6 Tricks To Overcome The Fear Of Talking To People : Communication Skills, Social Skills

Author – Preethi AnanthaNarasimhan

How to overcome fear of talking to people.

talking to people image, fear of talking to people, overcome fear of talking to people, communication skills, social skills
courtesy – Pixabay

People skills is an essential part of life! Be it in the professional circle or social circle. But like most of us know, it does not come naturally to all. Some are simply gifted and are amazing with people and others have to work towards it. You do need some effort and experience to get GREAT with talking people but seriously, you never need to be afraid of it!

And just so you know, you don’t have to be great at it, you just need to be able to do it. Like I said there’s no running away from people, they are everywhere. So yeah IF you’re really afraid of approaching new people, please don’t be, get over it! They’re just like you.

Here are some of the things that you really, really, really have to know to get over the fear of talking to new people: (and they are really true! Im not making these things up! promiseJ )

1) It’s no big deal!

So taking it one step at a time, first you need to get rid of the metal block about it and stop obsessing over it. The more you think about how bad you are at it, the more you’re going to feel sad about it and lose confidence in yourself.

So stop thinking that you’re not good with people or even that you’re afraid of approaching people. Just get rid of the thought! Deliberately. Whenever your mind wanders off to thinking about it, consciously make an effort to shrug it off.

Tell yourself it’s no big deal and you’re fine with it. Keep doing that and the thought of talking to new people will actually stop scaring you at some point.

2) What’s the worst that could happen?

If at all you screw up trying to talk to someone new, what’s the worst thing that could happen?? He/she will think you’re an idiot? NO! It’s what YOU think he/she will think about you! And even if they really do, who cares what others think of you? And you’ll never know what if they actually did!

So for all technical purposes, you should stop worrying about what they’re going to think about you. You being able to put your message across is more important than what impression you’re going to makeonastrangers mind.

3) Take it slow!

taking it slow, talking to new people, communication skills, snail image pixabay,
courtesy – Pixabay

And you can always take it slow. Think about the talking you’ll be doing. Move closer to the person. Make eye contact. Smile. Stand with the group for some time, get comfortable where you are. And just do not think of something to say and keep it in your head. Do share.

That’s your chance to break into the group. You don’t have to make a great impression. Don’t pressurise yourself. It’s no examination. They are just people. And you’re going to meet them again. Atleast you want to, isn’t that why you want to get over the fear? So you can make friends or build your professional network?

If its just a single person you’re talking to, and he’s shooting questions at you, take your time, think before you answer. Like I said, Get comfortable with him. Make eye contact. This is not a buzzer round that you have to answer him/her within 10 seconds! Be yourself. Finish what you want to say-at your own pace.

And think of asking something relevant to what they asked you back to them. You don’t have to,its just being polite and showing interest in them too as they did in you. Keep it casual. And as I said earlier, you want to meet them again don’t you? You can pick up your conversation next time, there’s loads of time toimpress, if at all you want to.No pressure!

4) If you’re afraid because you think you’re going to say incoherent things, rehearse!

It might sound a little juvenile, but it really helps. Who doesn’t get nervous? It’s just that people cope with it in different ways. So try rehearsing the entire thing that you would like to say to somebody, alone and if it helps, in front of a mirror. Prepare for the expected conversation.

The things that you want to ask them in advance if you cannot multitask and think about what to say about yourself and what to ask about them at the same time. That way you have one less thing to worry about when you’re talking- the content!Atleast most of it! And just try and be comfortable and be yourself.

5) Does the language intimidate you? Is it English you’re afraid of?? Expression and communication is all that matters!

Build up that confidence. Your English is fine! And if its not, improve! Its all a continuous process. You wont get better if you don’t use it. And as long as you’re confident and are able to express yourself, with a smile on your face, nobody cares. And trust me people are kinder and sweeter than you think they are.

