Social encounters can be overwhelming, and many of us are out of practice! This week’s video helps you master the skills to reduce social anxiousness and elevate all of your interactions.
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Interacting with other humans can transform your life. Yet for many, even simple encounters can be overwhelming. Let’s talk about social anxiety.
This week’s question comes from Jaymart Manuel who asks, “how can I overcome social anxiety?” Well first, Jaymart, there’s nothing wrong with you. You feel anxious in certain situations, among others. And guess what? Everyone feels that way at times, including me. Some people are more naturally inclined to interaction, but we can all get more comfortable once we learn and use certain skills.
You won’t become less socially anxious sitting at home by yourself, and we’ve all been doing a lot of sitting at home, by ourselves! We’re out of practice. But once you put yourself into social situations, with a plan, you begin to dissolve, and transcend your anxiousness.
Being among people can induce spiraling thoughts. What should I say or do? What do they think about me? How should I hold my hands? Whatever. All those thoughts have one thing in common. They’re about YOU! But the moment you stop focusing on yourself and start focusing on others, you will feel differently. Here are five skills to practice to improve your social proficiency.
1. Observe the scene. Observe people. How are they acting? Instead of focusing on your awkwardness, help others feel more comfortable.
2. Adjust your physicality. Deliberately stand a little bit taller. Breathe more deeply. Move purposefully. Smile, and exude approach-ability.
3. Make an observation. Share something you notice or appreciate about what’s happening.
4. Pay a compliment. Say something positive to uplift or acknowledge someone. This is easier than you think and so appreciated.
5. Ask questions. Listen, then ask another question based upon the response. If you keep asking questions, they do all the talking and think you’re an amazing conversationalist!
Start with short interactions. Then increase your hang time as you get more comfortable. In a notebook, write about what you learn and experience. Capture insights and validate your progress, remembering that this isn’t a problem you have to accommodate, or something that defines and limits you forever. It’s a skill you’re learning to elevate your life. You are becoming more socially capable. Until next week, stay Off Balance On Purpose.
The audio for this week’s coaching video is located under the “Get Inspired” tab in the Positive Playlist . You can subscribe to the podcast and listen to other weekly messages for improving all aspects of your life.