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How to Be Cool: 25 Tips That Will Boost Your Self-Esteem

By Adrian Prisca


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How to be Cool
Chris Hemsworth for Hugo Boss

Everybody wants to feel and look cool, no matter what age we are. It is an international obsession that was instilled in us from a very young age. Even as young kids in elementary school, the cool kids were more popular, were admired by their peers, and got treated better. Well, as we get older, those rules still apply. We would all like to be liked, admired, but mostly, respected. It’s just human nature.

So, what does being cool entail? It’s all in the attitude. There’s a “Je ne sais Quoi” attitude that cool people project, that makes the rest of us gawk at in awe. They seem to fit in anywhere they go, with any group, in any type of social situation. For sure personality has something to do with it, but it is also learned behavior. There are some things to try if being cool is not second nature to you.

Looking cool is one thing. And by looking cool we mean reasonably up-to-date with your clothing items, but you don’t have to follow the latest trends. As long as you wear clothes that fit you well and are clean, you should be good to go.

Acting cool is another. Try acting confident, even if sometimes you don’t always feel it. Never act cocky, arrogant or put people down. That definitely will not score you brownie points, people will just think of you as a bully. And nobody likes bullies. Remain humble, be polite and courteous, that will always be cool.

Don’t despair, we’re going to give you some tips on how to get cool if you’re not really sure where to start. Here is a list of 25 things that you can try in order to make you feel confident and look cool.

25. Stand up straight

Stand up straight
Josh Whitehouse for Mr. Burberry

Might be obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people have poor or weak postures. Just by straightening your back, it feels as if you gain an inch or two, and feeling taller already increases your confidence. Standing tall gives you presence, and makes you feel more powerful.

Avoid slouching, slumping, or trying to make yourself appear smaller, that will have the opposite effect of what you’re trying to achieve. There have been studies that show that there’s a correlation between having good posture and a sense of confidence.

24. Get well-fitted clothes

Get well-fitted clothes
Dolce and Gabbana SS 2014 Ad Campaign

We feel like we should mention this point briefly. You don’t have to wear the latest trends, or become a fashionista. Learn your body type and what works for you, and you will always look put together.

Try to replace clothes that you’ve outgrown, or that have holes or stains, and always wear clean clothes. Presentation is important, and people will find you more approachable when you look neat.

23. Appearance is important

Appearance is important
Jason Morgan for Ralph Lauren

For the men out there, some facial hair will always work. A neat, well-kept stubble will add to your cool factor. It brings out your more masculine traits, without being too aggressive. Also, whatever hairstyle you rock, whether you’re male or female, always keep it clean and fresh smelling.

Personal hygiene is always recommended, no matter the social situation. Whether it is work, a date, a semi-formal event, if you’re freshly showered, your make-up (for the ladies) is on point, and your overall appearance is clean, that will instantly make you feel more confident.

22. Learn the lingo

Learn the lingo
MR PORTER and Matthew Vaughin for Kingsman

Speaking proper English is great, especially in more formal situations. But in everyday life, especially in social groups, learn the appropriate terms..

Keep up to date on common phrases, the new way people say “Hi”, “Cool”, and “Bye”. Once you master those and use the appropriate term at the right time, you will be the coolest cat out there! Tone and volume also have an impact on your cool level, so keep up.

21. Act smart

Act smart
Hugh Jackman for Montblanc

Keeping up with current events and being informed on basic topics is always recommended. Being smart and acting smart will give you an edge, and people will always gravitate towards you when in groups. They will want to have interesting conversations and get your opinion on various topics, which will surely make you the coolest person in the room.

We all have things that interest us more than others, and we cannot possibly know everything. But do try to act interested without offending people, even if the subject of conversation is not always up your alley.

20. Laugh at yourself

A great quality to possess is knowing when to laugh at yourself. We’re human, and sometimes we make mistakes. It’s all part of life. But if you admit your mistakes with a chuckle, people will appreciate your attitude and consider you super cool .

Learn to take those little bumps in the road less seriously, have a great sense of humor about it, and you’ll see that you’ll be perceived more positively by those around you. No one likes a Grinch!

