Book Recommendations Needed: Self-Confidence
September 20, 2006 7:34 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone know of any good, short books on building one's self-confidence? When I say self-confidence I don't mean a feeling of self-worth--already got that--but an external, exuded confidence, as in, "Hey, that guy must know what he's doing!"
posted by whitebird to Human Relations (8 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Looking like you know what you are doing is best achieved by in fact knowing what you are doing.

Peter Drucker - try the Essential Drucker - is the best I've ever encountered at helping you understand how to know what you are doing.

Really. When you know what you are doing other people will notice on their own, no slight of hand required.
posted by ewkpates at 7:52 AM on September 20, 2006

Feeling Good. The Feeling Good Handbook. Best of all for what you are looking for is Intimate Connections.

They've worked wonders for me. YRMV.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:53 AM on September 20, 2006

Executive Charisma, by D. A. Benton.
posted by rocket88 at 8:31 AM on September 20, 2006

Feeling Good is not short, and is about overcoming depression, not about developing the sort of confidence the poster is asking for. But it is a good book.

I quite like 50 Success Classics by Tom Butler-Bowdon. This book encapsulates fifty books from the past couple hundred years, presenting their core ideas. While it may not provide the exact info you need, reading the information BB provides will help you get into a confident mindframe. What's more, if you like the sounds of a particular book, you can seek it out and read the entire thing. He also has a book called 50 Self-Help Classics which does the same thing, but for books about building self-esteem. I think of 50 Self-Help Classics as Step One, and 50 Success Classics as Step Two. I think you want the latter.

You can get a feel for these books from the 50 Classics web site. If I remember right, there are excerpts from each, and reading through these might point you to a book or two that would be of use to you.
posted by jdroth at 8:33 AM on September 20, 2006

How To Win Friends and Influence People. It's not short, if I'm remembering correctly, but it's not particularly dense reading.
posted by oliver at 9:33 AM on September 20, 2006

Check out Impro by Keith Johnstone. It's a book about theater craft for actors; and the first section, "Status" (42 pages) is exactly what you're asking about. He approaches the discussion from the perspective of actors attempting to portray "guys who know what they're doing," as you put it, and explains tips like how moving your head tends to lower your status in social interactions and makes you appear less confident and authoritative.
posted by cribcage at 9:51 AM on September 20, 2006

Oooh... That book looks great, cribcage. Thanks for pointing it out. I just put a hold on it at the public library.
posted by jdroth at 10:50 AM on September 20, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks so much everyone, for your help.

I think I might start with How To Win Friends and Influence People and then move on to 50 Classics.

Thanks again!
posted by whitebird at 7:11 AM on September 21, 2006

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