Social anxiety is real. Being around people can make some people uneasy. I’m an introvert so it really drains me to be around people. However, that does not give me an excuse to behave poorly.
As time went by, I’ve learned that you can do several things to better deal with people. With practice and trying a little bit harder, you can even forge friendships that can last a lifetime.
Here are 25 lessons I’ve learned that I would like to share with the best of us.
25. The first impression begins even before you open your mouth. Therefore, appearing approachable is important.
24. Bring your energy up a notch when around people. This may be tough especially if you have social anxiety but you can practice to fake it. If you try a little harder, you can even end up having a good time when you least expected it. Best to recharge prior to going out so you can dial up your energy up a notch.
23. Listen intently and be curious about other people. Through listening, you can easily ask follow-up questions, especially if you’re someone who feels like you’re always running out of things to talk about.
22. You can take a single event in two different ways. For instance, you said “hi” to some and they just moved past you. The negative view is thinking they are angry at you. The positive view is thinking they might have not seen you or they might be preoccupied with something. I suggest you go with a positive view.
21. Don’t overthink eye contact. Make eye contact for a few seconds, and glance away. If you want to know what it is about, you can approach the person and talk to them.
20. Being good at small talk is important. Knowing how to do small talk can help build rapport.
19. Avoid the “interrogation trap” during small talk. It is best to strike a balance between asking questions and making observations.
18. Avoid interrupting a person when they are talking. Let them finish and follow up. If you really have to interrupt to interject something, make sure to go back to what they were talking about by saying something like, “You were saying…”
17. No one can read your mind. People don’t have a clue what you’re thinking. You have no idea what they are thinking. So, it’s best to speak your mind.
16. If they don’t message you back. It’s better to assume the best than the worst. Maybe they’re not interested…or maybe they’re just busy. Which narrative serves you best?
15. Take a breath whenever needed. Breathe in fully before talking because you can speak louder and can help you avoid stuttering.
14. Confidence comes from competence. Everyone has at least one thing that they are good at. Remembering that one thing before being social can make you feel more confident at the moment.
13. It’s better to have a hard conversation sooner rather than later.
12. The more comfortable you can make yourself, the more comfortable you can make others.
11. Be observant of other people’s body language. How their body speaks can mean how comfortable they are with you.
10. Practice the resting happy face. This can be challenging especially if you sport that resting bitch face with ease. However, it has been found that a slight smile can easily make you feel happier, which can lead to better social interaction.
9. Learn when to say “no” and create boundaries.
8. Still, know when to say “yes” especially to new adventures and opportunities.
7. Never get into an argument. If you’re arguing then you’ve already lost.
6. Have a quick summary of your weekend because most people ask about that.
5. Be interesting. Develop a wide range of interests so you have a lot of things to talk about and can easily find common ground with other people.
4. If you remember a thing in the past that makes you cringe, practice the 3 Fs: Flush, Fix, Forget. Flush: Take a breath and get some emotional distance from that memory. Fix: Is there anything you can change for next time? If so, make a note. Forget: Give yourself permission to forget it
3. Observe if the other person is mirroring your actions. Usually, this is a good sign that they are connecting well with you.
2. Keep a list of your social wins so that the next time you’re feeling anxious, you can look back into something and feel better dealing with people again.
1. Be bold and don’t wait for people to come to you. Keep in mind that everyone is shy so approach people first. Introduce yourself and own the conversation.
Practice these things and enjoy having better conversations and/or relationships with other people. Good luck!
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