Leave Your Shyness at the Door
Yes, it’s true that not everyone finds it natural to be gregarious. But no one needs to be so shy that making conversation is a hardship. Here are ways you can be at ease with social gatherings and making new friends.
Pretend to be confident and you’ll get there
If you lack confidence but don’t want the world to know it, simply adopt the look of someone who oozes self-confidence.
- Maintain an upright but relaxed posture and let your hands fall loosely by your side – it stops you from fidgeting.
- Maintain eye contact with people but glance away occasionally to avoid glaring.
- Remember to look friendly and don’t be afraid of saying what you feel.
Break the ice. What’s the worst that could happen?
Many people are hesitant to make the first move in a new conversation for fear that they will look or sound stupid. But here are the facts: nobody is grading you on this! It’s okay to talk about the weather, the movie you saw last night or the current taxi situation.
Develop your emotional intelligence (EQ)
Everyone has good and bad qualities. You’ll be developing your EQ if you focus on the good qualities of the people around you. Put yourself in another’s shoes and offer them what they might need: pay them attention and compliment them. Do it genuinely and you won’t be thought of as smarmy or regarded with suspicion. By making others feel better, you’ll also feel more valued. By the same token, when people compliment you, accept it with thanks, rather than downplaying it.
The other thing about EQ is that it is a tool for getting along with everyone and solving problems in a group – whether that group is at work or at home. EQ also helps you feel more confident about yourself.
Don’t fall into old patterns with the people around you
There are no rules. You can start a new relationship right where your old one left off yesterday. If you and a person do nothing but get on each other’s nerves, you can choose the way forward by consciously doing the opposite. In short, you can change your own patterns.
- Choose to ignore negative comments and pay a compliment instead.
- Stop telling people your story, and offer instead to listen to theirs.
- Take charge of where you want to be. Suggest a new activity or restaurant, rather than wait for them to make a decision.
- Instead of being a taker, try being a giver and help people who need it.
- Find someone you like but never had time to talk to, and talk to them.
- Either say something nice about the person or about the situation.