How to Overcome Social Anxiety

How to Overcome Social Anxiety

Social anxiety produces strong feelings of desperation, isolation and fear. Simply, we approach any social situation with the same trepidation we would when stumbling across a rattlesnake. When we focus more on these feelings our anxiety swells to the point that we talk ourselves out of going to social gatherings or if we do have enough courage to go, we don’t enjoy them because we don’t live in the moment. To overcome this anxiety, here are a few tips to feel more comfortable around others.

1. Adjust your approach 
Typically, the thought of spending time with others can produce much anxiousness on our part. However, have we ever thought of how we came to this point? We must trace back through our thoughts to the source. Once we have located it, it’s important to adjust our mindset. What makes us anxious about spending time with others? Is it because we feel awkward? Do we use bad experiences to hold us back?

2. Meet others
The best way to overcome social anxiety is to meet others. When you isolate yourself from others, it makes even a small step such as getting coffee seem like a huge feat. However, when you take that courageous first step with the right mindset, you can attend social gatherings with confidence. Moreover, by continuing to attend social events, you will feel more comfortable around people and that anxiety fades.

3. Readjust your focus
Often, when we struggle with social anxiety our focus tends to be on ourselves. We walk on eggshells because we focus on our feelings not our environment. When we do this, we are not living in the moment. We are too worried about our feelings to focus on others. Instead, we should focus not on ourselves but on others and our surroundings. For one, it will make us listeners that are more attentive and two we will feel more comfortable in social situations. To accomplish this, think of questions to ask others in the group or take a moment to look around and absorb the environment.

4. Don’t mind read
Another aspect that may heighten our social anxiety is the way we view others. When you focus on what other people think about you, even simple tasks such as standing feel uncomfortable. The truth is we cannot control how others think about us. Therefore, we need to readjust our thinking. Instead of worrying about how they view us, focus instead on comfortable thoughts like spending time with close friends and relatives. When we envision those examples, it can give us the right frame of mind to feel comfortable in a variety of social environments.

5. Be yourself
I know some of you may read this and think this is bad advice. However, in my experience I have found the most natural way to attract others to you is to express your personality. Eventually, it’s going to come through anyways so you shouldn’t suppress it. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes when speaking to others. Instead, allow your natural energy and attitude to flow through and if you make a mistake don’t tense up, instead own it and even joke about it. When you have the courage and confidence to show others the real you it will attract the right people to you.

These five tips can help us overcome our social anxiety. The key to remember with any of these tips is that it takes time to readjust our thinking. However, once we are able to do so, we will find that anxiety will fade and we will be able to enjoy ourselves in social situations.


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David Morin

I'm David Morin. I'm a social life expert. I'm featured in more than 20 self improvement and career sites and newspapers, among those Business Insider, Lifehacker and Thought Catalog. I live in Gothenburg, Sweden.