Social Anxiety: How to work a party if you’re nervous

Social Anxiety: How to work a party if you’re nervous

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Make a soft entrance, keep eye contact minimum as you walk in, and move towards the first familiar face you see.
  3. 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?”
  4.  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?”
  5. 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.
  6. Or make eye contact with someone else you may know and say, “hey, I see someone I know, I’ll be right back”.
  7. 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.
  8. Try to disclose if you can. It makes people fell like you’re part of the conversation.
  9. 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….”.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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)”.

About Dr. Vijayeta Sinh, Ph.D.:
Self & Relationship expert Dr. Vijayeta Sinh, Ph.D. is committed to helping young men and women develop and keep healthy and satisfying relationships. Her advice has been featured in Reader’s Digest, NBC News, Business Insider, Nylon, Primer and Bustle. Connect on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Dating tips for smart women (and men)

Dating tips for smart women (and men)

Dating can be so damn hard! Especially if you are getting started or even getting back into the game after a relationship turned south or divorce. Nothing can really prepare you for the adventures that accompany the quest for a love life. The flings, mind-games, avoidance, power plays, and let downs.

Over and over again, I’ve come across some issues that my client’s face that can easily be sorted out if you’re willing to pay attention. After all, you don’t want to waste your time with someone who is shady and engages in monkeying, or ghosting, or with someone you can never really DTR (define the relationship).

  1. Keep the first couple of dates light, don’t get into HEAVY conversations. This is not the time to talk about how many kids you want. Instead, get a sense of each other and leave some things to be discovered on the next date.
  2. Don’t set up expectations. If you’re not going to call the chic, don’t lie to her face and tell her you’re going call. Instead say, ” this was a fun evening and even though I like you, I think we’re too different to make it work.” She may be hurt but she will respect you and appreciate your honesty.
  3. Don’t spill all the beans about your relationship history, nor force him to share his. There will be plenty of time for you both to get to know each other, so do this once you decide he/she is worth going for. Whatever you may think or see in the movies, we don’t need to know EVERYTHING about the person on day one.
  4. Give him a chance to make up his mind, but don’t wait up nights for him. If he ain’t coming, he ain’t worth waiting for.
  5. Do not chase after another by incessantly texting or calling or face timing. Nothing can be more off-putting. Be kind, affectionate and considerate but don’t beg, plead or over-do it to get into his bed or life.
  6. Don’t crawl into bed with someone you KNOW you will never date. Yes, you always know who makes you tick and who doesn’t. Sex or curiosity is NEVER worth it. Period!
  7. Do not drink and date! Hooking up after alcohol is never a good idea. You’ll wake up tomorrow and be disgusted by yourself or him/her.
  8. Be an adult. Do not break up over text if you’ve been seeing each other for a while and things aren’t clicking.  Be brave and call it off in person (unless it’s a safety issue).
  9. Never get parents or family involved unless you’re ready as hell to take it to the next level. It just complicates things and sets up expectations. Once you are ready and excited to share your love with your family, make sure to check in and see where they are and how they feel about things.
  10. Be a gentleman (or lady) and don’t double date. I sincerely believe that if you are monkeying from tree to tree (seeing two and three people at the same time), it’s a recipe for disaster! Instead, decide and move on. Don’t schedule five women on five different days. This is not shopping! Once you have decided, only go back for a second or third date because you’re intrigued. Not because you feel sorry for him/her.

 

 If date after date fails, and relationship after relationship fails, it’s a sign from God that you need some help. Be a Man/Woman and get the help you need instead of going around in circles. You can go around in circles indefinitely!

Frequently disappointed in others? Here’s how to understand and fix it.

Frequently disappointed in others? Here’s how to understand and fix it.

“I am so done with this relationship”, my client Joan said to me after a bitter feud with her mother. “I have put so much into this relationship, tried so hard to make it work with her for the sake of my father and our family”. “I can’t rely on anyone for advice or support, not even my own husband!”

An artist by profession, she lamented on the toll her relationship with her mother had taken on her emotional health but also her professional career. Feeling drained and wrung out to dry, she felt she had nothing left to give, but practically nothing left to keep for herself either. She felt unable to focus on her music and could no longer find joy in her song writing, singing or performing. Isolating herself from her music community and audience, she sought to regain her sense of self and faith in her work and her passion.

