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Social Skills Tune-Up: How To Be More Socially Confident

How To Be More Socially Confident

Did you know 12.1% of people in the U.S. are likely to experience an episode of social anxiety disorder at some point in their lives? That’s a little more than 1 in 10 people dealing with some serious fears about being embarrassed or humiliated during social experiences.

It’s more than simply being shy; it’s a serious mental health disorder that can prevent people from participating in social interaction. We don’t want any of our friends having to deal with that. 

It’s common for some people to feel awkward or anxious during social events, sure, but it can also seriously get in the way. It can prevent you from sharing your thoughts and ideas or cause you to miss out on opportunities. Not only that, but it can isolate you from your friends and family.

No one deserves to be in that situation, but it’s hard to beat once you’re dealing with it. 

We wanted to attempt to make it easier on anyone going through this, so today, we’re sharing practical tips on how to overcome social anxiety and develop confidence in social situations.

If you’re looking to increase your confidence at social events, don’t sweat it. We’ve got all the best tips for you.

Our Tips on How To Be More Socially Confident

Prepare ahead of time.

If you know you’re heading into a social situation that is going to make you nervous, take some extra time to prepare for it. Spend some time investing in yourself to make yourself feel comfortable and confident.

This might look like picking out the perfect outfit, doing an extra-thorough skincare routine, meditating, ice rolling, you name it. Do what it takes to make yourself feel ready to conquer your fears. 

Practice with your friends.

This might seem cringe, but your friends are there to help you through hard times. So let them. If you’re feeling anxious about a certain event, pull a friend to the side and ask if you can role play some of the conversations you’re nervous about. This way, you’ll feel totally ready for any kind of interaction that might come your way.

Socialize more often.

We know, we know this is probably the LAST thing you want to hear. But it’s an important tip. The more you spend time investing in a skill (social or otherwise), the better you get at it. 

So find some events near you to head to, put them in your TSC Planner and stay true to your commitment to attend. Facebook is a great place to find events near your location that you’re interested in attending. Take Michael Bosstick as inspiration. Before he was host of The HIM & HER Show he made himself attend The Ask Gary Vee Show with Lauryn to get more comfortable on the mic.

Do it on your own.

Another tip you probably don’t want to hear: your emotional support buddy might be making your social anxiety worse. It’s not their fault! It’s just that ensuring you ALWAYS have a buddy to socialize with reinforces your fear that you can’t do it on your own.  

So set your goal: you’re going to do it by yourself. Then, whether it goes positively or poorly, you’ve achieved your goal and overcome your fear. You’re teaching yourself that you can do hard things, as well as teaching yourself not to rely on external factors for self-esteem. 

Keep your body language confident.

Ever heard the phrase “fake it till you make it”? That’s the principle we’re using here. Because researchers have found that faking a smile can trick your brain into happiness so why wouldn’t faking confidence trick your brain into being confident? 

Don’t believe us? Faking it till you make it is literally backed by science. It’s called “behavioral activation,” and it’s commonly used in cognitive behavioral therapy, which uses behaviors to influence thoughts, feelings, and moods. Which means we can use it to feel more confident.

So, the next time you interact with people, just use confident body language to boost your confidence. Confident body language is open and relaxed, so take a few deep breaths, uncross your arms and legs, straighten your back, hold eye contact, and you’re there.

Use your tone of voice to your advantage.

Just like body language, our tone of voice can have a major impact on our interactions. It’s easy to forget how you want to come across and accidentally seem uninterested due to your nerves. So put on a friendly, upbeat tone, and get to making friends.

Pay attention.

This one seems obvious, but the more anxious you get, the more likely you are to zone out and berate yourself in your head. It’s not worth it. Not only does it take you away from the social interaction itself, reinforcing the problem, but you also just don’t need to treat yourself that way. Remember, you’re amazing just the way you are.

But, more than that, your social interactions are more likely to go more smoothly if you’re engaged in them. So get out of your head!

Ask questions.

Most people LOVE talking about themselves, so asking questions is a good way to start out the interaction if you’re feeling nervous. It can get them started talking, while you work up your nerve to talk about yourself. Plus, it shows that you’re interested in the person you’re talking to, so they’ll be more interested in you.

Fact check.

This one’s for people who deal with cognitive distortions when it comes to social anxiety. Cognitive distortions are distortions in one’s thinking that aren’t based in fact or reality. This can be something like, “No one wants me there, anyway.” When you experience a cognitive distortion that’s leading to your anxiety, check the facts. If you’re invited, it’s because you’re wanted. Don’t forget it.

Don’t let social anxiety run your life.

You deserve to have a social life that’s as vibrant and fun as you are. So dive into these tips, get your practice in, and get out there socializing.

And if you need some more tips and insight into being a super communicator and understanding conversations you have to listen to this episode with Charles Duhigg.

x, The Skinny Confidential team

+ Questions to ask to create the life you want.

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