Join 3,420 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


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?

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
- Insecure
- Anxious
- 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.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (21 answers total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
 
If you want to improve your speaking take singing lessons! Do you do any kind of regular exercise? Being strong and flexible will make you more comfortable in your body, and in your skin. Try yoga, it will help you to relax. Take ballroom dance classes. Becoming more graceful in one area of your life might help you become less awkward in others.

Were you abused as a child? Some people who are hyper-sensitive to others' body language developed that ability out of a need to protect themselves from harm. If that is true of you please consider seeing a therapist. Even if that's not you, you might still want to get some help for your anxiety.
posted by mareli at 6:24 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've heard that for developing a pleasant speaking style, Toastmasters is good.

For the other, I have no suggestions other than to say I sympathize with your profound discomfort at others discomfort around you.
posted by dotgirl at 6:38 PM on February 12, 2012


Um.

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 [...]

[...] I can feel when people are just disinterested or kind of feigning interest.

I want to feel like people are genuinely interested in what I have to say.



This is going to sound very facile, but are you interested in them? That's where it all begins. If you aren't, this is what folks are picking up on.
posted by likeso at 6:39 PM on February 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


Definitely take singing lessons! I've had similar feelings about my voice and I feel that the more I sing, the more I like my voice. I even got complimented by a STRANGER who said that I had a very "melodious" speaking voice. Which was even nicer to hear considering I was doing a medical screening over the phone! Also, learning French has helped there, too. It's just so fun and pretty!
posted by two lights above the sea at 6:42 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


The problems with your voice could be that you're talking in the back of your throat. I do that, especially when anxious or uncomfortable, and it's hard to hear - it's annoying and sounds like I'm trying to swallow my own voice. I've mostly learned to speak up and naturally as I addressed other issues.

You sound like more than an introvert, you sound like someone with social anxiety and low self-esteem. You could do some of the CBT type exercises found on the web or in books for anxiety. You could try medication for anxiety. Some of the workbooks helped me a little, but the thing that helped me the most was talk therapy to address the low self-esteem and social anxiety. I'm not saying I'm now a social butterfly who's never awkward, but I sure do enjoy social situations more, and that makes me more fun to be around, too.
posted by ldthomps at 6:42 PM on February 12, 2012


For the voice thing, find a voice coach/teacher. A person who works with actors. (A singing teacher might work too, but personally I've had both singing and speaking lessons and I'd go with someone who primarily deals with speaking.) This can totally be improved, it has a lot to do with your breathing. It takes work and practice but it's not hard - this is a relatively easy thing to improve about yourself.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 6:46 PM on February 12, 2012


This worked for me...

I stood in front of the mirror and practiced conversations. Noticed how I sounded or what my face looked like. Actually made me more comfortable starting up a chat with other people...

...now for the rest..

I'm curious if you're a male or a female and how old you are. I'm a 33 year old male, and I STILL have problems with self-image/esteem and/or not knowing how to always relate to other people. How about starting an exercise program?

Low self-esteem? What are your interests? If you should desire, try Meetup.com. I've used it before, and it's a great way to connect with others like yourself who have the same interests...

From one introvert to another-don't try too hard to be an extrovert. It just doesn't always work that way. That being said, you can always learn to converse, be social, enjoy groups (but it took a LOT for me to get there-and I still don't always enjoy it.) Just take small steps, and don't do anything that you don't enjoy because you feel as though you HAVE to...you don't!

Anxiety is like an allergic reaction-the smallest thing can set off a catastrophic chain reaction. Learn what your triggers are.

People will pick up on body language cues also. I had to read a book on this one..How to Win Friends and Influence People. I HATE self-help books, because they just make you crazy and diagnose yourself....BUT THIS ONE WORKED.

I'm an ISTJ. What's your personality style? The true tests are usually administered by psychologists/psychiatrists, but it tells you a LOT about yourself, and what you are most comfortable with/in...

Also...(I could be wrong on this)...but you're too stuck on how others perceive you. Once you are comfortable with yourself, all the rest will start to fall into place..

GOOD LUCK!!
posted by BeastMan78 at 7:01 PM on February 12, 2012


I have just seen my brother for the first time in three years and the thing that struck me was his voice! It's changed! It's now bright, has a varying tone and conversation was a pleasure!

He used to have a monotone, deep, mumbly voice that was off-putting - he seemed very disinterested in what I was saying when we had a conversation. I disliked talking with him. Not now.

