Do you often feel self conscious when you are around other people? What is it that makes you feel that way? The way you look, or sound, the words you speak? Keep on reading to find out more about how you can overcome self-consciousness and enjoy social situations free from anxiety.
The dictionary definition of self-consciousness is unduly aware of oneself as the object of the attention of others; embarrassed. The main word in this is unduly – because being aware of yourself is not a bad thing at all. But being too aware of yourself, excessively imagining what others might think about you and how they might perceive you, that’s an issue worth remedying.
You don’t need to keep obsessing about your own shortcomings – be they real or imagined.
Self-Consciousness & Self-Esteem
We know that people who have a low self-esteem tend to be more self-conscious. What’s interesting is that both humans and animals tend to become more self-conscious when they are in the presence of people who have a higher social status than themselves.
Humans (and nonhuman mammals) tend to pay more attention to themselves in settings where they are subordinate to more powerful others.
– James W. Pennebaker, The Secret Life of Pronouns
Monkeys for example are more self-aware and self-conscious when they are in the presence of the alpha-monkey (the monkey who has the highest status in the group). In the same way, humans are more self-conscious when there is someone around who is their superior. This makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? A superior is by definition someone who can both reward or punish us, who holds some power over our lives. So we pay more attention to our own behavior and words when we know a superior is around – we don’t want to do something that could antagonize our superior.
If you constantly feel self-conscious, then you probably feel that others are superior to you. You probably feel like you’re “at the bottom of the ladder”, inferior to others when you’re around them. And you might want to build more self-esteem.
Another thing you can do is to find someone whom you admire for their social confidence – people who are not self-conscious at all and seem to enjoy themselves in all kinds of social situations, even those that would embarrass others. And then watch them sometimes if you have the chance, and visualize them. (Note: This person can also be a fictional character from a movie or book). Then, in your mind merge the mental image you have of this person with yourself and see how the two of you – merged into one person – easily enjoy social situations and enjoy all kinds of social conversations with others. This kind of visualization exercise helps you to re-draw your self-image and build a more socially confident identity. However, it takes a lot of time and hundreds of repetitions where you imagine in a very focused manner – and if you want to speed things up and make them easier, self-hypnosis is a very effective way of doing so.
Self hypnosis can help you to stop feeling self conscious and reprogram your mind to be more focused on the interaction with others, rather than on yourself. You’ll be able to enjoy yourself socially and be comfortable and confident during conversations.