8 ways to spot a genuinely confident person, according to psychology

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but there seem to be a lot of people trying to fake it til they make it. I keep seeing a lot of fake confidence among people these days.

So how we do we know if someone is truly a confident person or if they’re just masking their insecurities? And how do we become more confident people? Are there certain attributes that could boost our confidence?

Well, psychologists have figured out a few ways to spot a genuinely confident person. By adopting some of these qualities, we could even boost our own self-confidence!

Read on to find out about 7 of these.

1) Active listening

Have you ever had someone listen to you so attentively that you feel like they care? This is what active listening feels like. 

The person you’re speaking with asks deep questions and remembers what you’ve told them later on.

This article explains that active listeners are confident people because they can remember small details and are sure about what they communicate with others. 

This is especially evident in the workplace where active listening as opposed to not fully engaging with the conversation can show how confident a person is in their job or with what they know about it.

2) Empathy

Has there been a time when you’ve seen someone who needed some help but you felt a bit shy and didn’t help them? 

Someone confident in themselves has no problem helping people they don’t know because they are already self-secure. They aren’t worried about what others think of them.

Some people say that the difference between confidence and arrogance is empathy.

Psychologists say that empathy is essential for confidence. And that the more empathetic a person is the more confident they become.

3) Positive self-talk

I’m sure you’ve heard about positive affirmations and positive self-talk. It’s all the rage at the moment.

The thing about why these things are so popular is because they work.

When we speak positively about ourselves we feel good about ourselves. That constant positive feeling creates confidence.

Psychologists say that both positive and negative self-talk have both results. Negative self-talk will make you feel bad about yourself whereas positive self-talk will bring you up and create a confidence you never knew you had.

4) Comfortable body language

Have you ever noticed someone who stands with good posture, has a firm handshake or looks you in the eye when they speak to you?

They are exerting confidence through their body language. 

Experts say that we can pick up whether someone isn’t or not by how they present themselves.

Different confident body language looks like;

  • Standing up straight and tall, not hunched 
  • Holding their hands in a steeple in front rather than moving them in front of their faces
  • Mirroring the body language of the person they’re speaking to 
  • Speaking slowly and clearly

5) Risk-taking

Have you ever seen a shy person take a risk? No, I haven’t either. 

So, a sign that someone is full of confidence is that they might take some big risks that others might not take.

Psychologists say that taking risks shows reliance, leadership skills, and the ability to manage fear.

The more someone learns to manage fear the more confident they become.

Not all risk-taking can be positive and helpful though. But it doesn’t mean the person isn’t confident! 

6) Authenticity

You might have noticed, but a confident person doesn’t usually have anything to hide. The ooze authenticity.

When you meet someone authentic what do you think of them?

Psychologists say that when someone is true to themself they are usually a genuinely confident person. 

Some ways that they say they can show authenticity are;

  • Self-awareness
  • Being free from bias
  • Acting according to their own values
  • Having close, honest relationships

These are invaluable attributes to have if you want to be a confident person. 

The article above explains more about how our authenticity can change as we grow older. The things we value and believe change, and to be authentic we need to accept and share these things with others. 

This shows even greater confidence because you’ve had to say that once you believed or thought something and now you believe or think something else.

7) Initiate conversation

How many times have you wanted to talk to someone or start a conversation in a group but you haven’t because you were a bit apprehensive? I know I often wait for others to initiate conversation.

I admire the person who starts a conversation with a stranger, especially when I’m sitting alone. It takes guts and confidence.

According to this article, initiating conversations with others doesn’t only show that someone is confident, it also boosts their confidence!

People who don’t initiate conversations often are challenged by things like social anxiety and just not knowing how to start a conversation. People often worry about what others will think of them, so the perfect conversation opener can be something that stops a chat start.

So next time you’re feeling even slightly self-assured, try chatting to someone you’ve never met before and see where it takes you.

8) They build people up

I’m sure you’ve met people who put others down a lot. How do they seem to you?

What about people who build others up? To me, they seem a lot more confident.

Usually, people who are happy in their own skin, the confident ones are the people who are there giving compliments are helping others to succeed.

This article about confidence says that when people build others up instead of competing against them they are more likely to succeed.

It goes on to share some things that confident people do to build up others. Things such as complimenting others, acknowledging the good things they do, saying how grateful they are for others, and even mentoring others so they can become more confident too.

Building others up in a work environment not only shows confidence but also allows others to feel worthy and respected. It also means people are more likely to listen to you and follow your instructions or listen to your ideas which is always great.

Building people up in any place makes people feel great in fact. How do you feel when a person you hardly know compliments you? 

I know it makes me feel absolutely wonderful. And yes, I do think they seem pretty confident to have just come out and said it.

Louisa Lopez

Louisa Lopez

Louisa is writer, wellbeing coach, and world traveler, with a Masters in Social Anthropology. She is fascinated by people, psychology, spirituality and exploring psychedelics for personal growth and healing. She’s passionate about helping people and has been giving empowering advice professionally for over 10 years using the tarot. Louisa loves magical adventures and can often be found on a remote jungle island with her dogs. You can connect with her on Twitter: @StormJewel

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.