Here’s How To Approach Someone IRL Without Losing Your Nerve

I am what you'd call a "closeted introvert." When people meet me, I seem outgoing and confident because I laugh and make conversation. But I'm secretly panicking inside. I'm the embodiment of "fake it 'til you make it" in just about any social situation. So, the idea of hitting someone up who I'm attracted to IRL is enough to send me into an anxiety spiral. But here's the thing: I'm probably missing out on meeting a lot of really amazing people who could potentially change my life. That's why knowing how to approach someone without losing your nerve can be so helpful. When you think about the opportunities you could be missing by not approaching someone who draws your attention, not speaking up is kind of a huge bummer. It's also something I'm ready and eager to get over.

If that sounds familiar, then I have good news: It’s totally possible to get over the fear of approaching new peeps. To help overcome our shared anxiety, I enlisted the help of Laurel House, celebrity dating and relationship coach and host of the Man Whisperer podcast, for her advice on how to get over the nerves and just go for it. Honestly, her advice makes so much sense. Here is how she recommends mentally preparing to approach someone in real life.

Lower the stakes.

If just the idea of striking up a conversation with a hot stranger is giving you anxiety, House says to relax, because it's likely you're putting too much stress on the whole situation. The first step is to simply lower the stakes in your mind. “Just the idea of ‘picking up’ someone is intimidating because it has the pressure of successfully picking them up. Which means what? Instead you want to shift your perspective to making a connection,” House tells Elite Daily. “There’s no reason for anxiety if you reframe your feelings into an attitude of ‘I’m interested to see if I’m interested.’ So many [people] give their power away and place too much weight on the other person liking them."

Take a deep breath and go for it.

If you're ready to take the dive and approach someone, but then find yourself looking for reasons to back out, House’s advice is to literally take a breath and visualize your way to being calm again. “Count down from 10 very slowly and release the energy out the bottom of your feet and imagine a bright yellow coming into the top of your head, washing away the negative," House suggests. "You’re not hyping yourself up. But calming, focusing, deepening, becoming more authentic, erecting up into confidence and into your self.”

Remember your strengths and be yourself.

Although it may sound cliché, once you’re calm, House says it's essential to take a moment to be your own hype person by remembering all the things about yourself that make you so amazing. “Remember who you are and what you stand for, what you have to offer, and bring to the table. And then bring it!” she says. Don't worry about being perfect and saying the exact right things, adds House. Just be yourself. “It has been ingrained in your mind, attitude, and therefore conversations and actions that you must publicly embody perfection at all times. You are interesting, intelligent, successful, easy going, and strong.”

Once you have that confidence boost — plus the lower stakes — making the approach will be a lot easier, says House. Remember, it's OK to be nervous; putting yourself out there and being vulnerable isn’t easy. But you are amazing, and there are tons of people out there just waiting for you to approach them, so that they can get to you know you and find that out for themselves. So go for it. You've got this!