I used to be uncomfortable with maintaining eye contact. Then I did an exercise where I looked into a stranger's eyes for fifteen minutes, and we'd call each other out every time the other person looked away. It cured me of all eye contact anxiety and now it's no big deal.
I did a similar exercise in rejection therapy to get over the fear of approaching strangers and asking for things, and that worked eerily well--after one hour of concentrated asks and rejections, I got over it.
Like many people, I'm often uncomfortable when hugging someone, especially if it's another guy or I don't know the person well. This is something I want to get over, too. I've heard that if you arrange to hug someone you don't (hardly) know for fifteen minutes, then you're good to go from then on, no matter how awkward a bro hug you're faced with.
Does anyone in the SF Bay Area want to meet up and undertake the scary, useful mission of hugging a stranger (me) and build some hug confidence? We could do the eye contact one, too, if that's useful to you.
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