How to feel comfortable with myself?
February 12, 2012 6:09 PM Subscribe
Uncomfortable in my own skin. Anxious. Hate my voice. Inarticulate.
How do I fix myself?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (21 answers total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
I'm almost never comfortable in my own skin. I'm pretty inarticulate because of anxiety and I have a voice that doesn't project itself. When I speak, it sounds angry because I try to add extra 'oomph' to make it clearer, but it results in my sounding angry and condescending. Having a fairly monotone voice doesn't help my cause, either.
As a side-note: I HIGHLY relate to the OP in this post http://ask.metafilter.com/199833/Am-I-just-too-damn-judgmental
To people who don't know me very well, I come off as aloof, arrogant, kind of awkward, and discomfort-inducing. Imagine you're eating with a group of people at a restaurant -- some are friends, some are not really friends, but people you can converse with and relate to in ways. There's me, the guy who will ask a couple questions and maybe contribute to conversations in meaningless ways. Now, imagine you're done eating and you're walking to the parking lot to find your car. The group has kind of 'split up' with people pairing off in groups of 2-3 to converse separately, but you're still a flock of people moving together to one destination. You end up in the flock with me. This is where you realize you don't know how to talk to this person and it's kind of uncomfortable because while you've spent a deal of time with this person, you don't truly know them and don't know how to engage them. THAT PERSON IS ME. I feel the discomfort and see you experiencing the discomfort.
I'm a pretty introspective person and have an idea of what my issues are:
- Low self-esteem // lack of confidence
- Inability to feel comfortable in my own skin
- Repelling voice
What I'll notice in myself when I'm with people I don't necessarily know very well or comfortable around, is I'll put on an act of being more outgoing than I really am. I'll kind of exaggerate my emotional responses to peoples' statements when I converse with people. Maybe it's because I don't genuinely feel those emotional elements of surprise, wonder, interest, disgust, anger, or what not, that it comes off as subtly disingenuous (the type where your brain subconsciously realizes that this person's behavior is kind of off). I don't fucking know.
Either way, I have trouble building connections with people. I have incredible trouble clicking with people. I'm hyper-sensitive to peoples' body language when I'm talking to them, and I can feel when people are just disinterested or kind of feigning interest. When I see someone being so captivated in conversation with someone else, and then see their lack of interest in me when we converse, I feel dejected, rejected, and angry.
Why is it that when I talk to this person, he or she couldn't give two less fucks, but when he/she talks to someone else, they're instantly more engaged and receptive? I think a large part of it stems from the way I speak. Have you ever met someone who will speak from time to time but you just couldn't care less to really engage with them or respond to their statements? I think I'm that guy to some people.
My problem is two-fold, I think:
1. I'm always anxious/uncomfortable, so this clouds my mind when I speak, thus making me inarticulate and unable to tell stories well or express myself clearly.
2. My voice is kind of unattractive (methinks) and it doesn't project well; I deliberately talk deeper and louder somehow to make up for this and I think it comes off as sounding slightly angry/negative and condescending. Add a splash of monotone to that and you hear me talking and you just want me to not talk.
I know my post is all over the place with my thoughts, but what the hell can I do?
Ultimately, I want to feel comfortable in my own skin. I want to be confident. I want to feel like people are genuinely interested in what I have to say. I want to feel like I'm wanted around others and not unwanted.
I'm an introvert who wants to be an extrovert.