Every one of us will have a different perception of a dream social life.
For some it will be having close friends to confide in. For others it might be having a lot of people who will come to a party if asked. Others might want measure it on how easily they can talk to people of the opposite sex or how many invitations they get to hang out or go somewhere. Maybe you want to be the center of attention or the life of the party.
Personally I find being socially comfortable in any situation can lead to all of the above.
And that’s our reality now… but it certainly wasn’t always like that for Beth and I (but more about us later).
But sadly not everyone is as socially comfortable as they’d like to be. In fact have you actually seen the statistics on shyness? Psychology Today ran a survey a few years ago and the results were pretty astounding.
62% of people surveyed feel shy daily.
82% report shyness as an undesirable experience.
And these were just people interviewed randomly. So the majority of us feel shy but shyness can affect us in different ways and some people feel it more than others.
So they took a look at which situations made people feel shy:
75% said talking to strangers.
65% said talking to the opposite sex in a group.
56% said talking to the opposite sex in a one to one situation.
Which is to be expected. But here’s the problem:
85% are willing to work at overcoming shyness.
But only 46% believe their shyness can actually be overcome.
And this is the problem I encounter far too often. People look at the more socially capable people around them. They see people making new friends easily while they sit quietly and just think that’s the way it is. They’re a shy person and they’ve just got to live with that.
But socials skills are just that – a skill.
A skill you can learn just like you can learn anything else. And I’ll tell you (from personal experience) it’s a lot easier to learn to overcome shyness than you might think.
The only difference between you and someone who appears more popular or socially outgoing is they had a chance (for whatever reason) to learn these skills sooner.
But here’s the good news. Anyone (and yes, I mean you trust me) can learn these skills. And in fact because most people like this are actually feeling shy themselves (I’ll teach you how to spot this) because they haven’t learned to spot their own “social leaks”.
So while you’ve had to deal with shyness up to now – you’ll actually be more socially comfortable than a lot of people who up until now you might have looked up to.
I remember looking at the people in the center of groups and wondering how they could do that. These days I see people doing that (when I’m not there myself) and then I spot their social leaks in other situations.
The real goal (and it’s completely obtainable) is to always feel comfortable. To be able to talk to complete strangers of either sex, in groups or one to one. To always know what to say, to leave them enjoying your company (and wanting more) and (most important) for you to actually enjoy yourself and get the life you want.
And it’s very important you don’t tell yourself you can’t do this. Trust me, I’ve dealt with shyness myself and I’ve helped a lot of other people do the same.
But it’s even more important you don’t tell yourself you’ll get to it or the time isn’t right. It’s easy to put making changes off – because changes are uncomfortable and shyness can really put you in a vicious circle there.
You’ve only got one life. And the sooner you get this started the sooner you can see a massive change in your social life.
It’s like ripping off a band aid.
Although I do promise not to throw you in at the deep end right away. Advice like “force yourself into situations you feel shy, what’s the worst that can happen?” is actually pretty bad advice. It’ll just reinforce your shyness and let’s face it – you don’t want to do it.
On the other hand I’m not going to hold your hand and tell you everything will work itself out.
I’ve wasted years of my life not having things the way I wanted. Spending my time home alone while everyone else was out making friends and having experiences I could only dream of.
My biggest regret in all life was how long it took me to do something about it.
So before we get to real working techniques – I have question.
Do you actually want to make a difference to your life?
Be confident around big groups?
Just be happier?
Or are you just here to waste time and convince yourself that you don’t really need to do anything and it’ll just get better itself.
I’ve been doing this for years now. Writing guides and running groups. Getting people to face their shyness head on.
I know what kind of damage it can do to a life.
And I know just how easy it can be to overcome. But this only makes it more infuriating when I can’t get people to listen.
You know what the majority of people do after they read the site, book or come to an event?
They tell themselves that’s it.
They’re happy just knowing that it’s possible to do something about it.
They’re reassured knowing they can overcome it whenever they ‘get around to it’.
But most won’t actually do anything about it.
I’ve got flack in the past for being to into the “tough love” but honestly?
If you’ve seen the amount of people who just downright waste their lives rather than do something about it?
You’d get pretty sick of it too.
Yes it’s a lot easier than you’d think to change your life around.
A lot easier to get the social life you want.
Get the LIFE you want.
But it is still on you to take that first step.