Category Archives: Social Anxiety

Self Confidence Vs. Social Anxiety

Self Confidence and Social AnxietyBecause one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.” – Lao Tzu

Struggling with social anxiety? You have come to the right place then. Social anxiety is the intense fear and apprehension that you face when you are in a social situation or about to go to a social setting. Along with the apprehension you would also experience bodily discomfort like palpitations, frequent urination, stomach upset, trembling, tremors, shivers, cold feet, profuse sweating, etc.

The roots of social anxiety are sown right from your childhood when you start socializing or interact with others. The way you are brought up, the way you are treated by others, how people see you and your personality… everything has an important role to play. However, at the very core of social anxiety symptoms lies a shattered and battered sense of self or self-confidence. If you have a high level of self-confidence then probably you won’t experience social anxiety at all! But, if your confidence levels are low, then you are under social anxiety threat.

As long as you look for someone else to validate who you are by seeking their approval, you are setting yourself up for disaster. You have to be whole and complete in yourself. No one can give you that. You have to know who you are – what others say is irrelevant.” – Nic Sheff

So, how to develop a good sense of self or a well-defined self-confidence? Here are some techniques to add a buffer and boost to your self-confidence levels:

Building Self-confidence

  • Do not compare yourself with others. This is the major mistake that most of the people do. Focus on your own inner self. You will find a lot of potentialities within.
  • Identify your weaknesses and shortcomings. Once you have discovered the loopholes, you can easily bridge the gaps. But, don’t be too hard on yourself. It is ok to not to be perfect. In fact, no one is perfect out here. We all are a work in progress!
  • After you have identified your weaknesses, try not to avoid them. Try to accept your weaknesses, take them as a challenge and work on alleviating them.
  • The next step is to discover your strengths and strengthen your strengths. The more you harness your strengths and virtues, the more confident you will be.
  • Believe in yourself that you can do it! Be optimistic! The more you start believing in yourself and believing in the best… you will see a new beautiful n bright “U”.
  • Accept compliments with generosity and listen to comments mindfully. If someone comments on you, try to analyze if it’s really meant for your well-being. If it’s good for you then there’s nothing bad in listing to other’s advice and working for your betterment. If it’s meant to hurt you, then put the words in one ear and flush it off from the other ear. That is the reason why you have two ears!
  • Celebrate your success no matter how big or small it is. This calls for a party!
  • Sometimes making others feel good also makes you feel good and confident. Be good and do good…that’s the best serum n syrup that would boost your confidence to unfathomable levels.

Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit” – E.E. Cummings

Best wishes,

Sareeta

Ways to Improve Your Socialization Skills

Improve Social SkillsCongrats – you are here and reading this blog! It shows that you have already conquered the first step of refining yourself and adding a finesse’ to your socialization skills. This will really help you a lot in showcasing you bright and best side in front of others. For many people socialization is a very easy kind of a thing, but for others it’s too grueling and hellish. So… what are the qualities that you need in order to socialize well and easily? Trust me these tricks are not that difficult to carry out. With a bit of practice and mindfulness you can be the star of the show and steal the show. Here are some ways through which you can really improve your socialization skills and become a social bug soon:

Know Yourself

The first and foremost reason why many people fail in effective socializing is the fact that they don’t know themselves well. Only when you know yourself well, you can reflect yourself well before others. Starting from your likes-dislikes, tastes-preferences, and hobbies-favorites to life philosophy-ideals, strengths-weaknesses, and inspirations-aspirations…. Unless and until you know who you are, what is the purpose of your life, what are your unique qualities, how can you present yourself before others! The simple way to know you is to spend quality time with yourself, meditate and reflect about yourself, try to make good friends, talk to others and assess your thoughts, behaviors in social settings, develop insight regarding your achievements and loopholes. Know everything about your likes-dislikes, tastes-preferences, hobbies-favorites, life philosophy-ideals, strengths-weaknesses, inspirations-aspirations and each and everything related to you.

The more you know about you, easier it will be for you to socialize and showcase yourself.

Be yourself

Another reason of failing to socialize or failing to make that “first impression” is that we try to mimic others. We want to be like “him” or “her”. But, why is that needed? Hey, trust me you yourself are so unique and important! Rather than mimicking others, try to create and reflect your own unique self and identity. How about creating your own style statement, personality dynamics so that others will follow you? Sounds great, right? Yes, guys…doesn’t matter who we are, where we are, what we are…the most important thing that you should know is you are unique, you are important and no other person can take your place in this entire world. So try to understand this and keep forth the best of yourself before others.

Body Language

The way you walk, stand, talk, eat and sit… Each and every gesture and posture of yours speaks volumes about you. Don’t get afraid. As I said before, you are unique. So no matter how you walk, sit or eat… try to do it in your own way. The way that suits you best and in a way it fits into the ethical standard too. You can achieve good and genuine kind of gestures and postures through regular practice and self-reflection. Try looking into the mirror and assess your gestures and postures. If you yourself do not like it, then how will others like that? If you feel that a certain body language is not right, then you can always practice and set it right. There are a plenty of online and offline help available for personality development. Once you start working towards personality development either by yourself or through a professional’s help you will change for good from tip to toe.

