Social anxiety was and will always be a mystery for me. Things that are natural for me are quite difficult for others. For example, some friends have problems asking if the restaurant is closed. They play with their feet and hesitate to make a move. While they are dealing with their thoughts, I am already inside and asking: Hey, do you have a table? / Are you guys closed already? My girlfriend is amazed by it. I, however, was confused by it. Because I didn’t understand why asking a merely simple question is impressive. So, she told me about social awkwardness and anxiety. I was fascinated by how people can be paralyzed by these circumstances. I looked deeper into it. And ask her question about what might lead to social anxiety. I remembered that I experienced these situations before. But with time, I overcame social anxiety. So, here are my tips on how to reduce social anxiety naturally.
1. Self-confidence- The Power Source
The most important key to overcoming social anxiety is self-confidence. Self-confidence is the hidden drive that helps you overcome social anxiety. With it, it makes things much easier. Quite obvious. However, you have to distinguish between two kinds of self-confidence. The loud and the calm.
Two Kinds of Self-Confidence
The loud self-confidence is based on pretending to be someone. You see them mostly in insecure people. People who don’t know who they are tend to force themselves to be confident. Instead of knowing themselves, they imitate an idol. Their attitude, appearance, and even values. With time they become like them. Not knowing that this kind of lifestyle isn’t for them. Then they start to define their personality. What are my strengths? What is important to me? Is there something I can’t stand? Slowly they develop calm self-confidence.
Calm self-confidence is based on inner values. Values that define your strength, weakness, and boundaries. Calm confidence is the best long-term approach to being confident. It starts by asking yourself what you value. For example, I don’t like rude people. In society, everyone should pay each other minimum respect. If someone is rude out of nowhere, I don’t fear calling them out. By doing so, I might get backlash from that person but also respect. The person might be angry but also recognize that they overstep my boundary. Start valuing yourself and don’t fear defending them. As a result, this encounter makes you more self-confident.
The best way to define your values is by asking yourself questions. What are your strength, your weakness? And where does your tolerance stop? Take your time and answer these questions. If you do, I promise you walk around your life differently. You are someone. You have something that makes you stand out. Have confidence in your abilities and also know the limits of your weaknesses.
2. Another approach to public embarrassment
Another reason that people might have social anxiety is embarrassment. No one likes to be in embarrassing situations. We can try to avoid them by avoiding people. But why should you trouble yourself with if-scenarios? Sometimes it just happens. The best way is to learn from it. This is the only thing we can do as humans. Be better.
Let’s do an exercise. Imagine the most embarrassing moment of a stranger. At best someone who you don’t know the name of. Did you get it? Can you describe to me what they look like? I bet you won’t. Even when you walk naked on the street people will forget you. So, if you do something embarrassing, why would you even care? People will forget. And at the moment, no one would judge you. Only kids judge the moment what you have done. But this will turn into a fun memory.
The intensity of embarrassment comes from overvaluing it. You might die out of embarrassment because your partner did something stupid. But most of the outsiders don’t even see it. And the one who did doesn’t even care as much. Or see it as something normal.
3. Talk with service people more often
To reduce social anxiety is to swim in anxiety. There is nothing better than talking to service people more often. Because their job is to talk to you. Take your time to think. And ask anything that comes into your mind. A good service employee will take their time to help you. And there are no wrong questions you can ask. If you fear that they will judge you, I promise they won’t. In my experience, I know that we mostly judge rude people. Not people who ask politely.
4. Whatever you do, you will be judged
I think the fear of being judged is overrated. Because whatever you do there will be always someone who judges you. It can be your attitude, your appearance, or your actions. People will always find a way to talk shit. Even when you are perfect, people judge you out of jealousy. So, why do you bother?
I can only think of why you are afraid of being judged because you are insecure. Your life contains seeking attention and validation. Therefore, being slightly criticized or judged by strangers throws you overboard. Again, start to self-reflect on who you are. People don’t define who you are. You do.
Strangers judge you, friends give you advice. From time to time, you will act like a douchebag. If someone calls you out, don’t listen. Only listen to your close ones. Because they want the best out of you. Strangers not.
5. Learn a cool skill
Another way to reduce social anxiety is to learn a new skill. It can be whatever. It isn’t for showoff but rather for your self-confidence. Learn something you always wanted to do. Keep practicing. One day, the joy of mastering it gives you self-confidence.