The desire to connect with one another is essential to our wellbeing. We need each other to feel like we are part of something, and to have a sense of status and value within a wider community. Of course, let’s not forget to add variety and fun into our lives. After all, the month around the Tennis Championships is when Wimbledon’s party scene is at its peak…
For some of us, going to an event alone can feel intimidating and for the more introverted or shy among us – even with friends and the best of intentions – the thought of wading through a crowd of people can feel like a struggle. So how do we set ourselves up to socially succeed, create more positive connections and use the tennis season as an opportunity to expand our social circle and network? Here are five points to help you build confidence and make the most of every event:
1 Focus On Others
If you are shy or introverted, remember you don’t have to be naturally gregarious to make new friends. The key is to focus on others and not yourself. Ask open-ended questions and show an interest in people. Remember, attention is a form of emotional nourishment and is something many people love. Some of the best social experiences come from turning up, putting your best foot forward and making the most of meeting new people – Lady Wimbledon’s tennis parties are proof of that.
2 Share Common Interests
Use the common interest of tennis to strike up conversations, and if you find yourself getting anxious before social occasions, have some questions already planned so you don’t have to think on the spot. This will help you focus on the present and on any discussions about a recent match or winning streak, rather than on any unhelpful negative introspections.
3 Strike a Pose
There is a link between motion and emotion – so before you go out get yourself in to the right headspace and use your body to help get yourself feeling grounded, playful and confident. Put on your favourite music, turn it up loud and move your booty!
4 Appreciation Not Expectation
Creating new connections can be a numbers game. The chances are you won’t like everybody you meet, and they might not like you, but instead of getting caught up in any negative feelings stay focused on scanning the environment for things to enjoy and appreciate. This will help you come from a place of appreciation rather than expectation and help keep things in perspective.
5 Take a Chance
If you’re in the habit of regularly exchanging a few words with strangers you meet, any rejections are less likely to hurt. There’s always the next person. Focus on the long-term goal of making quality connections, rather than getting hung up on any connections that didn’t pan out.
If we don’t stretch ourselves we don’t grow, and making new connections can mean trying out something new or re-engaging with what we used to enjoy. We can either focus on what could go wrong, but why do that when we can focus on what could go right? Check out the list of upcoming events in SW19 below and come and introduce yourself. You can be assured of a warm Wimbledon welcome!