You step outside out of your house and the air outside has a pleasant odor to it and the breeze touches your face and has disarrayed your hair a little bit. You’re off to meet someone and you just happen to gaze at yourself through the glare coming off a shop’s window pane while hustling through the streets. You look at yourself and just think how in the world has that dress seemingly got more tightened and now it’s as if you were in a diving suit.
You look at passerby’s giving you a weird look from top to bottom and you feel the need to rush to a nearby wash room and get straightened up again! You spend a significant amount of time in front of the mirror and still don’t feel ‘perfect’ once you’re done with it. You feel people are talking and texting others’ about how disastrous you were in that dress and with that tousled hair. If these things were a part of your life until now, you might be just another victim of Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)!
This isn’t something of a serious disease or disorder which can be cured by medicines or therapies, all it needs is your efforts and time for getting things back in order. Social anxiety is a vermin that feeds on your confidence, sucking it out of your life and making you increasingly self-conscious. This is a thing of the mind and humans generally feel more concerned about what others are thinking about them or what they might think of their actions and behavior.
This somehow inculcates a sense of embarrassment into their minds beforehand taking an action, and forces them to stop doing them. This habit tends to drive the attention from their statements or talk and gets more focused outwards to what others might be thinking about them. Words are left unsaid and things undone many a times due to this lack of confidence, which is being overshadowed by self-consciousness.
Do you also feel self conscious in public? Let’s find the solution
The thing about this perception of events is a state of mind and it could be easily monitored and kept in check by instilling a few habits and changing the way you look outwards. Here are a few tips to help you shift the perception and re-focus it outwards instead of focusing it on yourself, making you less self-conscious and more confident.
Identifying your shortcomings is always the first step while working on it. Try to take a look inwards, into your own self, and understand when you are becoming self-conscious. Take note of the times when you tend to become a little more self-conscious, and identify the pattern. People usually do not tend to get self-conscious all the time, monitor and identify the patterns.
When do you tend to get more self-conscious or what is it that is making you think more about yourself? Your hairstyle, your dressing, walking style, doubts about intellectual abilities, etc. Find what is making you more concerned about yourself and you are already halfway there. Try to be a little more introspective and you will find your moments of higher self-consciousness.
Realize that no one cares
Although it tends to come off as a bit harsh, but this is the truth. The moment you tend to get a little more self-conscious and worry about how you may look or how your actions might be perceived by someone, realize the fact that no one cares! Realizing that no one cares about how you look or what you do would make you feel comfortable, less embarrassed and more confident. It is you who is making all this stuff up in your mind of what the other person is thinking about you. In fact, he was actually not thinking about you.
Just because someone is looking at you doesn’t mean the person is thinking and analyzing you, they’ve got more work to do. Just remember that the amount of stuff you make up in your mind about how others perceive you are a lot, and in fact, the person might not be even noticing half of the stuff you made up yourself. So, just relax, understand that not everyone is thinking about you or gossiping about how you look, this will lift up your spotlight illusion and get to reality.
Takeaway: Everyone is busy thinking about themselves!
Turn down the Spotlight
Once you come to the terms that many few of the people you meet daily actually care about you or your looks, you need to turn down the spotlight from yourself. When you are self-conscious you tend to take everything personal and serious and get emotional quickly. Suppose, you are at a diner with your friends and someone notices a zit or a mark on your nose, you tend to immediately drop anything in hand, try to reach out for it immediately and end up shattering your glass and embarrassed. Here you become the spotlight and suddenly everything else fades away, making you a bit more self-conscious and devoid of confidence.
Instead, try to take things slowly as they come, instead of rushing through it. When someone says something about your looks or tries to turn the spotlight towards you, try to keep your calm and take the action gracefully, instead of reacting emotionally and with a zest. Stop making it all about ‘me-me’, and half of your self-conscious issues will fade away rapidly.
Manage your reactions
Image credit: Wikihow.com
Being emotional is often perceived as ‘weak’ by the people who are only capable of delivering sympathies. When around people like these, try to remain calm and collected. Stop reacting to every little thing immediately and remember the spotlight thing. Don’t make things worse by letting your emotions out of control and becoming the center of attraction of the event and being embarrassed later for what you’ve done.
Kill your inner critic and stop being too harshly judgmental of you. It is not ones harsh words that hurt the most, but your reaction to it matters the most. Try and take control of your response to stimuli. Once you’re in control of it, you will never be again devoid of self-confidence. Be happy in how you are, realize that no one’s perfect and most importantly, be happy, that alone would be enough to manage your train of thoughts from getting derailed by emotions.
Learn to laugh at yourself
Yes, you read it! Learn to make fun of yourself and take a good laugh or chuckle at your actions and that would definitely help to reduce your levels of embarrassment, and kill your self-consciousness. Making fun of yourself doesn’t imply you should make fun of yourself in a self-depreciating manner, but instead taking the bright side of events and making a good line about it and have a little chuckle.
Suppose you’re at a new place and happen to drop a glass of something and shattered it. Instead of going all depressed and crying aloud, try to come up with something funny like having a double sided tape on both of your hands would prevent your actions and later apologize for what happened and offer to help clean it up. Once you do this, you yourself exhibit the fact that you’re not perfect, no one is, and you’re happy the way you are. Laughing at oneself is also a tough task, but worth the efforts to make you feel lifted and remove the cloud of embarrassment over you.
Watch and Learn
I wasn’t always a big fan of movies as a kid, but as I grew up I started to appreciate the work of actors and actresses, both on and off the screen. These people are the ones with the highest level of spotlight on them all the time. Even a single strand of left beard, a mismatched pair of jacket or even a slightly personal thing becomes a major talk and news story in an instant. These are the people who should exhibit the highest level of self-consciousness, but in fact, they are the ones who don’t bother about their appearance or actions in public, apart from when at parties or functions.
Have a favorite actor or actress and tend to watch them closely and observe how they behave off screen during award ceremonies or TV shows and learn from them. These are the ones who have left behind self-consciousness and inculcated self-confidence in whatever they undertake. Many of the actors were once shy and reserved as a teen and they’ve adapted to their new image perfectly. Not only actors, you can also learn from people around you whose self-confidence you appreciate truly.
Get away from negative people (Leave your friends if you have to)
If you’re doing all of these and still don’t manage to get your self-conscious levels low, there might not be a problem with yourself, but with the people you associate with. The five people you meet up with the most have a significant effect on you and your way of thinking, so choose them wisely; is a famous saying that just nails it perfectly. There are people who will always make you feel embarrassed or self-deteriorating even how hard you try. Stop being around them and start associating yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself and the way you are.
Many time our closest friend become our most toxic people and you have to understand and realize that this relation is not taking you anywhere. Instead of sulking down, be with those people who bring out the best in you. Here are two articles which you should read right away:
This might seem like running away from your problems, but sometimes going too deep into it after realizing them as troubles isn’t worth your efforts. You should always realize the right time when it is good to say goodbye to relationships which are no longer making you feel good. If your associate’s nagging habit is a reason for your self-consciousness, try getting away from them and choose yourself!
Must read: Because I’m happy! 10 habits of happy & positive people
So, what do you think is your concern for a rising self-consciousness and what could be done about it? Share your thoughts and experiences about being a little less self-conscious below. If you find above advices useful, pass it along to others.