How To Be Less Nervous

Everyone gets nervous for different reasons, in different situations. As an introvert, I’d say I get nervous more often than the average person. Other personality traits may also contribute to making someone more nervous than usual. Such as being an overthinker. One might also have anxiety which includes nervous tendencies.  

What I offer in this blog are not guaranteed ways to get rid of nervousness. Rather, they are small mental tips. In other words, thoughts to keep in mind that can distract you from being nervous, decrease your nervousness, and/or calm a racing, strong-beating heart. 

The idea to write about this subject matter came about as I parted from hearing my friend’s recent experience. 

Parting From Listening To My Friend’s Story 

nervous blog: sharing story with friend
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The other day, a friend shared with me how she felt spending time with an acquaintance for the first time. For privacy purposes, I cannot go too into detail about who this person was and my friend’s specific relationship with them. 

The point is, my friend wasn’t sure whether it would be best to act more friendly or professional. Yes, it was a casual meet-up but there was a high possibility they would still discuss some professional matters, just on a lighter note. 

My friend said she felt stressed in the days leading up to this meeting because as much as she simply wanted to be herself, she didn’t feel it was appropriate to open up too much and give her acquaintance the wrong first impression. She particularly feared that if she showed she was very comfortable with this person, they might think it is okay to take advantage of her in future instances. 

nervous blog: meet-up with acquaintance
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“It wasn’t that bad,” my friend reported back to me after her meet-up. Her acquaintance did bring up some topics of discussion she was expecting. These were things she was nervous about answering because they were slightly serious. However, she kept calm, thought carefully about her answers, and only spoke when absolutely necessary. My friend resorted to being a good listener instead of focusing on how to make herself appear well verbally. 

At this point, she isn’t sure if she would agree to another casual meet-up with this acquaintance, but she is pleased with the way she presented herself. My friend felt like she stayed true to herself without crossing the line or saying anything she might regret later on. Overall, she is less intimidated by this acquaintance. 

This experience of my friend reminded me of some things I tell myself when I am feeling nervous in different situations. 

What To Tell Yourself When You Feel Nervous In Different Scenarios 

You know what you’re talking about, so be confident. Or, fake it till you make it! 

Example: When hanging out with someone or a group of people. 

nervous blog: confident
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Typically you talk about yourself the majority of the time. Therefore, you can control what you share. Even casual topics are hard to be “wrong” about. If you end up being incorrect, it’s not a big deal, just brush it off. When around people you’re not necessarily fond of, just remain polite until you can get away from them or until the event is over. 

No one cares because people are selfish. It will be forgotten in the next hour. 

Example: Giving a presentation at school or work. 

nervous blog: presenting
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It’s daunting to have a bunch of eyes watching your every move, listening to every word you utter. But it’s really all in your head. The reality is, each person in the audience is most likely focusing on themselves. They’re either paying little to no attention to you, preparing for their presentation, or if they already went, reflecting on how they did. Even your boss or professor won’t remember every single aspect of your presentation after it’s done. 

Once it’s over, it’s over. 

Examples: Attending a formal or casual social event. Taking a test or exam. 

nervous blog: taking exam
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Let time take its course. Eventually it will end. You might worry about it slightly afterwards but then you’ll realize there’s no point because you can’t change anything about what happened. 

Honestly, all these phrases work in any of the example scenarios and in many more. Also, usually the results are not as bad as we make it to be. 

If you really can’t hide your nervousness, be honest and find someone you can confide in. Most people, even if you’re not close with them, will be kind and comfort you. For instance, after doing a presentation at work you could turn to some co-workers to release your worries. They might reply with, “It’s okay, you did well” or “I know how you feel” etc. 

nervous blog: comforting
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Generally, it’s important to appear positive and demonstrate that you’re doing your best. If you suddenly feel nervous, make small jokes if that helps, assuming it is at an appropriate moment during an appropriate event, in an appropriate environment. 

In many cases there is one person who prefers to carry the conversation. Therefore, if you are hesitant to make a significant contribution, you can nod in agreement or signal in other ways that you are paying attention. Just be prepared with an answer that makes sense if you are ever directly asked to express your opinion. 

I Hope You Remember These The Next Time You Feel Nervous! 

nervous blog: thumbs up
Source: Donald Tong on Pexels

As much as you should focus on being in the moment, sometimes thinking ahead can help you get through a tough situation. We all look forward to a feeling of relief after we overcome these situations. But when preparing for these instances or even during them we are nervous and don’t want to lose control of our thoughts and actions, we need phrases like “no one cares” to reassure us. 

If any adult makes fun of you, they are simply immature and don’t deserve your time and attention so ignore them. Or if you’re better off playing along with the jokes and not letting them think they’re “superior” over you, you can try that as well. The good people that you should keep around are the ones who help you feel okay and confident. 

Trust that these moments of nervousness are temporary. Once it’s over don’t dwell on them and think about what could’ve gone better. Find comfort in “There’s nothing you can do about it now” instead of letting it hurt you because the reality is, “What’s done is done.” Thank you for reading and I hope these help you in future nervous moments. 

©Parting Stories

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4 months ago

A well-written blog with experiences most of us can relate to!

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