Have you ever found yourself at a party feeling like a wallflower? Are you thinking, “why can’t I more social?” The good news is, you’re not alone. The even better news is that there are some things you can do to overcome your shyness and social anxiety. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
We’ve all been there. You’re at a party or meeting new people, and you feel like you just can’t be yourself. Your heart races, your palms start to sweat, and you can feel the blood rushing to your face. You try to think of something clever to say but your mind comes up blank. So you just stand there awkwardly, hoping that no one notices how uncomfortable you are. Sound familiar?
If so, then you’re not alone. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that social anxiety is actually quite common. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 15 million adults in the United States suffer from a social anxiety disorder. But the good news is that there are ways to manage and overcome it! Keep reading to learn more.
The reasons you can’t be more social
1. Identify your triggers
What are the things that tend to make you feel shy or anxious in social situations? Is it being in a large group, meeting new people, or being the center of attention? Once you know your triggers, you can start working on overcoming them.
2. Talk to someone you trust about your feelings
Opening up about how you’re feeling can be really tough, but it can also be really helpful. When you talk to someone who understands and accepts you, it can make a world of difference. Just knowing that someone else gets it can help you feel less alone and more capable of dealing with your shyness.
3. Put yourself in new situations—even if they’re outside your comfort zone
The more you expose yourself to new people and new experiences, the easier it will become. And don’t worry if you don’t love every minute of it at first. It’s okay to feel a little uncomfortable when you’re trying something new. Just remember that it’s temporary and that things will get better the more you do it.
4. Model yourself after someone else
Do you know someone who seems to effortlessly glide through social situations? Someone who always knows just what to say? If so, try to model yourself after that person—but don’t try to be someone else entirely. Just pick up on some of the things they do that seem to work well for them and see if they work for you, too.
Tips for managing your anxiety
1. Acknowledge Your Feelings
The first step is to simply acknowledge that you are feeling anxious and that it’s okay to feel that way. Don’t try to push your feelings down or tell yourself that you shouldn’t be feeling them. That will only make things worse. Remember, everyone sometimes feels anxiety—you’re not alone in this!
2. Take Slow, Deep Breathes
Once you’ve acknowledged your anxiety, the next step is to start taking slow, deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. This will help slow down your heart rate and calm your nerves.
3. Talk to Someone You Trust
Sometimes it can help to talk to someone about what you’re feeling. This could be a friend, family member, therapist, or anyone you trust and feel comfortable talking to. Just getting everything off your chest can help relieve some of the pressure and stress you’re feeling.
4. Avoid Alcohol
It might seem like alcohol would help take the edge off but in reality, it will only make things worse. Alcohol is a depressant and can amplify any negative emotions you’re already feeling. So when you’re struggling with social anxiety, it’s best to steer clear of alcohol altogether.
5. Practice Relaxation Techniques
There are several different relaxation techniques that can be helpful for managing anxiety including progressive muscle relaxation and visualization. Experiment with different techniques until you find one (or several) that work for you!
What you can do right now
Download our Tool Kit for free (mini-course, social blueprint, and more) Prepare more when you go out to socialize. We think if you join our community or read a few more blog posts, you won’t be saying, “why can’t I be more social?”
But, you’ll feel more confident, and prepared and you’ll know what to do next, especially, when it comes to socializing.