If you’ve depended on alcohol to help ease social anxiety, you’re not alone. Many people use drinking to help them relax in social situations. But when you decide that you don’t want to lean on the crutch of alcohol in order to live your life, you may have found yourself confused about how to socialize without it.
In this two-part series, we’re giving you tips on how to make friends without relying on alcohol. The first section outlined a few places to go in order to get away from the bar or club scene. If you’re not in an environment that encourages drinking, you won’t be tempted. Plus, you’re more likely to find people who don’t drink in these new places, which include book stores, the gym or at volunteer events. If you need a drink to be comfortable with everyday life, call our Wilmington NC alcohol rehab and drug treatment center - Legacy Freedom, we can help you.
Now let’s look at developing the confidence you may have lost because of your dependence on alcohol as a social lubricant. As we mentioned in the first part, you learned how to make friends as a kid by simply saying hello to someone on the playground. It may be a little harder as an adult, but the key elements are the same.
Once you’re in a situation with like-minded people, try to strike up a conversation. A key part of being a person people want to be around is confidence. Plan a few topics ahead of time that you can use as ice breakers. If you’re attending an art opening, research the artist so you can be knowledgeable when you’re talking.
A book club is a perfect place to develop your conversation skills because you can check the back of the book for possible questions that will be discussed during the meeting. You can figure out how you feel about the book or subject matter beforehand so you won’t get as flustered when you start talking.
Another important element in making friends and socializing is being open to listening. No one wants to hear you go on and on about something that happened at work. Telling a short funny story is perfectly fine but be sure to follow up with a question in order to engage the other person. See if they’ve ever had something similar happen to them at work. A conversation should be a two-way street, and making a connection with someone usually involves having similar experiences.
You can get a sense of the personality of someone fairly quickly after talking to them, and then decide whether or not you would want to pursue a friendship. If you do, one of the hardest parts is suggesting it. As a kid you may have asked that potential buddy in the sandbox, “Will you be my friend?” As an adult, that may not work as well.
Here is what to do instead: ask if he or she attends the event regularly. If so, suggest grabbing coffee before or afterwards. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t work out the first time. People have busy schedules and don’t often have extra time to devote to someone they don’t know very well. But if you keep attending events and people begin to recognize you, they may be more likely to take you up on the offer in the future.
Affordable Wilmington NC Alcohol Rehab and Drug Treatment | Legacy Freedom
Don’t put off getting help if you think you have a problem with drugs or alcohol. Call Legacy Freedom Treatment Center to get the help you need. We can help you make a change for the new year by offering alternative Wilmington NC alcohol rehab and drug treatment programs. We believe that with our customized plans, you can get the best, most personalized help. We take into account your needs because we know that everyone is different and may need a different approach. Call us today to to start working towards that New Year’s resolution so that 2016 can be your best year yet.