1. Pretend anyone you talk to is your future best friend.
It’s a little mental trick to help you maintain maximum friendliness with minimum effort.
2. When you forget someone’s name, pull a friend into the convo and do the one-sided introduction.
“Hey, this is my friend Harry.” They’ll introduce themselves to each other, shake hands, and you’re safe.
3. When you meet someone for the first time, work their name three more times into the conversation.
“So, where are you from, Jane?” “How do you know the host, Jane?” NOT IN THAT ORDER. But it will help you remember their name.
BONUS TIP: according to Psychology 101, saying someone’s name after you’ve just met them makes them like you more.
4. Start a conversation with something SPECIFIC.
When you lead a conversation with “What’s new?” or “How’s it going?” you’re putting the onus on the other person to come up with something clever or interesting to say. And usually it just leads to boring conversation filler. Take into account the situation you’re in and start out with a comment about your surroundings or something interesting that happened recently.
5. Hold your drink with your left hand so your right hand isn’t all clammy and wet when you go in for the inevitable handshake.
6. Hold your drink at belly button level, not chest level.
Follow this body language tip to seem more approachable. Holding your drink at chest level gives off a subliminally offensive stance.
7. When meeting someone for the first time, ask them, “What do you like to do?” instead of “What do you do?”
You’ll avoid that awkwardness if the person you’re talking to happens to be unemployed, and you’ll immediately get right to a topic that the other person enjoys talking about.
8. To escape a boring conversation, say, “I’m going to get another drink. Want anything?”
Chances are, the other person will reply with, “NO, I’M GOOD,” and they’ll have moved on to another victim by the time you’re back.
For an extra touch of politeness, bring another person into the mix so that he or she isn’t standing all alone.
9. If you find yourself sweating nervously, go to the bathroom and run cold water on your wrists.
10. If you can’t hear someone at a bar or a concert because the music is too loud, push back that little flap of cartilage in your ear and lean in.
You’ll be able to hear them talking much better.
11. Avoid dreaded wine teeth with bread and sparkling water.
Take a little nom break with bread and sparkling water. Make a trip to the bathroom, run lip balm over your lips, and wipe it off.
Nothing worse than gray teeth and that weird purple crust that settles into the cracks of your lips.
12. Always carry a lighter, and learn how to open beers with it.
It’s always a good icebreaker to be able to offer someone a light or open their beer if an opener isn’t around.
13. Drink something bizarre.
If you’re at a house party, some bartending skills could come in handy. If you’re at a bar, having an odd but yummy-sounding signature drink always invites the question, “Whoa, what are you drinking??”
14. Watch British comedy panel shows on YouTube.
They’re funny and conversational, and you’ll pick up on witty comebacks and phrases. Try Would I Lie to You, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, or 8 Out of 10 Cats.
The key is to incorporate the witticisms, which will more or less be fairly obscure to others unless everyone you know is British. You don’t want to be that weird social leper character who quotes Monty Python constantly.
15. Pay attention to your audience when telling a story.
Are they enraptured? Ham it up — punctuate with dramatic pauses and hand gestures.
Are they looking around at other people, as if attempting a polite getaway? WRAP IT UP. You don’t want to become known as The Bore.
16. Learn from your alcohol experiences.
Next time you get all tipsy and charming, make a mental note of it. How are you acting differently than you normally would? Those are the things you need to work on while sober.
And also: Pick your battles. The more you drink, the more tolerance you’ll build up. So just drink in situations where you need that social lubricant, and keep it to three drinks or less.
MY ANXIETY STRUGGLES + TIPS TO CALM YOURSELF DOWN
Yesterday was just one of those days. I wasn’t feeling too great, despite my attempt to spread motivation on a Monday, and little things kept getting to me. As a person with extremely high anxiety, these days happen on a regular basis. I’ve spent a long time trying to figure out the best ways to handle anxiety and panic. As a freshman in college, I took advantage of the free 10 counseling sessions my University offered. I also eliminated the anxiety of having roommates by moving into a studio apartment. It’s a daily journey for me, and I notice myself sometimes moving forward, but sometimes moving backwards.
Recently, my blog has been somewhat of a sour patch kid – first their sour, then they’re sweet type of thing. I have those ongoing moments of motivation and excitement about blogging, and then I get this crippling anxiety that everyone thinks my blog is bland or boring and I must shut it down immediately *cue the dramatic music*. It’s a weird thing, because I personally love my blog and what I am doing with it, but the insecurity in me cant help but wonder – do others enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it?
Then there’s the whole “I’m about to graduate college and become a real adult even though I don’t know how to do taxes or grocery shop properly”. I feel like I wont be completely anxious free about this until I’ve completed my Praxis II exams, graduated, and found a stable job. I’ve got to take a leap into the unknown in a few months, is there really enough time to find a job before then? What if no one wants to hire a new teacher? What if I’m not as qualified as I think I am? What if I actually HATE being a teacher? My plan was so set in stone growing up, but now I’m not sure the direction I want to take – and that really terrifies me. Also, all money and bill anxiety falls into this category. No income means no paying of bills. Bleh.
Questions like these swirl around my little brain constantly on days like yesterday. I find myself glued to my bed drifting off into very bad thoughts – “I feel bad about myself and what I am doing with my life” could sum up the thought process. Other small anxieties stem from this major thing, and it can seriously take a toll on your day.
Yesterday it took me a few hours to get out of the anxious hole I just kept digging for myself. Sometimes it takes longer, sometimes shorter – there are tons of environmental factors that dictate my anxiety levels. Despite my more panicky days, I feel like I have a solid grasp on how to combat anxiety & how to calm myself down; I want to share them with anyone who might need them.
1// Go for a walk outside: This is my go-to activity to get rid of mild anxiety. Being outside gives me a breath of fresh air and allows me to be alone. It also provides a good distraction, because I’m always wearing headphones when I walk.
2// Call someone: I call my dad when things start to get out of hand. If I find myself at the point where I can’t control the anxiety and panic on my own, I call him. All of this advice (& more) comes from him. I’m usually the kid who questions authority, but not when it comes to this. My dad’s advice about anxiety 100% works all the time.
3// Organize: A lot of my anxiety comes from lack of control over a situation (or the idea that I have no control over my life). An immediate relaxer is making a plan – Depending on what is making me anxious, I’ll plan out the rest of my day/week, or I’ll start cleaning and organizing my apartment. Just doing something that makes my area clearer helps calm my nerves and relax my mind.
4// Write: I chose to start this article because I was anxious, and as I’m finishing up the last touches, I feel much better. Writing is a soothing outlet for me, and allows my anxieties to flow out of my brain and onto paper. If you aren’t a big writer, try reading or creating some art.
5// Be around people you love: This is a difficult one for me because when I feel anxious I crave being alone. But sometimes, it’s other people that can help you relax. My partner is always there for me if needed, and after almost a year of being together, I’m getting comfortable discussing my anxieties with them. Plus, Jess makes me laugh all the time and that’s an automatic pick-me-up.
These are the tips that work for me, and I hope that they help you. Let me know in the comments if you have any tips on battling with anxiety & I’ll add them to the list. What do you worry about the most? What helps ease your mind?