Feeling anxious in such great networking opportunities sucks. No matter where you are and how important the situation you’re in, when anxiety kicks in, it can overcome you and leave you feeling overwhelmed.
That’s how you lose the chance to connect with people and enjoy truer friendships. After all, you can’t just stare down at your phone watching your favorite animated videos to ease your anxiety and avoid any awkward interactions forever.
While you wish you become less anxious, you can actually make more positive emotions from it.
Now, how about you use the anxious feelings to reveal your charisma?
Yes, it’s possible. That’s what this post is for.
Below are some handy ways you can try to turn those butterflies in your stomach into some of the most empowering attributes on a daily basis. So, you no longer have your lips get glued together and freeze in any important social events.
#1. Accept Your Anxiety and Fun Of It
Feeling anxious is humane, and many people experience it daily, after all. So, just because sometimes you caught it, it doesn’t make you the odd one. Since there’s nothing to be ashamed of, why don’t you just accept it and poke fun at it?
Accepting your anxiety and shyness and openly talking about it to other people is a great way to make you feel more outgoing and has a likable personality.
Here, you can own your awkwardness or your shyness to make some silly stories about it. Therefore, everyone can laugh at your self-deprecating jokes and get more closer to you.
#2. Listen Intently
It’s quite challenging to conquer the conversation if you’re shy and feeling anxious. Here, just actively listen to what other people are saying can save you.
If you’re not sure where to jump in, you can try to show some response by being expressive with your gestures. That can be your facial expressions or simply just nodding your head, etc. It visibly shows the other person that you’re listening and interested in what they’re saying.
While you’re listening to another person, you can try to have some grasps on what kind of topics you both would love to talk about.
Being fully present in any interaction can also help you to look less awkward and anxious, even if you don’t say any words.
#3. Ask Questions
If it’s hard for you to keep the conversation going and enthusiastically comment on everything the person said, you can always ask them questions.
It doesn’t only show that you’re listening carefully to them, but also show that you care about what they’re talking about and that’s why you come up with questions.
While you just don’t have anything on your mind to respond to the person’s story, asking them questions can actually be its own form of charisma that helps you create a relationship with the person you’re connecting with.
Although it’s not loud or obvious, throwing some questions is an excellent way to prove that you don’t have to force yourself to fit in a mold of being a flamboyant individual just to get people to like you.
#4. Repeating And Mirroring
Not everyone can be quick-witted when under pressure in social situations. Some of us need more seconds to respond when under social pressure.
In this kind of situation, repeating the actions of the other person, you’re interacting with can be so much help. Of course, you don’t have to agree with everything they say or do, but matching their physical mannerisms and energy level can increase your charm and likeability.
Whether it’s body gestures or verbal mirroring, practicing this strategy can help you buy some time to think about what you should say next.
Here are some points you should pay attention to repeating and mirroring:
- The simplest way is that you can repeat the few last words that other people say with enthusiasm
- Take notice of how the other person carries themselves and mirror the qualities that you find likable in them
- Don’t go overboard mimicking everything the other person does or you’ll annoy them
#5. Practice Effective Eye Contact
When you feel uncomfortable in any situation, you often place a barrier in front of yourself– such as crossing your arms or holding your phone. You make your shyness or anxiety look very obvious, so don’t be surprised if others feel uncomfortable around you too.
When your shyness or anxiety kicks in, you can still attempt to simply look at others’ eyes to signal to them that you’re engaged with them. Although not all of us find it easy to make eye-contact, we can’t deny that good eye contact can make you more friendly and welcoming.
It can be quite tricky, though. Too long or too much can be creepy, while too little can make you look like you’re not interested.
To make sure that you make eye contact without looking like a weirdo and making you feel less anxious, you can simply focus on their eyes’ color.
#6. Expanding the Jokes
If you’re anxious and shy, you still can make a great interaction with other people without having to make yourself the center of the stage. In fact, making the other person feel special and liked can make them even like you more.
In this case, elaborate the other person’s jokes can make them feel that they’re such a good joke teller. And that kind of feeling you give to them makes them like you.
This is an excellent way for you since you don’t have to start making a joke or telling a story first. You only have to go along and elaborate upon it.
Not only jokes, though, you can also elaborate on any ideas that the other person you interact with has suggested. That way, you can seamlessly get along with them and get closer to them without showing any anxiety or looking so shy.
Final Thoughts: You’ve Got This!
Your anxiety or shyness can actually make you look charming by giving you that pinch of innocence and vulnerability. If you manage it well, it’s not such a bad thing at all and might as well increase your charisma.
One thing you need to bear in mind here, though, simply being anxious and shy isn’t enough to increase your charisma. Still, you have to make efforts to engage and get along with other people.
Of course, it’s much easier than done. But, if you can make those strategies as habits, you’ll become more confident. And if your confidence level is boosted, your anxieties will start to fade away slowly.
Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order).