Do you need some social anxiety self-help tips? Feeling uncomfortable in front of other people is very common and can range from mild to severe. Most people have at least experienced butterflies in the stomach or sweaty palms. Others have crippling anxiety that prevents them from leaving the house.
What if you could gain confidence to be more comfortable in front of others? What if you could walk into a room and know what everyone was thinking? What if you weren't as concerned with what everybody thought about you?
Here are three authors that have been able to help me with that.
One of the best books I've read that has helped me get more comfortable in front of others is "Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion" by George Thompson. I talk more about it on this "Easier Fitness" website under the sidebar tab "Stress" and then "People Skills".
Verbal Judo is what police officers use to deal with difficult people. I am not a police officer. All I have done is read the book. It took maybe 5-7 hours to read (I don't time myself when I read books, but 5-7 hours is pretty typical of most 200-300 page books). Having read the book, I am sure I would still need to learn more to be a police officer - they get more training than just reading a book - but it has helped me immensely in feeling more comfortable around other people.
If you could read only one book, I recommend you read the Verbal Judo book. There are other Verbal Judo books by the same author, and I encourage you to read those as well, but the one to start off with that should give the most bang for your buck is "Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion".
Another great author is Tim Larkin. He has three books on self-defense, one of which is "Survive the Unthinkable: A Total Guide to Women's Self-Protection". The other two are for both men and women. (Tony Robbins has written the foreword to "Survive the Unthinkable".) His self-defense tactics have helped me feel safer when I'm out and about in public.
A lot of the time when we're in public, whether we're public speaking or mingling at a party, we can be unsure as to what other people are thinking about us. We don't know what is going through other people's minds. We start to feel weaker than others. We lose confidence. We get nervous. Our voice starts to shake. We are not in our comfort zone.
We seem to be at our best when we are at home and by ourselves. We are more confident. But when we go out in public, all of a sudden, there are a lot of people around and we don't know a whole lot about them, if anything. This is certainly not how we evolved through the last few million years. We used to live in smaller tribes, who knew each other quite well and didn't have as much contact with other people, at least not as much as we have today.
Some of us thrive with a lot of people around, but many of us feel some sort of apprehension. What if we didn't have to feel as nervous around strangers? Tim Larkin has helped me with that. Again, simply by reading a book over 5-7 hours or so, I have learned what to do in the case of someone attacking me. That has decreased my nervousness around other people.
They say our brain has a cognitive capacity to think about only so many things at once. The more there is going on, the more there is to which our brain has to attend. This leaves us with less brain area/synapses/neurons to think about what we are trying to do. Imagine giving a speech with babies crying, noise from another room, and perhaps a faulty microphone. This wouldn't let ourselves be able to think too much about our actual speech. Our brain would be thinking too much about the distractions.
This is an extreme example. But our brain operates in a similar manner with more usual things when we're in public. Things like "What are people thinking of me right now?" as you public speak. Or "Is this person going to hurt me?" as you walk down the street. Or "Does this person like me?" as you enter a room.
So what if you knew what people were thinking? What if you knew whether someone was going to hurt you? What if you knew if somebody likes you?
Well, good news, folks, it is possible. It may not be 100% accurate, but it is a lot better than what most people currently have. And a lot of it has to do with emotional intelligence. Having emotional intelligence and being able to read body language are immensely helpful social anxiety self-help tips.
The third author I would like to influence you is David Topus. His book "Talk to Strangers: How Everyday, Random Encounters Can Expand Your Business, Career, Income, and Life" is another great social anxiety self-help resource. He says that many people when they're out in public are actually looking to go out and meet other people. You do, don't you, when you go out? You hope to meet other people, find some friends, expand your social network?
Many of us do. But when we are actually out there, we feel that it is hard to meet people. We don't know how to approach others, start conversations, make friends. David Topus tells us that we have to keep thinking that everybody really wants to meet us when we go out. We think that everybody is really too busy to talk to us, or wouldn't be interested in what we have to say. But many of the people we meet are actually looking for connection like they way we are.
The negative thoughts keep us from reaching out to others as much as we should. They don't let us shine or be our best. We think, "Oh, they're probably not interested in little old me." We have to remember that everyone else is thinking the same thing about us - "Oh, s/he's probably not interested in little old me."
"Talk to Strangers" is full of ideas on how to break through that barrier and approach people and start conversations. The overall core of it, however, is that many people are starving for connection.
The above books by George Thompson, Tim Larkin and David Topus have far and away helped me the most in feeling more comfortable around other people. I highly encourage you to read other books on people skills and emotional intelligence, though, as well. These three authors are a fantastic place to start, but I hope you can keep learning and picking up even more tricks from other people.
Stress caused by social anxiety can negatively impact us. One of the best things about being in shape is the increased confidence it can give you. Having even more confidence in being able to walk into a room and not be nervous is worth its weight in gold.
Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric and the "most-admired CEO in America", said that the single biggest skill any businessperson should have is the ability to talk to anybody, anywhere. He says if you can walk into a boardroom on the other side of the planet and conduct a business deal, you have conquered the biggest hurdle.
These social anxiety self-help tips are the ones that have changed me the most. Because I've read a lot of other books on social skills, I know a lot of other tips that go through my head throughout the day, but these three authors have made me think differently and behave differently, more so than any authors.
Weight loss can be more than shedding a few pounds. Being able to handle situations differently from increased confidence goes a long way. These are lessons that, once learned, you can keep for a lifetime. By spending an evening reading a book, instead of idle Googling, you can learn things that could drastically change your life. If you want to tell others about what you've learned, then you also have the ability to drastically change the lives of many other people.
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