Not everybody is so petty to judge you on your grammar and language skills. And if, unfortunately you encounter such jerks, know that they are in a shell and are mean people. You don’t want to really bother about what such petty people think about you. Remember, language is just a tool to express yourself. It can never be a judge to your confidence! So forget about it. People who care, will correct you if it’s necessary 🙂

6) Are you intimidated by people’s status and confidence? Or simply because you don’t know who that could be?

This is where it gets interesting. The beauty of meeting new people lies in the mystery about another person’s life doesn’t it? J Why be afraid of that mystery? Of that diversity?
All that you can see is what he/she is portraying himself or herself to be. And for you know, he/she is not even aware of the image they are creating for the world.

Just like you don’t know what they could think of you. And it is going to be this way and you’ll enjoy meeting people and talking to people the moment you realise talking to people is about them and not about you. For everybody. Although in the end, you’ll have met countless people and is all about you meeting them, each new meeting is about the new person and not about you. 🙂 Go ahead and open up! Its about you for them too! 🙂

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37 Responses to "6 Tricks To Overcome The Fear Of Talking To People : Communication Skills, Social Skills"

  1. Nice post Preethi, actually speaking this is the second post of yours which I am reading here. While I was reading the first one, I thought to share my opinion with that too, but, unfortunately did not get the chance to read the post completely. I suppose you should start writing on a regular basis 🙂

    Honestly fear of talking is one of the most common disease among people out here. Frankly speaking your tricks are no doubt okay, but to implement them in real life is really difficult.

    1. Thanks Alok for the feedback.
      I do agree it is a difficult thing to do, no new thing is easy. However, at some level, I think the notion of difficulty will reduce with the willingness to try and do something we never did. Like anything else, what I’m trying to say is we have to take it one step at a time. 🙂

    2. Thanks Alok . I guess most of the things we suggest on this site are not the easiest ones to do and probably that’s precisely why one should do it. These aspects take a very powerful role when implemented in real life. It has certainly worked for me 🙂

    1. Its just something I believe in Ravish, self hypnosis. As long as we think we cant do it, we never will be ready to try it for real. Like anything else we are afraid of, I just think one way of getting over it is to embrace it by trying it. We can only try if we start getting mentally prepared. Instead of obsessing over it, may be start believing it is not so difficult after all and one day we will have the courage to do it. Every time the thought crosses, may be tell yourself consciously that you’re not afraid- a lie at first- hoping to turn it into the truth one day..:) just something that works on psychological power i believe… 🙂

        1. Not really ravish. Eminem made a song on it – I’m not afraid !! I have read about positive affirmations in life and how they can influence. End of the day we just have to realize that its just a word and how we act on it matters than what we call it. It might change the way we look at it a bit. I feel saying that im not afraid has a stronger ring than saying brave. The impact varies and im sure eminem would agree to what I’m saying 😉

          1. May be you are right. I cannot claim that I know everything about the subject but as far my knowledge is concerned on Auto-suggestion & Law of Attraction, negative statements don’t work. The reason is all our acts tend to intensify the motivation for them. If fear is a motivation for act, the act intensifies that fear – whether or not the immediate relief we feel in removing ourselves from a threat stops us from seeing that we’ve made ourselves more afraid of it.

          2. In a way I agree to it ravish. I do appreciated affirmations and they can help sometimes. But sometimes we need to face the direct truth and find a way out of it. Actions are the only ones that can help us out. And whichever words we use to goad that action is really a choice 🙂

    2. Ravish, the base for this thought is that sometimes we need to consciously avoid a thought. We never said or promised things would be easy. But what we are looking at is the results. Theoretically I can acknowledge the question, but we need yo step out of the comfort zone to make things happen. And we all have a different way of doing that. We can take the horse to the water and even ask it to drink. If it asks how, I feel its something the horse has to figure out than being completely dependent

