There is an art to feeling confident at social events and it involves giving rather than getting. Oh, my gosh, you are going to a party and you don’t know anyone! This is either a disaster ready to happen or a great opportunity. It is all in how you approach it. Do you want to tune-up your social skills and potentially make friends?
Well let’s do this! Introducing yourself without feeling awkward is an exercise and it is all about attitude. First, see this event as an opportunity to meet new people, possibly make friends, and get stronger at presenting yourself. Second, get clear on your intention. Is this about them liking you or you liking them and, in the process, strengthening your social and communication skills? What’s it going to be?
Having a clear intention sets the tone and ultimately determines your success. Third, create a game plan. How do you intend to go about this? Fourth, do it! Here is a story to clarify: Years ago, when I was entering the singles world, I loved to go singles dances. In the beginning I did not know anyone, so I set an intention of speaking to at least five new people at each event. “Hi, I’m Jean. Are you new here? How long have you been dancing? etcetera.” My effort was focused on making the other person feel special. That required curiosity, interest, a smile, and active listening. Nothing elaborate, right?
What I discovered was that it was easy to engage with people when you focused on their need, and most people were grateful and relieved that someone spoke to them. In fact, they were way more tied in knots than I was. (That is probably true of you too.)
It was a simple enough exercise to reach out my hand and introduce myself and I made a lot of friends. To frame it so that I would be at ease, I thought of it as giving friendship. The key word here is giving. The reason this was important is that many people want to GET attention and friendship without first giving it and that puts them at a decided disadvantage. Why? Because people tend to avoid a needy person. Hence, in social situations someone has to be the giver and that was me.
In truth, the giver has an incredible advantage because there is no neediness in giving. Plus, a person that cares about people and offers unconditional friendship is readily sought after. Therefore, after making my initial introduction I took an interest in the other person. I GAVE them interest. Do you know that everyone likes to feel important and speak about himself? Yes! So, help him out. Show interest.
The beautiful truth about letting someone else “shine” is that the attention is not on you. Choosing to make the social experience an exercise to share love, support and friendship shifts the attention goes to the other person. It is a gift because it gives them a chance to feel loved, cared for and wanted. When you consider meeting people as a “giving” action, it is fun. That doesn’t mean that everyone will respond to you, but the vast majority will, and they’ll love it, and the few who don’t have issues you don’t need to mess with. Try it; you’ll like it!
Jean Walters is a Personal Growth Consultant, Akashic Record Reader, Best Selling Author and Speaker. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org