How to Deal with Your Irrational Beliefs About the Self and Socialization
You reject which of those beliefs that you can. (justifiable denial)
You realize that you’re firmly set in your allegiance to other irrational beliefs, so you need to admit that you may be quite wrong in your assessment…OR you may be quite right! Accept the fact that you do not really know. (acceptance of ambiguity)
Look for the “missing part” –
Technique One – Questions
When you’re uncomfortable in social settings, you’re focusing upon yourself in some way. Look around. Select a person or a conversation toward which to direct your attention. Find something…particularly a question to ask related to the subject. If the person fails to answer you, ask it again. Never let the question go. If the person still fails to answer, pose a possible answer and framework it as a question. YOU WILL GET A RESPONSE!
You’re important and you deserve to be heard, just as much as the talker.
Technique Two – Exploration of Others
Darcy, an acquaintance of mine once went through a long polemic about life in the jungles of Suriname. How did she know so much about that? She seldom went far beyond her own town. Darcy was chatty, and once met a fellow at a party who flew helicopters in and out of a new gold mine in that country. He was delighted to tell her all about his life and adventures in this remote location! You can explore many vistas, learn about many trades, and find out how others really think and feel.
There are worlds inside the minds of others. It’s first-hand knowledge, not something on a TV travel or science channel. Hint: Stay away from politics and religion! Just nod as they speak.
Technique Three – Escape
When you’re at a party or family gathering, advisors in the area of self-esteem and self-confidence rarely ever suggest that you escape. I differ, but hastily add the codicil that you should not spend your entire time in escape! Where do you hide? The kitchen is a great place. Your hostess usually needs help with serving or dishes.
Others will be there, but they never stay there long. You can always go to the bathroom or look for something in your coat pocket, but those are merely short-term solutions. You can go outside for a “breath of air”. Walk around and re-enter the house through another door. A new scene awaits you!
Technique Four – Find the Lost Folks
Who are they? Those are the folks who are alone at the social gathering. They are sitting by themselves with no one to talk to. Explore those people’s worlds. Other lone folks might sometimes get sucked into a one-to-one discussion with an obsessive talker. You can join the two. If the captured listener runs away, you too can listen for a while. Then direct the person away to the snack table or kitchen. Watch what happens! Actually this is a fun “game”.
Technique Five – Eye Contact
This is the most difficult of all for shy folks like you at a social affair! However, it’s relatively simple if you listen to others and focus your glance just slightly above the area between their eyes. That’s much, much harder to do while you’re talking, isn’t it? You’ll look at the floor, to one side or the other, above their heads, or at something else.
The only way to overcome this habit’s to look at the person from time to time. Then try to look at them for longer and longer periods of time while you talk to them. Give yourself some mental kudos for that!