Social Awkwardness

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.

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Good morning! 😎

I am determined to get stuff done today! I have a huge To Do list written down, so as soon as I finish this post, I’m going to get cracking on it!

Breakfast

I started my day with Overnight Oats in a Jar. In the mix: oats, quinoa, chia seeds, soy milk, ground flaxseed meal, and a squirt of honey.

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I also drank an iced coffee with soy milk.

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I rule at being socially awkward. Really. Just ask my husband. He (playfully) teases me about it all of the time””mostly because he knows how I am when I feel comfortable and how weird I act when I’m not. Sometimes, it’s like I am two different people.

I’ve written about my social anxieties on CNC in the past, including almost passing out on my wedding day and dreading any sort of public speaking. Basically, being the center of attention is my worst nightmare, which is why I am so much cooler on my blog! 😉

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Anyway, a couple of readers recently email me about blogger meet-ups. They both said they were very shy, but would love to put themselves out there more in terms of meeting other bloggers. I’ve written about my shyness, so they wanted to know if I had any tips for being less awkward in these situations.

Meeting people, networking, and now public speaking are part of my job, so there’s no way around these things for me. The more I do it, the easier it gets. Here are a few things that help me:

  • Arrive to the event on time: I am much better meeting people one-on-one than in a big group, so I show up to the event as soon as it starts. This way, I can make a few connections right at the beginning. Plus, walking into a room full of people is an absolute nightmare for me.
  • Ask people about their blogs: Most people at these events are bloggers, so I ask them about their blog. Usually, they like talking about it, so the conversation flows from there!
  • Go with another blogger: If you know that another blogger is planning to attend, go together. Having a buddy by my side always makes these situations easier.
  • Suggest an activity for a first meet-up: Cocktail parties and dinners are probably the most stressful meet-ups for me because there is so much focus on conversation. Exercise, on the other hand, doesn’t require constant communication, which helps ease my anxiety about the situation. I’ve met a number of new blog buddies through running or attending Body Pump classes together.
  • Wear a funky piece of jewelry: I don’t always do this, but, in the past, it’s been a good way to get the conversation flowing. Some of my jewelry has a special story behind it, but plenty of it is from Target, which, of course, is always a great conversation starter!
  • Have a drink. If you don’t normally drink, don’t do this, but if a beer or glass of wine relaxes you, have one. I don’t recommend getting hammered, but if a little booze helps you open up and relax, do it.
  • Fake it until you make it. This is probably the best piece of advice I’ve received. If I smile and pretend that I feel confident, I can usually trick myself into thinking it.

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Question of the Day

Do you experience social anxiety when meeting new people? How do you deal?

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133 Comments

  1. I was really shy until my first job when I had to give at least one presentation per month to all these community/business/executive people and I was so freaked out. One of my bosses told me to smile, remember to breathe and know that NO one has any idea how nervous you are unless you tell them. Plus, everyone else is so worried about how they come across and seem in the situation that they aren’t paying attention to your issues or nervousness at all. Like you said, the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

  2. i do get really nervous when meeting new people. one of my best friends in college used to make a list of topics to talk about before she went on dates, so i started doing this in any situation where i might have a hard time getting conversations going! it might be kinda dorky, but if you think about it before-hand, you can usually find something to fill the awkward silences!

  3. “fake it til you make it” works a lot for me. When I’m feeling awkward, I usually smile a lot, to everyone and anyone.

    I think from the outside, it just seems like I’m much more approachable by others because of the constant smile…(while on the inside) I was actually nervous, lol!

    I met you at the Foodbuzz event last November and I have to be honest that at first you didn’t seem approachable but I figured it was my only chance to thank you in person for the oatmeal raisin bars you sent to me from the bake sale. Once I introduced myself, I’m glad I did because you are very nice and sweet 🙂

  4. I’m quite introverted, and that’s probably why I’m a writer 🙂 I wouldn’t say that I have social anxiety, but I more often than not do not like to be the center of attention — at all. Your one piece of advice that really resonated with me was “fake it until you make it.” I am ALL about that! In fact, most people (my friends included) consider me to be quite extroverted, because I “fake it” so well.

    I found teaching (college students, especially!) to be a wonderful way to become more confident about being the center of attention. I was initially terrified by the prospect of commanding a classroom full of smart, savvy, and not-that-much-younger-than-me students, but I quickly overcame it; I had to. I came to love teaching! It really forced me to go outside of my comfort zone, and learn a lot about my strengths and capabilities in the process.

