HOW TO LET GO OF SOCIAL ANXIETY
I've always been a fiend for efficiency.
Among the many problems this has caused in my life, I want to talk about a big one (Social Anxiety).
The core of efficiency is to eliminate waste.
So, to eliminate wasting time at school, I would always work to avoid seeing people I know.
To be efficient, I had to eliminate wasting time on anything other than work.
THEN I REALIZED SOCIALIZING IS NEVER A WASTE.
To produce any sort of output, you need energy.
And, since you're a human, you get energy from connecting with other humans.
Talking with other people will always provide both of you with value, because...
We all need a sense of belonging.
Hiding from other people for the sake of 'efficiency' will deny you of this basic need.
Talking with other people also has a surprising benefit.
It's a magical lesson I learned in economics class.
And it explains why relationships are so valuable in the world we live in.
That lesson is...
TRADE BENEFITS EVERYONE.
Even if aliens came to earth, freely trading with them would help us and them.
Surely, they would be good at stuff we suck at, and vice versa.
Building relationships provides you and the aliens (your friends) with opportunities to teach each other.
If you want to guarantee a terrible life for yourself, hold this belief:
You don't have something to learn from everyone.
Because trade benefits everyone, you want to trade with everyone you can.
5 Ways to Delete Social Anxiety
1. Say hi to everyone.
If you know them, give both of you the sense of belonging you need, and connect when you see each other. You might even be surprised by learning something new.
2. Stay away from corners.
Sit near the front of the bus, in the middle of the library, at the bench near the busy walkway. Since you want to trade with everyone, give yourself opportunities to see people you know by exposing yourself to lots of foot traffic.
3. Think out loud.
If you love someone's shirt, think their food looks good, or recognize them, tell them! You'll both love the feeling of belonging this gives you.
If you want to receive lessons, give them first. Be hyper-aware of your friends' problems, listening for potential opportunities to help, and then make time to actually help. Experience the benefits of trade in action.
5. Place yourself in new environments.
Comfort is a great indicator that you're missing out on new trading opportunities. Putting yourself in physically different places is a great way to expose yourself to new friends. Join a community, go to a party where you don't know many people, or even a different spot in the library.
Understand the illusion that socially isolating yourself doesn't help anyone.
Even though it may feel comfortable and familiar.
Avoiding connecting with other people is the best way to guarantee more anxiety, not less.
Dive into social connection to break free of the shackles of social anxiety.
Don't give into the illusion.