How to Keep Confident When Hanging Around Boys


It’s totally normal to feel shy when you’re hanging around boys, but there are easy ways to improve your confidence. Perfect your conversation skills by asking open-ended questions and finding common ground. Stay relaxed around guys by doing activities you all like and projecting confidence. Finally, feel your best by getting enough sleep and exercise, doing fun hobbies, and practicing positive self-talk.

Part 1
Perfecting Your Conversation Skills

Perfecting Your Conversation Skills on How to Keep Confident When Hanging Around Boys

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Closed-ended questions like “isn’t it a nice day?” lead to short one-word responses. To have a longer conversation, try asking open-ended questions, such as “what did you think of that movie?” or “catch me up on how you’ve been doing.”[1]You don’t have to come up with a really flashy or brilliant question, because most people love a chance to share an opinion, even if it’s about something as simple as a TV show.

Perfecting Your Conversation Skills on How to Keep Confident When Hanging Around Boys

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Ask them questions but also respond with what you’re thinking, so the conversation doesn’t become too one-sided. If you’re getting stuck with things to talk about, try talking about something funny that happened in school, a good movie you saw, or your plans for the next weekend.[2]It’s totally fine if the conversation goes silent for a little bit. You don’t have to fill up every moment.

Perfecting Your Conversation Skills on How to Keep Confident When Hanging Around Boys

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If at first glance it seems you have nothing in common – maybe the boy loves baseball and you’re obsessed with music – keep trying. You can always fall back on an easy topic like school or what your favorite food is.[3]Once you’ve gotten to know someone better, you can move on from safe, easy topics to deeper topics like family or politics.

Perfecting Your Conversation Skills on How to Keep Confident When Hanging Around Boys

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When you’re scrolling through your phone at the same time as talking to someone, it tells them that you think they’re boring or you don’t care enough about them to pay full attention. Challenge yourself to be more present by putting your phone away when you’re having conversations.[4]It might even start a ripple effect so that other people put their phones away and you all have a more genuine conversation.

Perfecting Your Conversation Skills on How to Keep Confident When Hanging Around Boys

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You don’t have to come off as super fascinating – because the point about having a conversation isn’t to show off ‘to’ someone, but to talk ‘with’ someone. Instead, ask questions and genuinely listen to show you care about the other person.[5]Most people are more interested in having a friend who is caring than a friend who is witty anyways.[6]

Part 2
Being Relaxed Around Guys

Being Relaxed Around Guys on How to Keep Confident When Hanging Around Boys

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If the boys you want to hang out with are always playing some video game you’re not interested in, it can be hard to hang out with them. Instead, suggest you do something you can all enjoy. Maybe you all like to going to the mall, getting ice cream, watching a movie, or playing soccer.[7]You don’t have to think of a big, fancy activity. You can even just wander around the neighborhood.

Being Relaxed Around Guys on How to Keep Confident When Hanging Around Boys

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If you feel intimidated by hanging out at someone else’s house, consider hanging out someplace neutral, like a park or the mall, or a place you feel comfortable, like your own house. You can also just hang out at lunch during school – you don’t have to do any special kind of activity.[8]Keep in mind that sometimes you might feel more nervous about having people over at your house, if you’re worried about your family members prying. It’s totally up to you what you feel more comfortable with.

Being Relaxed Around Guys on How to Keep Confident When Hanging Around Boys

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Try pretending that you are more confident than you actually are by having a relaxed posture, speaking loudly, and making eye contact. When you fake these signs of confidence, you will actually start to feel more confident.[9]It can also help to remember that many other people are also faking their confidence and feel nervous, too.

Part 3
Feeling Your Best

Feeling Your Best on How to Keep Confident When Hanging Around Boys

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It’s easier to stay confident when hanging around boys if you have built up your self confidence. A great way to do this is to make a list of things you like about yourself. Push yourself to think of at least 10 things.[10]If you’re struggling, think of a time when you helped someone else or a time you avoided doing something wrong.

Feeling Your Best on How to Keep Confident When Hanging Around Boys

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Sometimes when we hang around people that make us nervous, we have an internal dialogue saying, “they probably won’t like me,” “I shouldn’t bother talking to them,” or “I’m not good-looking/smart/interesting enough.” The first step toward changing this self-talk is to notice that you are doing it. Then, remind yourself of the truth – that you don’t know if someone will like you until you try talking to them, and that you are a worthy person, just like everyone else.[11] Try talking to yourself like you would talk to a friend. Positive self-talk takes lots of practice, so don’t worry if you have trouble catching your negative thoughts at first.

Feeling Your Best on How to Keep Confident When Hanging Around Boys

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It’s much easier to feel confident when your body feels good. Treat yourself well by getting around 30 minutes of exercise per day. Try eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Getting enough sleep is also super important – it will help you feel less anxious and more confident.[12]Teenagers need about 9-9.5 hours of sleep per night to feel their best.

Feeling Your Best on How to Keep Confident When Hanging Around Boys

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Think about a time when you felt confident with what you were wearing and what features of the outfit you liked. Figure out which colors you look best in and what styles look good for your body type.[13]You don’t have to buy expensive clothes to dress in a way that makes you more confident. Go to thrift stores or swap clothes with friends for a cheap way to up your style.

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Consider trying out for a school sports team, taking an art elective, learning an instrument, making crafts, or starting a band with some friends. Hobbies are a great way to develop your confidence, because it is a chance to do something outside of school, that isn’t tied to achievement. With a hobby you can mess around and just enjoy yourself.[14]Remember, a hobby doesn’t have to be something you’re great at or spend all your time doing. It can just be something casual you enjoy now and then.[15]

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It’s so easy to compare yourself to others, especially since we’re surrounded by all these images of people supposedly having a great time and perfect lives. It’s good to remind yourself that most people don’t actually portray their struggles online. Try to spend less time on social media, and more time doing other activities you enjoy.[16]For example, you could set a timer to only go on social media for 10 minutes a day.