Are you signed up for Feminine February yet? This free online book club will dive into the sexier side of self-love. We’ll work from a book list to discuss and explore themes of femininity, sensuality, sexuality, and womanhood in a safe, supportive, healing space. Head to wildcozytruth.com/bookclub to learn more. Sign ups are open until March 8!
Today’s essay speaks to overcoming social anxiety. I’ve uncovered the best mindset shift I’ve tried to date and I share my experience with all of you. Then, transformational healing coach Marta Drozdowska joins me to chat about anxiety, loneliness, and following your gut. Marta’s story is amazing. She overcame childhood trauma in her home country Poland, moved to England, found herself in a series of crappy jobs and unfulfilling relationships, then changed the course of her life after reading The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein.
Listen to this episode using the player below, or find it on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, iHeartRadio, YouTube, or wherever you get your podcasts!
Assume the Friendship
My mantra lately has been “Assume the friendship.” I don’t remember where I first heard this, I’m sure it was on someone’s podcast, but it struck me like lightning. Why hadn’t I thought of this before?
I tend to feel uncomfortable and awkward in new situations. Feeling out of place is a regular experience for me. I’m terrible at small talk, I never know what to do with my hands, and I am hyper-aware of every word that comes out of my mouth. This is why I prefer writing. I’ll revisit my fumbles later that night, usually around 3:00 am. Some will haunt me for years to come: Why did I say that?!
But lately, before entering unfamiliar territory, I’ve been psyching myself up with the phrase “Assume the friendship.” To me, this means that I already belong in that space. I remind myself at networking events, coffee dates, or social events that we’re all there for the same reason. There is no competition, no hierarchy to learn and follow. The people there want to know me and they already accept me. If they didn’t, none of us would have showed up. So we’re already on the same level. Let that sink in. I’ll give you some time. It only took me 31 years.
Next I pretend the other person has been my friend for ages. And guess what? It works. I won’t necessarily dive deep and discuss my darkest secrets, but a little bit of self-disclosure never hurt anyone. And I’ve discovered that people actually want to cut through the small talk to discuss real issues. In the last month, I’ve had conversations about the fear of aging, sexual assault, and vulnerability as an agent of change. These conversations were with people I had just met. We trudged through the awkward parts (“Hi, what do you do, where are you from, blah blah blah”) and found common ground.
Here’s the thing. People aren’t nearly as judgmental as we think they are. I’ve learned that most people want to connect on a deeper level. And they really don’t care what I say or how I look. They care most about how they feel. They want to feel seen and heard.
If I just show up with an open, friendly demeanor, other people will think positively of me. At the very least, they won’t think negatively of me. How’s that for groundbreaking? It seems simple, but for someone with social insecurities, this is a game-changing realization.
Next time you enter a new situation, tell yourself that you’re already friends with everyone there. It’s funny how we can trick the mind into believing whatever we need it to believe in the moment. That’s my way of saying that assuming the friendship totally works.