Meeting new people or sitting with your higher-ups can give you the creeps, and, if you are like most people, make you feel awkward. It isn’t easy to endure the cold and serious stares in a business meeting environment or the drab and austere theme of a business meeting room. Makes you feel like you are in a shark’s tank. But here is the good news: you can overcome your social anxiety! So, how should you go about it?
Identify and Overcome the Spotlight Effect
Numerous studies indicate that people often overestimate some attention people give them, a phenomenon psychologists fondly term as the spotlight effect. If you understand this phenomenon, you can figure out how to conquer it. The first thing you need to know is that you are nearly the only person paying attention to your mannerisms, appearance, speech and other nitty-gritty. The rest of the people in the room or hall are too engrossed in their world to care. Therefore, know the limelight isn’t on you, and stop fretting and fidgeting too much for nothing.
The sages say that practice makes it perfect. When you do not talk to people often, you will forget how to talk to people. You might be socially suave, but if you go a long time without exercising your social skills, you’ll be edged out. Therefore, it is very important for you to get out of your comfort zone and exercise your social skills often. It naturally follows, then, that you’ll be more confident at networking events and business meetings.
Get an extrovert as a friend. Extroverts are outgoing, loquacious, and socially amiable. They ache to socialize and meet new people. Therefore, you’ll be forced to meet new people. And, most importantly, you’ll have at least one person you are comfortable with. Or, you can make it a habit to strike conversations with strangers. It’ll seem weird at first, but you’ll learn the ropes the more you do it. After some time, these simple habits will help erode your social awkwardness.
Look at the bright side
Don’t walk into a business meeting expecting to fail. It will be a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you want a positive outcome, then you need to be positive. Remember all the times you succeeded socially, and that will imbue you with the courage to succeed in your next business meeting. A positive attitude is a trick. Keep in mind that there are likely to be individuals who are socially awkward as you are in the meeting you intend to attend, and that will help put you at ease.
If you faithfully do as advised above, then you’ll soon surprise yourself at how socially suave you’ll turn in business meetups.