Humans are social creatures, but no one is born with social skills. Combating loneliness and overcoming shyness are common universal struggles.
Including You is brought to you by the Tuscarawas County Board of Developmental Disabilities.
Loneliness affects all ages and backgrounds. It can be situational, such as finding yourself in a new community after a move, or maybe you have always been shy and it is part of your personality.
You can overcome shyness by quieting self-criticism. Are you afraid of feeling embarrassed? Worried about what others think? Do you assume it’s your fault when someone rejects you? Do you often feel bad about yourself after a social interaction? Let’s dispel some of these critical thoughts.
- More often than not, people are not thinking about you. You are more concern with yourself and critical of yourself than anyone else.
- Awkwardness and nervousness are normal for everyone. Some people are just better at projecting self-confidence… even when they’re faking it.
- People are tolerant. People are likely to forgive genuine social faux pas.
Making New Friends
When you’re feeling lonely and anxious about meeting new people, apply these three tips:
- Accept yourself.
It’s okay to make mistakes. You aren’t perfect and your negative inner thoughts are often unrealistic. You’re not worthless, pathetic, etc. You have many wonderful qualities and you don’t have to be perfect to be liked!
- Practice building social skills.
Step out of your comfort zone and smile at a stranger, attend a party, or make small talk with a cashier at the grocery store. Fake it until you make it and don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself.
- Take a break from the social scene.
You still need alone time to relax and recharge. Don’t overcommit to social events, take breaks between big plans, and communicate to family and friends your desire for some solitude.
Remember that not every interaction will go as planned. Don’t dwell on mistakes or setbacks. Loneliness is a part of life, but it doesn’t have to be a permanent part of life. Continue to work on overcoming your shyness and watch your social circle grow!
Everyone deserves to have people in their life that they love. Meaningful relationships can be tough to navigate, but they are essential to a happy and healthy life. During this month of love, check out https://www.helpguide.org/articles/relationships-communication/dealing-with-loneliness-and-shyness.htm for more information on loneliness and overcoming shyness.