📷’s by Luba Kochubey Portraits
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Previously I shared some tips on networking and how to break the ice in social situations. Today’s post is a bit different. I want to discuss the topic of anxiety and share some pointers.
Whenever I go to an event, I have so much anxiety beforehand. Once I arrive, I enjoy connecting with others and always find that once I get there, I’m ok. Beforehand, though, is a different story.
Here’s a little peek…
First and foremost, the most important question of all, what will I wear?! Do I need to change before I leave work or wear something that works for both the office and the event?
How will I get there? Do I have to drive? I hate driving. Ugh, and parking gives me even more anxiety. Will I have to parallel park or circle around the block in search of a parking garage?
Do I need to really go to the event? It’s a work night and I’m tired. I’ve been up since 6 am. I’ll be hungry before hand and will need to pack extra food or grab something on the way. Maybe I should cancel. I’d much rather veg on the couch and watch Netflix.
Who’s going to be there? Will I know anyone? Will I remember their name?
At this point, I most often convince myself to go.
Two Tips for Overcoming Anxiety in Social Situations
Say how you feel (within reason) and wear light weight clothing. Oh, and bring breath mints or gum and pain reliever. I always manage to have a headache.
Light weight material and sleeveless anything is best. I know what you’re thinking; what if it’s the dead of winter. Throw on a jacket and plan to take it off once you arrive. Trust me, you will be sweating bullets. Most event spaces are warm. This is why it’s good to say how you feel (ice breaker). “Is it hot in here? I’m sweating like crazy.” I’m usually met with a chuckle and smiles, people assuring me that it is, in fact, warm.
The takeaway? Just keep it real. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. If you fumble your words or say something awkward (I do all the time), it’s not the end of the world. The more you put yourself out there the better you will get at being conversational. In my experience, making the event can be very rewarding, with future collaborations, new friends, and learning opportunities.