October 22, 2015
Confidence in Social Situations
Light of the Party
If you feel shy or awkward in social situations,
know that many others are probably feeling the same way too.
If you’ve ever been to a social gathering where you’ve felt awkward and uncomfortable, chances are you are not alone. While social gatherings can be very enjoyable, especially when we are surrounded by people whose company we enjoy, there are social events that we attend where we sometimes find ourselves wishing we were someplace else. Such occasions can sometimes be the cause of much anxiety and self-consciousness. We may even feel like everyone else is having a good time except for us. Yet the truth is that everyone has felt shy and awkward on occasion. One of the best ways to overcome self-consciousness or get past your feelings of shyness at social gatherings is to focus on the people around you. If you can remember that other people might also be feeling awkward or shy, you might find the thought of speaking to them less intimidating or overwhelming.
The next time there is a social event you feel nervous about attending, you may want to try this exercise: Spend some time with your eyes closed and breathe deeply. When you feel ready, create your own zone of comfort by visualizing yourself surrounded in a warm white light that is protective yet accepting of others. Imagine people at the event being drawn to you because of the open and warm feelings that you are radiating. When you arrive at the event, take a moment to spread this same light of loving acceptance to everyone around you. Smile and greet people warmly. Try going up to someone who is standing alone and introduce yourself. When you radiate acceptance, openness, and receptivity, people can’t help but respond to you in kind.
Focusing on how we can make other people at a social gathering feel at ease can help us forget about our own insecurities. In the process, we end up making the very connections that we seek. The next time you attend a social gathering, invite people to join you in your zone of comfort that you have so lovingly and intentionally created. Let yourself enjoy being encircled in the warmth of their friendships.