He was singing (huh, my brother sing?!) in the kitchen and I complimented him on his voice. What have you done, I asked?

He has been taking voice lessons - doctor's orders. Apparently the polyps on his vocal chords, which he had removed two years ago, were caused from not using a changing tone when he spoke. To avoid getting them again, he had to change the way he spoke from monotone to appropriately varying tone

So if there is anyway you could have voice or singing lessons (nthing all comments above) do it! It could change your life.
posted by Kerasia at 7:02 PM on February 12, 2012


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.

Yeah, this is just because you're angry with yourself for not having what you perceive to be a good voice. You sound like someone I know - for the record, his voice is extremely attractive to me. So, don't beat your own voice up too much - you never know who's going secretly ga-ga over it.

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).

You probably don't feel these things because so much of your energy is being taken up by your anxiety. The trick is to diminish the anxiety and then your responses can be more genuine. It really is exhausting being anxious.

I used to have really bad social anxiety and sometimes it still pops up when I'm in an unfamiliar situation or when I'm with people I'm unsure about. In the past when I pretended to really give a crap about everything, even though I was internally going ohmygodohmygodohmygod, I found it really, really difficult to connect with people. It was like they could see through all my bullshit and all of my anxieties were on show.

I actually did the voice class thing - it did not help. In fact, my teacher said it was probably not my voice at all, but my "internal feelings" (aka anxiety).

Now I feel much more comfortable within myself I'm actually far more animated, even though I exert far less effort than before, and people are really receptive to it.

Anyway, I suggest you ignore your voice entirely - this is not really the issue here. The issue is the anxiety and getting comfortable within yourself. Everything else will then slot into place. But you really have to stop feeding your anxiety by focusing on your "flaws" (which are probably non-existent anyway).

I feel the discomfort and see you experiencing the discomfort.

Why is it that when I talk to this person, he or she couldn't give two less fucks,
I think I'm that guy to some people.

For a start, don't try to mind-read - you don't know what people are really thinking.

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.

Anxiety really exists to make you feel like crap and that everything you do is crap, and that everyone hates you. That's how it functions. You have to see through its bullshit and tell it to go fuck itself.

It takes a while to build - know that you won't feel comfortable 100% of time and that that's okay. Some people will want you and other people won't - know that that's okay - cultivate the relationships with those who do want you and ignore the others.

I'm an introvert who wants to be an extrovert.

Don't classify yourself - just try to be you.
posted by mleigh at 7:05 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ok I can't sing and would never be able to take singing lesson but I teach school and did some theater stuff when I was younger and very deliberately changed my voice to be able to project more. Just talk with intent..not necessarily louder- it depends on the space. Like others said, the people who branch off into conversations are those who realized they both love blue cheese, or Shubert, or sherbert. You are looking for commonalities to discuss. You have to be interested in the other person, and sometimes that takes some digging around. You can't fake it, just the initial enthusiasm but you have to be true to yourself and genuinely interested in the other person. A couple drinks help, although not with spelling or typing, as might be apparent here.
posted by bquarters at 7:06 PM on February 12, 2012


I am going to guess it isn't your voice at all. I'm going to suggest that your voice is fine.

I feel the discomfort and see you experiencing the discomfort.

You are uncomfortable but can never know for sure if the other person is uncomfortable. You may be projecting.

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.

What was your family like? Were you validated as a child? Did you come from a dysfunctional/shame based family? Did your parent(s) have addictions? Were you physically or emotionally abused? I may be completely off base but this sounds very familiar.

Before you go trying to fix your voice, or alter it in any way to please people, I think you need to examine why you have difficulty building connections. You said you have low self-esteem. What is the cause of your low self-esteem? Whatever it may be, you are not alone. Before you try medication for anxiety, I would recommend you see a therapist before you see a psychiatrist. A lot of us that come from dysfunctional families have social issues, extreme discomfort, feeling odd (my voice is strange!) or feeling like we don't fit in, depression, anxiety, etc. Yeah, you can get meds but once you're medicated that doesn't mean you'll know what to do or feel like you belong. Right now it sounds like you feel like you don't belong. I have been there and I still struggle with it. You need to get to the root of the problem and sort things out in therapy before you go to medication.

Sorry if that sounded lecture-y or if I am off-base. I am wishing you the best of luck.
posted by Fairchild at 7:07 PM on February 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm an introvert who wants to be an extrovert.