      1. Hehe….. Vinay, Getting rid of thought is not just a thing like drinking water. It’s like getting Nirvana. It’s the ultimate goal of yoga & meditation. Yes, it’s easy to say that attain Moksha and get rid of miseries. You are right that one has to figure it out oneself. And it’s also true that everyone knows this Universal truth but don’t know way to achieve it. Hence, needed a Master for guidance. I just asked for method to stop thinking. 🙂

          1. No, Nirvana and getting rid of thoughts are exactly the same thing. Well, you can say that getting rid of all fears & Nirvana are same thing because Nirvana is a state of fearlessness. 🙂

        1. Ravish I think you misunderstand nirvana. Yoga and meditation might be a way. Getting rid of negative thoughts is sometimes just a choice and it is as simple as that. Our minds are trained to react in a particular way and we just need to make some changes to it. That’s all. Nirvana is a completely different concept. If however you want to find a connection to that you can go through the laborious way or the simpler way :). Its a choice ravish. Just like everything else. We all are smart enough to know our problems and solutions, sometimes we just need to treat some factors as real basic ones

          1. Nirvana is a state of no-thought. You have to get rid of thoughts. I was referring to this: “Just get rid of the thought! Deliberately. Whenever your mind wanders off to thinking about it, consciously make an effort to shrug it off.”

            Yes, it is easy to convert negative thoughts to positive. Mind cannot hold two thoughts at a moment. So, you can think positive instead of negative. But getting rid of thoughts is not that much easy. You cannot simply shrug off negative thoughts.

            Well, there are ways to drop thoughts completely but they aren’t simple & easy.

          2. Ravish I think you’re considering nirvana in a completely different light here. It Just looks like you’re nitpicking the details and missing the bigger picture completely. Please go through the post as a whole and not a single statement. And getting rid of a thought need not necessarily mean Nirvana. It just means getting rid of the thought. You’re making me use the horse analogy again. You can replace it with a positive thought or you can think that there is no thought. You can drink water through a straw or just gulp it down your throat. What we care about is getting rid of the fear. Not necessarily nirvana. And fyi you can shrug off the negative thoughts, you can decide what to think about and it can be nothingness too. Isn’t that what Nirvana is about? Im afraid you’re just looking at a singular idea and try to prove it right. Honestly for us what matters is the issue at hand. I’d appreciate the same. Pls look at things beyond Nirvana. There are other possibilities too. Don’t be too stuck up on the details.

  2. Maniparna Sengupta Majumder · Edit

    Nice post, Preethi. Communicating with people is not a difficult thing if we can keep in mind certain points. Very well-discussed and, you’ve touched all the points. …. 🙂

  3. Very good and informative post.

    However I am completely zero in verbal communication.

    How did you research so deeply about these parameters?

    Did you take many days to find out the ways to tackle these tricky situations?

    Anyway for an introvert to overcome the problems of ‘breaking ice’ second time?

    First time is easy but second and third time is the hardest for an introvert!

    1. Thank you Nikhil. All these posts have come out as a part of our experience and the books and articles we have read and most importantly observing people who are doing it at the highest level.

      I understand the challenges of an entrepreneur. The post on how to speak better will be able to help you with this

      We didnt take too many days and yet we did take too many days to solve this issue, but it was all worth it to know what works and what doesn’t. The tricks are so simple that they can be implemented in a day, but it does take a bit of effort to maintain and remember it on a consistent basis

