Sobering Confidence: Six Steps to Becoming the (Dry) Life of the Party

by Jeffrey Juergens ❘  

Memorial Day is just around the corner, meaning patio parties and picnic baskets are already packing your weekend plans. You’ve also probably begun preparing for that special social minefield: the drunken crowd. You know you don’t need a drink to have fun and, of course, you enjoy your friends’ and family’s company. It’s the booze you’re not fond of, and every year you’re unsure how to squeeze between that “liquid courage” and them.

But shrug no more. We’ve prepared a Memorial Day weekend regimen to boost your confidence from sunrise to party time with nary a drop to drink.

1. Stretch

It’s Memorial Day morning. First, hop out of bed and onto the floor to limber up. Stretching does more than keep your muscles loose and your blood flowing. Studies show some sunrise calisthenics can ease your mind and set a positive tone for the day.

2. Make Your Morning Ritual Count

That long, hot shower before preparing for work might feel a bit decadent, but this is the holiday week. Taking the time to groom and primp can lend a sense of purpose — and confidence — to your morning routine. So yes, sing in the bathroom mirror; be the bathroom mirror.

3. Dress to Thrill

The popular saying goes, if you look good, you’re going to feel good. Research suggests the clothes you wear can influence how secure or confident you feel. As you search your closet for the perfect summer flair, know that science has validated your choosiness.

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4. Chin up (and Stand Tall)

Pause for a moment as you walk out the door. How’s your posture? Not only does a broad, upright stance project confidence to your future party-mates; it can leave you feeling more self-assured, too. The mind and body share a strange relationship. Your physical actions can incite changes in attitude, whether you consciously “believe” in them or not. Or, in other words, if you act more confident, you’ll eventually be more confident.

5. Toast (a Nonalcoholic Drink)

You’ve arrived at a full-swing holiday shindig stretched, primped, chic and statuesque. Scoop yourself some ice, pour a ginger ale and mingle Memorial Day away — you’ve earned it. This isn’t about blending in or “looking cool”: it goes back to open, inviting body language. For instance, it’s harder to stick both hands in your pockets, cross your arms or sending other closed, unconfident signals while holding a cup or glass. Having a nonalcoholic beverage on hand can also deflect unwanted offers of the strong stuff.

6. Smile!

Friends and family are here! It’s a long weekend! And you, unlike your friends and family, won’t be ruthlessly hungover tomorrow! A simple smile — even a forced one — can do wonders for your mood. Studies show that activating the facial muscles we use to grin and laugh can positively skew our perceptions of ourselves and the world around us. Flashing those pearly whites also puts more pep in those around you, boosting everyone’s mood in the process.

So remember, you’re not just sober at a Memorial Day party. You’re a well-dressed, healthy, smiling merrymaking machine, willing the party toward a new state of happiness. Not a bad situation, huh?

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