If You Struggle With Social Anxiety, This Is For You

By Dominica

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Last Updated: August 2, 2021

If you struggle with socializing due to anxiety and fear, you need to know that you are not alone. 

 

Many people have social anxiety, ranging from mild to extreme. Some are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, but plenty of people aren’t. They may not fit the criteria or choose not to reach out for professional help.

 

Regardless of how much social anxiety you struggle with, there is good news. There are many tips, tricks, and techniques that can help you increase your social skills and decrease your anxiety about social situations in general.  

 

Do you need support with your feelings of anxiety? Read this next: 5 Best Online Anxiety Support Groups to Calm Down Your Mind 

 

Practice Conversations In Your Head

A great way to start facing the fear of socializing is to practice starting a conversation with people. This may sound challenging, but I assure you that every conversation that you start will become easier and easier! 

 

The first thing that you can do is prepare yourself for this exercise. Using visualization techniques is a wonderful way to begin your journey to anxiety-free conversations. Here’s how it works: 

 

  • Sit in a comfortable spot and take a few deep breaths
  • Then begin to visualize yourself walking up to someone you know or a stranger Scenarios to start with could be: 
    • something that could come up at work
    • at the checkout line in a store
    • while you’re out walking in your neighborhood 

 

  • See yourself comfortably initiating a conversation and carrying the conversation for about 10 to 30 seconds
  • Do this mental exercise over and over until you’ve seen yourself initiate a handful of conversations

 

Know What You Want To Talk About

Think about a few topics you can initiate conversation with. Start with something easy and a little personal, like that person’s jewelry, hair style or clothing. 

 

You can say something like, “Wow, I really like that sweater!” or “Your necklace is beautiful!” 

 

You can even use the common conversation starter by talking about the weather. Once you make a comment, relax and let them respond. Then, you can follow up with something else to say that can build into a conversation.

 

For example, if you like someone’s hair, let them know. Once they respond, you could ask a question that could start a conversation like, “I’ve always wanted to try that hairstyle, but I never had enough courage to go that bold. Who is your hairdresser?”  Then, see where the conversation leads. 

 

Another great conversation starter is making a humorous comment. You don’t want to be rude or mean, but a simple light-hearted comment can oftentimes begin a conversation.  

 

Use good judgment here because not everyone has the same sense of humor, but it can be a great conversation starter. 

 

You can increase your social skills by practicing these conversation starters and building up self-confidence. Practice in front of a mirror, with a friend or partner, or just rehearse in your head until you feel more confident. 

 

If it doesn’t go as planned, don’t worry about it. Everyone has to contend with conversations that don’t go as planned. You just brush it off and move on with a smile. 

 

Verywellmind.com suggests that some social anxiety triggers are around not knowing the other person well enough to get a conversation going. They propose simply asking them questions to get going, and once you learn more about them, the conversation can flow more easily. 

 

Building Confidence Helps With Socialization Skills

If you build your confidence, you will be able to socialize much better. Those who cannot socialize as well as they’d like may have had a bad experience while growing up and the effects from that carry over into adulthood.

 

For example, if a child tries to socialize with kids at school and is made fun of for how they act or what they say, that can create a feeling of rejection, and that child may become insecure in socializing. 

 

As a result, they may shy away from situations in which socialization occurs and not develop the necessary socialization skills necessary for adequate conversation skills as an adult.

 

Building confidence at any age is possible. I know what it is like to be afraid and insecure at the thought of having to converse with people, but I also know that with hard work and determination, confidence and socialization skills can be learned.

 

Try Positive Affirmations

A great way to become more confident is to recite positive affirmations out loud daily. Positive affirmations are simply statements that are positive and encouraging. They are statements about what you want to be true in your life.  

 

Visit our Daily Affirmations page to boost your confidence and encourage you to keep trying! 

 

Let’s say you want to be more confident and social.  You can write out statements that reflect this to be true and read them daily.  Post them in a spot where you will be continually reminded to speak them. 

 

 Here are a few examples of what you can write:

 

  • I am very confident in my ability to converse openly and effortlessly.
  • People like me because I am friendly and likeable.
  • I have favor wherever I go.
  • My socialization skills are improving all the time.
  • I have so much to offer in a relationship.
  • It’s alright if conversations don’t go as planned. It’s not a big deal.

 

You can write as many positive affirmations as you’d like. Involve all areas of your life and really be proactive in building your confidence.

 

Give Yourself Options 

Another great way to build confidence is to get out there and get involved in something that entails you having to interact with people. Volunteer, join a club, or find a hobby. 

 

The more you put yourself in social situations, the more you will be forced to work on your confidence and socialization skills. Joining groups will also give you more to talk about, and you now have something in common with the person you want to approach. 

 

You Can Become More Confident and Social

It simply takes effort and time on your part. Believe in yourself and give yourself time to learn better socialization skills. It’s taken me years to get more comfortable socializing, but the time and effort has been well worth it.

 

You got this!

 

Photo by Ivo Silva on Unsplash

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