With this one statement, you've managed to put an awful lot of stress on yourself.

Being an introvert just means that you generate much of your energy from being alone or in small groups. It doesn't mean that you're a horrible conversationalist/co-worker/companion/person. Some of the most interesting people that I know are introverts.

The discomfort that you are feeling from others is, in all likelihood, stemming from your discomfort with yourself. So start there. Develop one or two hobbies that you feel confident talking about. Run cool water over your wrists before nerve-wracking social events. Breathe deeply. Create a mantra that you use whenever you feel anxious (e.g. "I am a successful, interesting person who is capable of carrying on a great conversation."). Smile more. :)
posted by WaspEnterprises at 7:12 PM on February 12, 2012


As for people seeming interested in you, are you talking about things that interest you? Because if I'm talking about something that I find boring, nobody wants to listen to me. If someone is talking something and they don't seem interested in the topic (thinking of Ben Stein here), then I just want to take a nap, and I start scanning the room, looking for likely napping spots. For this, meetup is good, toastmasters is good, volunteering is good! You can volunteer for literacy or nature walks, or museum tours, or all kinds of things that give you an opportunity to talk to people about something you love.

Volunteering also helps because you'll actually be making a difference in a person's life, or in an organization.

Ditto the suggestion about being more interested in the people you interact with. Here's how: Find something about your personal Ben Steins to be engaged with. Ask questions, which helps enormously in leaving people with the impression that you are an interesting person. Seriously. If they are rambling on about birds, ask where is their favorite time to watch birds, or what is their favorite bird watching find, or what birds are local to your area, or how they got started bird watching, or anything that comes to mind to ask. Be actually interested in the answer, ask another question. Eventually the person might ask you a question to shift the conversation. Then asnwer, and carry on from there.

But before all of that. Think about your breathing. Keep breathing. Good steady breaths. How's your posture? Work on strengthening your back and your core, and practice your smile. Because good posture and a warm smile also make people seem more confident but not like jerks.

One last thing. Are you getting enough sleep? Eating well? Otherwise taking care of yourself? Because I find that at least internally, if I'm not being good to myself, I'm a total crabby pants.
posted by bilabial at 7:13 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


A couple of things will help:

- Singing in a choir (much lower-stress than singing lessons, and if you can carry a tune, you should be welcome no matter how strange you think your speaking voice is.)
- Career coaching: just tell them up front all you need to work on is conversation skills.
- Therapy for the self-hatred that's pretty much oozing out of your entire post.

Toastmasters can help (I am biased) but I think you'll get more out of that once you've addressed some of your basic anxieties first. TM is more about speaking clearly in front of groups - many people can actually do that fine but still have tremendous interpersonal social anxiety, and while TM does definitely help you practice modulating your tone, speak with clarity, etc., it's kind of the "Speaking 101" class, while what you're seeking is remedial conversation and speaking skills.
posted by SMPA at 7:19 PM on February 12, 2012


The thing about working on your voice, even though it's not the central issue, is that it's an area where you can see and feel progress pretty rapidly. Also, the experience of working with a teacher and doing work in a group (whether it's a chorus or an improv theater group or Toastmasters or whatever) helps you practice your interpersonal skills.

I am not sure that introverts can (or should, though I am biased as an introvert myself) become extroverts. What we can do is develop our skills in connecting with others and in feeling easier about being around strangers, yes?
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:30 PM on February 12, 2012


Singing lessons and toastmasters are great suggestions. If you were to do only one, I would suggest toastmasters. Every single person I know who has done it came away with more confidence and are better able to communicate with people they don't know.

If you like music at all and can carry a tune, sign up for a local choir. It gives you a chance to meet people with a common interest, and work on your voice at the same time.
posted by markblasco at 8:50 PM on February 12, 2012


You don't tell us much about yourself, but do you do much exercise? I recommend something that gets you really exerting yourself, possibly alone, or it could be with others, if you can get your frontal lobe to switch off and stop worrying about others (and what they might be thinking about you, etc, etc.).

This could be hiking or cycling or swimming or javelin throwing.

I think an activity will help you get out of your head, and engage with the physical side of yourself that has nothing to do with speaking and conversing with people. Exercise also helps with breathing and with releasing endorphins, both good things in yours and pretty much anybody's case. Also, physical confidence will translate to overall confidence.

