Improving your social life means thinking short term. Start with baby steps. If socializing scares you, fills you with anxiety and dread, or otherwise gives you cold feet, don’t expect to change the problem overnight. Research shows that shy, introverted people often possess these qualities due to genetic and hereditary reasons, so don’t give yourself a hard time if you are naturally shy and withdrawn.
Others opt out of social situations because they were raised in an environment that discouraged socializing. For whatever the reason, if you are not inclined to socializing but you understand the rewards of doing so, you can change the situation if you want to. Studies show that people who socialize frequently enjoy strong immune systems. That makes them less inclined to become sick, or contract any disease or illness.
There are obvious career and personal relationship rewards that come from socialization. So if you want to become more of the social animal, begin close to home. Why not take a minute to talk to your mail carrier or the person who landscapes your yard? You are physically in your own backyard in both of these situations, so to speak.
That means you will experience less discomfort in trying to socialize with people that you see on a regular basis, but may not have much interaction with.
At work, volunteer to teach a class or lead some training in an area where you feel extremely comfortable. This way you are interacting with people that are not entirely strangers, and you are involved with processes and behaviors where you are capable and self-assured.
Think about exactly what you want from social interaction. This allows you to guide your efforts in the right direction. Make yourself approachable. Use open, inviting body language. Invite your closest and dearest friends, who you are comfortable with, over to your house. Ask each of them to bring a friend of theirs that you don’t know that well.
Always remember that your unrealized fear of the consequences of failure are in almost every situation blown out of proportion. Spending time imagining nightmare scenarios is a horrible waste of your mental and emotional energy.
Things never end up as bad as we imagine they will, so be yourself. It is easier to feel like socializing when you are comfortable in your own skin, and trying to be something or someone else adds unneeded pressure to your social commitments.
How To Deal with Social Situations That Tire You Out
Have you ever been in a social situation that sapped your physical strength? Even though the socializing you experienced required no physical exercise or exertion, when it was over, you felt beat up and worn down physically. It was as if you were lifting heavy weights for hours, or ran the Boston Marathon!
Many times after these types of situations, an individual will question whether they got enough sleep the night before, or if they are eating properly. Other times the physically worn down, tired feeling you get after certain social situations has to do with how you are emotionally and mentally hardwired. Either through the environment you grew up in, or through genetics, you are predisposed to handle social situations a certain way.
Extroverts vs Introverts
Extroverts are individuals that absolutely thrive in social settings. They can operate with high levels of natural energy after socializing for several hours, and even days and weeks in a row. Being around others, especially large groups where there is a lot of back-and-forth communication, fires up their energy stores and they operate optimally both mentally and physically.
Introverts, on the other hand, may feel “tired” or “drained” after even a short period of time in a social setting. Sometimes this is not true of all social commitments. They may look forward to particular social engagements, like meeting a friend for dinner or drinks after work.
However, in some social settings, that same introvert will lose focus in a short period of time, and actually feel their energy levels drop rapidly. This does not mean that an extrovert or introvert is the “right or wrong” personality type. It simply means that some settings are more conducive to your natural emotional and mental makeup than others.
Even introverts can quickly become tired and worn out when their skill level is surpassed or challenged. Everything is more mentally draining when it is harder for you, rather than if you can perform that task easily and with little effort. When your social skill and experience in some area is tested, this can create a worn down, tired physical feeling, and a lack of mental focus as well.
Asperger’s Syndrome and High Functioning Autism (HFA) are two clinically diagnosed conditions that can leave you feeling run down in social situations. It was discovered in the latter half of the 20th century that shyness and insecurity can also be hereditary. This means that if you feel easily tired both physically and mentally from a social situation, it could be due to your genetic makeup.
How to Fight That Tired, Drained, Worn Out Feeling
In almost all cases, drinking some beverage with caffeine can boost your energy levels. Try to avoid adding refined sugar, as an impending energy crash awaits just around the corner. If you haven’t eaten in a while, enjoy a snack with protein and healthy fats. Skip the carbs, or you could make the situation worse.
If you can, steer the conversation or interaction to an area where you are very comfortable. Introverts and extroverts both enjoy high levels of energy when they are operating in their comfort zones. Use these tips the next time you feel tired and physically beat from a social situation, and you may be able to revitalize and energize yourself effortlessly.