Are you socially awkward?
Or maybe you just prefer your own company!
Let’s face it, more often than not, when we go out to dinner with friends, it’s like spending the night in an old pair of slippers. However, a wedding function, social gathering outside your circle or business event, we don’t relish the thought of small talk and making the effort. In fact, we could quite easily cancel!
Last week I was faced with several events. Still battling the demon anxiety at times, the easier option would be to take a rain check. However, this year I’m facing my fears head on! It took a lot of work and some very supportive friends encouraging me, but even though that voice in my head was sending out all those fear signals, I rose above it and joined those social occasions… and had a blast!
The warmth of your home and your regular tv viewing seems so much more appealing than making the effort of getting your glad rags on. How on earth can we miss Ant and Dec’s Saturday night takeaway, hey?!!
However, life would be oh so dull if you decided never to go out again! I understand the fear of meeting new people, being in a different environment and just putting yourself out there can be restricting. But I also know, more often than not, once you’re there you’ll be glad you did!
Sometimes new social situations can be socially awkward. You can help alleviate this feeling by breaking the ice and making the other person more comfortable. Begin with a common interest or find one to create a relaxed mood.
“It takes a little effort to fit into a conversation!”
Equally, if you find yourself without too much going on in your life, it can be super hard to find the get-up and go to make a change and dip your toe in the water.
Here are a few tips to help the socially awkward or those wishing to try something new
- To connect socially, join a group of interest or explore new options. There are local, regional, and worldwide fan clubs for almost every interest or hobby. Facebook is a great place to start your search and find other groups.
Put away your mobile phone!
- The best social advice of the century is to put down the mobile phone. Not only is it rude to look at your phone while talking with someone, but it’s the perfect way to disconnect from the relationship. Turn off the phone to really connect.
- Your passions, interests, and experiences give you loads of things to share in social groups. Find groups where you feel comfortable. Participate often to make more connections. You never know who you’ll meet!
- After joining a few groups, consider creating an event of your own. Instead of sitting around waiting to be invited to a great party, host one and meet more like-minded people. Maybe get together some neighbours and invite them round for brunch or a Bring a dish BBQ on a Summers Day?
- Let people know about a group or event by sending them invitations. Be sure to include a “personal” message when possible. Also, encourage them to pass along the info to other friends. Events are more fun when shared with a friend.
- If you want a healthy social life, try something new. Trying new things makes your life more interesting. It also broadens your skills and knowledge. These make you more attractive to others so get out there and try something new.
- There are so many sporting activities you could join. Why not go down to your local education centre and grab yourself the evening recreational course timetable, try something new!
Expand your circle of friends
- Expand your circle. If you need a change, take up a new hobby and join a related club or group. It’s okay to make new friends and spend some time with them. Just don’t neglect your other friends. You can have them both, you’ve got to ensure you book in advance and keep an accurate schedule.
- Tired of the status quo? Grab a few friends and attend a local event, try out a new restaurant, join a local club, get involved in a community project, etc. Getting out and doing more expands your opportunities to meet people
“I often get together with friends, go to one-off craft courses, local quizzes or G&T nights!”
- Take some time to explore the art of small talk. Small talk can seem flat and boring, but if you practice the art of small talk, you can make it fun. Keep in mind that small talk often leads to more personal talks and relationships. Baby steps. People are often wary when a new acquaintance overshares. So, don’t pass on all your life’s nitty-gritty in the first meeting!
- Include your pets in your social life. Many restaurants, cafes, other businesses, and parks welcome your fur-babies. Take your pet when possible, they are great icebreakers and help to lighten the mood with their antics.
- If like me, you have a woofa and enjoy your daily dog walking, you will also get to meet lovely likeminded people who love a natter and you’ll soon get to know people well on your furry adventures!
Lastly, don’t let the fear control you.
You are in charge of your inner voice. Seize the moment and go out and meet new people, you might find a lifetime friend or have the experience to remember.
I’d love to know how you feel about being social and ways you have found helps you get out of the house, rather than watching Netflix in your onesie with a tub of Ben & Jerry’s!
P.S If you haven’t already, join our latest challenge!