In this clinical psychology episode of The Psychology World Podcast, we need to talk about Ways to Overcome Social Anxiety About Socialising Again.
This episode has been sponsored by Social Psychology: A Guide to Social and Cultural Psychology.
Ways to Help Social Anxiety About Socialising:
After a year of being locked away and told to keep away from people, we're all probably a bit scared about socialising again.
I know some people are because they're concerned about looking silly or foolish after not being able to socialise for over a year.
Therefore, one way to think about socialising is to use a curious Mindset.
Think about seeing other people as a way to find out how to socialise in this new world and most importantly what have your friends and family been doing.
This is one of the reasons why I'm looking forward to seeing people again. I want to find out how people and doing and how they've entertained themselves.
Listen to people
I know, I know this sounds so obvious that I shouldn't have to put this in the blog post. But let's stop for a moment. How many people do you actually listen to?
Chances are not a lot that's why after the Pandemic it is so important that you actively listen to others. Bringing this point to socialising, this is important because active listening shows you care and want to be there. This makes the other person feel better and they are likely to actively listen to you too.
Overall, actively listening when socialising is so important. Especially, when we need to prove to ourselves and our friends that we want to be with them.
Shift your focus:
Leading into this next point, I completely understand if people are going to be anxious and panicking when we socialise again. I know I'll be concerned. And this all leads to people overthinking. Like, do I look okay? Am I asking stupid questions? Am I boring them? What if they don't like me after a year apart?
I understand all these concerns. But you need to shift to your focus from focusing on yourself to focusing on the other person. Make them look good, ask them questions, engage with them and show them you care and really want to be there with them.
There's nothing worse than getting really excited to meet someone then find out they really don't want to be there with you!
Remember that everyone is struggling:
If you're still concerned then just remember, none of this is New. Socialising, our social worlds and everything in social psychology has shown us that socialising has always been a messy, complex process.
So, embrace it, be weird and chaotic abut most of all have fun socialising again. Make new friends, reconnect with old friends and family members. But just have fun!
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Social Psychology Reference: