At the best of times, socializing can make people feel awkward and self-conscious. Networking events and blind dates are two situations that spring to mind for making the more introverted amongst us start to feel panicked. However, with large events and in-person meetings being stifled for well over a year, even the most extroverted amongst us might have some brushing up to do.
Do you remember what it takes to be a social butterfly? We are talking about situations outside of a Zoom meeting or conference call; mingling and small talk can seem daunting, but they are learned skills like anything else in life. Some of us come across these skills more naturally, but we can all do with a refresher course. Check out some of our suggestions about how to break out your inner social butterfly.
Everybody is weird and awkward
Realizing that everyone has certain aspects of themselves that others would find weird or awkward can be of some relief. Don’t get too caught up in your own head, and just be yourself.
Start at the beginning
As you get out into the world, you’ll meet more people during your regular daily interactions. Take each of these situations as a chance to connect with another person. Say hello, make eye contact and ask how their day is. As you get more comfortable, you will see what works for you and what feels awkward.
Practice small talk
Can you talk the ear off of someone you know but shudder at making small talk with a stranger? If so, there are Youtube videos that you can watch about body language and opening lines; however, we find that it is best to chat about mundane things from your present surroundings. Keep it light, and save the deep and meaningful chats for another time.
It takes practice to get out into the world again, even for a rusty social butterfly. Remember that most people are happy to talk about themselves if given a chance, so show them that you are engaged in the conversation and ask follow-up questions. Did you ask if they were planning on going away anywhere in the summer? If they answered yes, you could ask what made them want to go to that destination or if they had ever been there before. You’ll portray sincerity and a genuine interest in the other person.
It can be tempting to lubricate your nerves with alcohol or other substances. You might think that a few shots are needed before you can shed your shyness, but be mindful of how much you might be drinking. The temporary reduction in inhibitions can actually lead to an increase in anxiety and depression. Hangovers also make people irritable and withdrawn, though the symptoms can be countered with a lot of water and dietary supplements such as Curamed.
When to see a doctor
Social anxiety is a genuine disorder and also highly treatable with lifestyle changes, therapy, or medication. It can manifest into physical illnesses such as stomach aches or random chills and lead to poor sleep. If you find that you are having a hard time managing your stress, this could be a sign of anxiety and is best diagnosed by your doctor.
Social butterflies seem to have a natural ability to be outgoing and charming, but they also needed to hone these skills. Like other acquired skills, the more you practice, the better you will be, and this will cycle back with positive reinforcement from the outside world. Even if you don’t intend to fill your social calendar just yet, you can start with a simple hello.