As far as your fear of people is concerned, how afraid are you to talking to people you don’t know?

I’ll bet it’s pretty high on your social fear and anxiety hierarchy, like it used to be for me.

On this past Saturday there was an outdoor beer festival for my favorite brewery ever and it’s here in my hometown, I’m proud to say.

Odell’s brewery makes some of the finest beer in the country, if not the world. I met a friend there, and I also have another friend that works there at the brewery.

I was super excited to drink a bit of beer, and hang out with them in the sun.

But I was even more excited to do something else, and that was to MEET NEW PEOPLE.

This is a far, far cry from how I used to be.

In the past I would have tried to time it just right so that my friends would be there FIRST, and so I wouldn’t have to be alone.

But that’s not how I am anymore.

In fact, I was so excited that I showed up early, by myself. In the past there’s no way I would have done this…if I was going out to meet a friend, I would always want to be late, to make sure they were there.

And if they weren’t I’d get even more nervous and leave, standing outside nervously, thinking that people would think I’m weird for being there all alone.

So I got in before the brewfest started, AND I walked right up to some of the staff, greeted them and chatted for a quick minute.  

Then I just walked right in like I belonged there. No one questioned me, and so I sat at a table hanging out in the sun for a while watching all the staff prepare for the people lining up at the entry tents.

I ended up seeing my buddy from a distance and called him on my phone to play a joke on him. He didn’t know I was coming in early (neither did I), so it was a nice surprise for him.

What I’m talking about here goes beyond just social anxiety and has to do with some more advanced social skills, most certainly. It’s about how you learn to hold your presence, open, warm, friendly and like you belong.

Not easy to learn at first especially when you have social anxiety, but once you do it. It’s not that you can always do this, but as people lined up outside of the event, I just walked in.

I have learned that there’s nothing wrong with walking right in, and even if I was turned away for some reason, I’d never take it personally now.

fear of people - fear of crowds - not a problem any more
Shot I Took at the Beer Fest

From the get go (before even having one beer), I talked to so many people, in line, staff people hanging out in the parking lot where the beerfest was.

It seems like a lifetime ago when SA dominated my life, but it wasn’t all that long ago that it had a grip on me that never seemed like it would let go.

Now, I’m not trying to brag at all.

I’m just trying to show you what’s possible for someone that’s recovered from social phobia that struggled with it for many years….and knows SA inside and out.

And luckily I did a coach training several years back, which helped GREATLY in the translation of all I learned in the Dissolve Social Anxiety (DSA) home recovery program.

BTW…if you are thinking “well he just drank a bunch and talked to people” it doesn’t work that way for me.  In the past the more I drank the worse my social anxiety would get.

It doesn’t always work this way for everyone, but too much drinking just would make me angry and depressed.

Did it take a lot of work to get over social anxiety?

Hell yes!

Not only that, but I learned that depending on what kind of approach you use, some have better fail-safes than others, and I was lucky to stumble upon the fail-safes in a mindfulness-based approach it’s like the social anxiety cure all.

Then I applied those fail-safes to social anxiety, so when it comes back, even in a normal fashion like most people have, I know how to pass right through it, like it was a ghost.

What I teach in Dissolve Social Anxiety helps you to learn how to cultivate this type of presence naturally.

And what a BS social anxiety story I used to have! It was no fun having a story where I doubted myself, feared people and struggled starting and then maintaining a conversation.

Nope, never again.

I am the first to admit how it’s hard to see the light when you’re in that dark socially phobic story, it’s more than possible to melt it away and create your own story of how you want to live your life, social anxiety free with the confidence you desire.

I told my friend about the DSA program I developed, and he started telling me he has SA now that he’s older!

It certainly surprised me when he said this. Though I can’t say I’m absolutely sure that he does, and we didn’t get into it.

Many people have some kind of SA at one time or another in their lives, so I’m suspicious of it when people say they have social anxiety or need the course.

I know how to question people to figure it out.

As always leave a comment below and let me know your current social anxiety story and what you’re struggling with.

I’m also considering building a more advanced social skills course, for those who have taken the DSA course already, and want to get into the intricacies of high level social skills.

But for that you would have had to have handled your SA first before doing stuff at this level.

    3 replies to "How to Overcome Fear of People and Crowds"

    • Em

      Big groups of people really scare me. Dances and big events like tournaments, just all the people around me. I’ve gotten better with SA in general, but big groups of people still scare me. I get really really overwhelmed and feel like I’m about to cry. The people scare me making me feel like I’m about to cry. Then, I shut down, I don’t have strength to do anymore. And I don’t want to be where I am anymore, even if I’m with my friends and wanted to be there in the first place. All the people around me scare me. And I just shut down, and try to hold back tears of nervousness and being scared. It’s really frustrating because I can’t enjoy myself :(

      • David Hamilton

        It all comes from negative thoughts within. Work on resolving that and you will eventually be free.

    • Hana

      You’re really lucky to get over SA. I’m struggling with talking to people. The problem is I don’t enjoy getting to know people and carrying on conversations. I feel its more like a task. This is weird cuz i wasnt like that before. I just fake it now therefore I dont feel much connection not even with friends. I also have the mindset that i don’t worth people’s attention. Its really frustrating. :(

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