• Keeping Friends

How friends help us feel confident

Published: October 22, 2011 | Last Updated: August 31, 2013 By | 9 Replies Continue Reading

Healthy friendships allow us to feel more confident in ourselves. Here’s how…

Everyone has self-doubts and insecurities from time to time. It’s common to worry about how we look, our performance at college or at work, or how others perceive us. Sometimes we may question whether we said or did the right thing in a specific situation — or worry about something as minor as whether we picked the right pair of shoes to complement a little black dress.

Like most people, whenever I’m unsure about myself, I tend to ask a friend or close family member for a second opinion. A healthy dose of skepticism and uncertainty about ourselves is a good thing because it helps us make better decisions. No one knows everything or has perfect instincts, and having good friends on whom we can rely for advice helps improve our sense of self-confidence and make better decisions.

Here are five ways friends can help us gain self-confidence:

1) Friends cheer our successes

Whether it’s acing an exam or getting a promotion at work, our friends take pride in our achievements. “Way to go! I knew you would do it!”

2) Friends model new ways of being

Every friend has some strengths or skills that help us strive to do things a better way. We see a friend give a talk before a large group and win the favor of the audience, and wonder whether we might be able to do the very same thing.

3) Friends support our efforts to grow

Sometimes the biggest deterrent to accomplishing our goals is thinking that we can’t. Friends sometimes see strengths in us that we aren’t able to recognize ourselves and give us the encouragement to try something new or do something better.

4) Friends wipe away our tears

Everyone has failures or bumps along the road, whether it’s being dumped by a guy or losing a soccer tournament in a shootout. Friends help us deal with our mistakes – even big ones-helping us keep things in perspective. “He wasn’t good enough for you anyway.” “You were lucky to make it to the finals!” After a few laughs with a good friend, you may even forget what it was that was getting you down.

5) Friends teach us the value of teamwork

Alone we may be too timid or insecure to introduce our selves to new people or places, or too frightened to try something new or differently. But when we are working or playing alongside a friend, we suddenly see our energy and creativity blossom, enabling us to soar higher than we ever imagined.

The best part of close friendships is that the feelings are reciprocal: They share our dreams and we are able to do the very same thing for our friends as they do for us!

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Comments (9)

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  1. loner says:

    Hello, im having trouble 100% how to make friends, since when I was a kid, i suffered alot i had alot rejections , i lost my confidence…forever, so now i started to make my life as loner, im having hard time to trust myself , im 39 years old, im from LA Ca, im so freaking shy and now im getting use to it, i dont trust anymore because people are radical, i dont know if im gonna trust again i dont think so, since i was in elementary school,i never had friends like, chinese,latino, afro american,koreans,etc so im loner the rest of my life

    • loner says:

      I also i feel scared too

      • loner says:

        I want to die myself

        • Irene says:

          Dear Loner,

          When someone is anxious or depressed it’s hard to make friends. If you are having any thoughts of suicide, you need to reach out for help. Please read this post that was written in response to another reader.


          There are free and confidential counseling services available by phone that can help you:

          A free 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) is available to people in crisis (or their loved ones) at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Calls are routed to local crisis centers.

          Please reach out for this help that can’t be provided online.

          Best, Irene

  2. Anonymous says:

    I am in Omega Phi Alpha, a national service sorority, and this is where I have met many of my good friends. Omega Phi Alpha’s three cardinal principles are friendship, leadership, and service, and we work as a whole to foster these qualities in our individual members. One way that our “friends model new ways of being” in our organization is our tradition of “Teach a Sister.” For this service project to our sisters, you can choose to teach anything you know. For example, one sister held a “Teach a Sister” on scrapbooking, another on tie dying t-shirts, and another on taekwondo and self defense. No matter what we are doing, it is always a great opportunity to get to know your sisters better and learn a new skill! Another great thing that we do to support our friendships is called “for the good of the chapter.” Here, we “cheer our successes,” “wipe away our tears,” and “support our efforts to grow.” At the end of every chapter meeting, we have a time when sisters can say whatever they want. It is a time for sharing thoughts or concerns, sharing praises, or just telling a funny story. Sometimes we laugh and sometimes we cry, but it always brings us closer together as a sisterhood! I am so grateful for my friends, my sister, in Omega Phi Alpha!!
    -Teigan McIntosh

  3. GoldenTressKJ says:

    Very true! Have to remind myself of that and not let homesickness get to me so much 🙂

  4. Irene says:

    Moving really can take a toll but it is an opportunity to make new connections! Warm regards, Irene

  5. GoldenTressKJ says:

    This post seems to explain exactly why I am having confidence troubles! It’s funny how before I moved away for my job, I didn’t realize just how vital my friends were to my confidence. In a way, it really made me appreciate my friends more, because I saw just how much a part of me the really affected once they weren’t around. Now that I am far away and have no friendships that mirror the closeness I had with my home friends, my confidence has definitely taken a hit, and for a while I was confused as to why. I’ll never take my friends for granted again!! 🙂

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