It can be challenging to start socialising when you have low self-esteem. Feelings of self-doubt, not being good enough, fear of being rejected, judged, or embarrassed, or believing you don’t belong can all get in the way. Perhaps you don’t know where to begin and it may seem easier to isolate yourself.
Additionally, if you don’t have real friends, it can feel intimidating to get out there on your own. However, it’s important that you do socialise even when you have low self-esteem. You need to start socialising in order to meet people, make friends and build your self-esteem.
Tips on How to Start Socialising When You Have Low Self-Esteem
- Face your fears. It’s important to take action rather than avoiding interaction. The negative thoughts in your head will be talking you out of it, and it’s important to act regardless of them. Be prepared to tolerate some temporary discomfort as you step outside of your comfort zone. Realise that you must do this to grow.
- Put yourself in situations where there are people. You might want to practice being around people by turning up at a shopping centre or sitting in a coffee shop. For some people, that is a challenging first step. Just being around people might be particularly helpful if you have social anxiety or have been isolated for a while.
- Join a group. Look for community groups in your area that you can attend. To find them, you might try an Internet search, your local library, community centre, or local newspaper. There are mental health support groups, too, which could be suitable if you’re recovering from a mental illness.
- Try volunteering. Volunteering is an excellent way of practicing social interaction, developing your social skills and building confidence around people.
- Start with small steps. Set yourself small, achievable goals and keep on challenging yourself. For example, the first step might be turning up and the next might be starting a conversation. If you attend a regular group, you’ll get to know people over time, and that’s an opportunity to make friends. The more you practice, the more confident you’ll become.
- Let go of perfectionism. Forget about getting it right and, instead, think of every interaction as a learning opportunity. It’s okay to be anxious and it’s okay to be imperfect, particularly when you’re new to socialising. Perhaps you end up listening instead of talking, or you might not fit into a particular group. That’s okay. Give yourself permission to turn up and give it a go. If it doesn’t work, try something different and learn from every experience.
- Stop worrying about what others think. Just be yourself and remember that you’ll never please everyone.
- Get support. Even when you are feeling alone, there is help available, such as mental health help. It can be helpful to address the barriers that are getting in the way of your social interaction.
Social Interaction When You Have Low Self-Esteem
In this self-esteem video, I share some tips on social interaction when you have low self-esteem.