I have a confession to make. 90% of the time before I go anywhere I don’t want to go. It doesn’t have anything to do with the event or who’s going to be there. The time comes when I’m supposed to go out and inevitably I just don’t want to. I guess you can say I have a touch of social anxiety.
Before I go to an event even a small event like just hanging out with friends I will have all of these thoughts and worries, or maybe fears is a better word, about what could happen at the event. Most of this fear and anxiety surrounds something happening where I feel embarrassed, left out, or made fun of. I’m sure you can relate as we’ve all had experiences where we felt embarrassed left out or were made fun of . The reality is most of the time everything goes fine at the outing or event. Very rarely has anything that I’ve worried about actually happened. Yet, I still have to overcome this social anxiety almost every time I go out for a social situation.
The good news is that I do overcome the social anxiety and go out. I still meet up with friends. I still go to parties. I still go to conferences. I even go out on blind dates. Sometimes , I Can even get the nerve up to go out by myself.
Just this weekend I almost didn’t go to a small blog conference. I had registered for the event almost a year ago and when it was time to actually go I just didn’t want to go. But, I did not let myself give in to the social anxiety. I went anyway and guess what, I had a really great time. I ran into 3 women that I knew. I got to know three others. Bonus, not only did I have a good time at the conference , I even went out to dinner afterwards with a whole bunch of women that I didn’t know. I had a great time at dinner too! I can’t say that I made lasting business or personal connections. But I can say that i enjoyed myself and am glad I went.
I know having a good experience at an outing isn’t going to make my social anxiety go away. But every time I overcome it I’m allowing myself the opportunity to have great experiences, meet new people, and connect with people I already know.
So, if you’re like me and have a touch of social anxiety, where are you get unjustifiably nervous before social gatherings , I challenge you to go anyway. Do it afraid. Take a risk and get out there! You never know what Joy you may be passing up by staying home.
Do you ever experience social anxiety? How do you talk yourself into going out anyway?