Have you ever been to a social gathering and really wanted to meet new people. But the whole time, your heart was pounding like crazy, your mind was blank and you felt like everyone was watching you be totally out of place? Well anyone who’s experienced shyness and social anxiety knows what I’m talking about. And this can pop up unexpectedly around anyone or it can be a constant crippling weight over your entire life.
Personally, I suffered from the constant crippling weight type of social anxiety. Where even when I was alone, I often felt anxious about how I’d screwed up a chance to connect with a pretty girl. Or I’d be worrying myself sick about interacting with people the next day at work or school. But before we go into how to move past social anxiety…let’s explore what it even is first.
Fight, Flight or Freeze
When you react similar to what I just described, not only does you mind go out of control but so does your body. That is because you to feel like you’re gonna be rejected by those around you. So you unconsciously cause your nervous system to jolt into the fight, flight or freeze phase. This is a response to feeling like you are in danger. And while you want to be comfortable and talk with those around you…your nervous system responds as if somewhere were about to attack you. And while on the surface you know this is not gonna happen, deep down your body is reacting in ways it has for a long time.
So a big step to eliminating shyness and social anxiety is understanding that your nervous system is reacting this way automatically. But you have the ability to train it to not do this. You can actually train your nervous system and body to be relaxed and comfortable in any social situation. Watch the video below to get more details on this physiological response to social anxiety.
Now that you have a better understanding of how you automatically respond in these social situations…let’s explore a bit on how you can move past these responses. Cause then you’ll be able to increasingly move past your social anxiety and increase your social intelligence.
- Slow Talking: Practice intentionally talking slower than normal when speaking to people. This will cause you to slow down in general. So this will relax your thoughts, your heart and calm some anxiety.
- Breathing: Practice taking slow, deep intentional breathes. Breathe in deep through your nose, and out deep through your mouth.
- Focusing on the Things Around You: Social anxiety causes you to focus inward not yourself, on your own issues and negative bullshit. Instead, intentionally focus on what is happening around you. What art is on the walls, what type of snacks are around, what type of music is playing? This practice will lead to reduced anxiety and it will give you some things to talk about.
Stretching your comfort Zone
The main underlying reason people have social anxiety/shyness is due to the fear of being rejected. The fear of not being good enough. Whether it’s the cool kids not wanting to be your friend, or the hot chick not wanting to go on a date with you or your co-workers thinking you’re stupid. Those types of experiences can be very painful and can seem much easier to just avoid them. The truth is, it is not easier, it may be a safe option. But avoidance just keeps you stuck and often causes your fear and anxiety to build and get worse. This is what happened to me…I ended up with severe depression on top of my severe social anxiety. Mainly cause I would hide, alone in my shitty apartment. And I’d cope by eating shit food and getting drunk by myself.
One of the methods to overcoming your social anxiety is by actually putting yourself out there and being around new people. So go to Meet ups, attend events, go to parties, re-connect with old friends, go to cafes and force yourself to talk to the clerk, to the old guy with the weird looking dog, to anyone.
A good game you can play to help you, is the get 3 rejections a day game. This is where you go to a mall or any crowded place and ask 3 different women out for coffee. (Or men if you’re a woman.)And the key here is that you let yourself expect to get rejected. So then it takes some of the pressure off. And you can be more carefree about it. The cool thing is that you’ll find, some of these ladies will say yes. and then you’ll feel good just from that. Plus you’ll get practice talking on a coffee date and you may even end up with a girlfriend out of the deal.
This post is merely scratching the surface on shyness and social anxiety. At the same time, these tips can definitely help steer you in the direction of becoming free of severe shyness. In the very least, I hope they allow you to see that moving past your shyness is absolutely possible. You should also consider that social anxiety is not part of your true authentic identity. While you may have suffered from this for so long and it may seem like you are just an anxious, shy person for life. The truth is, if you want to move past this, you can. And I believe you will with enough determination to overcome it.
My battle with severe social anxiety lasted roughly twenty years. And for most of that time I was convinced I was trapped with that form of suffering. Well in recent years I’m like a new man. And I know that if I was able to move past my horrible struggle with social anxiety…so can you!
I appreciate you reading this post. If you enjoyed it…
- Check Out My Youtube Video on this Topic Below…I share some personal stories and others unique tips.