Saturday 24 December 2016

Great Ways To Cure Social Anxieties


Anxieties in particularly social anxieties are not an uncommon practise anymore.

Imagine this: You have just started a new job and then you get an invite to their work Christmas party. You only know a couple of your workmates but decide to go as it's an opportunity to meet more people.

Then the day of the party arrives. You can't concentrate because as the hours to the party inch closer, you begin to internally freak out. "What if I have no one to talk to?" "What if I have nothing interesting to say?" "How early is the earliest time to leave without being rude?" "Is it too late to pull out?"

For the average person, these thoughts may cross their mind, yet it wouldn't worry them. But for the socially anxious among us, these thoughts consume them.

It's not just being the new person. Socially anxious people can get nervous in any kind of social setting, even with close friends.

It can be classified as an extremity of introversion, and the reason behind it, according to psychologist Richard Reid, is due to our "reptilian brain". This is the oldest part of our brain which is primarily concerned with keeping us alive.

It scans your current situation for danger and threats and is predisposed to thinking negatively.

This means in social situations we "interpret them based on past experiences, looking for evidence that the bad things that have happened before will happen again and this undermines us," Richard told Buzzfeed.

So what can we do to cure this?

While pills and therapy are options, it's better to practice little steps that will help you in the long run.

1. Have a hype person

This is someone you can turn to when you find yourself in a situation that makes you feel socially anxious. This will be a close friend or confidant who understands how you feel and is patient. They will be able to give you little words of encouragement and you know they'll be there if you need them.

There's a reason you don't feel socially anxious when you're with your close friends so talking with a close friend before the event or situation will help put you at ease.

Tip: At said event you could even try pretending the people you are with are close friends. This way you might find it easier to spark conversation.

2. Get in the right mindset

For the socially anxious, there's one very important thing to remember. No one is judging you. This thought is a key player in where the social anxiety comes from but it's completely unjust and all in your head.

Because, quite frankly, not everyone's world revolves around you. Everyone has their own issues and insecurities consuming them so they're not concerned with how you look or what you're saying.

This is a good thing – it means you shouldn't be so concerned with your image.

There's a reason your friends and family think the world of you, you're great. So let other people see your sparkle too.

3. Take note of your body language

According to Richard, roughly 87% of how we interpret people is through indirect body language. So keep this in mind when meeting new people.

Bring your shoulders back and don't cross your arms or let your eyes wander while you're listening to someone.

It's easy to want to make yourself smaller when you're nervous about something in particular, but this can be seen as a defensive movement.

Richard said even if the other person doesn't notice it consciously, their reptilian brain will pick it up as a warning sign, making them less relaxed and as if they don't "click" with you.

4. Listen and observe

When you go to an event or hang out with your less socially anxious friends, observe how they react with other people. Don't make it too obvious but just take little mental notes of what they talk about, the questions they ask and their body language.

The other important thing is to listen. When you listen to what your companion is saying, then you will be able to formulate more questions for them while they're talking.

Richard said when we're nervous our brain gets "flooded with stress hormones" which make us less able to think of things to say. This is why were usually have a mind blank if someone asks us to say a joke on cue.

Listening more helps us to relax and understand more. And as all socially anxious people know, small talk is your worst enemy, so make sure you're asking open-ended questions. Remember conversation is a vessel to learn as much as you can about the other person.

Do this, and you'll be talking with ease in no time at all.



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