Social anxiety isn’t something that’s just a myth, guys. Sure, we all have moments when we walk into a room and feel a bit shy or have something else on our minds that prohibit us from mingling with people, but, when that feeling consumes you more often than not, that’s when it might be time to get some help.

The problem is, many guys don’t even want to admit that they have social anxiety, with society often teaching us that men are supposed to be the dominant beings who can work a room and have no fear. That’s not always the case, though, and it’s completely OK to be opposite. In fact, it’s become more normal for guys to be more reserved and shy these days; for whatever reason.

So, how can one combat social anxiety and become the best version of themselves? We have some tips that’ll help you go from alone in the corner to looking everyone you meet in the eyes and feeling confident about yourself.

Be honest with yourself

Like everything in life, you’ve got choices, and being true/honest with yourself will be at the top of the list. What do you want from changing yourself? How will you stick to a plan? Why do you want to make these changes? Once you know the problem and have a goal in mind that you’re working towards, putting a plan in place to overcome your social anxiety will be much easier.

Write down various situations and analyze them

Much like you’d do before a big test in high school or college, studying is an important part of overcoming your social anxiety. This doesn’t mean going to your local library and picking up a bunch of books on the topic and learning more about it, but it does mean writing down situations that you find uncomfortable in and rating which ones you should tackle first. Remember, you’re not going from shy guy to the most outgoing guy in the room, so taking baby steps by addressing different circumstances you might be in and coming up with a solution to overcoming them will help.

Talk to a therapist

I remember last year when, after a break-up, I reached out to a therapist to help get me through the toughest time of my entire life. At first, I thought I was weak for putting myself in that position. But, after talking to my best friend who did the same after a recent break-up he went through, it gave me the strength to move forward and open up to a therapist more. Same thing goes for tackling social anxiety, allowing yourself to talk to a professional about what exercises and/or tips you can do to overcome your fears.

Deep breathing

Taking in a deep breath before a big task has long been one of the most trusted ways to slow your mind and gather your thoughts. The same thing can be done for overcoming social anxiety, where you hit the mental reset button before walking into a crowded room or talking to a girl at the bar. It’s important to practice this technique, though, so you know how it best works for you before being thrust into one of those situations.

Talk to yourself in the mirror

When younger, did you ever practice speeches or presentations for school in front of a bathroom mirror, reading the information out loud and seeing your reflection to self-analyze? Whether the answer’s yes or no, this same practice can be used to overcome social anxiety. Talking to yourself eye-to-eye in the mirror can give you the confidence to stand confidently, work on mannerisms, how you shift your weight and how you deliver your message, as well as mentally prepare you for what you can look like when talking to someone else. It’s about being comfortable in your own skin.

If you feel you need more advice, check our older articles on anxiety.