in: Intentional Living

5 Ways to Authentically Stand Out From the Crowd

Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, we can all use a little boost sometimes. Here are five tips to help you authentically stand out from the crowd.

“Just act like you know what you’re doing.”

It’s some of the best advice I’ve ever been given. When put in a situation where you’re unsure exactly what’s going on or what’s going to happen—just act like you know what you’re doing

I can’t recall a time it’s ever steered me wrong.

The thing about pretending to know what’s going on is—obviously—you appear to belong. Your confidence shines. Suddenly, a person who was just another face in the crowd is transformed into an expert—the know-it-all of the entire room. Seemingly, at least.

And that’s how you begin to stand out in a room.

Life can be a little hard when we’re trying to differentiate ourselves. It can be really hard if, say, you’re an introvert by nature but still like to go out. That’s where I am most of the time. Some days being in a crowded room feels like the worst possible option.

But there are a few tricks of the trade if you’re trying to make an impression—whether it’s on one person or 100. These tips will make that crowded room seem less overwhelming, or that one person less intimidating.

1. Don’t do anything you don’t want to do.

This seems self-explanatory, I know, but the second best piece of advice I ever received was, “Remember that you get to choose.”

Life is so short and it’s important to make sure you’re surrounding yourself with people and outings you actually want to participate in. Within reason, of course. Unfortunately, we all still have to go to staff meetings.

This is the first step to standing out in a room: to radiate joy you must have it first—and the easiest way to do that is simply to do what you enjoy.

2. Wear something that makes you feel comfortable.

I don’t mean wear sweatpants on a date, necessarily, but find a secret weapon. Keep it with you at all times.

I’m a bit superstitious and sometimes wearing my favorite dress can transform my mood. Other times it’s as simple as wearing a necklace I associate with a fond memory or fixing my hair in a way that garnered compliments previously. It changes from day-to-day, but I do make sure to have a secret weapon each time I know I’m going somewhere that scares me a little.

3. Watch your body language.

This one is the hardest for me—I have the worst poker face in all of creation. Any ex-boyfriend I’ve ever had will confirm my emotions are always, always all over my face—regardless of how hard I try.

I used to get frustrated when guys would walk up to me and tell me to smile. I’ve never completely determined whether it was a line or not, but that’s not the point. I used to take it personally—like, I don’t chase rainbows in my free time, why would I just stand here smiling? But there was a little truth to their point—I needed to relax.

I started to think about how I present myself. Standing with my arms crossed and my signature lack of a smile is the least inviting way I could ever present myself. Not only is it unappealing to anyone who might want to walk up to me, it also impacts the mood I’m in. I’m much less responsive when I’m approaching the situation already on the defensive—which is the head space I’m in when I stand around like that. Analyze your own behavior and see what it is you do that’s uninviting.

4. Talk to someone.

I moved to a new city six months ago. I have a habit of going places alone, whether I’m seeking alone time or not. I just end up places by myself. I walked into a bar one night determined to make new friends because I was tired of being lonely. I do not always want to talk to strangers. I’m capable—we’re all capable.

I overcame my desire to avoid the awkwardness of the situation—because at the root of it all, potential awkwardness is why I don’t like talking to strangers—and talked to the bartenders first, then the people next to me. I met about 20 people by the end the night, simply because I was the girl at the bar by herself who wasn’t afraid to talk to strangers. You don’t have to know everyone in the room to take charge of it—you just have to want it to be yours.

5. Be yourself.

I know, it seems like the most obvious of all, but it’s also the hardest thing to do sometimes. When you’re in a crowd full of people, it can be tempting to be someone you’re not. It can seem like the best idea is to be like the rest of the group, because surely they’ll pay attention to someone just like them.

But that’s not the way it works. A sheep has never stood out from another sheep, so don’t be follow the herd blindly. Dye yourself a rainbow colors or wear a tiara if that’s what suits you—just makes sure it’s authentically you.

People will take notice.

About the Author:

Sarah Frost

Sarah Frost thinks life is one big adventure—and should be treated that way. She grew up in Texas and quickly realized humidity is no one's best friend. Somewhere along the way she fell in love with words, and wanted to write as often as she could, so she does that as often as she can. She believes there's good in every day and the world was made for traveling, so she spends her time laughing as loudly as possible and looking for her next adventure.


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