Corporate and family events are back in full swing, which comes with mixed feelings. The isolation of social distancing has continued to induce social anxiety for some while enhancing those emotions for others. If you can relate, take time before a social event to think through exactly what parts of the upcoming experience make you anxious, then strategize and think about what factors you can control.
Strategies to Calm Your Thoughts Before Social Events
Social anxiety can hinder our ability to connect with others, leaving us feeling alone and unfulfilled. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome it and attain a sense of belonging:
- Aim for some perspective. When things go wrong, try to avoid the tendency to blame yourself. There’s a lot in life that has little to do with you. Someone’s bad mood, a missing invitation, someone’s averted gaze – they most likely have nothing to do with you
- Accept that you are less than perfect. Many of us are perfectionists who like to hold ourselves to impossibly high standards and then beat ourselves up when we fail to meet a single one of them. What expectations could you lighten up on to relieve some pressure?
- Stay balanced. Resist being too self-critical and choose to keep a balanced view of yourself. What do other people value about you? What are your strengths?
- Avoid exaggeration. We often exaggerate by using words like “always” and “never” to describe our perspective of a situation. But they are rarely accurate. Instead, try to use words like often, normally, many, etc.