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How to overcome social anxiety

Ramit Sethi · February 9th, 2015

There are 2 problems with socially awkward people

  • They’re socially awkward
  • They don’t know they’re socially awkward

The good news is social skills are a SKILL — something you can improve. And you can overcome social anxiety.

I know, because I remember being awkward in social and professional situations.

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This was before I’d learned how to walk into a room and not want to run away and hide. I wanted to feel comfortable like the people who seemed to do it effortlessly. Fast forward a few years — this is me bantering with Meredith Vieira on the Today Show, or giving talks to thousands of people.

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The bad news is I was socially awkward. The good news is, I KNEW I was.

I knew this because I saw the results in the scrunched up faces of coworkers, colleagues, and executives I was trying to impress. I thought “Just get good, then they can’t ignore you,” but there was a huge problem:

That’s not true!

People notice your social skills. In fact, the older you get, the MORE your social skills matter. Like it or not, your technical skills matter relatively less to your social skills. They are crucial.

For me, I would say completely the wrong thing at the wrong time and then cringe while everyone around me would stare at me silently. And then later was even worse — I would beat myself up about what I said and be terrified for the next time. This went on for years.

How many of us have experienced one (or more) of these scenarios firsthand?

  • Going to an event filled with interesting people, then staying in the corner and checking your email for 20 minutes
  • Walking up to 2 people talking, standing there awkwardly and waiting for them to welcome you in the conversation. When they keep talking, you stand there…waiting…and finally turn around and leave
  • When starting to talk in a meeting, you notice people making eye contact, as if to say, “Oh no, here he goes again” (this is what happens when you get a reputation as a rambler!)

Ugh. I’ve been there. MOST of us have.

What can you do?

There are tons of books, courses, and articles about how to overcome social anxiety. “How to be confident at work!” “How to stop being shy on dates!”, “How to make everybody at a party love you!” The list goes on and on. The #1 piece of advice in all these materials is: “Just be yourself!”

VOMIT.

After studying, testing, and improving for years, I identified a few simple beliefs holding me back… and some key insights that completely changed how I talked to people I already knew and people I just met.

Point is, I was able to slowly and painfully overcome social anxiety — and now, I’ve been on national TV a bunch of times.

Yet I still remember those awkward situations where I would just say the wrong thing at the wrong time. Or, just not say anything at all.

Basically, I could be the best at (whatever), but if I couldn’t connect on a social level, I was being dismissed before I even got to know the other person.

If this resonates with you, I want to share with you a few of my best tips on how to avoid awkward moments in public and finally be the person who lights up the room.

These videos are normally only accessible through my premium course, How To Talk To Anybody, and they have never been shared publicly before — until now.

Together, we’re going to take the first steps to overcoming social anxiety.

“How do I stop being so shy?”

It’s NATURAL to feel shy in some circumstances. For example, if a girl introduced me to her parents and entire family on the very first date, I’m going to be pretty damn quiet.

To help you stop being shy, I created a 5-minute video for you.

In this video, I’ll show you:

  • My best strategy for overcoming anxiousness and having something to talk about (stop panicking over uncomfortable silences and awkward conversations today) (1:22)
  • A system to come up with questions to pull people into conversation with you (3:02)
  • The skill you can practice that once you master, will make people believe you were “born” confident and eloquent (3:52)
  • How to go from socially dysfunctional to competent and confident (4:13)

Click below to watch the video.

Click above to find out how you can develop confidence.

 

“I keep running out of things to say”

When we’re struggling to think of what to say, it’s easy to clam up and stand there awkwardly — looking around, counting every second going by and hoping to god the other person says something soon.

After this becomes a recurring issue, we might look around for solutions — books on Amazon, search the Internet for ideas, but after a Google search, we only find articles with wacky conversation starters like this…

miscconversationstartersIt’s amazing/depressing people get paid to write lists like this…

 

Could you ever imagine meeting someone for the first time and asking them, “Have you ever been so happy you cried?” You’d be looked at as a total psycho.

I want to show you how you can keep conversations going — WITHOUT asking weird questions that make people run away scared.

Watch the video below to find out how you improve your social skills today in under 30 minutes.

More specifically…

  • Watch as I analyze my latest national TV appearance, beat-by-beat (1:28)
  • The social skills mistakes I used to make (4:07)
  • How do you start a conversation with a stranger? (5:44)
  • How do you keep the conversation going? (8:20)
  • How do you end a conversation politely? (13:47)
  • Your Story Toolbox: How can make yourself memorable? (16:57)
  • How do you make small talk? (20:50)

 

Click above to see how you can improve your social skills in under 30 minutes.

 

“I never get invited to things”

A few years ago, I thought I was in a great spot. My business was growing, I had just moved to NYC. But if there’s one thing I remember about those first couple of years — I remember the Friday nights.

See, I knew some people when I moved here, and we’d go out sometimes. But I remember some Fridays when I wanted to go out…but my phone didn’t ring. When I texted friends, they were all busy. I wanted to go out…but didn’t know enough people to hang out with.

I checked my phone at 5pm. No texts (“Maybe people are going out later”). 7pm: Nothing. By 9pm, I sighed and fired up Netflix. Sometimes, I went to sleep by 10pm on a Friday — nights when I wanted to go out. It took me 2 years to really get comfortable with a group of friends.

After working hard all week, we want some way to unwind. It doesn’t have to be partying — could be watching a new movie with someone, or checking out an art exhibit with a few friends.

The WORST feeling when we want to do something is sitting alone, bored out of our minds.

I want to help so you don’t have to go through the pain of spending Friday nights alone, wishing you had something to do, like I did.

In the 8-minute video below, you’ll see my 2-step process for getting more invites to events (and spending less Fridays alone).

 

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Bonus: How to prepare for group meetups in 5 minutes

Group conversations can be so awkward. We’ve all been out with a friend as they see someone we don’t know and start a conversation (as we sit on the sidelines).

It’s always uncomfortable…we wonder what the hell to do with ourselves as they talk.

It’s a struggle a lot of us have — there’s even a Facebook group about it (with 2,000+ likes…)

akwardlystandingthereWe feel you, Homer.

 

Next time you’re in a group conversation, I want to show you exactly what you need to do to succeed.

I’ve created quick 5-step checklist that’ll help prepare you to light up any room you enter.

It only takes 5 minutes to review before meeting up, and once you do, you’ll have a proven way to join group conversations without feeling intimidated.

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