  5. I definitely do. I am actually in the same situation now, I started a blog and I want to reach out to other bloggers and eventually go to events but I have major anxiety about going and not knowing anyone and not having anyone to talk too. When I am comfortable I can converse with ease but when I feel out of place or out of the loop….its a bad scene.

    Thanks for writing these tips Tina! I just need to fake it to believe it.

  6. I actually love meeting new people. Alcohol definitely helps but I think fake it til you make it is the best advice. Like someone else said, I have to work on keeping my mouth shut and not talking about myself a lot…:)

  7. I am very shy person, so meeting others bloggers freaks me out. I normally just sit there and let everyone else talk. But sometimes when i do talk, I tend to talk too much because I am nervous. ahhh I hope one day I can gain more confidence and just me myself. But I feel a lot of pressure sometimes to be who people what me to be or act like I think I should act, does that make sense?? But great tips!!! I think you do a great job at public speaking!

  8. I’m socially awkward too! My whole family is really! I still love meeting people and cultivating new relationships and that’s always worth it in the end.

  9. Fake it until you make it is actually really great advice. There was a study done that found when people faked being happy and confident, they actually felt that way.. I remember reading about it in one of my psyc classes.
    I also feel “socially awkward” at times, so I remember that and it really does wonders. I also try to say yes to things when I don’t normally want to do them (due to anticipated anxiety about feeling awkward!) and that really helps as well.

  10. I have severe social anxiety. I always run worse-case scenarios through my mind (tripping and falling, having a boog hanging out my nose, etc) The worst for me is walking into a room full of people by myself. If I’m meeting someone somewhere I always make them meet me in the parking lot or by the door.

  11. Thanks for the tips! I recently attended my first blogging event and I felt so awkward! But I agree that you have to fake it until you make it. I did this for the first hour and I felt more relaxed by the end of the night 🙂

  12. I’m shy around adults. I’m a teacher, so I’m good at speaking up with kids and talking in front of them. When I am put in a room with adults, well, you wouldn’t even know I was there.

    I actually had to read articles about how to break the ice with people because I was so shy. It really helped. “Talk about the weather. Talk about where you are.” Basic, common interest stuff, but for a weirdo like me, it helped.

  13. I’ve been dealing with social shyness and anxiety since I was a child. I’m a very quiet person, and usually keep to myself. And when I’m in a room full of people I sometimes don’t know how to act. lol. I still don’t know how to deal with all of this. I usually just go and get it over with. It usually turns out fine.

  14. I like this post! However, I would distinguish between social anxiety, shyness, and social awkwardness. I know several individuals who are not shy in the slightest, but are still completely awkward in social settings, ya know? I feel like you are in a better situation than those people who are almost certainly doomed to eternal social awkwardness, haha.

  15. I am super shy, so I get nervous meeting new people as well. And I also find big groups intimidating.

    Having a drink definitely helps but I also try to fake it till I make it 🙂 And I’m totally relieved if someone approaches me first! And I’m hoping I’ll get over my shyness eventually.

    Great post!

  16. I like going new places with people I know but going by myself forces me to meet new people instead of staying with the people I came with. As a future teacher I am fine in front of students and sometimes I have to get in the same mental confidence that I have in a classroom.

  17. I really enjoyed your post on social anxiety. I really didn’t think I had a problem being social until I went to college. I grew up in a small town with only one public high school so even if you didn’t know everyone you knew of them. After high school I worked at a summer camp and I made tons of friends! After that summer I moved 3 hours away to go to college and BAM! I felt like a social reject. My roommate and I didn’t get along, I didn’t make friends with any of the girls in my dorm and soon enough I was keeping my door shut and eating meals solo. It was an awful experience. It took some time and maturity but I am now a little more social. I prefer to stick to my small group of friends and making new friends is pretty difficult for me. Now I am a social worker and I teach kids social skills as part of my job. These are kids with real disorders and I feel like it’s my “little secret” that I actually have just as much anxiety about social situations as my clients sometimes! However, the strange thing is, I am okay giving speeches and am okay being around people I don’t know– I have more anxiety about socializing with people who know me.

  18. such great tips – and so true. I am super shy – usually when meeting new people. I do love meeting new people but i have an immense fear of people not liking me – thankfully, a glass of wine (or two) generally help in these situations 😉

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