Living Well Doing Well: Overcoming Social Anxiety

While many people would love to be more social, they have trouble doing so. For some, interacting with others just comes naturally. For others, however, not so much. It can sometimes even be difficult for them to speak to their partner or spouse. Why is it more difficult for some to be social? More often than not, it all comes down to social anxiety. First of all, having social anxiety doesn’t mean you don’t want to be around people. After all, plenty of people have social anxiety, and are always making attempts to reach out to others, even though they’re not often successful. Social anxiety is the fear of interaction with people that brings feelings of self-consciousness, being negatively judged and evaluated. Let’s be honest, even those who aren’t afraid of talking to people, tend to be self-conscious as well. After all, first impressions are lasting ones. For example, what if they have problems with body odor or bad breath, and are afraid others will notice? The worst part being that often, people won’t tell you about your hygiene issues, but will talk to others about it instead. With that said, what are some ways to overcome social anxiety?

Attend Social Events

First of all, this might seem like contradictory advice to someone who gets nervous around people. Remember, though, social anxiety doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not able to function around others or even connect with them. It just means that it doesn’t come as easy for you as it does for others. With that said, attending social events is a great way to overcome your uneasiness around others.

One reason why, is because it helps you to get used to interacting on a regular basis. Think of it in the same way which people get nervous when they try something for the first time (such as driving), but eventually become a natural at it. When you first go to the social event, you might just sit around and wait for people to approach you. As time goes on, however, you become more bold, and you might even start approaching others and starting conversations with them. Speaking of social events, volunteering in your community would give you opportunities to interact with others more.

Be Yourself

One reason so many have social anxiety, is because they’re trying to be as perfect as possible. They think that if they slip up even once, others will look at them funny or will even reject them. It’s true that first impressions are important, but remember that everyone makes mistakes. Nobody is perfect, and everyone understands that. In fact, the more you get to know people, the more flaws you’ll begin see in them. Being social and developing friendships isn’t about trying to perfect or even finding the “perfect” people. It’s about accepting your friends, and your friends accepting you, flaws and all. The next time you attend a social event or activity, be who you were created to be. If you slip up, just use your mistakes as a learning experience, and don’t care so much what others think.

Show Interest in Others

Making friends and overcoming social anxiety is about more than just talking to others when they approach you. If nothing else, you should be seeking others out as well. By showing interest in others, that gives them a feeling of assurance that people are interested in them. In order to have an active friendship, for example, both parties need to be involved. Do you have a couple of friends you haven’t talked to in a while, and are you waiting for them to pick up the phone? Why not give them a call or text to see how they’re doing? Don’t always be the one to wait for others to seek you out.

For more information on how to overcome social anxiety, as well as how to live well and do even better, feel free to contact me today. I look forward to hearing from you, and assisting you in the best way possible.