  4. Well… actually most of them are shy and difficult or uncomfortable talking to another gender, or date stuff… that apart social skills… well first lets all be loose and be happy with one self to connect to another. You are who you are, looks, dressing, speech.. that’s one part… your attitude, views another part… first have some attractive qualities people will get attracted to, maybe your sweet, you listen, your helpful, you won’t fight, your trust worthy and just mingle with the group in silence. Simple(:… I guess its being cool, let’s be less sensitive, there will be petty jerks around but don’t let them drown you about(: … also if you get nervous do something that relaxes you, perhapes break the ice talking about anything that interests people maybe pets, some news…some pleasant gossip… also indulge in group activities, that way you don’t need to talk to person but work along with them and you will get friendly. Say your in office – sit with the forks to have tea, have lunch with them, stand by them, one day you will be called upon… ask them neutral questions nothing that would embarass them… I am really social aloof person a lot(: … at schools I remember kids staying away from me, beating me up and I never made friends at all at school which is weird… but I guess it takes effort, at a young age people look at you different than as you grow up people are less picky and can afford to keep you associated as a lesser level friend because everyone matters in making your life a little better… I would definitely say for adults things are easier to connect with people, making friends is something very personal and induvial… chalo anyway… never feel out of place if someone does something cooler than you, always feel you are good the way you are, even if your good in nothing(:… some people want people who do nothing and are peaceful, and want someone reliable just for company, if you be it, you will have company somewhere where you go… keep observing though and develope these social skills(:…comes in handy all the time… and don’t be afraid of doing something that seems ah… crazy… a strange outing like marathon, volunteer, go around some community events, infact go to any festival weather you know the person that well or not, even party and observe and try to have fun, if you comfortable with yourself, crowd will take you in. I went in months back for my friends marriage I am not close to now, but was years ago because she was my roommate, she had some trouble recognizing me, even than she was joyful. I was happy in the crowd who I knew nothing about, enjoyed the food, the juices, and watched the marriage proceedings, and slept inbetween too as I felt sleepy, I had a great time!!… and no I did not feel odd a bit(:… try to develope this exploring urge and this need to have somebody with you all the time… then I think somewhere social skills will come in… ok anyway…perhapes I am blabbering, I am not so right person for any social discussion.

    1. True mate, I think more importantly it is the comfort level which we create for ourselves, the confidence we present ourselves with for the activities we do. No wonder it takes some effort cos social skills do not come that easy. Even for me, I had to stretch a bit to learn these skills and implement them in my life. It now feels simpler in hindsight but it sure did take a lot of effort. I think the greatest trait of a personality is flexibility and if we are able to reach that without much of a hassle, we are headed for a quality social life after all 🙂

  5. This is smartness I guess(: … but I think as society we are really hard on accepting people for what they are that’s why all the problems… For instance as a kid since I was not such a cool persona, there were judgements formed, like the creature is boring and stupid, lets stay away from the creature… this was just a example… I think it depends on how you grow socially when young… thats why parents should put the kid in some activity which helps…it could be sports, it could be cycling. story telling, anything…so they develope some confidence and face the world outside with more confidence, because trust me everyone can achieve a lot, if they do things accordingly…anyway… sometimes you learn it the hard way, I think as you face society or get social, you meet all sorts of people face them and adapt(:… did you know about the news a male tiger refused to mate with another female tiger because he was shy, as he never been with female tigers before and females scare him(:… if it applies to tiger the social anxiety how much it will apply to us, much more correct?… I wonder what happened to that tiger did he get over his female shyness?

    1. Quite possibly or quite possibly it is a way to connect with our fellow human beings. It is an interesting analogy with the tigers, a very interesting observation indeed. I hear you when you talk about your personal experience. In fact even I have been labelled shy and reserved for a large part of my life. I craved for attention and loved to involve with people. But it was so difficult cos I had never done it in my life and no matter what I did, I had a question at the back of my mind whether it was right or wrong. And it took a lot of time to get over that and finally come to peace with myself and decide that I had to make a shift in order to learn something totally new to me and that was something I am extremely proud of. The pride was in realising that it was no big a deal and we could learn new tricks and ideas and implement in our lives no matter how hard they sound at times. And the feeling it leaves us with is incredible 🙂

  6. I completely agree with you(:… I think it is more more to be a strong you than be in fake company… rather be a loner than in a pack you are not happy… but there will be people who you will connect with in life for sure(: … yes I can understand what you say completely… at first what was hard when actually done, becomes easy(: … I am so glad you did dentified (: goodday


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