19. Don’t be a show-off

Don’t be a show-off
Lil Nas X for Gucci

Although being interesting and knowing a lot of things on various topics is cool, showing off is a turn-off. Not just as a know-it-all, but when it comes to material things too. Acquiring stuff, whether the latest gadget or a new car is great, throwing it in people’s faces, not so much.

Not everyone works with the same budget, and some people’s priorities are different than yours. And no one cares how much money you earn if you make others feel bad about their financial situation.

18. Be yourself

Be yourself
Mahershala Ali for Ermenegildo Zegna

There’s nothing more pathetic than trying to be something you’re not. People will usually smell your fake front, and you will achieve the opposite than you were intending to. Be yourself, relax, and act natural.

We are all different and unique, and that is something to be celebrated, not something to be ashamed of. So chill, let loose, and people will discover the wonderful qualities you possess.

17. Assume people like you

Assume people like you
Ralph Lauren ‘Family Is Who You Love’ Campaign

Did your parents ever use that phrase “it’s mind over matter”? If you act like you are likeable and people already like you, chances are they will. In this context it is totally acceptable to assume that strangers will like you and that you will make a great first impression.

If you walk into a room with the expectancy and the attitude that you will fit in, chances are you will. Next time you’re in that situation give it a try, and see how people are drawn to you.

16. Care

By assuming a caring attitude towards others, the environment, but most of all yourself, people will think of you as the one they can count on. Showing compassion and empathy towards others is one of the best qualities a person can possess. And that is cool.

Start caring about something, anything, and your life will change. Smile at a stranger, hold the door for someone. Get out of your bubble and do little things that make others feel good. That’s always a winner.

15. Try it all

Try it all
Mark Vanderloo for Etro

When you’re not sure what to do to find yourself and how to get cool, just try a bunch of different things. Experiment with the arts, like going to museums and art galleries, listen to different styles of music to find out what you like.

Taste cuisines from all around, learn a new language, go skydiving, travel and see the world. Whatever floats your boat, try it out and live your life. By accumulating experiences, you will learn to be cool.

14. Don’t seek approval from others

Don’t seek approval from others
Martha Hunt, Jacob Morton, and Harvey Newton Haydon for Hugo Boss

Cool people don’t need reassurance from others.. Everyone has moments when they are feeling insecure and doubt themselves. But they don’t go around all day asking people for their opinions about things they’re not sure about.

Do research, get a book, watch a documentary and find answers to your questions by educating yourself. Or call someone close to you for a nice talk and vent. That will always make you feel better.

13. Confidence is key

Confidence is key
David Beckham for Tudor

Acting confident may seem hard at first, but once you get the hang of it, it seems like a walk in the park. Train yourself to stop listening to those negative voices in your head. There are small tricks you can learn to turn that constant unnecessary worry off, but that would require a whole article.

A simple one is once the little hamster starts its marathon, go out for a walk, or put on a funny show, and switch your mind from it. Just divert your attention to something that makes you feel good.

12. Be Humble

Be Humble
Richard Biedul for Canali

Keep your accomplishments to yourself unless they are relevant to the context you’re in. For example, you might be working on your PhD, but no one at the party needs to know that as soon as you walk through the door. Don’t announce it to the world in order to show-off, that will just make people cringe and you will look condescending.

If someone in the group talks about education and the subject is brought up, by all means, go ahead and tell people. But there’s a way to do it without making others that never got the chance to pursue a higher education feel stupid.

11. Treat everyone as equals

Treat everyone as equals
Dolce and Gabbana SS 2014 Ad Campaign

In social situations, you just don’t know who you will meet, and sometimes jumping to conclusions and passing judgment on people can create awkward situations. If you always act easy going and down to earth, people will relax around you and feel at ease.

There’s nothing better than talking to someone who makes you feel good about yourself and doesn’t give themselves more importance than they deserve.

10. Be nice to everyone

I heard something very important a few months ago from a famous person on TV. She said some celebrities come and go, but the ones that stick around the longest aren’t always the most talented ones. They are the ones that treat people around them like human beings.

No matter how much money you make or how successful you become, remember that people that have less than you are people too. Be nice, and you will always be successful.

