Social anxiety is a crippling condition that can make any social situation feel extraordinarily challenging. You might be nervous about anything, from talking to someone new about a sweet wine club to giving a presentation at work. You might feel that you cannot perform. Once you start getting overwhelmed and feeling like no one is listening, it’s hard not to feel less confident in yourself.
We often have an idea of what we could do or say if we had more confidence and just did it. But in reality, you might feel that most people would be able to tell there is something wrong with you. Acting confident, even when feeling nervous, is a learned skill that requires time to develop.
You might feel like your perspective on the situation is not the social experience that’s changing. This article will give you some actionable ways to provide yourself with a confidence boost mentally so you can act more confidently in social situations.
1. Listen More Than You Speak
Are you familiar with the saying that there are many different ways to be heard and only one way to listen? It’s a saying that can help you get through many social situations. You might be worried about what someone will think about you or wait for them to finish their story so you can talk about yourself, but if you listen carefully and actively, people will often feel appreciated.
Most get-togethers are made up of people who are getting together to talk about themselves. It’s fun, but also nerve-wracking because you never know when it is your turn to talk. By listening and actively trying to understand what the other person is saying, you’ll be seen as a more thoughtful person when it comes time for your turn to speak.
2. Frequently Ask for Help
As a person with social anxiety, you might feel like you have to keep on top of everything that is happening. You might try to do as much as possible to help and ensure it all goes well. The problem with this is it might lead you to avoid things that make you feel anxious such as asking for help.
If you are expected to help out for something to go well, you may be worried that your contribution won’t be enough, or worse yet, no one will notice anything. This can keep the stress of the situation high and prevent any potential enjoyment of the activity. Instead, ask for help often.
3. Work On Your Breathing
Breathing is the key to almost everything in life. Being able to handle situations that cause stress, anxiety, and negative feelings can be extremely challenging without a good breathing technique.
Learning how to control your breathing with techniques like diaphragmatic breathing or breath focus can increase your ability to handle negative feelings and make it easier for you to act confidently instead of feeling nervous. The confidence boost you gain by being able to work confidently is often enough to help you overcome the social anxiety you are feeling.
4. Try to Handle Succession Planning
It is usual for people to get uncomfortable when there are a lot of people around, and someone is talking, especially if that person isn’t their partner or close friend. If you have a plan in place, you can handle the situation in an acceptable way that doesn’t cause any anxiety or drama. If there is more than one person who is expected to stay after the main event, one person could go, and then if another person wants to stay late and talk, another could leave, so the pair has some alone time.
5. Mentally Rehearse a Situation
There are many ways to mentally rehearse before entering a social situation. You might do this by imagining the best possible outcome and playing out every scenario that could happen to see what comes out of it. This is a great way to prepare yourself for any situation mentally.
It can also be incredibly anxiety-producing because it can lead to overthinking and worrying about things that aren’t real. That’s why it’s essential to avoid needing others’ approval or approval of your performance for you to feel confident in the situation.
The more you work on your confidence, the easier it will be for you to act confidently in the future. Try to think positively about your social situation and consider how you could work confidently when you are nervous. Feeling confident is a learned skill that can be improved with practice and patience.