{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

lora kathleen July 26, 2012 at 3:31 pm

I really love this post Marthe. I too feel very awkward when meeting new people. I am a private person and come off as really stand offish when I get the standard “What do you do?” questions… I just get sick of answering them.

I also like to be a little early, so I can scope out the situation without feeling like anyone is waiting on me. It also gives me a few minutes to collect my thoughts and prep myself!

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Marthe July 28, 2012 at 1:27 am

Thank you, Lora! I don’t think you’re the only one who dislike the standard questions! And they really do nothing to get the conversation started..

Being early is a great tip, as is being late. To be honest, I am sometimes late on purpose to avoid the situation I described above..

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Karen July 26, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Bless this post. I’m the kind of person that once I start talking to people I’m fine and outgoing and whatnot. But it’s the being alone in a crowded situation that gives me the sweats.
If I’m meeting up with someone and they’re late or I’m really early I usually start to second-guess myself. Time to work on that.

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Marthe July 28, 2012 at 1:27 am

Karen, me too! When the conversation is started, I feel so much better.

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Mandy July 26, 2012 at 7:07 pm

Love this post! I get really nervous in situations where I don’t know anyone. I start thinking crazy thoughts like, “No one here wants to talk to me. Gah, I’m such a loser”. It’s like I go straight back to being an awkward 15 year old. I’ve learned that I just have to force myself to start talking to someone. Once the conversation starts, I can focus on that instead of my crazy thoughts.

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Marthe July 28, 2012 at 1:29 am

Thank you, Mandy! You are not alone, I really recognize myself in what you descrive. Once the conversation is going, it is so much easier!

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kristin July 26, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Thank you so much for this post. It is so easy to think that you are all alone in that kind of thinking/feeling. It is so easy to think that you are some kind of freak for being that way. It helps to know I’m not alone.

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Marthe July 28, 2012 at 1:32 am

It is so true, it is so easy to think that you are alone in feeling this way – while everybody else is confident and happy. Luckily, and sadly, we all feel like this sometimes!

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Lauranne July 28, 2012 at 5:10 am

This came at the perfect time. Thank you so much for being vulnerable (brene brown for the win!) and posting this. It’s good to know that while I love people, I’m not alone in this. :)

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Melanie July 31, 2012 at 9:39 am

Marthe, thank you!!! This was exactly what I needed today! I am trying to reboot my life and needed this little nudge in the right direction. Have a beautiful day ^_^

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Elizabeth August 1, 2012 at 8:21 pm

I’ve definitely had a similar experience in my school cafeteria before (many times, actually)! A lot of these hints have helped me too!! Thanks for the post!

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Jen August 3, 2012 at 7:53 pm

I just stumbled upon this blog and this post couldn’t have rang more true for me. Throughout my childhood and up through high school, I was bubbly and outgoing. Somehow, afterwards, that changed. Even through my first year of college, I had no remote “shyness”. Somewhere along the line, I became so self-concious, wondering what everyone in the room might be thinking. It’s a strange feeling – especially when I know that I don’t scan the room and make judgements about the people – why would anyone else? I enjoy talking to strangers and sparking conversations but I have a hard time making relationships from those moments or even wanting to. I think these are great tips and I’m sure to be a regular reader!

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Sarah November 19, 2012 at 4:36 am

Wow, you are still in university? Such a talented, insightful writer and blogger. Very cool. Keep it up!

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samanta January 28, 2013 at 7:17 pm

You are a great writer. I loved every single word of yours because I am always in the same situation as you mentioned. I always think of what other people is thinking about me. How they are going to react on my actions and easily get nervous. And I end up mentally torturing myself for not doing things the way I want to do. Your article gave me a little courage to improve my situation wisely.

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Tiffany April 13, 2013 at 6:43 am

This is wonderful. I think most of us feel this way, but as you said, try to mask it by trying to be as cool as they can be. I can’t be cool to save my life (although my friend did once mention to me that I’m always cool in most situations. So weird cause I rarely feel that way!). But I always find meeting new people to be very difficult, even more so once you’re out of university like I am. When you get out and begin looking for work, there’s just not many ways to meet new people, unless you go out and I have a hard time finding events I’d like to go to. I’m sure they’re out there (I live in NYC after all) it’s just an overwhelming search that I get discouraged.

But these are very good tips for the next bar birthday party I attend! Maybe I’ll be more encouraged to talk to people I don’t know, rather than stay and speak to the people that I already now and have known for years, just to feel in my “safe zone.” I suppose being slightly uncomfortable when meeting new people is good in the sense that it does get you out of your comfort safe zone. Idk…your blog has me thinking quite a bit about a whole range of things, even myself more than I’m used too! I love it!

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Kristin B April 17, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Hey lovely!
I know this post is old(ish) now, but as I realised I hadn’t commented, I figured I should. I read this when you initially posted it, have had it bookmarked since, and come back to re-read every now and again. I still find it so helpful and encouraging as it touches on everything that I relate to so well, and your tips and suggestions have been provided a real sense of calm for me. I’ve started seeing a psychologist/therapist a few months ago for dealing with my social anxiety, and with her and your help here, I can see there is a way to put myself into this terrifying situations and learn not to be as terrified.
x

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Jenn September 20, 2013 at 3:25 am

Hi Marthe!! I love this post. I’ve been always labeled as the weird girl because I would always freeze up and not say very much when meeting new people. I am trying to toss out that label and force myself out of my shell. I’m starting to see that it isn’t that bad! Thank you much for this post. It gives me comfort knowing I’m not the only one who has a difficult time with meeting new people and making new friends!

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Princess February 21, 2014 at 6:23 am

When I notice that my heart is beating faster than normal or my throat is getting tight during a conversation, I take a break from talking and then mentally tell myself to breathe and stay calm. I proceed by really trying to focus on what I want to express rather than the thought that I’m getting nervous. Once I’m aware of my nervousness, I consciously tell myself to speak at a even-pace or to try and slow down my speaking- pace. I have the tendency to want to get over with it (the conversation) or get through the time it takes for me to respond to someone as quickly as possible. If I let myself rush to speak due to my nervousness, I panic.

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Jen April 12, 2015 at 4:11 am

I can totally relate even though I am now out of university and have been working for 5 years. I have worked in customers service and I now teach so I can talk to people to do my job, no problem. However, I still feel like I am incapable of making friends! The thought of striking upna friendly conversation with someone gives me such anxiety. You’re not alone!

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