Several weeks ago, you reluctantly penciled a networking event into your calendar. Now you're here holding a glass of Chardonnay while coworkers and potential business connections make pleasant small talk.
From an outsider's perspective, it seems as if you're having fun and listening attentively, laughing on cue with the others when someone says something funny. In your head, though, a mental teleprompter is streaming a string of garbled words that make up your networking pitch, and thoughts of inadequacy and self-criticism become obtrusive. Just another day with social anxiety.
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To be fair, even the most social among us dread the networking dance. However, when you factor in social anxiety, otherwise manageable panic can easily morph into a debilitating inner dialogue. This is something that takes a valiant effort to overcome, but it's not out of reach. Use this expert-backed plan for getting a hold on anxiety and nailing your next networking event.