! Yep! Nobody cared about the way that I parented or the fact that I wasn’t super active in the military spouse community. My confidence was in jeopardy because of my own insecurities. So, I decided to change my wish. After we officially moved and unpacked, my wish changed from new friends flocking to me, to me being confident enough again to throw my insecurities aside and just say “hi” or exactly what I’m thinking! This completely changed my world. I have met so many amazing people just by the way I marketed myself.
I challenge you to do something completely out of the norm for you. Say something which helps market you, like, “I love your hair!” or “I can’t believe they have this item on sale!” (if you’re in a store). You never know what you may have in common with the person next to you and the conversations people tend to dredge up in a long line are so fun. You never know, that person may just be your new BFF.