Social Anxiety: How to Deal

by Brenda on June 26, 2010

Social anxiety is one of those little perks that often comes along with ADHD.

It’s understandable. When you consider that you have trouble paying attention to what others are saying, miss social cues, often interrupt or contribute things that don’t seem to follow the conversation, it’s no wonder that you might be uncomfortable in social situations.

Here are a few tips that help me get through social situations:

Don’t turn down invitations or coop yourself up in the house because of social anxiety; that will only make it worse. Instead, force yourself to go out and be with people.

Wear something that makes you feel good. I used to wear a couple of very expensive diamond rings I inherited from my aunt. They gave me confidence. I don’t need them so much anymore.

On the subject of what you wear, make sure that it’s not something you’ll have to fuss with or adjust all evening. And try to aim for appropriate - neither too dressy nor too casual.

If refreshments are offered, have some. I find that a drink in my hand (it doesn’t have to be alcohol) seems to help me relax. Maybe it’s because I have something to do with my hands.

Smile and talk to people. Take it slowly if you need to, but make the effort.

Realize that most people are not watching or judging you. They probably would like to get to know you better. (Several years ago, my husband got transferred to another state. By the time I arrived, several months later, he had a new circle of friends. It was intimidating to meet all of them, especially one of the wives who was younger and absolutely beautiful. After we got to know one another, though, we found that both of us were experiencing the same anxiety in the same situations. We are now good friends.)

Offer to help the hostess if you can. She will appreciate the help and you will have something to keep you a bit busy and still mingling with everyone.

Finally, don’t let any slip ups get you down. They are probably far bigger in your mind than in anyone else’s.

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