One of the ideas from NLP is something called “meta programs.”
These are these semi-rigid filters we all have in place through which we see the world.
For example, one of them is how we are motivated. On one end of the spectrum are people who are motivated externally. Other people. Praise, validation, etc. On the other end of the spectrum are the people who are motivated internally.
They don’t really care what others think or do. They only do something if it “feels” right to them.
Of course, most of us are a mix of both. Few people are completely one or the other.
Another “meta program” filter is “sameness or difference.” When you look into an unfamiliar situation, do you automatically find things that are the same as what you are used to, or different?
Again, most of us are a mix of both.
And while these do operate largely unconsciously, you can bring them up to the conscious level.
For example, when meeting new people, some of us automatically feel nervous, shy, anxious. So we see others as somehow “better” than us. Otherwise it would be impossible for them to “reject” us if we approached them to start a conversation.
One thing that can help is to consciously look at them, before you approach, through the filter of “sameness” rather than “difference.”
Meaning force your monkey brain to think of all the ways you two are similar, rather than different.
If you were walking up to somebody that was TOTALLY the same as you, rejection wouldn’t even come up.
The more you can practice this, the more the fear of rejection will vanish.
Another powerful way to do this is to imagine all of your similar “fears.”
Since ALL HUMANS have a HUGE collection of irrational fears, this is pretty easy.
And since most of our fears are similar, it won’t be much of a stretch.
EVERYBODY doesn’t like to be put on the spot. EVERYBDOY fears rejection. EVERYBODY has deep fears of social exclusion.
Just take a few minutes to think of “that person” (whoever they are, boss, lover, friend, business partner) as having the SAME FEARS that you do, and hold THAT in mind when you think about talking to them.
You don’t even have to approach them. You can do this sitting at the mall watching people walk by.
Just choose people you’d LIKE to approach, but would otherwise be too nervous to.
And then do this exercise. Imagine them being terrified of public speaking, or getting left behind, or anything.
This is one of DOZENS of exercises in the Interpersonal Resonance book.
Do them daily and you’ll be a social magnet in no time.