Mental preparation. I might feel anxious even around people I've known for years, so I like to feel that I'm somewhat prepared for anything in advance. If it's some kind of a social gathering in a familiar place and/or with familiar people, I can envision myself in the place, I can choose several spots in that place to call "my own" for the evening to sort of get support from or I can stay nearby people I feel comfortable with when there are also strangers around. I can imagine what might happen during the evening based on my previous knowledge of the people or I can play with different scenarios of how people might act and how I could keep myself from letting the anxiety overcome me. Everything is tentative, of course, but I just try to mentally prepare myself for any kind of social interaction. When I arrive to the place, I take a while to gather myself and get used to the scene and then just fight with the anxiety.
If it's an unfamiliar place with strangers, I can also play with different scenarios to help me keep prepared for things to come. I just try to remind myself that I have every right to be there/anywhere, I have value as a person, I have something to offer and I can be thankful for the opportunity to learn something and overcome myself yet again if I feel anxious. I try to keep myself attuned to not letting the anxiety take over me and I try to remind myself of the times when I've been successful in the past, I just try to feel the same feeling when I did then.
^ mental prep actually makes me more nervous, lol.
for me, it's reminding myself that my own happiness is what's important, and that people can take or leave me as they please; it doesn't matter because ultimately i am the one who decides if i am happy, myself. it's not up to others' opinions. so i guess i build up my own self-confidence, essentially - i tend to be really nervous about people (especially groups) not liking me, and i have to center myself and remind myself that i like me and that's all that really matters.
and then the cool thing that happens is once i've locked down on that idea, i can open up more easily and be less nervous and more okay with silly stuff that happens, like tripping over words or awkwardness or whatever.
having a good friend or family member at social events helps me, also. they are like a "rock" of stability that i can trust to still be cool with me, even if everyone else spontaneously decides to ostracize me.
I get a little bit anxious calling strangers on the phone at work asking for something when I cannot see how they are reacting. I write out the points I'm going to say, focus on talking slowly and clearly, breathing.
Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.
This really does help. If I don't exercise, I feel lethargic and lazy = apathetic. If I've recently had a good, intense workout (45 minutes or more), I feel more alive, alert, and engaged - and I'm able to relax more and also my humor comes out more.
NTJ's are the only types that have ever made me feel emo.
ENP's are the only types that have ever made me feel like a sensor.
There are two great days in a person's life - the day we are born and the day we discover why. --William Barclay
When I audition for a play. I pretty much go in with the mentality that at some point in this process there will be a "point of no return" and once I reach that and cross it I have no choice but to succeed.