Saturday, 19 December 2009

Dealing With Confrontation And Social Anxiety

If you experience social anxiety and have to deal with situations of confrontation then you will find that these circumstances go to the heart of your anxieties. You may find yourself struggling to find the right words to say, stuttering your way through the encounter and your throat closing up as you struggle to speak. Perhaps you find yourself avoiding situations that might turn into a disagreement or confrontation.

The best way to overcome this is through practice. This will feel strange at first, but you should persevere if you want to succeed. Start with friends or family and state something that you know will be controversial. Before you start, prepare yourself by vowing that you will not back down, come what may. Make sure that you maintain eye contact. You should recognize that for most people it is not painful and threatening like it is for you. In fact, some people thrive on it. Say to yourself, "It's okay with them if I disagree. They may seem irritated, but that's just how people communicate, it doesn't mean that they don't like me or wish me harm. It's perfectly natural for me to hold to one opinion, while they hold to another". Once you have done this, you progress to acquaintances or strangers.

The next step is to start developing negotiation skills. A starting point for this is to start with a BATNA (Best Alternative to Negotiated Agreement). In other words, you should decide before you start what alternative you will accept. A straightforward example of this is in relation to negotiating over the price of something. The important thing is to develop your position before you start your encounter.

Find out more about dealing with confrontation and social anxiety.

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