Prevent Social Anxiety – The Quick Draw
‘You can’t let yourself get stuck inside your own head Dude. As soon as you start scripting it, its too late. Stop worrying about what you’re going to say and just walk over and introduce yourself. That’s it! The rest will come, I promise.’ He then turned and walked over to a table. He smiled and said, ‘Hey, you guys look like fun, I’m Tony.’ The girl closest to him stuck out her hand and introduced herself. She asked him what he had been doing earlier in the night and, before I knew it, they were chatting. He was right, it was simple. He didn’t have anything scripted and he didn’t need to use a line. He trusted that being genuine was enough to begin a conversation.
The Quick Draw
Social Anxiety (your social fight or flight mechanism) takes a few seconds to engage (about 3). So, if you can make yourself walk over in less than 3 seconds you will most likely prevent yourself from getting nervous, anxious, sweaty and stressed.
It also means that you won’t switch over to survival brain mode (see blog on why it’s so hard to break the ice). And, being in creative brain mode, you will find the initial small talk much easier.
Obviously using the quick draw takes a leap of faith, which is a bit counter-intuitive. But trust me on this one, the only way you’ll ever know if it works is if you try it out for yourself. Trust that by quick-drawing you will keep your brain in creative mode, which will help the conversation to flow naturally.
Think of it this way – when you speak to friends, do you need to pre-plan your conversations? Of course not! With friends, your conversations are natural because you are relaxed. There are literally thousands of topics you can discuss. But, if you are stressed, they become harder to find.
Crazy fact – it doesn’t actually matter what you use to break the ice. Well know social psychologist Knapp spent his life studying these ‘early stage interactions’ and concluded that all you need to do is appear confident and people will want to speak with you. We cover this concept in detail in our article Mastering Small-Talk.
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