Feeling overwhelmed in social situations isn't uncommon, but you can combat the stress by thinking about the five people closest to you and how they'd support you in this situation, whether you're meeting someone new, or speaking in front of a group.
Image from mather93.
Instead of getting anxious over what a new friend or colleague thinks of you, remember your five favourite people and their opinion of you. Thinking about their supportive vibes can be just the mental boost you need. Chelsea Fagan, writing at The Financial Diet, explains how to use this to calm you down:
Put simply, I have forced myself to come up with five fingers' worth of people whose opinion of me is absolutely essential, not just because I love them dearly, but because I respect and value their judgment.
....When I'm in panic mode about what this impressive colleague might think, or what that not-particularly-nice girl at brunch said about me, I run through these five people in my mind. They are family, friends, significant others, but each holds a key to feeling confident and assured in who and what I am. As long as they are happy with me, and see me as the constantly improving, evolving person I strive to be, that is what matters.
Pull back from the social situation that's stressing you out and remind yourself of the supportive, positive network you already have. Of course, you don't need to limit yourself to five people, but just thinking about who would make your list will help.
Why I Started "The One-Hand Rule" to Keep Me Sane & Confident [The Financial Diet]