Saying no to invitations provides a temporary escape but is not the answer. Constantly avoiding social situations will spare you from worry, but you’ll miss out on the support and meaning that comes from having close relationships. Instead of shying away, consider doing something nice. Research published in the journal Motivation and Emotion found that acts of kindness can make socially anxious people less so. In the study, participants who actively and intentionally performed acts of kindness became less fearful and avoidant of social situations. Doing good deeds helped them override the fear of rejection and bolstered their social confidence.
These findings have application for you. RSVP to your next party invitation, and get busy performing small acts of kindness. Picking up a cup of coffee for a coworker, doing your roommate’s dishes, and donating to a charity are all examples. When you arrive at the cocktail party, lend your host a hand. Offer to replenish the platter of pigs in a blanket or put flowers in vases. Such impactful gestures can help you come out of your shell.
This story originally appeared in the April 2019 issue of Marie Claire.
MORE LIFE ADVICE
What I Wear to Work: Emily Tisch Sussman
The podcast host of 'She Pivots' embraces brights, patterns, and pieces from her past.
By Sara Holzman
Tia Is Launching Fertility—and Preparing for a Post-Roe America
As women's healthcare startup Tia was gearing up to debut fertility care and a new clinic, the Roe v. Wade leak prompted CEO Carolyn Witte to accelerate plans to offer medication abortions, marking the most defining moment yet for the company.
By Tanya Benedicto Klich
The Cannes Film Festival 2022: The Best Red Carpet Looks
Here's what everyone wore for the festival's 75th year.
By Sara Holzman
Senator Klobuchar: "Early Detection Saves Lives. It Saved Mine"
Senator and breast cancer survivor Amy Klobuchar is encouraging women not to put off preventative care any longer.
By Senator Amy Klobuchar
How Being a Plus-Size Nude Model Made Me Finally Love My Body
I'm plus size, but after I decided to pose nude for photos, I suddenly felt more body positive.
By Kelly Burch
I'm an Egg Donor. Why Was It So Difficult for Me to Tell People That?
Much like abortion, surrogacy, and IVF, becoming an egg donor was a reproductive choice that felt unfit for society’s standards of womanhood.
By Lauryn Chamberlain
The 20 Best Probiotics to Keep Your Gut in Check
Gut health = wealth.
By Julia Marzovilla
Simone Biles Is Out of the Team Final at the Tokyo Olympics
She withdrew from the event due to a medical issue, according to USA Gymnastics.
By Rachel Epstein
The Truth About Thigh Gaps
We're going to need you to stop right there.
By Kenny Thapoung
3 Women On What It’s Like Living With An “Invisible” Condition
Despite having no outward signs, they can be brutal on the body and the mind. Here’s how each woman deals with having illnesses others often don’t understand.
By Emily Shiffer
The High Price of Living With Chronic Pain
Three women open up about how their conditions impact their bodies—and their wallets.
By Alice Oglethorpe