Your attire

I had a client who had severe social anxiety. It was aggravated when her mother forced her to wear stuff that was too body revealing. Gradually her anxiety was so aggravated that she had panic attacks in a party and had to be hospitalized for several days at a stretch. I hope you would not like to be in such a situation. Most of us get worried about what to wear and what not to wear in a social setting. The best way to decide is to follow the LOC method. The acronym LOC stands for Location Occasion and Company. First know about where you are going, what kind of a place is it. If it’s a posh city then you can wear your chunky-funky kind of attire, but if it’s a remote village then you need to dress sober. Then you need to know about the occasion. Obviously, the dress for a birthday party and a funeral ceremony would be different, right? So this is quite easy to understand. The final thing you need to know is about your company or the kind of people you would be meeting at a social event. If its youngsters or people of your age then you can dress accordingly, if it’s a meeting with delegates and important persons then a formal wear would work. Many parties also have their dress codes too. For e.g.: Halloween parties, prom nights, get-together, etc. sometimes have their own dress codes. So you can always enquire about these LOC factors beforehand so that you can present yourself accordingly.

Handling comments and criticisms

Whew! This can be a challenging thing for you if you are quite sensitive towards comments and criticisms. Since people have different experiences, expectations, views, stereotypical thinking and perceptions…you may need to hear stuff that may not appeal you. I know it may hurt you because no one of us would like to hear bad stuff about ourselves. If you find yourself in such a situation, then just take a deep breathe and think. If you are comfortable with the way you are, if you are following the social norms and ethical reasons, if you are a genuine human being then no need to feel bad for yourself. People will say good and bad things for you. It’s quite natural. It is a basic human nature. But, you should not be taken aback. I follow a simple trick here. When someone speaks ill of me, I do selective listening and hearing. I hear all the stuff, listen to the ones that are actually meant for my betterment, I try to implement them too and expel the rest of the bad or hurtful words I hears. This is amazingly effective. If you cannot shut hundred mouths, at least you can shut your ears and mind towards those. Sometimes changing your perspective changes your world!

So, these were some of the important socialization skills. With regular practice you would certainly do good. But, if socialization becomes too anxiety provoking, nervousness provoking, uncomfortable or overwhelming for you, then probably you would be experiencing social anxiety.

Always ready to help you.

Best wishes,

Sareeta

How Sociable are you? Socialization Quiz

Social PepoleAre you an extrovert or an introvert; do you like to mingle with people or do you like to stay inside your own cocoon..? Since the inception of civilization we are taught that man is a social animal. In order to lead a meaningful life and work towards all-round development socialization plays a vital role. Some of you must be very comfortable in socializing with others, while for some of you it must be like a Herculean task. I was also quite shy when I was young. Can you believe I never talked to a boy in my class? When a guy would ask for my notes or something I would just nod my head, give my notes and literally vanish from there. But, gradually my class teacher taught me lessons on self-worth, socialization skills and communication proficiency. Today I can talk to anyone and everyone… I can talk for hours and days altogether unless someone comes and shuts my mouth. I can easily interact with anyone. If I can do it, I am sure that all of you can fine-tune your socialization skills too.

But, first let us see how sociable you are. Try to answer the quiz that follows. It is a test of your socializing skills. Let’s see how you do this:

Socialization Quiz

• Do you find it quite easy to intermingle with others?
• Do you like going to parties, functions and other social events?
• Do you get too conscious in front of others?
• Do you get uncomfortable while speaking to others?
• Does interaction with people and even the thought of it/socializing makes you feel nervous and anxious?
• Do you like to stay in isolation, inside your own cocoon/world or comfy zone?
• Are you the one who takes the first step in conversation and making friends?
• Do you like being the “center of focus/attention”?
• Do you get nervous while carrying yourself in a party or social setting?
• Are you too much concerned about what people will say or think about you?
• Even if you are not at fault do you hold yourself responsible for whatever bad happens?
• Do you feel like people are talking behind your back or are resorting to backbiting?
• Self-confidence, self-worth and esteem… Do you think you need to work more on these?
• Can you talk and interact with people very easily?
• In a group conversation what role do you play: The leader who initiates; the moderator who intervenes and talks or the by-stander who just observes and listens?
• Can you start a conversation with a know person as well as a stranger quite easily?
• What would you consider yourself: A social hero or a timid guy?

So that was the socialization test. If you have answered with positive answers then you are indeed a very sociable person and carry out yourself well in front of others. But, if you have answered most of the questions negatively then probably you need to fine-tune your socialization skills. Don’t worry folks! If I could transform myself from a shy gal to a highly socializing person – you can do it too. You just need to know some tips and tricks to socialize well. If that is difficult then one magical pill is there: And that is, Self-acceptance and Self-recognition. The more you know about yourself, your strengths, weaknesses… the more you can enhance your self-confidence, self-esteem and reflect your brighter side to the world around you. If you want to know more about how to socialize effectively then check out my blog: How to Improve Your Socialization Skills

“Isolation and silence gives us wisdom, but socialization is the mirror of who we are, where we are and what we need to do…”

Best wishes,

Sareeta