How To Open Up To People When It’s Not Easy
By Sarah Fader
Updated September 13, 2018
Reviewer Rashonda Douthit , LCSW
Is it hard for you to open up to people? Do you ever wish you were better at making new friends? It's not unusual for some introverted, shy, or anxious people to have difficulty in social situations. Individuals on the Autism Spectrum can also struggle with communication and socialization.
Solving the problem of learning how to reach out to people can sometimes be as easy as trying a little harder to embrace your outgoing side. In other cases, a mental health professional may be needed to provide support and assistance.
The good news is, there are steps you can take to make opening up to people easier.
How To Open Up To People When It's Not Easy
- Work on Your Social Skills
Changing your habits, learning to talk to new people, and making friends can be difficult, especially if you have struggled in these areas in the past. It helps to take an honest look at yourself and acknowledge areas for self-improvement. Maybe you're so nervous in social situations that you talk to people with your shoulders hunched forward, arms crossed coldly, and barely make eye contact.
You could be an amazing, kind, funny, and compassionate person but your body language may not convey this. Being mindful of your eye contact, tone of voice, and posture are all ways to improve your social skills. With these improved skills, your interactions with new people won't feel so strained and you will likely have a much easier time making friends.
- Nurture Your Self-Confidence
In addition to working on your social skills, you might also work on your confidence. Sometimes, we get so caught up in comparing ourselves to other people that we forget what makes us special unique. Think about the things that you are good at, things you are passionate about, what makes you a good friend or makes you fun to be around. Don't be afraid to acknowledge what you bring to the table instead of your perception of why you aren't good enough. By allowing those positive thoughts to enter, you can start to connect with your authentic self and grow more confident.
- Seek Advice from a Counselor
If you have been struggling with social problems for a long time and working through it by yourself isn't working, help is available. Counseling is one option that gives you a place to work through your concerns in a safe and understanding environment.
A counselor can help you pinpoint where your interactions with other people are going wrong and offer suggestions to take to make things better. Online counseling services like BetterHelp even offer ongoing monthly support from a professional counsellor that is picked to suit your unique needs.
If you have been having a difficult time because it's hard for you to open up to people, there is hope. You can learn to be more comfortable in social situations and open up to people without anxiety or fear of being judged. Give yourself the time you need to work through any issues. In the end, it will be worth it. It only takes a few great relationships to bring joy and meaning into your life. Once you let your personality show, the right people will notice.
Are you ready to start this new chapter?