Overcoming anxiety at networking events
Those of you who follow me on Instagram will have seen that this week, I attended a networking event and was struck down with a bit of anxiety.
I felt very awkward starting a conversation with someone as everyone seemed to already be talking and be well immersed in the event.
I felt so uncomfortable standing on my own like a lemon that I ended up leaving early and hiding away at home doing work on my laptop where I felt comfortable again.
This kind of took me by surprise a little bit as I am usually so up for chatting and making conversation with people and don’t usually shy away from a room full of people. It made me wonder if and how often others are effected by this feeling and whether the wonderful community on Instagram would be able to offer me any advice on how to overcome it.
The main point I took away from my post on Instagram was that I AM NOT ALONE. So many people shared that they feel exactly the same a lot of the time, especially at networking events where you know you’ll need to start/have conversations with others.
I also got given so many useful tips and advice on how to try and overcome this anxiety and so I thought I would share them below:
A few people mentioned that turning up early makes them feel a lot more comfortable so that they can get to know their surroundings before it gets too busy. It also allows them to start a conversation with someone more easily as they may not already be engaged in a conversation with someone else and may be arriving and feeling just as awkward as you.
Voice your feelings
Another great piece of advice given by a few people was to voice how you’re feeling. If you are feeling anxious or nervous about the event, let the event organiser know! They may be able to show you around and introduce you to people and make the experience a little less daunting.
Another good point made was that voicing the fact that you feel awkward or that the situation you are in feels awkward could get a few laughs and be a good way to break the ice and start chatting with someone.
Know that a lot of people feel the same
I felt really silly after this had happened and wondered how everyone else there managed to carry themselves so confidently. But so many people admitted to feeling the same and highlighted the fact that even when someone looks like they have it together, they are probably struggling just as much as you.
We are all humans, and probably all feeling pretty similar and there’s no denying that networking events are a pretty daunting thing.
Let’s take this advice, try again, and know that if it doesn’t go so well, that’s okay!!
Have a good week lovely people!