My Ten Mental Health Tools: Tool 10 — Talk to strangers

Whether you have social anxiety or not, talking to a stranger forces you out of your comfort zone. It is not an easy thing to talk to someone you’ve never met. What’s more is keeping the conversation flowing and many people with social anxiety fear the awkward pauses evident in these situations. I love putting myself in the line of rejection because I know I’ll learn from it. It helps reaffirm that my anxiety does not have a hold over me. I’ll do anything I fear because I know how important it is to do so. I remember where I once was as I let fear get the better of me.

Anxiety works in ultimatums. If you face a fear, you’re general anxiety level decreases and it is not just your anxiety response related to that specific fear. Proving you are not afraid by facing fears ripples into all aspects of life. Even though I am not afraid or intimidated to talk to new people, I still like to meet strangers because it’s a great way for me to practice my communication skills. Picking away at your fears helps break-down general anxiety disorders. Meeting new people is a great way to help sharpen that pick-axe.

Go out and talk to one person a day for seven days. Your confidence will rise. Finally, never forget the words of the great man, Dale Carnegie who told us all in his book ‘How to win friends and influence people’, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” Ask questions and make friends.

- Tommy