| T-shirt – Target | Skirt – Target | Sandals – GX by Gwen Stefani |
I know your probably wondering what social anxiety has to do with today’s outfit post. This is going to be a long post but stick with me. I suffer from social anxiety. My social anxiety has caused me to miss out on great opportunities that have come my way via Curves and Confidence. When I started my blog I never wanted to be a popular well known blogger. I wanted to create a space that allowed me to interact with other people and maintain my privacy. Well…six years later I’ve realized that if I am going to do this then I need to stop holding back. People will never truly know what a great person I am if don’t put myself out there more.
My social anxiety was another reason why I struggled with my return to blogging. I told you guys that I was over it and I just wanted to be my regular non-blogging self again. However, I had some great friends and family pushing me to continue blogging. Curves and Confidence has allowed me to connect with individuals in a way that I never imagined. My blog has helped me grow as a woman. Y’all think that it’s about me inspiring you but you guys inspire me to push myself out of my comfort zone. I want to take Curves and Confidence beyond just existing on the internet. I think I am awesome but no one will ever know that if I am always introverting inside my apartment. So instead of coming up with excuses as to why I can’t share more of myself with others. I came up with a plan to network more and meet new people offline. Of course the thought of that scared the heck out of me but I wasn’t giving in to my fears.
Through this process I’ve realized that of course I had to share information that may be helpful to others that suffers from social anxiety.
1. Dress to kill – No lie, when I go out my goal is to always be the best dressed person in the room. Y’all already know I am #TeamOverDressed. Putting on a great outfit is like applying an extra layer of confidence. Feeling great about what I am wearing eases my anxiety and allows me to focus on interacting and socializing. If I am unhappy with my outfit I will use that as an excuse to make an early exit or avoid people the entire night.
2. Introduce yourself to the host – When I attend events alone I am always worried about being approachable and making small talk. If I walk into an event and I don’t see anyone I know I immediately look for the host. The host/hostess is always welcoming and wants to make you feel comfortable. They will also introduce you to other attendees and make sure everyone is interacting. This tip may not work if the event is very large and their isn’t a designated host.
3. Give someone a compliment – Women love to talk and we love to talk about ourselves. I find that a great way to start a conversation is to give another person a compliment. I know I can personally talk for several minutes about an outfit I am wearing. This is a great ice-breaker I use when I don’t know what to say when I meet someone for the first time.
4. Check the event hashtag – There have been several times that I’ve been at events and had no clue that someone I follow on IG or someone I’ve chatted with on twitter was is in attendance. Checking the event hashtag is a great way to bring social media relationships to real life and possibly make a new friend.
5. Bring a plus one – Last but not least bring a friend. I’ve been trying to use this as a last resort. I know that if I bring a friend with me I won’t interact when anyone else. Familiarity does ease my social anxiety but if I always bring a plus one I won’t ever step out of my comfort zone. Instead I’ve been holding myself accountable for meeting new people.
Bonus tip – remember that you are not the only person that may be nervous about attending an event alone. If you see someone looking just as lost as you or sitting by themselves invite them to come sit with you or walk over and introduce yourself. They could possibly be looking for a familiar face to connect with or be interested in making a new friend.
This ties into my outfit because I wore this to Our Family Dinner Miami. Our Family Dinner is all about bringing together young adults to build a community over dinner. This just one of the many events I’ve been to in the past several weeks. This particular event made me feel like I’ve made progress with my social anxiety. I attended this event with a plus one but I did a fantastic job of interacting with other attendees. I even stood up and briefly addressed the room at one point after dinner which was HUGE for me.
The hosts of Our FamilyDinner Miami were amazing! I meet some great individuals and had a fantastic time. If you’re interested in meeting new people in your community you should check out the organization.
Do you have any socializing/networking tips that would be helpful to me? The extra extra inspiration from you guys would be amazing.