Many times in social forums I have come across a claim from an anxious hooper about seeing another hooper from afar, but being too shy, they feared approaching that hooper. It can be so exciting when you spot another hooper in your area. However, not all of us are outgoing enough to approach a stranger, even if the circle connects us.
Here are my 5 tips for making Hoop Friends for the Socially Anxious
1. Breathe Deep & Repeat a Mantra
Sometimes, when thinking about a moment that may make you anxious, say approaching a hoop stranger, you can feel activation in your belly, maybe you sweat, or maybe experience shortness of breath. Maybe, you’re just freaking out like crazy inside your head. When the butterflies come, try breathing very deep and repeating a mantra in your head. Breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth. It may help to close your eyes. Repeat a mantra to soothe the nerves and boost your confidence. For example, “The Universe brings all good things to me. I choose love and compassion. The Universe brings all good things to me. I choose love and compassion.” Repeat the mantra till it soothes your nerves.
SEE ALSO: How to be a Good Friend to Hoopers
2. Choose love of hoop, over fear of rejection.
Chances are your new potential hoop buddy is not going to reject you. After all, you are connected by a sacred circle of flow and endless learning. You are connected by such a beautiful thing! Your souls are alike. Choose the love of your hoop, over the fear of being rejected. The worst that could happen is that you do not connect in conversation, and never meet again. Even in that feat, is the success of over-coming your anxiety.
3. Plan some pick-up lines.
This is a funny one, but it’s true! If you have a few clever introduction, one-liners on the top of your head, you can go into the conversation a little more confident. Try something like “I love your hula hoop! I am a hooper too!”, or “Your flow is awesome! I am a new hooper, I would love to get together some time and jam!” Think love. Think light. Think positive! That energy will be good for you, and for everyone who surrounds you!
4. Embrace what makes you different.
Maybe your anxiety stems from a place that makes you different from the mainstream crowd. It could be your looks, interests, or your friends and family life. If something makes you different, do not be ashamed, be proud! You are so perfect and enough, just the way you are. Love yourself and be happy to share yourself with others. Remember, people of infinite walks of life pick up the hula hoop. Be proud that you are part of culture that ties so many different types of people together with in one loving circle.
5. Envision the hoop friendship.
Repeat tips 1-4, and then envision the hoop friendship. There’s no “what if this stranger does not like me…”, just “I have a new friend! This is awesome!” Like previously stated, the worst that could happen is that you may not have that much in common beyond hoops. Although, if you ask me, that’s even more of a reason you should get together and hoop. So many different types of people, with different lives, all hula hoop now. This circle can connect you to someone you would not normally get a chance to relate to. Envision the friendship already existing in this reality. Know before approaching this hoop stranger that you will connect on some level, and you are already hoopy friends. This warm, positive energy will be returned to you.
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