wikiHow to Be the Strong Silent Type

Two Parts:Being Confident and ControlledAvoiding Being too Distant

The image of the strong and silent type is that of somebody who is confident and comfortable in his own skin. This can be very attractive, and project an image of security and assurance. Get to know yourself and the world around you in order to take things in your stride. You can communicate in more ways than by just talking. Be sure not to become too withdrawn, and don’t neglect your relationships.

Part 1
Being Confident and Controlled

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    Have self-confidence. A strong and silent type is generally thought of as someone who projects a real sense of self-confidence and assurance, without coming across as arrogant or dismissive of others. Self-confidence is about knowing yourself and trusting yourself to rise to challenges and deal with difficult situations.[1]
    • Learning more about yourself and the world can help you to develop your self-confidence.
    • Try to trust yourself and give yourself credit for your achievements.[2]
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    Demonstrate emotional strength. Gaining self-confidence and trust in yourself is in part about becoming an emotionally strong person. If you understand yourself you will be better able to deal with the setbacks and challenges that you will inevitably encounter. Once you have good internal emotional strength, you may find that this strength is projected outwards without you doing anything. Some of the characteristics of emotionally strong people are:
    • Being less discouraged by disappointments.
    • Being more adaptable to change.
    • Recognizing and expressing needs.
    • Focussing on getting round a problem, rather than the problem itself.
    • Learning from mistakes and criticism.
    • Seeing the bigger picture in a difficult moment.
    • Recovering more quickly from being hurt.[3]
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    Be controlled. If you have self-confidence, you will be sure of yourself, and secure enough that you will not be irritated or wound-up by someone saying something to you. You won't have to prove yourself, because you know what you can do. You know that you are strong, and strong in what you believe, and it doesn't matter what others think.
    • This confidence will radiate out and you will soon find people who will lose interest in trying to tease you.
    • Don’t be dismissive or think that you always have the answer.
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    Consider your tone and delivery. Research suggests that how you talk is associated with how people perceive you. Being a strong and silent type shouldn’t mean that you are silent all the time, but that you make your words count. Try to speak in a deep voice, and at a volume that everyone can hear. Deeper and louder voices have been connected to a lack of nervousness or anxiety in the speaker.[4]
    • Don’t shout or yell at anybody. Raising your voice too much will break the spell of a controlled and confident person.
    • Speaking in a clear and direct voice that avoids using tag questions, such as “is this okay?” will help you come across as strong and assertive.[5]
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    Be authoritative. You will help project the image of an assured and confident person if you speak and act with authority. Let people know what you believe through how you conduct yourself, and how you hold yourself. Silent means not having to be loud and let everyone know that you're the best, because you are already confident in yourself.
    • Making statements without feeling the need to make long explanatory remarks show that you are confident.
    • You can also support this by avoiding the use of conditional terms, such as “could,” “ought,” “might.”[6]
    • Be sure not to make any claims that you cannot back-up.
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    Communicate strength through silence. Silence can be a very powerful form of communication. Responding to a situation with calm and assured silence can throw somebody off, and demonstrate that you have power over yourself and your emotions. The control that silence exhibits is what gives such a strong and lasting impression.
    • Staying quiet, but not retreating or shrinking will show that you are not intimidated or uncertain.
    • Silence in the wrong situation can present you as indifferent and disinterested, which isn’t the same as strong and in control.[7]
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    Use non-verbal communication. Silence itself is a powerful form of non-verbal communication, but you can use this in co-ordination with eye-contact and body language to express certain emotions or reactions, without saying a lot. Walk with your head high, and make eye-contact with people. Stand tall and straight, while keeping your body open and facing towards those around you.[8]

Part 2
Avoiding Being too Distant

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    Be aware of the negative responses to silence. If you are trying to come across as the strong silent type, there is a risk that people will interpret your silence in ways you haven’t foreseen. You might be thought of as someone who is arrogant or judgemental of others. People might think that you are trying to maintain power over others by not talking. They might think you are withholding and refusing to engage with others as equals.[9]
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    Pay attention to others. Being a strong and silent type is not about just ignoring everybody and being distant and disinterested. If you want to project an image of a strong person, who is in control of his emotions, and has good self-confidence, you should still visibly pay attention to those around you.
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    Use body language to show that you are listening. You can show that you are listening and interested in what is going on around you by using positive body language. Don’t fold your arms over your chest. This suggests that you are closed off and separating yourself from others. Stay attentive and maintain eye contact with people in the group. Don’t turn away from people.[10]
    • If you learn about body language signals, you will also be able to identify these in other people.
    • Remember that body language is not an exact science.
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    Don’t become too withdrawn. Being the strong and silent type can help you to take control of your emotions and project a confident image, but it can also make it harder for you to engage with others. Being strong and silent, for men in particular, is associated with an unwillingness to talk to somebody when you are having a difficult time.[11]
    • Don’t neglect your relationships, and try to have a balanced approach.
    • Don’t mistake feeling alone, isolated or disconnected with strength and independence.
    • Allowing yourself to have emotions will help make you stronger.
    • Don’t try to live up to an image of an unflappable strong and silent type.
    • Talk to somebody you can trust if you feel depressed.[12]

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Categories: Assertiveness & Self Esteem | Speaking and Listening Skills