5 Tips to Overcome Your Fear of Meeting New People | Networking Hacks

Ten Thousand Coffees Team -
August 27, 2018

Meeting someone for the first time can be a daunting prospect. Thoughts swirl around your head: “What are they going to be like?” “What are we going to talk about?” “Will they like me?” “Will I make a good impression?”

Conquering your fear of meeting new people can unlock doors to new experiences and growth. You may be introverted at heart, but it doesn’t mean that you have to be shy. Shyness is a habit that can be broken just as communication is a skill to be learnt.

Follow our top tips below on how to rid yourself of your fear and build your confidence in meeting new people.

1. It’s not all about me

Many introverted people have a habit of overthinking the other person’s behaviour and responses, obsessively thinking over what you said or did. Constantly thinking that everything the other person does is because of you.

But presuming they care so much about what you are doing is, quite frankly, self-centred. After all, when someone else does or says something embarrassing we let it go. We don’t judge them endlessly. We figure we misunderstood them or laugh it off.

“One of the deepest principles of life and leadership: it’s not about you” — Ken Blachard

2. Don’t make assumptions

Are they really late because they don’t care about you? Do they really look tired because you are boring? Are they really being abrupt and rude because you are a terrible person?

The problem with making assumptions like this is that we start to believe that they are the truth. If we just stop our thoughts in their tracks then we will never have to explain anything to ourselves and can be happy not knowing. If we do need to know, then just ask! Simple.

“Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want.” — Don Miguel Ruiz

3. Confront your fear

Time to get real with yourself. Sometimes we fall so far into our panic that we loose sight of what made us fearful in the first place. We stop assessing whether the benefits of facing your fear outweigh the alternative.

‘Facing your fears’ does not mean being less afraid. It actually means that you’ve decided that changing is more favourable than staying the same. We make a bold decision to ‘get out there’ and just start meeting people. All whilst sitting with our uncomfortable feelings of fear and anxiety. Safely sitting with these feelings, knowing that they will pass and it won’t last forever, will build your resilience and significantly reduce your fear over time.

“When I had nothing to loose, I had everything. When I stopped being who I am, I found myself” — Paulo Coehlo

4. Go all in

In order to crush your self-conscious habits, bring a new wave of enthusiasm to everything you do: Ask more questions, tell the story of that time you climbed a mountain with extra pauses for dramatic effect, talk about what you really enjoy in life. Speak with integrity and don’t say anything that speaks against your values. People are naturally drawn to others who show passion and enthusiasm!

“I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. Lukewarm is no good” — Roald Dahl

5. Be your own cheerleader

Negative thoughts are often debilitating for many people. These thoughts can paralyze us by making us feel inadequate, worthless or incompetent. But we cannot rely on others to bring us strength and confidence. We must make the choice to be our own cheerleader.

When negative thoughts start, stop them in their tracks and replace with a positive thought. You don’t have to believe that positive thought in that moment, you just have to be consistent and always be the voice of reason. Over time, when you are feeling insecure, you will begin to rely on yourself to pull you out of those negative thoughts and put you back on track.

“The world will knock you down plenty. You don’t need to be doing it to yourself” — Elizabeth Scott

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5 Tips to Overcome Your Fear of Meeting New People | Networking Hacks

Meeting someone for the first time can be a daunting prospect. Thoughts swirl around your head: “What are they going to be like?” “What are we going to talk about?” “Will they like me?” “Will I make a good impression?”

Conquering your fear of meeting new people can unlock doors to new experiences and growth. You may be introverted at heart, but it doesn’t mean that you have to be shy. Shyness is a habit that can be broken just as communication is a skill to be learnt.

Follow our top tips below on how to rid yourself of your fear and build your confidence in meeting new people.

1. It’s not all about me

Many introverted people have a habit of overthinking the other person’s behaviour and responses, obsessively thinking over what you said or did. Constantly thinking that everything the other person does is because of you.

But presuming they care so much about what you are doing is, quite frankly, self-centred. After all, when someone else does or says something embarrassing we let it go. We don’t judge them endlessly. We figure we misunderstood them or laugh it off.

“One of the deepest principles of life and leadership: it’s not about you” — Ken Blachard

2. Don’t make assumptions

Are they really late because they don’t care about you? Do they really look tired because you are boring? Are they really being abrupt and rude because you are a terrible person?

The problem with making assumptions like this is that we start to believe that they are the truth. If we just stop our thoughts in their tracks then we will never have to explain anything to ourselves and can be happy not knowing. If we do need to know, then just ask! Simple.

“Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want.” — Don Miguel Ruiz

3. Confront your fear

Time to get real with yourself. Sometimes we fall so far into our panic that we loose sight of what made us fearful in the first place. We stop assessing whether the benefits of facing your fear outweigh the alternative.

‘Facing your fears’ does not mean being less afraid. It actually means that you’ve decided that changing is more favourable than staying the same. We make a bold decision to ‘get out there’ and just start meeting people. All whilst sitting with our uncomfortable feelings of fear and anxiety. Safely sitting with these feelings, knowing that they will pass and it won’t last forever, will build your resilience and significantly reduce your fear over time.

“When I had nothing to loose, I had everything. When I stopped being who I am, I found myself” — Paulo Coehlo

4. Go all in

In order to crush your self-conscious habits, bring a new wave of enthusiasm to everything you do: Ask more questions, tell the story of that time you climbed a mountain with extra pauses for dramatic effect, talk about what you really enjoy in life. Speak with integrity and don’t say anything that speaks against your values. People are naturally drawn to others who show passion and enthusiasm!

“I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. Lukewarm is no good” — Roald Dahl

5. Be your own cheerleader

Negative thoughts are often debilitating for many people. These thoughts can paralyze us by making us feel inadequate, worthless or incompetent. But we cannot rely on others to bring us strength and confidence. We must make the choice to be our own cheerleader.

When negative thoughts start, stop them in their tracks and replace with a positive thought. You don’t have to believe that positive thought in that moment, you just have to be consistent and always be the voice of reason. Over time, when you are feeling insecure, you will begin to rely on yourself to pull you out of those negative thoughts and put you back on track.

“The world will knock you down plenty. You don’t need to be doing it to yourself” — Elizabeth Scott

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