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Old 15th February 2016, 23:14
hollowone hollowone is offline
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Daarset
Posts: 1,027
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Default Meeting new people of the opposite sex; helpful thoughts

Hello, thought I would share some things that have been helpful to focus on in situations where I meet new people.

1. Try not to focus too much on 'chatting-up'
Get rid of this idea that everything that comes out of your mouth has to be super original, whitty, well-crafted. The truth is things like that rarely are. If you've struggled with ways to initiate conversations in social settings, it's far better to focus on basic conversation skills, instead of fretting over whether what you say is impressive enough. You'll find your most natural interactions will happen when you're not 'trying' or over-analysing what to say.

2. Don't expect too much from yourself
Lots of people find talking to people they're attracted to particularly difficult. If you're not used to interacting with people you find attractive, it can be helful to acknowledge this fact and maybe to see interactions as 'practice'. It's important not to expect yourself to perform perfectly and also, not to pressure yourself to put on a grade A performance.

3. Focus on past situations where you've cared little about the outcome
Chances are, there have been situations in which you've cared little about the outcome, or cared les about what people think of you. Think about the self- you can be in situations where you feel entirely at ease. It's helpful to think of these situations and how you might behave in them.

3. Try not to focus on 'not being seen as quiet, shy, awkward, nervous'
When meeting new people, thoughts such as 'shyness isn't attractive' are not helpful to focus on. There's all sorts of unhelpful messages out there saying how bad it is to be seen as shy/quiet etc. and that it's to be avoided at all costs. This isn't true. You don't need that pressure. paradoxically, when you learn to accept the fact that you might be seen as shy, you feel less pressure and anxiety to not come accross as such, which makes it easier to function socially. The unhelpful mesages about beliefs about shyness etc. need challenging.

4. Focus on getting to know people rather than fretting over trying to impress them'
Focus on things such as 'what do I want to know about them', 'how might they be feeling', 'what might the be interested in', 'who might they know' etc. instead of thinking in terms of 'how can I impress them, what have I got to do 'right' to make them like me.

5. Try not to focus too much on the outcome
Chances are, you might be very concerned if you can make a person like you. Here's the paradox, the less you're concerned about whether someone will like you, the more likely they are and that you'll be able to put your best foot forward. It's important to view your interactions with the opposite sex as interaction for it's own sake, as practice, with no agenda. Instead, just focus on the fact that this is something that will get easier with time and practice. This is also something that will help you better pinpoint any difficulties you might experience socialy.

6. Try not to view interactions with members of the opposite sex as a 'test'
It's easy, especially if you're socially-inexperienced, or lacking social contact with members of the opposite sex in your social circle, to see every interaction as a test of you likeability and as a gauge to how well future interactions will go. There is a tendency to project the outcome into the future; to see interactions as a test. We may have a developed a belief about ourselves such as 'I can't talk to girls'/'I can't talk to blokes', but beware of getting into the trap of getting overly-focused on external validation to disprove it. Whilst it's good to have evidence that interactions with members of the opposite sex can go well for you, it's important not to make this the sole aim, but instead focus on your curiosity about the other person rather than how the interaction will pan out. This leads you to care more than you should do about how an interaction will pan out, causing you to care too much what they think, and hence how you should perform. This is another source of pressure you don't need.

Just thought I'd share this. I think I've seen now why so many people say they got into relationships when they 'weren't looking' and why people often say 'it'll happen when you least expect it'.
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Old 16th February 2016, 09:10
pheys pheys is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 753


Default Re: Meeting new people of the opposite sex; helpful thoughts

That's a good post.

Id like to add that they aren't any different from you.

They sweat in the sun, belch, fart, smell if they don't wash, have their own worries, fears and insecurities and lastly aren't thinking anything bad about you because you just met them
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Old 26th March 2016, 12:25
BarbM BarbM is offline
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Slovenia
Posts: 27
Default Re: Meeting new people of the opposite sex; helpful thoughts

Good post, points under 1. and 4. are the ones that helped me most in overcoming social anxiety. Open up, say whatever comes to your mind, like when you talk to a close family member or a good friend, and focus on the good in people.
People react to how you react, so if you are open and kind to them, they will give that back to you. If not, it's really their problem and you can look at it from a compassionate point of view; they are fighting their own battle inside, which has nothing to do with you.
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