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I Am An Introvert And Here Are Some Common Scenarios In My Life.

I Am An Introvert And Here Are Some Common Scenarios In My Life.

As a blogger, being an introvert can be both empowering and restrictive in equal measure. While I am often indecisive and reserved when it comes to selecting the types of content to publish on my blog, for example, the medium enables me to talk openly about the issues I experience in everyday life. More specifically, I can use my blog as a platform to connect with other introverts and hopefully help them to effectively manage a number of social scenarios.

With this in mind, here are eight typical scenarios that all introverts should be able to relate to. Hopefully, you will be able to recognize the situations and find solace in the fact that you are not alone.

1. Introverts feel lonelier at social events than they do when they are by themselves.

While we must all become accustomed to our own company at times, introverts are often at their loneliest during social gatherings. From informal, after-work meetings to impromptu interactions with long-lost friends, those of us with an introverted mind-set often become lost amid small talk and gradually become isolated from the rest of the room. The main reason for this is that we introverts tend to crave deep, one-on-one conversations, rather than trying to compete for center stage amid a gaggle of shouting voices!

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2. Introverts make for the most inept party hosts.

Similarly, you would be hard-pushed to find a more unsuitable party host than an introvert. This instantly throws introverts under the glare of the spotlight, where they are required to meet guests and socialize with people outside of their immediate, trusted network. Such discomfort can quickly turn into panic, especially as unexpected guests turn up and you resort to spend your time anxiously policing the behavior of others rather than socializing.

3. Introverts magically disappear in group conversations.

If you belong to the band of introverts who constantly try to immerse themselves in group interactions, you will be accustomed to a brief period of promise followed by sudden disappointment. While you may enter a social setting and quickly try to socialize with others, for example, your inability of engage in small talk will ultimately cause you to lose the attention of others and gradually fade into the background. Cue a period of harsh introspection, as you magically disappear from the group’s conscience and become a peripheral figure.

4. Introverts either struggle to think or over-think in social situations.

Life as an introvert is one of extremes, as you fluctuate between being unable to think in social scenarios and over-analyzing every chosen word or topic for conversation. In terms of the former, introverts will know that it is almost impossible to think within a group, as endless small talk and chatter disrupts their thought processes and prevents them from processing topics of conversation. As they become anxious and even keener to make an impression, however, they visit the other extreme and over analyse every potential contribution to the conversation.

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This filter ultimately creates doubt and confusion, meaning that introverts sit silently on the sidelines while the world passes them by.

5. Introverts dread a ringing phone.

I myself am not a huge fan of phone calls, usually because they are either made by customer service reps or family members wanting to engage in idle chit-chat. Either way the sound of a ringing phone usually triggers a sense of dread or apprehension, which will probably strike a chord with all introverts out there. This will usually force me to ignore repeated calls, until I summon the will to return them (at least to numbers that I recognize). The irony of this is that I also hate making calls too, so this creates an all too familiar cycle of anxiety and procrastination!

6. Introverts are often under-appreciated and under-estimated in the workplace.

As introverts we are often under-appreciated in the workplace, primarily because we are misunderstood by employers. An often overlooked characteristic of introverts is that they are motivated and energized by internal thoughts, as opposed to extroverts who thrive on the energy of others. This type of introspective approach can often be confused with apathy or a lack of confidence by employers, forcing them to constantly overlook introverts for promotion and advancement.

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I can identify with this only too well, and this is the primary reason why I decided to work independently as a blogger and writer.

7. Introverts often wish they were extroverted.

In many ways, you cannot blame employees for misunderstanding introverts. After all, I have met many introverts who misunderstand their own condition and crave the energy and social prowess showcased by those with an extroverted personality. This can occasionally serve as the inspiration for introverts to enter into group conversations, as a part of them longs to hold court and interact with others simultaneously. Such envy can hinder introverts, however, as they waste time longing to be something they are not rather than embracing their nature and making the most of their lives.

8. Introverts struggle to build romantic relationships.

While their ability to listen and pursue paths of personal development makes introvert excellent romantic companions, building such liaisons in the first instance can be painstaking, time consuming and the very definition of awkward. All introverts will associate with the familiar feeling of dread when meeting someone that they like for the very first time, as they become flustered and struggle to muster the words required to engage them.

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I would urge all introverts to persist, however, as we have the capability to enjoy harmonious and genuinely peaceful relationships.

Featured photo credit: Send me Adrift / Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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