For folks with social anxiety being around large groups of people is hard. Some people turn to alcohol to self-medicate their feelings of feeling anxious around others. This isn’t the healthiest coping mechanism, although it is common. Drinking allows the person to calm their nerves and feel more at ease talking to strangers. Unfortunately drinking excessively can lead to substance abuse issues and that’s a whole other problem in addition to social anxiety. If you’re experiencing high levels of anxiety, you might want to see a doctor or naturopath to talk about some options to help you manage your anxiety as well.
There are some healthy coping techniques to manage social anxiety better. One of them is especially useful when attending a party full of people. When socially anxious people go to a party, it’s anxiety provoking. There’s a group of people strewn about the room, drinking, talking, and contributing to the ambiance of the party. You might wonder how to participate in this event without seeming out of place or awkward.
Strategies While You Are Out
Here’s what you do: pick a person who looks interesting and who is sitting alone. Sit down next to them on the couch or in a chair next to them. Compliment them on something they’re wearing or make an observation about the music in the room. Find something you can casually bring up in a conversation that you two can both relate to. Is someone at the party doing something funny or weird? Make a joke about it to the person you’ve chosen to sit next to. This person is going to be a focal point for you. Make sure when choosing the person to make conversation with that you use your intuition. They should appear warm and not overtly grumpy. Remember you’re going to be sitting next to them for a while at this party. Now, here’s another point to remember, pretend like this person is the only person in the room. Sure, there are other people at the party, but keeping your focus on one person is going to make you feel way less anxious. Focus on them and ask questions about them. Taking the focus off you will make you feel better.
There’s another technique that works wonders for social anxiety when you’re at a party: pretend that you’re an animal. Imagine the most powerful animal you know. Maybe that’s a mountain lion or wolf, whatever your power animal is become that creature. You’re grounded now that you’ve become that animal, you have its power and nothing bad is going to happen to you. You can walk the room with confidence as the regal jaguar that you are. When anyone asks you a question, remember that you are rooted in the power of your super animal and you can respond with confidence.
Many techniques to conquer social anxiety involve calming your brain down. One quick tip that you can utilize when you’re feeling anxious at a party is to name five things that you can see, hear, touch, smell and taste. That will immediately reset your brain and help you focus on something that doesn’t make you anxious.
You’re Not Alone
Also remember that feeling anxious around people is more common than you think. Look around you at the people at the party who are talking and laughing with one another, and accidentally spilling drinks. Many of those people are also socially anxious; they’re just not talking about it.
Remember that it’s totally okay to take a break from people if you’re feeling over saturated. You can walk to the bathroom close the door and take a breather. Reset your brain by taking five deep breaths from your diaphragm. Once your breath has slowed, your heart race will decrease, and you’ll be able to cope with being around people better.
If you’re dealing with social anxiety, you’re not alone! There are many people who have this issue struggling to be around other people in large groups. Be patient with yourself, pick a person to focus on, choose your power animal and practice your deep breathing exercises. You’ve got this!