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Introducing myself. "Hi, I'm..." and then seeing where they take the conversation. Sometimes it just ends after they respond but at least then they know they can talk to me. I consider the ball in their court at that point.
 

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keep this in mind. "no one ever knows anybody ever" we only know a glimpse of what they are like.

so with that in mind everyone is a stranger to everyone else.
 

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www.morebettersmarts.com
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My biggest problem is at conferences or training events. I'm always envious watching the groups form so easily during breaks. Typically I just bring a book.
 

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Penguin
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Ask questions, it puts the onus on the other person to do most of the talking, and people tend to like talking about themselves or stuff they like/know about, whilst it makes it easier on you.
 

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the number one treatment for social anxiety. You can download the audio series 'overcoming social anxiety step by step by thomas richards' as a torrent or buy it if you have the money. It is the number one treatment for social anxiety. Also getting diagnosed and telling close family/family you trust (I only told my mum) is a good idea. Psychologists help but honestly in my opinion I have got more out of Dr Richards Sessions than 3 private psychologist sessions and 1 cognitive behavioral therapy group plus multiple visits to the dr. You can achieve anything you want with CBT, you can literally, really can completely overcome social anxiety.
 
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