Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Overcome Social Anxiety with the 3-Second Rule

Shy people… pay attention. This idea could put your career on fast forward. If you are someone who is reluctant to meet and talk to new people you meet at networking events, you must stop hanging out on the sidelines and begin making small talk with the people you meet. Do you see yourself as awkward, self-conscious, insecure and bumbling? Okay! Now is the time to get in the game and play!

SocialAnxietyNETWhat is social anxiety? With no intention to over simplify it, social anxiety is basically the fear of interaction with other people that brings on self-consciousness, feelings of being negatively judged and evaluated, and, as a result, leads to avoidance. People who suffer from social anxiety disorders have a fear they will act in an embarrassing way or their anxiety will manifest outward in a fashion that will bring attention to them.

Learning to relax in social situations such as networking events is the key. Once you feel more calm socially, then thoughts like: “What do I say next?” disappear. It doesn’t matter how you feel or whether you’re blushing or sweating in a social situation, here is another key to overcoming social anxiety when networking: “Avoid the stress by making the decision to go up to the person you want to talk with within 3 seconds!” You must actually speak up.

Seek out social situations where your intention is to meet and talk with a few new people.

social-anxietycartoon“Remember, the more we avoid something, the more we send the message to the unconscious mind that: “This is dangerous, that is why I am avoiding it.” So your mind, trying to be helpful, builds up the fear (of what it is you’re avoiding) even more.” ~ Mark Tyrrell

Over at Live Your Legend, Scott Dinsmore gives 32 tips for attending large events. His 3-second rule is great if you have trouble approaching strangers:

When you see someone interesting to talk to, you have three seconds to walk up and say hello. Wait longer and you’ll either overthink it and screw it up or overthink it and never approach. Not sure what to say? It doesn’t matter. Anything is better than nothing, because it takes you from being a no-name in a sea of faces to being an actual person with a story (who had the courage to say hello). If it’s someone you’ve always wanted to meet, you’ll at least be able to open by thanking them for their work and how it’s impacted you.

Be sure to read, “32 Ways to Easily Befriend Strangers at Live Events (& how an introvert met 70 people in 12 hours)” @

Larry’s NOTE: A special “Thank you” to Scott Dimsmore for introducing me to “The 3-Second Rule.”

BONUS Article: Networking Relationships Begin With “Hello!”
Don’t be a Networking Wallflower
Networking for Introverts – Video
Working a Room If You’re SHY – No Pills Required


Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. Adapted from Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Networking Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to “Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James” and receive a fresh networking article or tip. Click on the “Email Subscription” link on the right under the “search” box. You can unsubscribe anytime!

comment Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. –

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.


Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page:
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at:
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at:
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at:
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at:
Visit Larry James on LinkedIn


1 Comment »

  1. […] Articles: Overcome Social Anxiety with the 3-Second Rule Don’t be a Networking Wallflower Do You Fade Into the Wall? Working a Room If You’re SHY – No […]

    Pingback by Networking for Introverts | Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James — Sunday, July 12, 2015 @ 8:32 am | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at