“Help! My mind ‘goes blank’ when I talk to people”
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Let’s COUNT the ways that some of you have been socially awkward when meeting new people:
- You walk up to 2 people talking. Stand there awkwardly while waiting for one of them to notice you. Wish for death
- You start telling a story to a group of people and — in the middle of it — realize the story sucks. Continue anyway
- You go to an event and instead of meeting people, pull out your phone and furiously check email
To my socially awkward IWT readers: I know the feeling. The stylish, charming Ramit Sethi you now know wasn’t always so smooth.
I would walk into meetings and make a point, then writhe in pain at the silence in the room, since nobody understood what point I was making. Once, on a phone call after I’d spent 2 minutes talking, one person paused and said, “So…what exactly do you want?” I had no reply.
The good news is, you can improve at having better conversations, more fun, and even become more attractive.
So today, I wanted to share a question from IWT reader Emily S.:
“How do you approach companies/or anything else when you don’t have any confidence? I seem to go mentally blank. And the words don’t come out at all. Backwards and not in order.”
I know the feeling. When I’m with friends, I have the BEST stories. But if I meet a group of people I don’t know, suddenly I have nothing to say. Most people just think “that’s how it goes,” but you can actually treat this as a skill and improve it.
Here — I just posted a video showing how to improve social skills. I compressed some of my best insights into this short video.
- My best strategy for overcoming anxiousness and having something to talk about (so you’ll have good conversation and people will think you’re interesting) (1:22)
- A system to come up with questions that will pull people into conversation with you (3:02)
- The skill you can practice that, once you master it, will make people believe you were “born” confident and eloquent (3:52)
- How to go from socially dysfunctional to competent and confident (4:13)
Watch the video, then respond to this question in the comments below:
What’s one thing you would you do right now if you had more confidence? Also, if you have any embarrassing stories about doing something socially awkward, share them.
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