We all want to be charming. But self-conscious behavior gets in the way of what should be fun opportunities to meet and connect with others. Yes, even I sometimes get a little shy around others. Learning to relax is the key (no surprise there!). These six tips will help you feel more relaxed in social exchanges and allow you to open the door to so much- new job opportunities, new friendships, and basically, more fun.
1. Prepare to relax.
Few of us think of worrying as self-programming, but it is. Intense worry about situations repeatedly links anxiety to the events. Reverse this by taking time to think about the situation while relaxed- maybe in a warm bath or comfy chair. See yourself looking relaxed and at ease. Do this repeatedly so your body and mind forge new and better automatic associations with these situations.
2. Seek out (uncomfortably) social situations.
Imagine if you lived in a house for 20 years but always avoided one room. If, after all that time, you ventured into this room, you might feel anxious. Why? Because the more we avoid something, the more we send the message to our unconscious mind that ‘I avoid the room because it is dangerous.’ We avoid what frightens us and are frightened by what we avoid. So…start to actively put yourself in uncomfortable situations. This will re-program the message to ‘This is normal.’
3. Look at your surroundings.
Focus outwards. Studies have found that introverts have much worse recall for external details of the environment because they’ve been looking inward, not outward. When in social situations, make a mental note of three aspects of the situation you’re in, such as:
- the color of the walls
- pictures on the wall- what do they contain?
- what others are wearing
This may seem strange, but it will get you focusing away from yourself – which is, after all, the point!
4. Ask questions.
Cultivate curiosity. Ask open-ended questions. Remember the answers and refer back to them later to demonstrate you are interested enough to hear what people say. Again, this focuses your attention from inward to outward. It’s also nice for the people with whom you’re conversing.
5. Switch off your imagination.
Your imagination is a wonderful thing when you use it constructively (see #1 above). Trying to imagine what people think of you is a big no-no. If you catch yourself mind-reading, take a big breath and look at your surroundings. Isn’t it neat how these all tie together?
6. What do you want?
Your mind needs positive instructions. Ask yourself “How do I want to feel in my conversations?” And get into the habit of focusing on that ‘target’ feeling. This sort of mental rehearsal is extremely powerful and over time can make a big difference.
Wake Up With Determination. Go To Bed With Satisfaction. Dwellness.