- Don’t put yourself in a situation that you can’t get out of. Know that you can exit easily. He gives examples of avoiding taxis and Ubers.
- Have a safe space where you can escape, like a hotel.
- Code words you can say to a trusted person that tells them when you’re feeling uneasy. They can help you leave the situation.
- Don’t feel like you have to talk all the time. Let people talk about themselves.
- Don’t get drunk, you’ll do something you’ll regret.
- Get some therapy.
My thoughts: I find it quite refreshing to see a guy who worked for the CIA bare his soul about his anxiety. I relate very well to the horrific social situations he finds himself in. It’s a tough struggle and maybe if we talk about it, others will understand. I’m a lot better than I was in the past, but that’s because it took time to develop my abilities to overcome social anxiety. So how do I feel about how this guy copes?
To be blunt, I don’t think the first three tips are good long-term solutions. They may help in the short-term, but they delay you from building confidence in social situations. I do understand, though (my goodness, family functions with family you don’t even know that well are the worst!). Sometimes it gets so bad that hiding away for a while seems like a good idea. However, you can’t escape these situations, so you need to habituate yourself to them. If you’re reading this, video poster, know that I say this out of concern for your well-being, and not to be right on the internet.
I definitely think the other tips are solid. One thing I’ll do is drink less in these situations, since the temptation is so high.