Joan’s questions as she started therapy were — why is my mother this way? why is that how much ever I may do is never enough? and lastly, why is it that I care so much?

These are questions that I have frequently seen others ask as well, with little variance. Often pegged on the other person, we seek to unearth reasons and explanations and excavate patterns and behaviors, hoping to find some peace and resolution among ourselves. As if we could ever locate a sense of peace and fulfillment in ourselves from demystifying others.

Instead, we may need to work on understanding how it is that we come to rely so much on others to nurture ourselves? Why do we allow others to have so much of an impact on our lives? Why do we find ourselves disappointed and wounded when others fail to live up to the expectation we have of them?

  • It is extremely hard for some of us to accept and see others as imperfect and flawed.

We like to think of others as capable, reasonable, sensible, intelligent, and virtuous–which they very well may be. But along with that may also come aspects of inability, unawareness, inflexibility, rigidity, poor logic, and (to put it mildly) stupidity! For some, more often than others. We all deal with our own burden of stress inclusive of health issues, financial worries, or work conflict and are entitled to missing the point, and so is true of others. After all, we can all relate to moments in our life when we felt overwhelmed or indifferent to others in a manner reflective of utterly illogic and defiant of sensitivity or sensibility.

Hence, holding others to such high standards consistently leads us to feel persistently disappointed by them. Yet, we frequently do and end up feeling frustrated and resentful, when others don’t meet our needs or expectations.

But, you may ask- Shouldn’t I expect things from someone important to me? Isn’t it reasonable to expect certain things from people in certain relationships?

The answer is YES! It is completely reasonable to expect things from others. However, it is also important to calibrate your expectations of others based on their choice and decisions towards you. This allows you to have more flexibility in your relationship with others and makes it less likely for you to be surprised by their behavior.

From my friends, I may expect loyalty, care, concern about my well-being and the ability to provide help should I need it. AND I may also expect that despite their best intentions and ability, my friend may not be able to help me each time I reach out, or may have other things going on in their life that make it difficult for them to extend their support towards me. This is important information for me, for it teaches me which friend(s), I can expect to be responsive and receive help from, and which friend(s) are likely to be absorbed in their life and issues, despite their best intentions.

Ask yourself: Are my expectations of this person reasonable? Based on my knowledge of this person, am I asking for more than I can expect?

  • Using others to fill our unfilled needs

Whether we consider ourselves to be versions of Einstein, Freud, Hellen Keller or Picasso, we all have parts of ourselves that are insecure, raw, and driven by fear. Or we may encounter circumstances in our life, that threaten our strength by tugging at our vulnerabilities.

For some, this may be a deep rooted fear of loneliness and being alone to manage and figure things out. Or an intense fear of rejection, of being considered unworthy of another’s love and affection. Some of us are deeply fearful of failure, or the concern that we are in some way flawed, inferior, or less than.

All of these fears impact the way we see ourselves and the world. We long to soothe those parts of ourselves that are raw, and overcome our insecurities and fears so as to present our best selves to the universe. In this endeavor, we often band-aid ourselves together deceptively with accomplishments, fame, success, scholarly pursuits and recognition. But deep down, those needs and desires may continue to haunt us, and unconsciously we may respond to their heed, often enlisting the help of others to do so as well.

As Joan worked through her fears and became more in touch with deep-rooted worries of never being good enough to make decisions independently, she considered how much she relied on her spouse, and when she connected with her own fears of mortality and death, she pondered over the debilitating anxiety of losing her mother and the actions she frequently took to deceive herself of the knowledge of passing time and the inevitable loss of her mother (when it would come).

Answering these questions for yourself may lead you to understand what it is you fear and why, and how your fears are surfacing in your relationship and expectations of others.

About Dr. Vijayeta Sinh, Ph.D.:fullsizeoutput_1be

Self & Relationship expert Dr. Vijayeta Sinh, Ph.D. is committed to helping men and women understand and appreciate healthy and satisfying relationships. Her advice has been featured in Reader’s Digest, NBC News, Business Insider, Nylon, Primer, The Inquisitr, and Bustle. Connect with her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Gentlemanly Advice: You’re in the wedding party! So is your ex. on Primer.

