Are you interested in learning more about feeling comfortable around others? The fact is that everyone has felt uncomfortable around others at some point in their life, whether it is making small talk with coworkers, meeting new people at a party, handling an important interview, or any other social interaction.
It is completely natural to feel uncomfortable in some situations; however, when it begins to hold you back from living the life you want to, whether that means reaching your goals or having a good time, it becomes a problem. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to help you feel more comfortable around others.
Stop Focusing on Your Anxiety
Chances are that the biggest reason you are feeling uncomfortable around others is simply that the voices in your head are telling you to. Messages such as “people don’t like me,” “I’m boring,” or “everyone is judging me” make you feel anxious and uncomfortable. These thoughts can drag down your confidence, leaving you highly anxious and damaging your ability to enjoy time with others.
The fix is to shift your focus onto other topics. For example, if you are at a social gathering with a lot of strangers, rather than focusing on how they feel about you, start thinking about someone else. Start thinking about what you like about the way they are dressed while you settle down and begin to enjoy yourself.
You are likely to feel more comfortable in social situations if you accept who you really are. Truly accepting yourself can help you to be more confident and have better self-esteem. However, this is easier said than done. If that sounds like you, you could try some new activities to see what you like and spend some time alone reflecting on what you believe and value. These are just a couple of ideas. Basically, you want to get to know yourself better because it can help you to be more confident and feel more comfortable around others.
Prepare Ahead of Time
A bit of preparation can go a long way to help manage your anxiety about a social event and help you to be confident and comfortable when the time comes. Gather as much information as you can about the event so you can plan and prepare.
For example, if you are going to a friend’s party, you can ask who will be attending and where it will be taking place. This can let you know if there will be people you know there who can help introduce you to others. Also, by knowing the location beforehand, you can help plan how you will dress and what to expect from the other attendees.
When you are feeling uncomfortable, breaking the ice in a social situation can seem impossible. However, the best way to get started is simply by being honest and admitting how you feel. For example, if you are going on a date with someone you are meeting for the first time, simply stating, “Hi, I’m a bit nervous finally meeting you,” can break the ice and help both of you feel a little more comfortable sharing your insecurities.
Practice Makes Perfect
Practice is necessary if you want to feel comfortable around others, just as it is for any other skill. During this practice time, you can expect to make mistakes, and you should be willing to accept and learn from them. Then, as you keep practicing, your social skills will improve, and you will start to feel more comfortable around others.
A good way to get started is with a remote social skills training group. A small structured group can help you to become familiar with social situations and practice your skills in a safe and friendly environment. This can help you to build your social skills and become more comfortable without facing judgment.
Feeling uncomfortable around others is completely natural and nothing to worry about. When it occurs frequently or begins to interfere with how you want to live your life, try employing these tips. The fact is that everyone will be uncomfortable around others from time to time, so stay calm and don’t beat yourself up over it. With practice, you will find yourself becoming more comfortable and gaining valuable social skills that will help you to stay confident in challenging situations. Interested in one of our group social skill groups? Get started today!