How to Overcome Fear of Talking to New People

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In this world of email and text messages, you often don't have to actually talk to people---and you might have developed a fear of talking to new people. This is a sign of social anxiety that can be overcome. According to Help Guide, a trigger for social anxiety is meeting new people and making small talk. To help you overcome this anxiety, start by talking to people you see every. Become comfortable conversing with these individuals, and your social confidence will increase while your social anxiety lessens.

  • Take a mental tour of the individuals you see every day. This includes the people on the bus on your way to work, the person behind the counter at the coffee shop, the person you see at the gym each morning or others in the park with their kids.

  • Make eye contact with them, and simply greet them. Say your name, and ask them theirs. Always remember their names.

  • Ask one simple question. You already have something in common with them because you see them in the same place every day. "How long have you worked here?" "Where do you work?" "Have you used the new equipment yet?". Or use the old standby: "Do you like this weather?"

  • Greet them when you see them again by using their name and say, "Good to see you again." Build off the previous conversation, or let them respond to you remembering them. This small talk can turn a stranger into a new acquaintance.

  • Develop the skill to talk to strangers you see often, and you will become comfortable with small talk. If you open up to talk with them, you will find that you have increased your social confidence and overcome the fear of talking to new people.

  • Use your new confidence to talk to strangers in other situations such as parties, business meetings or your kid's school functions.

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  • Photo Credit women conversing image by Bionic Media from Fotolia.com
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