Gentlemanly Advice: You’re in the wedding party! So is your ex. on Primer.

Here comes another wedding season and with it the complexities of managing expectations, friendships, romance and your own wants and needs. Some reminisce in the joy of togetherhood. Others grieve a lost relationship. The happy couple sitting behind you may be grappling with their own relationship as depicted in the final episode of Aziz Ansari’s Master of None (Season 1).  Will their relationship survive? Will they ever walk down the aisle?

Should you find yourself if the situation of being invited to a friend’s wedding where the chances of running into your ‘ex’ are high, and not going is the best thing to do– you may want to read some of my thoughts shared with Stillman Brown on Primer.

Step 3: How To Tell the Bride & Groom You’re Not Going

Joking aside, if you make the determination this wedding is a no-go, how do you tell the bride and groom you won’t be at their special day? Depending on the circumstances (how bruising the rupture with your ex, how close you are to the wedding party, etc.) this could be no biggie or a real challenge.

Psychologist Vijayeta Sinh, PhD, owner of NYC Family Therapy, has dealt with a lot of individuals in this situation and offers a sound approach. “Just be honest and tell the host what your concerns are,” she says, giving a sample script: “‘I’d love to have shared your special day with you but Joyce and I ended on a bad note and the break up was pretty hard on us both, I think it’s best if we both had some time away from each other before we run into one another again’”.

If the bride and groom are really your friends, they’ll get it.

And should you decide to go, how do you handle yourself?

Tip #3: Kill With Kindness

Whether you had your heart broken or did the heart breaking, kindness and courtesy are your armor. Put ‘em on and don’t let ‘em slip. They will serve you well and true.

As Dr. Sinh points out, kindness doesn’t mean overly-friendly. “Keep the conversation brief and make a clean exit,” she says. Stick with “’It was nice to see you and I’m glad that you’re well’”.

This and more in the article which you can find here: http://www.primermagazine.com/2017/live/gentlemanly-advice-youre-in-the-wedding-party-so-is-your-ex

 

 

unnamedAbout Dr. Vijayeta Sinh, Ph.D.:
Self & Relationship expert Dr. Vijayeta Sinh, Ph.D. is committed to helping young men and women develop and keep healthy and satisfying relationships. Her advice has been featured in Reader’s Digest, NBC News, Business Insider, Nylon, Primer and Bustle. Connect on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Your phone can be a threat to your relationship. Read my thoughts in Business Insider

Your phone can be a threat to your relationship. Read my thoughts in Business Insider

If you have either strayed in the relationship or been the person who strayed away from the relationship, you know what a complete nightmare the entire experience is. It shatters our ability to trust, believe or even have hope about a relationship. Many things contribute to a person leaving or going behind our back. For Gen X and millennials, in particular, our love- hate relationship with our phones and social media make the process much more complicated, and easier for us to experience infidelity.

For Gen X and millennials, in particular, our love- hate relationship with our phones and social media make the process much more complicated, and in fact easier for us to experience infidelity.

Here are some more thoughts on the topic and my advice as featured on the Business Insider.

“Once someone connects with another person who fulfills their fantasy or emotional need in some way, more often than not, they become attached to this person and the temptation to stray becomes a reality,” said relationship expert and psychologist Vijayeta Sinh. “The ease of hooking up through dating apps and social media makes it very hard for someone to trust their partner.”

Other thoughts about how phones and social media are a double-edged sword when it comes to love and relationships: http://www.businessinsider.com/online-dating-bad-millenial-relationships-2017-6

If your mobile device made it easier for you to cheat or be cheated on, share your experience in the comments section below.

 

unnamedAbout Dr. Vijayeta Sinh, Ph.D.:
Self & Relationship expert Dr. Vijayeta Sinh, Ph.D. loves to help young men and women develop and keep healthy and satisfying relationships. Her advice has been featured in Reader’s Digest, NBC News, Nylon, and Bustle. Connect on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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