Ah, people! Oh, people! Social anxiety brings to your mind Sartre's famous dictum that 'Hell is other people'.
But if you believe that, you must think you are in hell, surrounded by people all around. Remember that quote about 'when you find yourself in hell, keep going.'
In other words, you have to find ways to deal with people, other than just ignoring all of them all the time.
Here's a list of the top tips on overcoming social anxiety that this writer could collect.
This is related to the guide for awkward/shy people. You can expect some overlapping/repeated advice.
1. Focus on things outside yourself: Observe the surroundings, for example - The decor (of the place), the people, the little details ('that is some pink that girl is wearing')...anything to take your mind out of yourself.
2. Practice observing other people: Just look at people, starting with your family (it all starts with the family, all that judgmental talk), friends (their imperfections/deficiencies)...it will make you feel better, and raise your self esteem when you see your own position relative to theirs.
3. Do exercises to ease mental stress: Start by meditating (focusing on one single thing for a while, blanking out the world), simple breathing exercises, yoga, or some serious physical action to get the blood flowing. And other usual stuff - long walks and eating healthy.
4. Sometimes, just let go: You can't control everything. Just go with the flow. Think positive thoughts.
5. See a therapist / psychiatrist: Who will probably suggest supervised cognitive behavioral therapy, where you try out out various situations, and see how you behave under various conditions, and then you review, and so on.
6. Recognize that you're projecting: You obsess about all of your flaws and faults. You judge yourself for your mistakes. You think you'll make a fool of yourself.
7. Go to as many social occasions as you can: Do something. Talk to the nearest person. Say anything. Ask what time it is. Ask where she/he is from. Ask directions for the bar.
8. Think of all the good things that can come out of the conversation: A new friend, partner, business idea, connections....
9. Say to yourself: 'What's the worst that can happen?! - they can't kill you!' (George Costanza in Seinfeld)
10. Use NLP style visualization: Work out your fears in various scenarios, get to understand exactly what are you fearing, or, change the image that makes you afraid with an image that makes you happy and confident, and then go in.
Please also see the guide to NLP.
Thank you for reading.
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