For people who are introverts i.e. socially shy, here is a quick recap of their daily struggles and a step by step process that I have gone through to come out of the self-constructed prison:
Quick recap of the social anxiety and blues
Firstly, we generally try to avoid every eye contact, so whenever we go out, we make it a point to always look towards the ground lest we find someone who knows us and gives us that ominous smile (that evil invitation to start a conversation). Secondly, we always keep our chat section in social networks like Facebook, etc “OFF”, so that no one can see when we are online. We are like those silent stalkers who visit each one of our friend’s profile but do not want to leave a trace of our visit. Thirdly, we have trained our body to fall sick before every social gathering to prevent ourselves from being dragged to that event. Fourthly, we are the perfect evil liars, because although it is rare that we call up so many people in a single day, but in a social gathering, we always seem to get many calls (thanks to the fake call activation in our phones), from office or friends which no matter at which hour it is, we can never ignore. And lastly, we somehow manage to learn the art of camouflaging (with the blinds and curtains) without being a chameleon, because even if unfortunately, we are dragged to a social gathering, we somehow manage to find out a corner or a terrace to vanish without a trace to come out only after all the guests have left or it is time for us to leave.
Realizing that we are missing major things
Although we might seem like we are running away from everyone, but we also sometimes introspect and from a very similar experience, I have found out later, that we introverts are missing out all the fun and that too, because we are the prisoners of a non-existing jail, of getting judged for everything. Those bugs which are always telling us that we are being judged are eating away a prime time of our life when we could have built memories. Therefore, I had decided to break free from the shackles and will share with you several ways that I had tried. Hope these help you too!!
The Step by Step Guide to Transformation
Overcoming Social awkwardness and becoming an active part of any gathering without running away:
Try connecting with those friends with whom you have lost contact:
As the headline goes, I found it as one of the easiest ways to start as these long-lost friends are the few people who will never judge you and will feel very happy if you connect with them. Being a person who has gone through this journey, I can vouch for this fact. These friends never understood, why you gradually stopped communicating with them. So, I will advice you to start with the closest friend you had in school with whom you have lost contact. Well, it might happen that the friend has lost interest in your friendship and may not respond with the same zeal as you. But do not get disheartened and try the next friend on you list. Over time, you might as well realize that it is not much difficult to speak without prior practice, before a mirror. Words will start to flow automatically and can also become like a torrent without your realization.
2. Try connecting with old relatives and former teachers:
The next step in your list for this exercise is connecting with relatives who are very old and some former primary and high school teachers. While it is unlikely that both people will remember you, but it is quite an experience, because, no matter who you are, if you are much younger to them and give them a little reference of your past encounter and the sweet memories you have of them, they will adore you more than you have ever imagined. I personally like the people in the 2nd category (former teachers) because not only do I get valuable life advice from them, but also because, they never judge people and in fact feel very gratified that after all these years, you have found out spare time to talk to them.
3. Try connecting with mutual friends through those friends who know about your problem:
Before deciding to break free, you might have threatened me with dire consequences, if I had even mentioned to you about trying out this experience. But I have found out that after going through the above mentioned 2 points, you might feel a little urge to know about that friend, about whom your closest acquaintance can’t stop discussing. So, without even realizing that there is a transformation in you, you would want to connect with those “mutual friends” and might as well add a name or two in your list of good friends. But it is advisable to approach them through those friends who know about your social awkwardness as they might help you choose the right person.
4. Try attending seminars alone, in this way you will slowly develop enough confidence to connect with strangers too:
Well you might or might not follow this step, but it is a very helpful way to connect with strangers but keep it till the end of that evening only, because even if they judge you, you won’t know about it later. This will help you get over the guilt of everything wrong, you thought you might have said and will pave the way for connecting with any random people in due time.
5. Lastly you will have enough confidence to connect with random people:
Well, it is quite unnecessary to mention that your previous exercise has already developed a confidence in you to connect with strangers and therefore you might as well find yourself speaking to random people quite easily and looking forward to meeting new people so that you might have a lot of memories to cherish later. You might as well develop one or two long term friendships as well.
Realizing the transformation through friends and the various advantages
Over time, you will realize that it was not that difficult to speak to any person whether known or unknown. You might as well realize that no one is as judgmental as we tend to think, and it is quite a jolly affair to know about someone’s life and their experiences and their insights of a particular incident.
PS: Do let me know if you had any help from this!!!