Whether you are an incoming college freshman, or starting your first day of work, everyone, and I literally mean everyone, feels nervous and uncomfortable. Constantly worrying about people judging you or trying to make a good first impression or trying to fit in; anxiety is totally normal.
You look around and it seems like everyone is enjoying themselves, fully confident in who they are. But what people forget to notice is the fact that feeling anxious and nervous isn’t a feeling that pertains only to themselves, it applies to everyone else as well. It’s just that certain people find different ways of dealing with it.
Some of you may be thinking, “I don’t really care about any of this… I need tips now!” And for those who think this way, don’t worry because I’m getting to the good part. Now, for what you’ve all been waiting for ….(drumroll)…Here are 6 ways to overcome social anxiety.
1. Be Yourself
YOU HAVE TO BE YOURSELF! This isn’t high school. Of course, there are always going to be people who silently, or sometimes verbally, judge you. But regardless of what others may think of you, you have to accept yourself. Why would you want people to like a “masked” version of yourself? They don’t like you for who you truly are, but for the façade that you put up. By being yourself, you will find those who are truly “worthy” of becoming potential friends, maybe even life-long friends. How do you expect people to like you for who you are, if you don’t accept yourself first?
2. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
Let’s face it. If you’re reading this article, you’re obviously trying to find better ways of talking to people. You probably want to go out and have conversations with people, but because you’re too scared to venture outside of your comfort zone, you decide to keep to yourself. STOP BEING LAZY!! Step outside of your comfort zone. If people invite you to go out and grab lunch, go with them; if they tell you to go to a party, go with them; if you want to make light conversation with people, go and talk with them. You can’t sit there and expect things to automatically happen for you. You have to get up and approach things in a different way. Stepping outside of your comfort zone once in a while will make a difference. Who knows? Maybe you’ll even enjoy the thrill.
3. Approach People First
Here’s the deal, the feeling of anxiousness and nervousness does not only apply to you. Everyone else is, if not more, feeling the same way. So, if you want something to change (like maybe your social scene), then you have got to get up and change it yourself. Take the first initiative; go and walk up to a group of people and start a conversation. The topic of choice doesn’t matter. As long as you start talking, you’ll eventually start a conversation where the other people reciprocate by talking to you. If some people don’t like what you’re saying, they’ll leave, and it won’t matter. Just find a different group of people and start talking, because the best part about meeting people for the first time is that you don’t know them, and they don’t know you. So, MAKE YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION COUNT!
4. Screw the Haters
Just like it says right above, SCREW THE HATERS. Many people fret over certain people not liking them, and it does make sense. I mean, who doesn’t like being liked, right? But if you think about it, why should you care? It’s not like everyone doesn’t like you. It’s just certain individuals. Why would you try so hard for those handful of haters? Just thinking about it makes my head hurt. You’d have to put a lot of effort trying to create a better relationship, and that just doesn’t sound too pleasant. Just do you, and tell the haters to f**k off. Surround yourself with people who like you, not people who constantly judge you; their existence is just an unwanted negative essence.
5. Don’t Over-Analyze
Everything you think people are saying about you is in your head. Half the negative thoughts you have are not even true. You are over-analyzing everything. STOP THINKING SO MUCH. Just try going with the flow for once. Stop trying to figure everyone out, trying to please them. It won’t satisfy you, nor them. Just act normal, gosh! Overthinking just makes you more nervous, thus making you less likely to act like your normal self. So, sit back, relax and chill.
6. Don’t Take Life Too Seriously
ENJOY LIFE! Don’t think too much, because (sorry for the cliché) you only live once. Forget what others may think of you. As long as you have no regrets, then that’s all you need. The confidence you think you don’t have, you actually do. Enjoy your life the way you want to enjoy it. Take risks, take leaps, and take a moment to think if the problem you’re having is really worth fretting about. Do what you want and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Have the drive to approach anything that comes your way head on, including interacting with others. Life is too short, so stop worrying about miniscule problems creating your social anxiety. GO AND MAKE YOUR LIFE THE WAY YOU WANT IT TO BE!
Feature image source: favim.com
Josh is a freshman at The George Washington University. He plans to major in Political science, and lives life to fullest. His favorite quote is "You only have one life... so live life to its fullest.