If you have social anxiety, one of the most difficult parts about interacting with people is that it can be hard on your confidence. It can even feel like you’re invisible to others, like they don’t see you standing there. Luckily, there are a number of tips on how to connect with people when you have social anxiety that will help make this process easier.
1. Make eye contact with others
When you have social anxiety, it can be difficult for some people to look at your eyes. But eye contact is a key part of connecting with people. Look at someone’s face while you talk to them and maintain it while they speak so that they can know that you’re engaged in the conversation. It will help you appear confident and show that you’re interested in talking with them, which will make this process easier.
2. Ask questions that show interest in others
When you talk with someone else, asking questions shows that they’re important to you and makes the conversation go more smoothly. It will show that you’re interested in them and their life. Avoid difficult questions that may be confusing or hard to answer, and ask questions about specific things about them instead, such as what they do for fun or what their family is like.
3. If you get nervous, just take a deep breath
If you get nervous when trying to talk with other people, take a moment to relax by taking a few deep breaths. It can help calm down your anxiety and make it easier to talk with the person. Just breathe in and out slowly and deeply and pay attention to your breathing so that you can focus on it instead of your nerves.
5. Remember that this is a chance to get to know someone new
When you have social anxiety, it’s easy to think of your potential friend as the person who is judging you or rejecting you when in reality, most people are friendly and want to meet someone new when they see them. It will help if you change the way you look at others in a way that makes it easier for you to interact with them, so look at them as a potential friend instead of a judge.
7. When the other person is talking, nod your head or make facial expressions like smiling
When someone is talking to you, make silent nods back to their sentences or make quick facial expressions that show that you want them to continue talking more so that it shows that you’re paying attention. This will make them feel that you’re listening to what they have to say. You can also ask questions that you have in your mind when they pause in their conversation.
8. Let the other person talk about themselves to show that you’re interested in them
Keeping the conversation focused on yourself doesn’t help the problem at all, because it might make you more anxious or make the other person feel like you don’t want to get to know them. When they are talking, let them share their opinions about anything so that it shows that you are interested in what they say and want them to continue talking. This will help the interaction along much more easily.
9. If the other person is shy too, work together to bring them out
If the other person is shy, they will appreciate it if you reach out and try to help them. Most people with social anxiety problems immediately think that they’re not good enough or that others aren’t interested in helping but if you don’t give up on them, then they’ll appreciate it instead of feeling worse. Also, you can encourage the other person if it looks like they want to say something but can’t get the words out.
10. Have a friend with you when you try to make a new friend
It can be easy to be shy in a situation when you’re alone, but when you’re with a friend, you can support each other and encourage each other to talk with the other person. This is helpful because you have someone to lean on and get help from if you need it. Also, having someone there can break the ice so that it will be easier for both of you to get involved in the conversation.
11. Give yourself time to get used to meeting people
It’s okay if it takes some time for your social anxiety issues to go away. It takes practice and a lot of hard work to overcome them, and any progress you make will be good. The more you get better at talking to new people, the easier it will get going forward.
12. Don’t compare yourself with others
Comparison is the worst thing you can do because it leads to feeling bad about yourself. If you get upset when you get done talking with someone, don’t think that your social anxiety was worse even though it was or ask yourself why they were able to talk without getting nervous while you had a problem. Instead, focus on what you can do better next time.
13. Avoid crowds by being alone
If your social anxiety makes it too much for your nerves to handle being around large groups of people, then leave the room or go somewhere quiet until it passes or until it completely goes away without any symptoms.
14. Expose yourself to more people by being outgoing
If you’re shy, then it’s important to not be too afraid of socializing because you can’t get stronger by just staying inside your house or avoiding interaction with other people. Instead, you should be more open about who you are and make friends with others. They’ll want to know more about the person they’re talking to and will try to change their way of thinking about how they look at social situations if they ever come back again after meeting someone new.
15. Talk to others who have had similar problems in the past
If you grow up with someone who has had social anxiety issues too, then the person may be able to give you some tips on how to understand what’s going on inside of your head and how it can help your problem.
In conclusion, you should have a plan of action to overcome your social anxiety problem. It’s important to give yourself time to see how the situation goes. You need to understand that it takes practice and time before you can completely get over social anxiety.
If you need more help overcoming social anxiety, check out my Social Anxiety Survival Kit. You will find everything to help you overcome social anxiety, from building bonds and connecting with people to boosting your self-belief, expressing your feelings and getting out of your own way and much more…