Help me get over my self-conscious side!
December 11, 2010 9:55 AM Subscribe
I’m half introvert (don’t need to socialize every day; do like to escape and regroup after socializing) and half extrovert. My extroverted half can be extremely social, and even, on occasion, meet people really easily—and get them to like me.
But if I feel I don’t relate to people around me, or that they won’t get me, or that they are poor listeners and I’ll either have to fight for their attention or fight against their judgmentalism (on whatever subject), I get hideously self-conscious and tongue-tied. How can I change that?
posted by anonymous to human relations (9 answers total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
Worse, I also have some health issues, which I can largely hide, but which can on occasion subtly affect my otherwise not-bad-at-all looks (facial swelling) or cause brain fog (I can think, but I can’t articulate), or cause literal tongue-tiedness wherein I actually mispronounce words.
Since I think a lot in conversation, and find actual, good conversation a kind of mental bliss, if a conversation doesn’t go well, I fret about it. A lot. And sometimes get quite embarrassed, or even shyer.
This does little to help my self-confidence. While speaking, I’ll suddenly go blank on a word, or a subject. Sometimes I’ll expect poor listening skills and be surprised when I don’t get them. So when I notice they are actually listening, I get even more self-conscious…. On occasion, they’ll ask me a question, and I know they simply won’t relate—or I can’t think how to make them relate--to the real answer, so this befuddles me too, and I tend to stumble out of it.
In the past several years, I’ve traveled a lot, and I’ve noticed that I don’t really have that many problems talking to anybody when traveling because the natural subject matter makes everything so easy: questions about their locale, comparisons with mine, random geographic observations, etc.
I think my issue is, I can be quite a good talker when I feel safe (understood, listened to, engaged), and a miserable one when I don’t. How do I thrive outside of certain safety? How do I recreate the ease of travel conversation when I’m not traveling?