The best advice for social anxiety is to attack it from the root. Working to overcome social anxiety, at some point meant I had to do a complete lifestyle change. It meant I had to tune down my anti-social behaviors, change a few of my hobbies, change my perspective on what I wanted out of life, and generally live a more positive life than I ever had.
‘The person you are’ are is indeed something you ‘ARE’; it isn’t not a few acts you put up in front of other people from time to time. To BE you must first BECOME, and this kind of change can only be achieved through a new and positive lifestyle change.
The end goal of any advice for social anxiety and your end goal should be building a more positive and confident version of you. So, you must build a life that 100% supports all the ideas that you now want to become a part of the way you think. The people and ideas you surround yourself with will shape you and ultimately shape you and build you.
3 areas of advice for social anxiety:
To transform your life into a life that will constantly feed you with the positive thoughts and references; you must, as harsh as it sounds, cut out all the negative people from your life.
I had a friend back in my socially anxious days; he was my only friend back then. He is a cool guy, however he is also a pretty judgmental and negative guy. We met in high school and we ended up going to college together.
So we’d always hangout at college as sort of a mutual safety net kind of friendship. We were both kind of nervous about a new environment such as college, and we stuck around each other all the time so we didn’t feel left out around all the new people.
He was my only friend back then, but he actually represented a bad influence in my life. Like most people who want to pretend to be cool around others; he would tease me, make plans with other people in front of me and not invite me, ignore me when talking to girls, laugh at any attempt I had of showing interest in girls, and in general just think lowly of me and treat me accordingly.
Hey, I don’t actually blame the guy; all those bad behaviors have more to do with his own personal views and concepts of the world than they had to do with me. And even though we actually share(d) a friendship, all negative influences have to go, right?
It was harsh having to stop hanging out with the ONLY friend I had, but he had to go so I could make place for positive influences.
After joining some activities where I met new people; I realized that other people could actually make plans in front of me and invite me, think I could be cool, and treat me like a cool guy.
These type of positive references are exactly the things that will help you overcome social anxiety, because whilst you’re striving to become more competent socially; your environment is actually helping you out by feeding you with all the positive references.This is one of those first pieces of advice for social anxiety I wish someone had given me back in the day.
A bad goal comes in the form of: ‘I will go out partying tonight, I will meet a cute girl and kiss her’.
A much better goal is something like: ‘I will go out, seize opportunities and talk with at least 3 new girls tonight’.
Your life becomes so much more positive when you shift the focus from the things you can’t control to the things you CAN control. An excellent way to become bitter and negative is to constantly think about how nervous you felt when you talked to those people, or if you started sweating, blushing and stuttering in any given interaction.
Let’s make an important statement VERY clear here: What matters is not what happens to you, as you cannot control those things and they will happen no matter what; what matters is that you start getting the social experiences that will help you start relaxing in social situations.
Shift the focus:
Set achievable goals; slowly surround yourself with positive new friends, ideas, situations and in general any kind of positive influence that will help you feel worthy and improve your self-esteem.
See yourself as pure raw potential.
Even though you might not be where you want to be right now, you are getting there and as long as you’re learning how it all works, what has to be done, and surrounding yourself with the influences that shall take you there; you are PURE potential.
There 3 pointers of advice for social anxiety should help you build the positive life that constantly feeds you with confidence and hope instead of anxiety and despair. Keep working to overcome social anxiety, working on your social skills, and moving forward and remember; Go out and get social.