9. Go at your own pace

Go at your own pace
Lewis Hamilton for Tommy Hilfiger

You need to stop comparing yourself to others and start going to your own beat. Follow your gut, it will rarely steer you wrong. Just because someone finds something cool it doesn’t mean you do too. Be brave enough to stand up for what you believe in, and that will always be cool.

People will respect you more if you have your own values and don’t agree with everything they say. You have your own mind, so use it. Your opinions are just as valuable as anyone else’s.

8. Be a rebel

Be a rebel
Adam Senn for Dolce & Gabanna

Dare to go against the norm and find your own values. When you see injustices going on, don’t be afraid to speak up. It can be something small, but it would make a big difference in someone’s life.

Cool people aren’t afraid to express what they believe in, so why should you. As long as you don’t insult other people or break any laws, you are your own person and don’t always need to follow the crowd.

7. Assume the best

Assume the best
Jon Kortajarena for Salvatore Ferragamo

Always assuming the best and having a positive outlook on life doesn’t mean being naive and getting duped left and right. But don’t stress over stuff you can’t control. Proceed with a certain level of caution in life, but don’t be afraid of what might happen.

That almost never does. And then you spent all that time and energy wasting time on “What If?”. That’s a complete waste of time, why not spend it doing something you like instead?

6. Change

Life is constantly changing, so learn to be adaptable in any situation and things will go so much smoother. It’s guaranteed that you will make mistakes, because that’s part of being human.

It’s how you deal with those mistakes that will set you apart from others. If you wallow in your misery for not being perfect you will waste precious time. Turn around, shake it off, and you will learn something from your experience. That will make you super cool.

5. Be patient

Everyone wants things when they want them, but acting like a five year old is not cool, even when you’re five. Acting impatient, fidgeting, and letting your frustration show will never make you look in control and confident.

Learn to remain calm, be kind, and things will always work out the way they are supposed to. Does watching that pot of water boil make it boil any faster? I don’t think so. Therefore relax, they say “that all good things come to those who wait”.

4. Always Improve

Always Improve
Xavier Dolan for Louis Vuitton

No matter how old you get, always work on improving yourself. Don’t compare yourself to others, but strive to be a better version of yourself. The only competition you need is you. If today you are a little better than you were yesterday, then you’re on the right track.

Be curious, learn things. With everything literally at your fingertips, you have no excuses. You don’t even need to leave the house if you don’t want to.

3. Adopt Gratitude

Adopt Gratitude
Andrew Cooper for Dunhill

We can always accumulate more, want more, do more. But if you learn to be happy with what you have, you already have everything you need. Sure, you need goals and enticement in order to feel productive and feel as if you’re contributing to society, but you don’t need to spread yourself thin in order to achieve that.

When you learn to be grateful, not only will you feel happier, but others will sense it too, and they will feel drawn to you.

2. Learn rules and when to break them

Learn rules and when to break them
James Franco for Coach

The most successful people in the world take chances and don’t always play fair. We are not suggesting breaking any laws here, but once you learn any rules in life, always be a step ahead and predict what will happen before it does.

This might actually take a while to achieve, but once you do, the possibilities are endless. There’s a time and a place for everything, and once you figure all that out you will be forever cool.

1. Don’t try too hard

Don’t try too hard
Harry Styles for Gucci

This is probably the most important lesson to learn. When you try too hard at anything, you look fake, and probably a little ridiculous. Tone it down a notch, listen to people, and show a little vulnerability.

People will relate to you easier, and you will also be calmer and seem more genuine. Nobody feels comfortable around someone who seems like they’re always “on”. You’re not putting on a show, so chill. Lighten the mood, and you’ll be the first to appreciate it.

We hope you got some insight into what it is to be cool and some pointers on how to achieve that.

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About Adrian Prisca

Founder of Luxatic and countless other projects, Adrian has shaped this website into a go-to source for discerning readers looking for the latest in luxury products and experiences. He has over 15 years of experience in creating, managing and publishing lifestyle content across numerous platforms and he’s considered a leading voice in the luxury industry. Learn more about Luxatic's Editorial Process.

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