Overcoming Social Anxiety For Mamas
I have severe social anxiety.
It's been a problem for most of my life, but it got completely out of hand a few years ago when life got super duper stressful.
It got so bad a couple years back that it got hard to leave my house.
If I needed to take the trash out, I would peek out my windows to make sure none of my neighbors were outside so that I didn't have to make small talk.
I wouldn't go to the grocery store out of fear of running into someone I knew...and have to make small talk.
It was bad.
Moving to a new city where I don't know ANYONE has been SO GOOD for me!
At first it was really difficult!
I hated having to make small talk with strangers and attempt to make friends.
My inner socially anxious demon was really going nuts.
But after about a year or so, I started to get lonely and pretty desperate.
Believe it or not, this was really good for me.
It was my loneliness and my desperation for female mama companionship that drove me to JUMP out of my comfort zone.
Because there really is no other way to do it!
So I made a friend.
We started working out together.
Then she introduced me to some of her other friends and we started a mama work out group.
Then I started setting up play dates with some of the other mamas in the group.
Then one of the mamas in the group introduced me to a local parent group.
I started going to their activities and play dates and meeting new people.
If you, or someone you know struggles with severe social anxiety.
I freaking HEAR YOU!!!!
I hate small talk. Small talk is not my friend.
But because I have forced myself out of my comfort zone, I have found that I can do it!
I can make small talk! And I'm not all that bad at it anymore!
Small talk for me used to be more like
"Oh...the weather...you know..."
"Your hair color...is that natural?...I like it..."
But trust me. You get better at it the more that you put yourself out there in social situations.
I pinky promise.
Here are some good ways to make small talk:
Ask them where they are from
Ask them how old their kids are
Ask them how it was adjusting to 2, or 3, or 4 kids
These questions usually lead to a discussion that can go on for a little while
Then ask them about something that maybe you are struggling with- my kid is terrified of water, what have you done that has been successful with your kids? My kid loves gymnastics, but I would like to put her in something else too. What do your kids do? Did you ever have a kid that regressed on potty training? My child just started having accidents again and it's been such a pain!
You know, mama talk! Great conversations!
Other tips for getting out of your comfort zone and meeting new people:
Start working from home selling a product or a service that requires you to meet new people! If you hit it off with a client or another mama working in your same field, set up a play date!
If working is not your thing, then maybe pick up a hobby like photography, or essential oils, or vegan cooking, blogging, book club, etc. where you could meet others with similar interests.
Take your kids to the park at peek hours of the day, when you know other moms with kids the same ages will be there. And make small talk.
Join a local mama group. Search them out on facebook, or ask around, or start your own!
Set up play dates with people from different social circles so that you can expand your own- and tell these people to invite whoever they want! More expansion.
My dear, sweet, socially anxious friend...I get you. Believe me. I do.
It ain't easy!
But I encourage you to get out there and JUMP out of your comfort zone!
It is worth it!
And it's easier than you think!
Have any additional tips? Comment below!