This is a guest post for Skills You Need.
Want to contribute? Find out how.

Ways to Keep Your Cool and
Stay Effortless in Every Situation

See also: Relaxation Techniques

Charm and charisma not only help you become the most popular guy at school, but these characteristics can also help you close deals and become a better salesperson. Everyone can be charming, in fact, most people are charming to a certain degree, especially when they are calm and comfortable. It is only when we are in situations where we feel pressured to be cool or impressive, do we overextend ourselves and lose our natural charm. It happens to everyone, when you’re perched on bar stools in a crowded pub with your friends, or in a classroom.

When we put ourselves on a pedestal, it’s almost a guarantee that we’ll embarrass ourselves in some way or another. Here are a few ways you can keep your cool and stay effortless regardless of the situation and people around you.

Girl with big smile reflected on a white board.

Reframe your perception

Instead of acting in a way you hope they will like, act as if you are the judge and that they should impress you instead. This works in all kinds of settings, be it dating, or for a job interview. In the words of successful Hollywood actor, Hugh Jackman, “I used to always go into an audition as though it were a rehearsal, and if they said ‘look, I think you should sit down in a chair’, I would say ‘you know, I think the character will stand’. As so, it wasn’t just you with all the power and I have to please you, but rather, we’re trying to work together.”

By giving yourself the power over the situation, you will automatically become more confident and confidence will make you feel comfortable.

Ever think that there’s nothing more attractive than someone who’s doing something they love? Well, if you’re going on a first date with someone, don’t do something that you think will impress the other person, but invite them out on a date that you would enjoy. Not only would you be in your element, it would also offer your date an insight into what kind of person you are.

The 85 percent rule

Stop giving it your all. Pull back and give 85 percent instead. Not only will this instantly make you feel more comfortable than being pressured into doing your absolute best, but telling yourself that you’re not giving your all can actually make you perform better than if you were.

According to the journal Nature, both researchers and educators have long recognized this 85 percent rule as a tool for optimal learning. This sweet spot gives us just enough challenge to keep us interested and not hard enough to turn us off, nor is it so easy that we don’t learn anything.

When you apply this to social settings, you take the pressure off yourself and are able to feel that since you’re only putting 85 percent of the effort, it’s fine if things don’t go according to plan or be perfect, which allows you some wiggle room to be more you.

Laugh it off

There will come a time where you do or say something you’re not proud of. We all have our moments, but it’s how we deal with it that speaks volumes about our character. Would you like to be friends with someone who gets mad that things don’t go their way, or someone who simply dusts themselves off and even pokes fun at their own blunder?

We can’t always control what happens but we are in charge of our reactions and people tend to judge us based on these candid reactions. What would you do if a child pours a drink all over your new pants? How about a waitress that was rude to you or brought you a wrong order? Our immediate reactions reveal who we are on the inside, and while it is impossible to be happy and forgiving all the time, we can make a conscious impact on how we are perceived simply by not rising and getting angry when we can laugh instead. Laughter gives us power.



Use your body language

There’s something innate about seeing another person’s palms. Hiding them or having them folded towards your body sends a subconscious message that you’re holding something back, or that you have erected a wall between you and your audience.

Instead, why not use your body language to demonstrate that you are worth trusting. When you generously wave your palms around or gesticulate and show other people your palms, it sends the message that you have nothing to hide and that you’re trustworthy. Not only that, it also implies that you’re easy to talk to because you’ll be open to what the other person is saying.

Make it about the other person

You know the saying: people will forget what you did, people will forget what you said, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Take a moment to think about all the people you love and hate (or dislike). We don’t love them for one action or one thing they said one time, but how they make you feel overall. You may find that you dislike someone who is well-loved, but that’s probably because they never made you feel as welcomed or comfortable.

It’s no secret that we tend to stray away from those that make us feel awkward or on edge, and the opposite is true. If you’re raring for a good time, who is that person you would reach out to? A friend who knows how to have fun. A friend whom you always have fun with.

So, in order to make people want to spend more time with you, you need to make sure that they have fun. It doesn’t hurt if you have fun in the process, but the priority should always be on the person you are hoping to see more of, that you hope to impress. By making them feel special, you’ll ensure that you have a special place in their heart.

Over time, you might notice that people will start to try to talk to you or ask you questions in order to earn your attention. Simply by adjusting your mindset, you will be able to go from trying to impress someone to becoming someone that people want to impress.



Further Reading from Skills You Need


The Skills You Need Guide to Life

The Skills You Need Guide to Life

This two-part guide is an easy-to-read summary of the essential skills you need for a healthy mind and body.

The first eBook, Looking After Yourself, covers some of our most popular content and will help you to live a happier, healthier and more productive life.

The second eBook, Living Well, Living Ethically, considers how you can live your best life all the time. It helps you to answer the question: how can I avoid having too many regrets about my life?


About the Author


Craig Lebrau is the CMO of Media Insider, a Wyoming-based PR company that aims to disrupt the way companies communicate their brand in the digital era. If you have any questions, please reach him via email at craiglebrau@gmail.com.

TOP