If you’re one of those people who get sweaty about going anywhere or meeting friends at their place for a party, you know how much you’re missing out. Missing out on meeting new people who could potentially be friends, partners, employers (yes, a lot of business contacts are made while having a casual conversation). So, its too bad your anxiety gets in the way and dictates your life and your social calendar.
Here are some downright, workable tips if you’re invited and want to go, but are afraid to:
- Tell yourself its not a big deal. Even though it may seem to be, people are coming together to have a good time, entertain themselves and enjoy food and other’s companionship. Downplaying the importance of the occasion may help you relax.
- Make a soft entrance, keep eye contact minimum as you walk in, and move towards the first familiar face you see.
- Say hello to someone you know and quickly ask them a question about their life…”Great to see you, haven’t seen you in a while! How’s your new job?”
- Let them do the talking, but in the meanwhile– look at them, nod and ask a leading question or two… “what’s the commute like”, “Is it what you expected?”
- If your anxiety flares up, excuse yourself and head to the kitchen where you are likely to find the host and offer to help him/her.
- Or make eye contact with someone else you may know and say, “hey, I see someone I know, I’ll be right back”.
- If you’re late- say something like, “I am so sorry I’m late, there was sooo much traffic on route xyz!” Keep it brief, you don’t have to give longwinded explanations.
- Try to disclose if you can. It makes people fell like you’re part of the conversation.
- If you don’t see anyone you know, sit down with a drink and try and join in on others talking. Saying something like, “I overheard you guys talking about…., mind if I join in? By the way my name is….”.
- Not sure when to end a conversation. This can get tricky but try not to linger too long next to someone and mingle with other people. Think of it as a social experiment. A chance to meet and talk to as many people as you can while you are there.
- If you find yourself getting worked up and feel like bolting out the door, give yourself a deadline- 15 more minutes and then I’ll leave, instead of giving in and walking out.
- Even if you decide to leave, say goodbye. Its important. “I have to be somewhere but thanks so much for having me” or “It was nice talking to you, I have to run but hope to see you again at (host’s name)”.