“Create an Alter-Ego”: An Extrovert’s Top Tips for Socialising Post-Lockdown


A lot of us are stressing about socialising post-lockdown. Even now, when I go out for a long walk with a friend or a park wine, I feel a little more anxious at the prospect of socialising IRL than I ever have before.

It’s been a super weird time for everyone. We’ve become champions at Zoom wines and online work meetings, but without being able to see our friends and interact with the world on a daily basis, we’re just out of practise.

For me, as an extrovert, I’ve struggled with spending so much time alone. A large chunk of my identity is socialising; it’s something I genuinely enjoy, talking to new people brings me happiness on daily basis. Socialising fuels me with the motivation to be my best self and inspires me to be creative.

It’s important and healthy to have moments of alone time and I’ve definitely benefited from those during these last two years, but I am so ready to get back out into the world. I can’t wait to hug my friends, go on new adventures and feel like myself again.

But even I — an extroverted and socially confident person — am feeling stressed at the prospect of going to my first party, work event or group gathering post-lockdown, and that’s okay.

Here are some tips on how to slay your first social events post-lockdown and be your best self in social environments.

Boost Other People Up

I find that when a social interaction feels awkward, a quick way to make everyone feel comfortable is to boost them up. It could be as simple as “I love what you’re wearing, was this a lockdown buy?” makes the other person feel confident that they look cute and sparks up a conversation. A lot of social anxiety comes from feelings of insecurity, so by putting someone at ease right away, it helps them to relax and feel comfortable to just be themselves.

Fake It ‘Til You Make It

If you could be anyone, who would it be? Try to envisage a character of yourself and imagine them socialising in the way that you wish you could. Then, try to embody that character. Sometimes, when I’m feeling super insecure or socially anxious, I imagine that I’m a famous Italian actress who is known for her red lipstick and breaking the hearts of powerful men and let me tell you, it’s gotten me through a lot of highly anxious moments. If you’re able to create somewhat of an alter-ego, it can become a super effective tool for times when you’re not really feeling yourself.

Photo by Oscar Shaw.

Be Present

Many of us live outside our heads in social environments, meaning that we worry about what people will think about how we look, what we say and even how we word things. This can make us feel super stunted in social interactions, if we’re analysing someone else’s reaction to us or if we’re overthinking how we’re coming across. In these moments, it really helps to just direct your mind towards the other person/people in the interaction and do your best to block thoughts about yourself out. In most situations, you’re worrying about something that isn’t actually happening and making the whole interaction much harder for yourself.

Tips on how to stay in the moment: Make a conscious effort to put your phone out of sight (just leave it in your bag), give as much eye contact as you can and focus on the words that are being said by others. Sometimes I find that sitting somewhere quieter helps too, such as a quiet area of the park or a more chilled-out venue.

Ask Questions

If you feel anxious, you can direct the attention and pressure off yourself by asking questions. Not only does this make others feel like you’re interested and care about them, but it also allows for you not to be the focus. Hearing about other people’s lives/problems/experiences can often make us feel a lot more relaxed about our own, because there’s usually some crossover; especially with close friends.


Get Dressed Up

Dressing up is the most powerful weapon, that you can use to transform your mindset. Getting dressed up has the power to totally change how you feel about yourself, both in how you physically look but also how you feel. Find a few outfits that make you feel invincible, that you can chuck on if you’re feeling like you’d rather bury yourself in bed than go out and socialise. Also, take your time getting ready and really take care of yourself. Put on some badass music (Dua Lipa is my go-to), take your sweet time doing your hair and make-up and appreciate the art of dressing yourself up, because it matters. Trust me. Do this and you’ll have a new spring in your step and an elevated confidence that makes you feel like you’ve totally got your sh*t together.

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