Anxiety is a crippling condition that can ruin your day, your relationships, and your life. But you don’t have to live with it. There are many ways in which you can manage this debilitating phenomenon so that it doesn’t always rule the day. One of the best ways to do this is by practicing social skills – there are few things more important than being able to make conversation!
When you’re anxious, your fight-or-flight response is triggered. This causes the release of adrenaline and cortisol – hormones that are designed to help us deal with stressful or dangerous situations by making us faster, stronger, more powerful, and better able to deal with whatever’s coming our way. In a normal situation, where, for example, you’re being chased by a lion, this would be an ideal reaction. You’d be able to outrun the lion or fight it off.
But in social situations, where you’re meeting new people, this response can actually be quite harmful. It can make your heart rate spike, make you feel dizzy and lightheaded, and make it difficult to think clearly. In fact, for some people, this can be so overwhelming that they’ll avoid social situations altogether, which only makes the anxiety worse. So, what can you do to deal with the anxiety when meeting new people?
When you smile, your brain releases serotonin, which is a hormone that makes you feel happy. So, even if you don’t feel like smiling on the inside, forcing yourself to do it will at least make you feel a little bit better. And, when you’re feeling better, it will be easier to manage the anxiety.
Take some deep breaths
When you’re feeling anxious, your heart rate speeds up and your breathing becomes shallow. This is because the body is preparing for a fight-or-flight response. But, by taking some deep breaths, you can counteract this response and help to calm yourself down.
Talk about something that makes you happy
When we’re anxious, it’s normal to fixate on the negative things. That’s just what our brains do – they look for things that are wrong so that they can try to fix them. So, by talking about or thinking about something pleasant, you can start to work your way out of this mindset and give yourself some space from the anxiety.
Talk about your passions
Talking about what you love is one of the easiest ways to have a conversation with someone new. If you really enjoy reading poetry or playing golf or watching movies, then talk all about that! Your passion will be contagious! And people will feel comfortable around you because passionate people are enthusiastic who are more likely to let their guard down.
Make a joke
This one might be a little tricky, but if you can make a joke, it will show that you’re comfortable in your own skin and that you’re not afraid to be a little bit silly. Jokes are a great way to break the ice and to make people feel at ease around you.
Ask them about themselves
People love to talk about themselves, so this is a great way to get the conversation going. Ask them where they’re from, what they do for a living, what their hobbies are, etc. This will help you to learn more about them and it will make them feel like you’re really interested in them as a person, not just as someone that you’re talking to.
Use body language
When you’re anxious, it’s hard to focus on anything else but the anxiety itself. But, by using body language, you can help to keep the focus on the conversation. Lean in when they lean in, cross your arms when they cross theirs, and nod your head when they speak. This will help you to look interested and engaged in the conversation.
Mirror their body language
This is similar to using body language, but it’s a little bit more subtle. If you mirror their body language, they’ll subconsciously start to feel like you’re on the same page as them. And, when people feel like they’re on the same page as someone else, they tend to feel more comfortable around that person.
Use positive self-talk
When you’re feeling anxious, it’s easy to start putting yourself down. But, by using positive self-talk, you can start to build yourself up instead. Tell yourself that you’re doing a great job, that’re interesting, and that people are drawn to you. This will help to boost your self-confidence and to make you feel more comfortable in social situations.
Keep a positive attitude
When you’re feeling anxious, it’s easy to become cynical and negative about the world. But, by keeping a positive attitude, you can help to keep your anxiety under control because negativity breeds more anxiety. So, even if something makes you feel uncomfortable or uneasy, just smile through it and try to think of it as an adventure!
Stay in the moment
When we’re anxious, our minds tend to wander. We start to think about what could go wrong or what we should have said differently. But, by staying in the moment, you can focus on the conversation that you’re having and not let your mind wander off. This will help you to stay engaged in the conversation and to avoid feeling overwhelmed or panicked.
Use positive reinforcement
If you do something well during a conversation, give yourself a pat on the back! Positive reinforcement is a great way to boost your confidence and to make yourself feel good about yourself. So, if you make a joke, smile, or ask them about themselves, give yourself a mental pat on the back! It might sound silly, but it really works!
Know that you’re not alone
If you meet someone new, but are feeling anxious or uncomfortable, know that you’re not alone. This person feels the same way as you do, so it’s okay to be nervous. And this is a great opportunity for both of you because it will give you a chance to practice your social skills and learn how to make small talk with strangers!
One of the best things that you can do is to be yourself. If you show the world who you truly are and open up, other people will feel more comfortable around you because they’ll know that it’s safe to open up as well. So, don’t try to pretend like you’re someone else or put on a fake persona – just be yourself! And let the anxiety fade away as you get lost in conversation.
Practice makes perfect
If this is your first time meeting new people, it can seem overwhelming and scary at first. So, remember that everyone starts out feeling anxious when they meet new people. But with practice and experience comes experience and confidence, so don’t give up! Keep trying and eventually it’ll all come naturally to you and soon enough you’ll have no problem meeting new people.
Ask for help
Sometimes, anxiety can feel overwhelming and out of control. So, if you’re struggling to handle all the feelings that are coming up, ask for help! This could be from a family member or friend, your doctor, or even online support groups where you can talk to other people who are going through the same thing as you. Just remember – whatever happens, don’t give up! You’ve got this far already so just keep pushing forward.
Talk yourself down
When you start feeling anxious about socializing with someone new, it’s important to take deep breaths and calm yourself down again. Take some time out for yourself before re-entering the situation, and talk yourself down by telling yourself that you’re capable of doing this and that everything will be okay.
Take it one step at a time
When you’re feeling anxious, it can be hard to think straight. So, take things one step at a time and don’t try to do everything all at once. This will only add to your anxiety and make you feel more overwhelmed. Just focus on the task at hand, and when it’s done, move on to the next one.
Find an anchor
An anchor is something that you can use to ground yourself when you’re feeling anxious. It could be anything from a certain song to a certain place, or even a person. When you find your anchor, take some time out to focus on it and to calm yourself down. This will help you to regain control over your anxiety and will make it easier for you to socialize with new people.
Conclusion: Anxiety can be a crippling condition that is hard to live with. But, by using 19 tips and tricks in this article, you can start to overcome your anxiety and socialize with new people more easily. Just remember to stay positive, focus on the conversation, and take things one step at a time! Good luck!