Every relationship you’ve ever had, and have, started by you meeting someone new. Maybe it was in your childhood. Perhaps it was during college. It could even have been last year when you started a new job. But, at the end of the day, all of the people you “know” began as people you didn’t. As we grow older, however, we tend to find it more and more difficult to meet new people. You may find yourself becoming more self-conscious in social situations or even experience anxiety in a new environment. While this is normal and you’re not alone – it can lead you to miss out on amazing new friendships and opportunities. If you find yourself routinely tempted to turn down social invitations or the thought of walking up to someone new and introducing yourself gives you shivers, then I hope this post can help you. I want to challenge you to shed your insecurities, check your self-conscious thoughts at the door and experience a fuller life. Keep reading!
1. Remember It’s All in Your Head
This is probably the hardest step to master because this is where the self-conscious thoughts and behavior all begin – in your head. But, if you can regularly remind yourself that it really is “all in your head,” you’re going to find new situations and new people a whole lot more exciting.
When you walk into a room or are meeting someone, it’s natural for the other person (or people) to look at you. But, I assure you that they’re not staring you down like you may feel they are! Anything you are self conscious about, it often is only you who notices. The people around you have so many other stimuli and most of the time they are absorbed in thinking about their own insecurities!
I find that people tend to feel most insecure or self-conscious about their appearance and/or accomplishments when first meeting someone new. They tend to feel the other person has done more with their life, looks better or has more money. It’s so important to remember that, in thinking these negative thoughts and drawing such immediate conclusions, you’re hurting your chance at a new friendship or relationship right off the bat. Keep in mind that everyone experiences insecurities and that, while you’re thinking these things in your head, and as I said, the other person is likely thinking almost the same about themselves.
2.Pinpoint Your Self-Consciousness
Knowing what causes your self-consciousness is a crucial step in conquering it. Take a moment to reflect on the last time you met someone new. Whatexactly was it that made you feel insecure or self-conscious? Was it what you were wearing? Was it something you said… or didn’t say? Was it what you were talking about? Being able to narrow down and isolate what causes you to feel self-conscious will help you avoid the feeling in the future.
For instance, if you weren’t feeling your best because of what you were wearing – consider donating that item of clothing and buying something new in which you feel amazing. If it was the topic of conversation, steer clear of that subject in the future… or brush up on it so you’re better prepared next time around. Do whatever you can to leverage your history of self-consciousness to defeat the feeling the next time around.
3. Practice Putting Yourself Out There
It always takes a little bit of time to get back into the swing of things – no matter what the thing might be! If you haven’t been in social situations or within an environment where you regularly meet lots of new people, it’s natural to feel a bit out of place. Should this be the case for you, I suggest you remember the adage, “practice makes perfect.”
To get more comfortable interacting with new people, whether it is a new networking connection or first date, you need to start meeting new people more often. While that might sound scary at first, I promise that you’re more than capable. Remember way back when you were just a child and regularly met other kids and made new friends? It all comes down to bonding over a similar interest, environment or opportunity.
If chatting up the person next to you on your morning commutes sounds too daunting, consider signing up for a social painting class or joining a recreational sports team. You’ll quickly be tempted to leave your self-conscious shell behind and realize just how easy it is to meet new people – and just how interested other people are in meeting you.
4. Conjure Confidence by Strengthening Your Self Love
Negative thinking is one of the biggest causes of self-consciousness. When you look in the mirror, what do you see? What do you think of yourself? Your answers to these questions drastically impact how you believe others perceive you too. I want to challenge you to look in the mirror at least once, every single day, and strengthen your self-love by complimenting yourself.
When you allow yourself to recognize the amazing in yourself, you’ll begin to conjure confidence that will stick with you throughout the day. You’ll walk into rooms with your head held higher, your back straighter and a more authentic smile on your face. When you feel more confidence, you’ll also find itthat much easier to meet new people and start up great conversations. To continue to strengthen your self-love, I encourage you to read another post I wrote about just that. Click here to read that one now!
To your authenticity,