How To Ease The Anxiety Of Meeting New People

How To Ease The Anxiety Of Meeting New People

We all get nervous and need help sometimes; it's nothing to be ashamed of.

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Maybe it's your first day of classes/sports and you want to make friends with the people around you. Maybe you're joining a club or organization for the first time. Maybe you just want to make some new pals and don't know where to start.

Whatever your situation, you may be feeling nervous about it. What if you don't make friends? What if you embarrass yourself somehow? What if people ignore you?

I'm here to tell you that there is nothing to worry about!

I was very awkward all throughout middle school and high school and had only a small number of friends, as I was too scared to talk to people. Luckily, I managed to mostly overcome that in college, and I now have a lot of friends!

1. Keep a positive attitude.

It works wonders and does more for you than you may think. If you go in thinking, "Oh my God, I'm going to mess up!", that won't do any good for you. On the other hand, reassuring yourself with thoughts such as, "I've got this. Everything will be fine. I know they'll like me." That is very helpful. Even if you don't believe it, fake it until you make it!

2. Try simple calming exercises.

These help a lot, too; deep breathing, attempting to ground yourself, etc. That way, at least your heart will be racing a bit less and you'll be able to think a bit more clearly. Try to distract yourself from your nerves by focusing on neutral, non-stressful things around you. Look at the details of the room you're in or listen to the sounds of the sports field you're on. Not only does this help you to be more familiar with your surroundings, but it'll take your mind off the stress of people.

3. Come up with a script.

Do this in your head beforehand. It doesn't have to be a Tony Award-winning script or anything, so don't overthink it. Just a simple "I'll say hi, how are you doing?" and they'll respond back with an answer. Then you can compliment them in some way or comment on the class/club/activity you're doing, and start a conversation from there. Whatever works best for you!

4. Remember that those around you may be nervous, too.

This especially applies to "first" situations; first rehearsal, first class of the semester, etc. If it's their first but not yours (i.e. it's their first day at a new job, but you've been working there for weeks, months, or even years), then they're almost definitely MORE nervous than you are. Either way, most people will completely understand if you stutter, say something a bit silly, or experience nerves. If they don't understand? They're not worth your friendship anyway.

DISCLAIMER: I am by no means a therapist, and if you're experiencing genuine forms of social anxiety, then there will almost definitely be much more to help than all of this, and I recommend trying to seek some form of treatment for it.

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The Truth About Dating A Girl With An Anxiety Disorder

She knows how annoying she can be, but she just prays you love her regardless of her flaws.

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Anxiety: A nervous disorder characterized by a state of excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behavior or panic attacks.

The definition makes it sound really daunting. Truthfully, there is no one way to describe generalized anxiety disorder if you have it. It is hard to live with, hard to cope with and unfortunately, really hard to date with.

Girls with anxiety are different than the average girl when it comes to relationships. That's just an honest statement, no matter how much it hurts me to say it.

We need the constant reminder that you love us, even though we know in our hearts that you do. We panic when you don't answer your phone, in fear that we did something wrong. We care about your feelings when you say that we don't need to worry and we need to be a little calmer. But it's so damn hard.

It isn't easy to love someone who worries about everything 24/7. Half the time, we know we shouldn't be doing the things we do. We know we shouldn't blow up your phone or ask just one more time if you are mad at us. But we can't help it. It says it right in the definition: compulsive behavior due to excessive uneasiness.

Being with a girl with anxiety is probably downright exhausting. It's exhausting for us to have our minds constantly running and worrying. But I promise it's worth it.

We come to you with everything because you are the one person who always knows how to make us feel better. When we are happy, you are the one person we want to be happy with. We all know the constant reassurance, reminders and the same old arguments get old. It gets old to us too.

There was never a time I wanted to have a panic attack because my boyfriend wasn't answering his phone. In my head, I knew where he was because he was usually in the same three places. I knew he wasn't mad at me because I didn't do anything to make him upset. I knew how busy he was with his classes and he was probably studying and I needed to give him space. But the little voice in my head always argued, "What if you did something wrong? What if he's ignoring you because he's angry? What if he's seen your messages and calls, but no longer wants to be with you?" And then I give in. I call, I text, I cry, I panic. Only to feel even worse 10, 30 or 50 minutes later because you answer angrily, telling me what I already knew after I did what I knew I shouldn't have done.

Having anxiety is almost like having a drug addiction. You know all the things that trigger you. You know all the ways to stay away from the bad places in your mind so you don't end up relapsing. But you do anyway and it hurts worse every single time.

Dating a girl with anxiety is as hard as it gets, but she will love you like no other. She is so incredibly thankful for all the things you put up with to be with her. Because she is worried about being loved, she goes the extra mile to always remind you how much you are loved. She always asks if you are ok because she cares about the answer and knows what it's like not to be ok.

The truth is that dating anybody with anxiety is difficult, but it isn't impossible. You get back everything you put in, even though you may not realize it. Trust me, she is sorry for being the annoying, crying, worried, naggy mess and it embarrasses her because she knows better and she wants to be better for you. But please love her. Hold her, understand her, listen to her, calm her, be there for her. In your heart, you know she would turn around and do all the same things for you in a heartbeat.

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A Day In The Life Of A Socially Anxious Person

"I better lower the volume of my phone. Someone sitting next to me might hear what music I'm listening to and judge my song choice."

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According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), social anxiety disorder affects 15 million adults in the United States. It is one of the most common mental illness and yet a lot of people don't know what social anxiety disorder (SAD) exactly is and have misconceptions about it. Social anxiety is often misunderstood as shyness. However, SAD goes beyond shyness. For someone with SAD, daily social interactions can be stressful to handle because of fear of negative evaluation and embarrassment.

To eliminate misunderstandings and spread awareness about SAD, here's a picture diary of what a day in the life of a socially anxious person looks like.

8:30 a.m.

"I better hurry and switch off my alarm before my roommate wakes up. I'm afraid she might hate me for waking her up this early."

12:00 p.m.

"I know the answer to this question but I'm too scared to answer. What if it is wrong and I embarrass myself in front of everyone?"

3:00 p.m.

"I better lower the volume of my phone. Someone sitting next to me might hear what music I'm listening to and judge my song choice."

5:00 p.m.

"I better keep practicing my order in my head otherwise I might stumble upon my words and make a fool of myself."

7:00 p.m.

"I am just going to delay answering this call as I'm afraid to answer the phone. I don't know who is on the other side and am not exactly sure what to say."

10:00 p.m.

"I'd rather not sleep, as if I try to, I'll be reevaluating all the embarrassing moments of my day."

Along with these thoughts, a person suffering from SAD might also experience physical symptoms like nausea, dizziness, flushing, palpitations, shortness of breath and tightness in the chest. If your day looks anything like the picture diary above and you have been experiencing physical symptoms, do not be afraid to seek help.

According to a survey conducted by ADAA, 36% of people with social anxiety disorder report experiencing symptoms for 10 or more years before seeking help. If you are someone who is suffering from SAD, always remember that there's hope. Always seek help as social anxiety disorder is treatable through medication and therapy.

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