How does the thought of walking into a party all by yourself sound? Or how about going to a networking event on your own where you know no one? Or eating dinner alone at a restaurant (“table for one please”)?
If you experienced dread and felt knots in your stomach as you thought about those situations, you are not alone! Social anxiety is a very common thing that many of us feel, but fewer admit. And the biggest way it gets triggered is when we are faced with a solo situation.
I used to hate, and I don’t use that word lightly, going to any kind of social or networking event on my own. So much so that I often would not go. And if I did go, there was so much pep talking that needed to happen and once I got there I just felt downright awkward and out of place.
Yet over time, as I worked on myself and also just continued to push myself out of my comfort zone, it got a lot easier to do things solo. So on my way out the door to a networking event I was headed to solo, I was inspired to share some tips in today’s vlog for you so you get out of your house and out in the world connecting with other amazing people.
Tips To Reduce Social Anxiety
Here are some of the highlights I share more extensively in the video:
1. People Don’t Care About You
People don’t care about you and are not thinking about you as much as you think. A lot of what creates social anxiety is what we think other people are going to think about us. But trust me, they are thinking about themselves!! You are not standing out as much as you think so get over it and get out there!
2. Change your story about yourself
If you walk into a party, for example, and your self-talk is something like: I am so nervous, I don’t fit in, my outfit is not that cute… and so on, you are radiating insecurity.
Radiate confidence instead by changing your story. And remember, self-confidence doesn’t mean being arrogant. It is really about self-acceptance and having self talk that sounds more like: I am proud of myself for being here and I’m open to meet some great people!
3. Ask Questions And Share Stories
Become a great question asker and have stories to share. In other words, be prepared! Nothing calms nerves like preparation so come up with a list of questions you can ask people that are more interesting than “what do you do?” For instance, “What are you most excited about in life? What was the last thing you did that scared you?”
4. Be A Compliment Columbo
Give compliments. This is the low hanging fruit, y’all! It is so easy to walk up to someone and give a sincere compliment on something like their outfit. And it creates instant rapport.
These are simple things you can do. And I know it can be scary to go somewhere alone, but you are not going to meet people sitting on your coach watching a House of Cards marathon. People want to connect with you and be friends, but if you don’t get out there, they will not find you.
And trust me from experience, it gets easier and easier to attend events alone the more you do them. I have also found that going solo opens me up to meet people I probably would not have met if I had someone else with me.
A plus one can sometimes be a crutch. The buddy system was great in Kindergarten, but you’re all grow up now – you can do it!!
As usual, I love hearing from you and cheering you on so please share your comments.