Have you noticed by now?
I tend to give advice that’s…a bit different than the typical conversation information out there.
Because well, I want to tell you what actually works. Not what people assume works just because they’ve heard it from everyone else.
It’s a real problem that YOU need to watch out for.
Because there’s so much BAD advice out there. Misleading suggestions and ideas that actually make you more awkward and unnatural socially.
This is what happened to me.
I don’t want that for you.
So here are 5 of the top lies (about getting better socially) that can really hold you back.
Avoid believing these lies at all costs.
Lie #1: You Can INSTANTLY Get Better Socially
There’s one reason this lie has come about…
Marketers KNOW it creates more sales.
Because we’re an “instant gratification” society. We don’t want to wait or put in effort. We want stuff done for us.
So marketers claim you can instantly overcome shyness and get people liking you by buying their product.
You know the drill:
You know that isn’t true.
It’s a flat out lie.
YES there are techniques and mindset shifts that help you improve socially. But gaining confidence and getting better takes time. It takes effort.
YOU have to take the initiative and gradually start getting better.
It’s not your fault you’re where you are now. But it IS your responsibility to start the change in your life.
The courses and charisma solutions that actually work take into account the fact improving takes some time. It is NOT instant.
Lie #2: You SHOULD Be Able to Go Out There And “Just Be Yourself”
You’ve heard this one before right?
“All you need to do is get out there and be yourself. Just be confident.”
How the hell do you do that exactly?
What these gurus don’t understand is often we don’t KNOW how to just be ourselves.
THAT’s the problem.
If we did, we’d obviously be doing it. But their assumption we should be able to do it just makes us feel broken.
This kind of advice often comes from people who were never really shy or socially awkward. They’re dishing out advice from their “already confident” mindset. So they don’t understand the fear, awkwardness and uncertainty that constantly pop up for us.
I remember for the longest time feeling I just didn’t have a personality.
That I was so bland.
That I was just…there.
I didn’t know HOW to be myself because I’d hardly ever been myself. I’d always been what I thought would impress people and get them to like me.
If you can relate to that, what you first need to do is discover yourself.
THEN you can start to be yourself.
Lie #3: You Need to Rehearse What to Say In Advance
This advice might seem smart on the surface.
After all, if you constantly run out of stuff to say, why not plan things out before hand? That way, you’ll be prepared.
But there’s a couple of problems with this.
- Conversations are chaotic by their very nature. Even if you could plan out what to say to one or more types of people, what happens when you meet someone different? What happens if they don’t ask the questions you expect? What happens if another person unexpectedly joins the conversation? There are too many variables in conversations to effectively plan what to say. So in the end, this strategy will ALWAYS be hit or miss. But mostly miss.
- Planning what to say in advance makes you stiff and unnatural. If you’re reciting something you “scripted” in advance, it’s going to sound…well scripted. That doesn’t work in casual conversations. Do normal people script out what to say socially? No, they just talk spontaneously. They can do this because they lack the insecurities and limiting beliefs many shy and socially insecure people have. So the answer isn’t to script out what you say. The answer is to eliminate your social insecurities and limiting beliefs.
Lie #4: You Should Be Able to Go Talk to Strangers And Connect Like It’s Nothing
A lot of advice from conversation gurus goes something like this:
“Just get out there and talk to strangers. Just get out there and connect with people.”
Again, it’s like they’re assuming we aren’t doing it because we’re lazy or something.
They don’t understand this is the very problem we need help with. We don’t know how to just go talk to strangers or connect.
Similar is the advice to make friends by first befriending a popular person who already has a huge social circle.
So your advice is to just go out and do the hardest possible thing for me to do?
Yes you DO need to start being more social. But where advice like this fails is in the details.
It’s unrealistic to think you can flip a switch and suddenly go into a bar or on the street to confidently talk with strangers. It’s best to take baby steps and start getting more social in low-key settings like interest groups and such.
So don’t feel like you should just be able to talk to strangers.
It comes with time and the proper systematic approach.
Lie #5: You’ll Grow Out of It
This is tough lie to spot because it has a grain of truth to it.
See, one part of becoming more confident socially is gaining positive social experiences.
These positive experiences counteract the negative experiences of your past. They begin to prove your own worth to yourself.
As you grow older, it’s possible you’ll accumulate these experience here and there. Just by random chance.
Then again, you may not. You may continue to have the same negative, embarrassing experiences that force you further into your shell.
This happens far too often.
But even if it didn’t, do you want to wait until your best years are behind you to have the social confidence you desire?
Or would you rather take the initiative now and get the social life you want much sooner?
I’m thinking sooner would be better yes?
If so, then it’s imperative you take the right action steps now instead of waiting for the problem to fix itself.
And one of those “right” action steps IS to take action.
Start being a little more social than you’re comfortable with. Even if it’s only with friends and family members.
Taking baby steps will help ramp you up to being more social overall.
Plenty of advice out there on the internet and even in courses is useless.
The authors may have good intentions, but either their advice is too general OR it’s flat out wrong.
Most times, gurus dishing out advice ASSUME you’re already confident. That just doesn’t work for those of us dealing with shyness and social insecurity.
What works best for us is a gradual process of becoming more social and authentic over time.
But it’s definitely doable.
You CAN be what you want to be in life.
It just takes persistence.
Until next time,
P.S. – Keep your eyes peeled for the next installment of the newsletter! I have more great tips and advice coming your way. In fact, join me on Twitter and Facebook so you don’t miss out on any of the new shyness crushing projects I’m working on…