Growing up as a shy introvert, I would avoid big social gatherings when possible, and to the amusement of others I had an incredible ability to go red at a mere ‘hello’.

Luckily for me, this is a thing of the past.  It is something I worked hard to overcome as I felt I was missing out.  I now enjoy meeting people and being sociable.

If you don’t feel confident in social situations and feel there is so much pressure to have fun, it’s a chore, here are my top tips for enjoying social situations.

You have a choice

There is the element of ‘forced merriment’ and as my husband would say ‘pressure to attend ‘the opening of an envelope’.  You do have a choice in whether you attend every invitation you get.  If you really don’t want to go (and I’m not talking about avoidance), you have the right to say ‘thanks, but no thanks’.

Stop the over analysis

If you have an event coming up and you spend your time thinking about how it is all going to go wrong, how awful it will be!  How bad you will feel!  How no one will be friendly!  And the list goes on.  You are building up an expectation of having a bad time, even though it hasn’t happened yet.  If you let this scenario run, the odds are, it will play out exactly to your fears and become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Each time you catch yourself thinking like this, say a simple ‘stop’ to yourself.  This stop is to become aware of the thought and pause it.  If you have done the LP, now is a good time to use it!  Now change that thought to how you would like the event to go.  Use your imagination to create a scenario of how calm and confident you will feel and how you have fun and feel relaxed around others.

What you are doing is simply swapping one story for another.

By consistently running this new scenario, this will become your new life enhancing self-fulfilling prophecy.

Dress to impress

With this, I don’t mean dress to impress others, this is about impressing yourself.  If you are wearing something that you feel good in, it will do wonders for your confidence.  Spending some time pampering yourself and choosing the clothes and accessories you are going to wear will help you to build pride in yourself.

Relax and smile

Take a few deep breaths to calm and centre yourself and put a smile on your face.  People naturally respond to you based on how you present yourself.  If you walk into a room with a big smile, standing tall and looking confident, you will receive warm, welcoming smiles in return.

At the start, it may seem like ‘fake it till you make it’ yet you will be communicating a positive message to others and yourself.  Your confident and happy body language and facial expressions will be telling your brain, this is exactly how you feel.  This will become more and more natural as you practice it.

Keep it simple

Don’t worry about having to impress people with your knowledge, keep conversation simple by being interested in others.  People love to talk about themselves so have a few simple questions to get the conversation started.  Even asking someone about what they do, or their hobbies will break the ice and you can let the conversation flow from there.

“Don’t wait for people to be friendly, show them how.” Unknown

If being sociable is something you struggle with, contact us to find out how I can help you.