5 Ways Confident People React to Stress

Cope with stress more effectively using these strategies.

Posted Dec 11, 2018

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By copying the ways that confident people cope with stress, you can reduce the extent to which stress impacts your mood, bounce back quicker, and feel more self-assured.

How confident people cope with stress:

1. By Taking Just the Right Amount of Responsibility, Not Too Much and Not Too Little

Confident people are able to admit understandable mistakes without it causing their sense of self-worth to plummet. This allows them to take responsibility in situations that warrant it. 

On the other hand, confident people don't assume every mistake is their fault. They recognize other people's roles in mistakes and misunderstandings as well as their own. This thinking habit contributes to their stable self-esteem.

2. By Keeping Their Stress in Perspective and Assuming a Good Solution Exists

Confident people tend to assume that good solutions to problems exist, and it's just a matter of identifying and picking the best option. They stay calm, which enables them to see their potential choices clearly.   

In contrast, anxious and unconfident people tend to inflate stress through catastrophizing. An anxious person might think of a potential solution to a source of stress, but their pessimism causes them to assume their solution won't smoothly resolve their problem. For example, let's say an anxious person's car starts making a funny noise. They might jump to the negative conclusion that the repair bill will be massive, or that whoever they engage to do the work won't completely fix the problem and they'll need to go back repeatedly. These negative expectations impede them in getting their problems solved.

3. By Recognizing When Rushing Into a Decision Isn't Desirable

As mentioned above, confident people tend to assume that things will work out. If they miss an opportunity, they expect another one will be around the corner. Therefore, they're able to wait for a good option to arise rather than rushing into decisions that are less than ideal. On the other hand, being unconfident can lead to being impatient. For example, an unconfident person makes an offer to buy a house, but gets outbid. Now they're concerned about missing out completely, so they rush into making an offer on another house that's got some problems, rather than waiting for the next solid opportunity to come along.

Or let's say a confident person hires an employee, and the employee is taking some time to learn their new role. The confident person is more likely to let the situation fully play out. They'll allow the new employee some time and give them some more support and guidance. If it doesn't work out, they'll deal with it. Because they assume they'll be able to cope in any scenario, they can be more patient.

4. By Asking for Help and/or Asking Questions 

Confident people don't expect themselves to know everything other people know, especially when they're a beginner. They don't question their right to exist, learn, and to sometimes feel confused or overwhelmed.  

In professional situations, including when hiring others to do a job, confident people are able to strike a balance between micro-managing others and being too scared to mention any concerns they have.

Anxious, unconfident people often assume that expressing any dissatisfaction in a professional relationship is going to result in the other person becoming angry, whereas confident people don't automatically assume this. If someone does get annoyed with them for asking a question, they don't personalize it.

5. By Keeping Their Expectations Fair and Reasonable

Confident people expect that they'll be able to find a way of working smoothly with others. They generally think that, provided they're fair and reasonable, other people will be the same, and if someone they're working with is not these things, they'll just move on. They don't need to be excessively demanding of one person, because they see themselves as having lots of options for coping, rather than just being reliant on one or a few people.

Being anxious and unconfident can lead to putting things off till the last minute, and this often ends up creating a last-minute rush that increases stress for both the individual and other people. Since confident people are less anxious, they're more able to take other people's perspective rather than only thinking about their own anxiety.

How You Can Use This Information

  • Identify which of the points in this article you most need to be reminded of when you're under stress.
  • Whatever your current pattern is, try to move in the direction of better coping. You don't need to be perfect.
  • Come back to this article the next time you're having a stressful day. Re-read it, and see if it gives you any support and guidance for dealing with that situation. (I actually do that with my old articles sometimes when I'm under stress, and I find that helpful, even though I wrote them!)