Post by Nubia Mejia of Nubia's Nonsense
As bloggers, it is very important to attend social events. Your goals when attending these events should be perhaps covering the event and networking. I’d like to emphasize on networking. When you talk to a person via email or Twitter it’s not the same as putting a face to the name, a nice gesture, a smile, a good handshake. It’s essential to make a good impression and represent the brand you’ve worked so hard to create. Networking is key.
This leads me to the grand question: What do you do if you’re not a social person? How do you conquer social anxiety?
A lot of bloggers are extremely bold and outgoing and a lot of them are a bit… apprehensive? I don’t mean that to be a negative thing at all! It is absolutely fine, you are who you are. It’s easy to sit behind your computer, in your own personal safe place and share your thoughts with the world. It’s another completely different thing to be thrown in the middle of a jam packed room. I’ve heard people get a bit upset about this and comment things such as:
“Oh, _________ is much more different on their blog, they barely interacted with anyone tonight.”
While that may be true or not, It’s hard to make the transition from behind the screen to in the scene. I think it’s important to try to live up to the brand you’ve created but even more important to feel comfortable while you’re doing it.
5 tips to battle your social anxiety
- Think Positive: Mostly every one is there for the same reason you are. To interact and engage in conversations with new people therefore you’re not alone. You shouldn’t have to put any pressure or spotlight on yourself. Believe it or not, odds are some one in the room probably recognizes you and would love to have a chat. If you’re a new blogger, you’re goal will probably be breaking the ice.
- Compliment, Be friendly: Till this day, this is probably still my number one method. Complimenting a person is an extremely easy way to break the ice. Believe me, we’re fashion bloggers, I have a feeling you’re not going to have a hard time pinpointing something you admire. Be genuine of course. The conversation should probably go something like this: A: Hi. Can I just say I spotted your blouse out the corner of my eye and it is ravishing! B: Thanks so much. I appreciate it. A: I’m _________ by the way. Here’s my card, Do you happen to have your handy? B: Absolutely. After you get that over with and see the persons reaction, You’ve accomplished creating a comfort zone for yourself as well as a new acquaintance. #Success.
- Bring a friend: Unfortunately this isn’t possible all the time. However, you should do it when you have the chance. It’s a good way to practice and as cliche as it might sound “practice makes perfect”. Once you’ve gone around with a friend long enough you’ll feel more confident mingling on your own. Speaking of confidence…
- Be comfortable with your appearance: Make sure to leave you home feeling radiant. You will probably be photographed a lot. Do whatever it takes. Hair, Make-up, Wardrobe. I speak from experience. The last thing you want to worry about all night is if your hair is frizzy or if your shoes compliment your outfit. It will stay in the back of your mind and you’ll find it rather distracting. It might drag your mood as well. Plan your outfit ahead. You’ll feel more relaxed if you’re not rushing.
- Move Around: Staying planted in one spot is social suicide, relax. Grab a glass of wine (if age appropriate) and make sure you take in the atmosphere. Don’t forget why you went to the event to begin with. If you don’t find yourself talking to someone right away, go take photos. Observe groups around you and ALWAYS keep your ears open. You never know what you’ll hear.
If all else fails, remember that you’re a professional. If you’ve tried it all and just can’t seem to get into the groove, that’s fine. I think every one is entitled to an off day, it should be like a get out of jail free card. In this situation I would simply look for the person in charge, thank them for the invitation and give them your business card. This will establish your presence and your job is done.
Do you have any suggestions or methods that work for you? Do share.
image by Esra Dandin