5 Ways to Overcome the Fear of Walking Into a Room Full of Strangers
In a New York Times survey on social anxiety, people were asked what they were most frightened of. Death came third! The top two fears were walking into a room full of strangers and speaking in public.
- •Rationalise your fearsWhy are you so frightened? Most fears of networking relate to a fear of rejection or childhood influences ("Don't talk to strangers!"). Are those fears really relevant to a networking event?
- •Remind yourself why you, and others, are thereIf it's an event designed to help people make new connections then it's imperative that you DO approach strangers
- •Set yourself achievable goalsAim to meet one new person at your first event, two at your second and so on. Gradually it will get easier.
- •Get there firstAfter all, who will the second person speak to?
- •Approach people standing on their ownThe chances are that they haven't gone to a networking event for solitude. In fact, they are suffering in the same way as you. Just don't leave them back on their own when your conversation ends.