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Arlin Cuncic

Don't Worry, Have Fun

By August 14, 2011

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In looking for some good videos demonstrating how to practice effective social skills, I came across one by "charisma coach" Marcus Oakey. In the video, Marcus responds to a reader's question about how to overcome social anxiety when talking to people. Marcus offers the following tips:

  1. Don't think too far ahead and try to predict the conversation.

  2. Start the conversation with a random observation about the other person.

  3. Remember that you can have good memories of the conversation even if it goes badly.

  4. Have fun and be upbeat; you will worry less and others will respond to your positive mood.

Although Marcus is a little over-the-top in his behavior in the video, he does make a good point. You should be having fun and not worrying about saying the right thing. This is good advice for those with social anxiety, who can sometimes be perfectionistic when it comes to social interactions.

What happens though, if you don't have a clue where to start?

Some people with social anxiety disorder (SAD) suffer with social skills deficits in addition to social anxiety. Even if treatment eradicates the fear, they may still be unsure how to behave in social situations. It isn't enough to tell them to be positive and spontaneous.

Social skills effectiveness therapy involves education and modeling of appropriate behaviors, practice sessions, feedback, and homework assignments. For those who do not have access to this type of therapy, there are also numerous self-help guides available on the topic of social skills training.

Back to Marcus: His homework assignment for his readers was to start an upbeat random conversation. His advice? Smile, have positive energy, and good things will happen. What do you think; will you take the challenge?

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August 18, 2011 at 6:50 pm
(1) Mark W. says:

The advice is simple and solid, but I think a lot of people with social anxiety will hit a wall here. Without ample practice, it can be extremely hard, even if the fear is gone, to start conversations AND successfully get through them without much awkwardness. On the other hand, the “just do it and have fun” advice can help SA sufferers who are relaxed, in a positive state, and are making progress. Sometimes, a little push like that is all I really need to take some action.

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