If You Want To Get To Know People Better, You Should Fake It Until You Make It


Photo: pjohnkeane via flickr

When it comes to confidence and social situations, absolutely. Appearing depressed can create a downward spiral. Avoiding eye contact can increase isolation:Via Medical News Today:

…avoiding eye contact may actually increase depression amongst already unhappy individuals, as it can lead to isolation.

“Sad people avoiding eye contact will disrupt normal social fluency and may lead to them shunning certain social situations,” said Dr Hills. “Although this may reduce anxiety caused by the situation itself, it may actually increase social isolation and deepen their already sad mood.”

And when people perceive someone has low self-esteem they are less inclined to open up to them, preventing relationships from deepening:

Ample evidence suggests that the behaviour of people with low self-esteem (LSEs) can lead to problems in close relationships. To the authors’ knowledge, however, no research has investigated the role that perceptions of close others’ self-esteem play in undermining beneficial relational processes. In this article, the authors propose that capitalisation, a process associated with greater relationship quality, might be hindered by the friends, partners, or family members of LSEs. Across three experiments, the authors show that people are reluctant to disclose their positive experiences (i.e., capitalise) when they believe that the recipient has low self-esteem. 

Furthermore, the results suggest that people hold back from LSEs largely because they expect the interaction to go poorly for themselves, not because they are concerned about making LSEs feel inferior.

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