Tips on how to deal with anxiety when meeting new people
‘Never hinder yourself with rules and expectations for yourself! Usually when we are introduced to new people we feel pressured to adjust ourselves based on the other person’s character. This can be very stressful and awkward for most. My advice? Be honest! Speak from the heart! There’s nothing more inspiring, fun, and relatable than someone with their own distinct personality. It puts others at ease when they meet someone who is cool with being themselves’
I read this the other day and it rang true with me. I hadn’t realised that social anxiety was so common. I thought it was just me! When I’m at a fun social event meeting new people I want to be able to overcome anxiety so that I can talk to them, meet them, and start friendships. These are some ideas that I have read about and tried that helped me overcome that ‘meeting new people’ anxiety.
Talk to Every one even if you have problems talking to people at social functions. When you think about it you talk to strangers’ everyday regularly. When you buy a coffee or pay for your shopping you are often talking to a total stranger. So you probably meet people on a regular basis that are total strangers that you can talk to – you simply don’t consider it talking a stranger. I got used to talking to these people in order to train myself to talk to people I didn’t know at social events. It boosted my confidence and helped me to feel more comfortable in myself.
Fake It Till You Make It! How often have I heard this! It can be difficult but I try to fake confidence and act like a confident person. It felt unnatural at first, but the experts say that the mind will eventually adapt to the behaviour. The more you practice the more confident you will become. It will become part of you.
Visualisation I find that this is a great tool. I start by closing my eyes and visualizing myself in social situations as realistically as possible. I suppose it is like daydreaming. See yourself at a dinner party, confident, talking to everyone, relaxed and ENJOYING yourself! I do this whenever I have a quiet time. Catching the bus or train home, under the shower, just before I go to sleep at night, whenever!
Wingman/Wingwoman Traditionally the wingman or woman introduces you to new people. See if a close friend of yours can simply help you when you are meeting a group of new people. Having someone there can make it easier at first, and from there you can learn to talk to people on your own. I joined up with Plus One Dinners (The Wingperson) as it offered a safe environment to meet new people and to help overcome my anxieties. It was a small group of eight people and I could take a friend to the first event. It was great and the more dinners I go to the more confident I am becoming!