If social interactions stress you out, you might be interested in this Psychology Today piece offering some simple exercises to overcome shyness and social anxiety.
The author suggests some group improvisational exercises that are worth checking out. But for those who want something they can do on their own, there’s this one:
“…go to a mall at a busy time of day. Take off your watch. Ask twenty people for the time of day. Use three minutes between requests. You log the results of each encounter. You later look at your findings. Here is what you are likely to find. Most will give you the time of day. Some will walk past you as though you didn’t exist. A few may engage you in a brief and pleasant conversation.”
The idea is to approach enough people that it starts to feel natural.
Anyone else have ideas for “safe” ways to practice interacting with strangers?
Ritu Walia is an FG Analyst.