How to Cure Social Anxiety
One of the biggest problems people face in modern times is social anxiety. However, there are proven methods that people can you use to crawl themselves out of the misery that is social anxiety and transform themselves into a social “extrovert”. You don’t need to live a life of desperation and loneliness, if you want to change, you can.
It’s no surprise that people are becoming a lot less social with the increase in social media. People are living inside there phones for hours upon hours which causes them to feel safe when they are looking at their phones – and unsafe when they are looking into peoples eyes. I’m not saying social media is the devil, but the problem here is the addictive nature of social media. In short, people have no control over themselves, which is why for the large majority – removing there social media all together will be the first step in controlling their addiction and becoming more social in the real world. The same being if you watch TV/internet on a daily basis – the first step will be limiting or removing this habit.
Now, there are a few misconceptions about being more social that I’d like to go through. If you’ve been anti-social your whole life and believe theres no hope for change – please read on, there are many ways which you can increase your sociability, likability and just plain be in the zone. Here are 4 myths when it comes to being more social:
4 Myths (and tips) You Need To Understand If You Want To Become More Social
Myth # 1: Being an introvert
Being an introvert is a learned habit. In my late teens, after coming home from high school I would play video games and watch YouTube until I passed out. I did this for many months and developed severe social anxiety. In social settings I was clueless how to behave and just came off as “odd” or “weird”. After reading the internet I came across a term called introvert and instantly thought that I was in this category. I said to myself “Ahh that makes sense, now I can have an excuse for being weird and anti-social”. Long story short I started going out and realised that me being an “introvert” was nothing but a developed habit, and an excuse not to become a better person. If you stay inside a lot, it becomes your comfort cushion and it frightens you to leave your cushion. This is the same thing as labelling yourself as “lazy” or a “hard worker”. No, these are habits built over time – and you can consciously chose to build good habits or build shitty ones. An introvert can become an extrovert if they simply change their habits. So tip # 1 is don’t label yourself as an introvert.
Myth # 2: Theres popular people and theres unpopular people
A lot of people see a guy or girl who is the coolest guy in the bar/club and think that 100% they would never be like that, and let me tell you – that is 100% false. You can be that person with time. You look at this person – and everyone is just receptive to them, its like they have an invisible ray around them and anyone who goes near them feels good. They are usually in a great mood and know how to lift everyones mood up. You think to yourself “man this guy/girl is the SHIT!”. You feel as though this person was just born with some god given talent. Again, this is one of the biggest misconceptions of all time. This person is not cool – they became cool – huge difference. You see, every time you go out and socialise you are building a skill – you are building the skill of becoming more social. Every time you stay at home and watch TV, you are building a habit, the habit of being an introvert – Do you see the difference? The guy at the club who has all the girls flocking to him is not born a “popular guy” but rather he most likely goes out a lot, learned through trial and error and became the guy that everyone wants to socialise with. He made a distinction whether it was consciously or unconsciously about what works and what fails in social settings. In short, being cool is something learnt, not something you are. So tip #2 is you can become popular through learned habits.
Myth # 3: Drugs will make you more social
Drugs will definitely make you more social, that is – until they don’t. When you go to a club or bar you can safely bet up to 95% of people are on some form or another of drug. Alcohol, ecstasy, cocaine or nicotine are favourites of many. As we discussed earlier becoming more social is a learned habit, when you do drugs you are experiencing a stimulation rather then learning a habit (besides the habit of being an addict). Now lets talk about drugs purely in the aspect of sociability (we’ll ignore all the adverse health effects for now). If you go out and do a bunch of drugs to ease your anxiety and improve your social-ness, you’re simply not looking at the big picture. You’re getting a short term solution to a long term problem. You need to be learning new skills, but instead you’re developing crutches and addictions – which are horrible for your mental health. Also, the times when you’re off the drugs your social anxiety will literally be 10 times worse then what it was before.
What you need to be doing is finding what works, finding your sticking points and then implementing all the little intricacies you’ve learned through going out and socialising. When you do drugs you won’t be able to do this because your brain is fried, you literally can barely remember the night you had before. Your serotonin levels have been unnaturally spiked for one night which will result in an opposite downward plummet the next day. This is why its important to go out sober (or at least semi-sober) so you can actually make distinctions in your behaviour and internalise what works in a social setting and what doesn’t work. When you go out sober for many nights you will start forming social cues that work naturally, even developing facial expressions naturally which will improve every interaction by ten fold. Tip #3 is don’t do drugs, kids.
Myth # 4: You can’t lean how to be socially savy
You can go from zero to hero with a bit of practice. How much practise will depend upon person to person. Remember, a person is not inflicted with the disease of “social anxiety disorder”, they simply have identified with being an introvert due to years of developing the habit of being anti-social.
“Massive action is the cure all” – Tony Robbins
There Are Two No BS methods You Can Start Doing Today:
- One of the more extreme and most effective method is doing a 30 day challenge. The one rule of the 30 day challenge is you must go out everyday and talk to strangers for 30 days in a row (or at least attempt to), no excuses. Bars or clubs are good for this but you can also do it during the day at work or public places. I’m telling you right now THERE IS NO WAY IN HELL you will have bad social anxiety or be anti-social at the end of 30 days of going out. If you do, it simply means you didn’t take enough action and probably just stood there staring at people. I did a variation of this challenge when I was 20 and had amazing results. I had just moved to a new city where I didn’t know anyone, I was also fairly anxious in general. It was through going out many nights that I learnt various social cues and found myself awesome friends and also met a girl who became my girlfriend at the time. Any sense of social unease simply didn’t exist, for the first time in my life I was happy with who I became. Some of you will say you don’t have time – you know yourself thats BS. Simply replace one habit for another – replace the 2 hours you scroll on the internet or watch TV with going out.
- If you don’t want to do the extreme, results proven method above – you can instead just go out on the weekends. But on these weekends you will have to spend 4-5 hours out in bars and clubs practising talking to people. Remember, there is no wrong way to talk to a person – you simply initiate the interaction and over time you will develop distinctions about what works and what doesn’t. Keep in mind you need to be coming from a good place, you should be coming from a place of offering value or being funny. You will not improve your social skills if the energy your exerting is bitter, angry, resentful or any other negative emotion. Thus tip #4 is you can drastically increase your social skills by going out more.
Final Note (Summary):
If you think that even talking to strangers is to much for you to handle – its not, just start slow. How I started was literally asking girls “do you know what the time is?” once you have that downed packed, you can slowly work your way up to having conversations with people. I’d also recommend highly not to get into too much of the theory side to things – this will just get you more stuck in your head, which will prohibit action taking. Instead, focus on just being calm and let what ever comes to you be expressed. Meditation can be used to increase calmness. A book which you’ve probably heard of called The Power Of Now also helped me tremendously to just be in the present moment and talk to strangers in an extremely natural way – read it now.
Being more social will improve your life x 100 – it will improve your relationship life, friendships and family life – and even your work life. I guarantee in 1 years time, if everything in here is implemented, you will be the type of person who people want to talk to, even if they don’t know you. I hope this article has given you some insights in to how to be more social, I wish you all the best on your journey.