Anxiety is a common medical condition, affecting people in degrees, from mild apprehension to full-blown panic attacks that can be extremely debilitating. Because we are social creatures anxiety can be a real issue, especially when it comes to meeting people in situations that might lead to dating.
If you are a sufferer and want to meet a girl online for example, what on earth can you do to avoid your get-together turning into a nightmare that is going to make you even more anxious next time? There is good news. You are far from alone, and here are five tried and tested methods for overcoming social anxiety.
How to Overcome the Social Anxiety
1. Don’t go Dutch
It’s important to accept there are no quick fixes for social anxiety. The impact of alcohol is mentioned frequently, with Dutch Courage being suggested as a way of eradicating the symptoms. The problem with relying on drinking your way through any situation is that getting drunk prior to social occasions will only ever be a short-term solution.
Worse still, if you resort to this method to get you through every event you run the risk of becoming alcohol-dependent. The drink may provide an initial burst of confidence but as a drug, it is a depressant. It will promote a dip in mood that will leave you prone to even greater anxiety.
2. Pre-planning meetings
There may be certain aspects of social interaction you are particularly worried about, a common one is running out of a conversation with your date. While chatting is spontaneous, it is possible to pre-plan for those embarrassing silences that can crop up during a first date and will have a detrimental effect on your feelings of anxiousness.
Have a list of possible topics stored in your phone’s notes field. Excuse yourself and pop to the powder room, study these, then return to your date bursting with something interesting to start chatting about.
While it may be an obvious trait to regard anxiety as a social affliction that marks you out as different, this is simply not the case. If anything, it’s flawed like this that make us only too human. No one is going to judge you if you suffer from social anxiety so it’s important for you to place it in perspective.
It might seem counter-intuitive but one recommendation might be to make light of it. If you find yourself in a social encounter where you can feel an onset, don’t hide it. Announce to your date you’re having one of your turns and want to pop outside for a moment to grab some fresh air. While it would be wrong to try and trivialize the condition, there’s nothing wrong in trying to make light of it.
4. Confront your fears
There can be a tendency to totally avoid situations where you assume your anxiety will be exacerbated. It might seem like the last piece of advice you’d like to hear but confronting your fears is a terrific way of eroding them.
The more you expose yourself to social situations the greater your sense of resolve will become. Your social anxiety may never be completely conquered but it may well diminish the more frequently you try to coax these feelings into the open.
5. Be more self-aware
Rather than relying on spontaneity and only reacting to situations when they occur, be pro-active. Becoming self-aware can be done by meditation but also by being able to recognize negative feelings or even the stimuli that will promote these. Once you are aware of the impulses likely to provoke social anxiety you can anticipate them, then let them pass.
Social anxiety can be a debilitating problem and it can actually prevent you from living your life. The best way to help deal with social anxiety is to have access to methods and tools that can evaluate and challenge your worries and change your problem behaviors. And with the help of the above-mentioned tips, you can overcome your anxiety and take back your life and enjoy yourself once again.