DO YOU WANT TO BE INCLUDED, INVOLVED, AND PEOPLE ASKING YOU TO JOIN THEM?
TAKE THE ACTION NECESSARY TO GET NOTICED AND STAY INVOLVED, STARTING NOW.
Do you ever feel as though you’re missing out on social activities? Would you like to get invited to more dinners, parties, and other social gatherings? Do you wish people would want to reach out to you to get involved in activities?
Today, we’re going to be discussing a solution to a problem I personally dealt with for years: feeling unincluded in social activities.
When it comes to group activities and social gatherings, we all want to feel included. If you are particularly closed off and socially anxious, then many suggestions aimed at helping you achieve this goal may seem a bit challenging to you. If you want to massively increase your level of social fitness, however, then you may need to start by building your social skills overall.
Fact: everyone experiences at least some degree of shyness and/or nervousness.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, though, from my work with clients from across the globe over the years, it’s that anyone can develop the confidence necessary to combat social anxiety—including you!
Hence, as we look at these methods, always remember that plenty of resources exist to get you to the point at which you’re ready to take on the next challenge. This channel (and my site, SocialConfidenceCenter.com) are chock-full of useful tools that can help you on your way toward greater social confidence. I invite you to subscribe so that you can enjoy these resources while accessing new information as it’s released.
In the meantime, though, let’s take a look at this slightly more advanced issue!
The first—and probably most obvious—way to increase your social inclusion is to become the initiator. What better, more powerful way is there to boost your involvement than to become the host, organizer, or inviter?
But what if no one comes?!
This is the exact risk that kept me from creating my own live events for years. But then I finally realized that fewer attendees would actually create an amazingly intimate atmosphere in which each participant would get a very personal experience.
For me, the real breakthrough was realizing that the risk was the only thing providing the opportunity for major success!
Sure, there was a chance that I could schedule an event and no one would show up—but what if 100 people would have showed up and I never tried?
What we’re often really afraid of in this situation is the way it would look if nobody showed up. We keep ourselves safe by imagining a reality in which we look like a pathetic failure and then allowing that reality to psyche us out. If we want to allow for growth in our lives, we have to put ourselves out there, take risks, and test the edge of our comfort zones until we see change and grasp the power of this work.
Once you get over your fear of the risk, you’ll be able to invite people to all sorts of things: movies, happy hours, sporting events . . . you can even get your own co-ed sports group together!
Let your interests guide you—they’ll show your passion and make your enjoyment of the activities infectious.
But none of my friends know each other.
- Even better! That just means that you’ll be bringing people together who might be just as hungry for social involvement as you are.
But I don’t think I’m close enough to that person to ask him/her to a movie/dinner/event.
- Relax—it’s not a date. Let the person know you planned an outing with a few friends and thought he or she might enjoy it. If they can’t make it or don’t respond . . . que sera, sera.
If you want to move forward, you are going to experience at least a little discomfort (you must put yourself out there to experience change). The trick is to realize that the voice of your fear—your safety police—doesn’t control you or have the validity you give it. At the very least, through your efforts, you’ll be communicating to others that you are social, engaging, and interested in getting together when the occasion arises. That’s not a bad place to start.
This brings us to our second method: making your presence known.
No one can invite you anywhere if they don’t know you exist.
When you live life as a wallflower, you make it pretty hard for people to remember you . . . and you make it pretty hard for them to want you around even if they do.
Again, this is a situation in which you’re going to have to put yourself out there and risk some discomfort. In order to make your presence known, you have to engage in group conversations, put your two cents in, ask people questions, and generally go out of your way to be a little more social.
Start by asking yourself what signal you’re sending out to the world: if you’re the kind of guy who hides away in his cubicle at work and sits there with his headphones in all day, you’re pretty much letting everyone know you don’t want to interact with or be approached by anyone.
The responses we get from other people are directly related to the signals we’re putting out.
Now, some of our signal emissions are linked to an unfortunate view we have of ourselves: I’m not funny; I’m not interesting; I’m ugly; I’m stupid; I have an ugly big toe.
These insecurities are forcing you to send signals that aren’t benefitting you—they make you think that you’re not worth getting to know, so you physically express to people that they shouldn’t get to know you.
The truth is that none of that matters! Whatever insecurities you have, they don’t negate your value in a social setting—more often than not, they’re also completely baseless anyway. Plenty of clients in my live weekends and workshops come in thinking they’re not funny . . . yet slowly, as they progress through the program, their filters go down and they risk saying the things they think are funny. And people laugh! This always comes as a shock to them, but to me, it’s business as usual: they had their filters up too high because of their insecurities, and now that they’ve relaxed them, they’re reaping the benefits of bold action!
Now, over the years, I’ve learned to be more honest and direct because I find that it serves you better—hence, at the risk of sounding unkind, I’m going to talk to you about the third key piece of the puzzle: eliminating weirdness.
Rather than talk about subconscious patterns and habits, I’m going to jump straight into an example: one client I work with used to have a habit of laughing awkwardly after saying anything in a group setting. He would say something as simple as “I’m wearing a gray shirt,” and this strange, nervous chuckle noticeably followed.
This, for me, falls under the category of “weirdness”: It’s not going to make anyone you’re hanging out with run screaming for the hills, but it’s definitely a tic that gets people’s attention—and not in a good way.
The tough part here is that many of these habits are a result of anxiety and fear—they’re hardly noticeable to us because we’re too busy focusing on our own emotions.
Solution: recruit someone you trust to help.
The next time you’re going to be at a social event with a friend or family member you trust, simply explain your situation and ask if they can do some recon for you:
“Listen, I’m trying to improve my self-confidence and social skills, and I’m wondering if you can let me know if you notice anything odd or off-putting that I do in social situations without knowing it.”
Maybe that person will even know you well enough to mention something right in that moment! Either way, it’s the quickest possible way to learn something about yourself that might go unknown otherwise.
But I could never tell anyone that I’m working on this stuff!
- Why not? There is absolutely no shame in working to improve yourself, connect better to other people, and make others more comfortable with your presence.
This isn’t going to be all sunshine and roses—it will likely be a bit scary, and it’s going to take a bit of time. It’s a skill you have to master. If the very idea of that is unthinkable to you, there are much less complicated places to get started: my program, The Confidence Code, is just one option if you’re looking for a place to explore these issues quickly and engagingly. It’s got all the information you need to succeed, perfectly distilled into one program. Once you start practicing these steps, making your presence known, and initiating your involvement, people will take notice. You deserve to be included—let’s start taking the steps that will help you get there!
If you’ve liked this post and are gaining some helpful information from these videos, I invite you to subscribe and share your comments below. What are your usual excuses for avoiding becoming the initiator? What could you do to become more engaging in group settings? What tips and tricks for social confidence have worked well for you? I don’t have all the answers, and I love to see you all engaging with one another and encouraging each other to move forward.
Until we speak again, may you have the courage to be who you are and to know on a deep level that you’re awesome.
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