This picture is an open air market with lots of fabulous restaurants in Lisbon Portugal. Take note of the family style dining. If there is an open spot just sit down and enjoy. This is an excellent opportunity to strike up a conversation with whoever you are dining with.

This blog can help you to deal with social anxiety while you are traveling and in your everyday life as well.

 Do any of the following questions on Social Anxiety resonate with you? 

Do you feel awkward in social settings? Do you feel like you are standing off to one side always waiting for people to come talk to you and feeling left out? Do you never quite know what to say to people you just met? Don’t you just hate the pregnant pause when you ask a question and get a one-word answer?   

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this blog can help you. 

Everyone gets social anxiety sometime in their lives.

This blog is designed to help you with the anxiety of meeting and greeting new people. It will give you a couple of techniques to have you starting conversations with more confidence.  By nature, I am an extrovert and I can easily talk to people. I am genuinely interested in people, their lives and what they have to say. I always learn something new from anyone I meet. But even I get pangs of social anxiety every now and again, probably more than you’d think, it’s only natural. My mind is a never stopping, usually fun and curious place to be, however, I can get quite a bit of mind clutter about social settings. Especially social gatherings where I do not know most people well but I would like to get to know better. My mind chatter goes something like this, “Will people accept me? Will these folks like me? Will I leave feeling left out and deflated?”

I’m luckier than most people in a way, because I get the opportunity to test and stretch my social anxiety conversation starter comfort zone more often your average person. I get to do speaking engagements, lead or be a part of events where I am meeting and greeting new people all the time. Also, my travels bring me in contact with many new people as well.

When it comes down to it, my primary motivator for stepping outside that conversation starter comfort zone is that I am more afraid of missing a new and interesting story about someone, than I am about looking stupid, because I got no response (which is rare) from the other person I am attempting to talk to.

Because of this icebreaker technique, I give you in the video in this blog, I have had the pleasure of learning about airplane gliding, strong woman competitions, quantum physics, curling, LARPing, Furry events, Ice climbing, Waterfall chasing and photography, all facets of travel, religion, Native American folklore, animal rescues, animal healing, shamanism, hydrogeology, rocketry, rocks and minerals, dinosaurs, cooking tips, history, how medicine moves through the body, secret societies and not so secret societies and social clubs like the Ramblers from Gettysburg College that has an annual event (I think it’s the ONLY event they have) and dress up in period outfits that look a bit like something you’d see in a Sherlock Homes movie and tour Gettysburg. There are a bunch of other topics and endearing stories of good doings and volunteerism that warm the heart and restore the soul. The point is, you just never know where a conversation will take you and what interests and hobbies people have. These interests and conversations are just as varied and unique as each and every individual that you meet. For me, each new conversation is wonderous, and honestly, I view them all as a gift. That someone, a stranger (that is just a friend that I haven’t met yet) trusted me enough to give me an opportunity to include me in their world, and I almost always get to learn something cool in the process.     

Best tip ever for dealing with Social Anxiety

I put this little video together to talk about my personal favorite, most fantastic, fabulous, awesome, and marvelous, (I am sure, I could find a few more adjectives, but I suspect you get the picture, it’s a super duper good one) sure-fire conversation starter that has helped me generate lots of cool conversations that expose me to new things and activities. This conversation starter really keeps the conversation engaged, moving and active. Enjoy! 

 Additional Resources to help with Social Anxiety:

Here is an article, I found that has some good, easy to employ suggestions. http://eslspeaking.org/conversation-starters-for-adults/

Here is a link to the table topics cards, I spoke about in my video. (I wish I had the affiliate code for this Product)  http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/table-topics

In Conclusion:

  • Generating conversation is a skill and like anything other skill, you need to practice, even if it’s in front of a mirror to yourself.
  • The best things in life are just outside your comfort zone, make a concerted effort to start at least one conversation with someone you have never met everyday.  
  • Try to make the conversation about the other person and not about you. You already know everything about yourself!
  • Show a genuine interest about hearing the details of whatever your potential new friend has to say.
  • Above all, SMILE! A smile goes a long way to make the other person feel at ease and to know you are approachable and open. 

Your turn! Please comment below.

   What are some of your favorite conversation starters?

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Copywrite @ 2017 – Margaret Webster, Lessonsfromtheroadus.com, LFTRTRAVEL.com and Odyssey Junction LLC.

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Margaret Webster

Margaret Webster

What happens when an upbeat, sociable, single, empty nester in midlife, outdoor enthusiast, critter gal, science geek, history buff, treasure hunter with an addiction to brown signs and the wanderlust, embarks on a 4 month road trip in her Chevy pickup truck, loaded with a tent, kayak, bicycle, 5 changes of clothes, her laptop, and cell phone, by herself, that essentially turned into a fulltime lifestyle?

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