Image by: Financial Times photos
By Charles Lewis
You have a head for numbers and/or a nose for business. You kill it at the computer, and are tight with spreadsheets and calculators. But the fact is you are terrible around people. You are very terrible with people.
That’s why you’ve always found solace in working at “that end” of the building.
Too bad part of your new job description also includes doing corporate mixers and conferences where you most definitely will be engaging in social interaction of some kind with other human beings.
Gasp. Choke. Fumble. You are simply not comfortable around other people, you admit this.
Relax – there are ways to get you through the next mandatory shindig without completely embarrassing yourself and leaving everyone with the impression that this is the first time that you have ever left the house.
Many people who are uncomfortable in social situations are like that because they are overcome by self-consciousness regarding the way other people will judge them. One of the big factors can be simpler concerns like “does my breath smell bad?”
An easy fix for this is to ALWAYS carry a little bottle of breath spray on your person and hit it no more than once an hour. And not in public because people will start to think that you suffer from halitosis (bad breath as a medical condition).
Another big driver of social anxiety is an overwhelming concern about having any foreign objects on the outside of your face or stuck in between your teeth.
How can one concentrate on a conversation and offer up their best thoughts in a clear and concise manner if you are constantly fixated on whether or not you are advertising the fact that you had spinach for lunch?
Start out your visit anywhere by using the restroom when you arrive and visually check everything off, spray your breath and enter the scene with confidence. If you leave any solids or liquids behind, double-check that fly to make sure it is not down and that there is no paper stuck to the bottom of your shoe.
It happens more often than you think. And for god-sakes, wash your hands too.
A full quality check in the bathroom mirror before you fully enter the scene is a nice little confidence booster even if you do not suffer from any social anxieties.