Singing and choirs are also great ideas. I performed in a choir in college, and while I am nothing close to a standout singer, I found great joy in being part of a group that rehearsed and traveled together. A speaking group or debate club would also be great ideas, if you are still in school or have access to one.

Please remember, that we all have these misgivings about ourselves. You're not alone!
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 9:06 PM on February 12, 2012


I come off as aloof, arrogant, kind of awkward

I think it boils down to not being good at small-talk, something with which many introverts have a problem. I struggled with this for years and eventually came to realize a HUGE part of being a good conversationalist is inviting the other person to share their thoughts. And I'm talking out-right prompts like, "So, what do you think," "have you ever run into this," etc. And when it's their turn to speak, remembering to shut the hell up for a bit, listen to them, and later on acknowledge/build on what they've said.

If you're just relying on people to jump into a conversation and/or you just barrel right on ahead with your original thought as if the other person never spoke... then it's no surprise you're either monopolizing the conversation, or letting it die out. And thus, the accusations of being aloof or arrogant.

Repelling voice

As others have said, anxiety is the greater issue that's compounding this problem. Toastmasters is an excellent suggestion.

I'm an introvert who wants to be an extrovert.

Introverts have their own strengths. There is nothing wrong with being an introvert. It's totally possible to be an introvert that can learn to better connect with people.

Yes, it can be difficult. Seriously, I've had to cultivate a little voice in my head that says, "Dude, you're making this whole conversation about you again, stop it..." I doubt that little voice will ever have a break. Because I am an introvert. Because I naturally shut down on a conversation if the topic is uninteresting to me... or (worse?) switch to full-on verbal diarrhea mode when I get excited. Because I get frustrated when people don't share my interests and would find it easier to write them off than try to figure out how to connect.

I need that little voice to get along in society. And I am OK with that, because I have surprised myself by realizing I actually enjoy being with people... even if it does exhaust me at the end of the day. (And God bless my friends and family that understand I need to retreat to my solitude time to time and recharge for a bit.)

I want to feel like people are genuinely interested in what I have to say

I think you're focusing too much on trying to be a good storyteller, when your issue really seems to be connecting and feeling more comfortable with strangers. The other person is not your audience; instead, they should be your conversation partner.
posted by Wossname at 9:13 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm an introvert who wants to be an extrovert.

Oh my, that sentence resonates with me so much. Until recently, I was extremely unhappy with myself, thinking I was some naive young creature with a long road of self-improvement ahead of me. I come from a family of surreal one-liners and nonsensical arguments and long silences, so I've always been a little out of the loop when it comes to class discussions, giving my sincere opinion, and general small talk. Huge disadvantage, I thought. But my friends (my real friends anyway) actually appreciate the unconventional ways I might contribute to a conversation.

I'm only beginning to believe now that there is really no point where one feels ready to face every challenge life presents. There is nothing wrong with you, nothing that you need to fix today. Relax.

I think you're putting too much pressure on yourself to have an awesome conversation. There are other people involved who have to work too, remember that. It's not your failure if a chat ends abruptly. And you seem to have a negative self-image of yourself that is probably inaccurate -- I was very surprised when some of my co-workers told me they thought I was an extrovert.

I'm also conscious about my voice (which I used to hate, thinking it was unusually deep) and am really sensitive when I think another pair has better conversation chemistry than I had with either person. But conversation isn't a competition; there's no real prize if you continue and continue. If you seriously don't give a shit what they're really saying, then what are you after?

The best thing you might get out of a good conversation, in my opinion, is genuine insight or a new friend. If you're interested in learning something new or strengthening/forging a relationship, then the best thing you can do is to be interested. Ask questions about the other person, don't wait for them to ask questions about you. If they're a decent conversationist, then eventually the tide will turn and your partner will begin wondering about you and your life.

Do you know what your interests are? Do more of that, be it fly-fishing or cooking. Are you enthusiastic when you talk about those subjects? If you are, you should be feeling less self-conscious, less concerned about what your voice sounds like, more about whether what you are saying is right. People will realize you're passionate about the subject and react positively.

Think: are there people you genuinely feel comfortable talking to? What does your relationship with those people have that you don't have with acquaintances -- perhaps you have your inside jokes, your similar backgrounds, or the interesting subjects you always end up talking about.

There's a variety of factors when it comes to conversation chemistry, and hey, let's face it, most conversations are not going to be that intriguing even if you try hard to engage the other person. The other person may be tired, racist, sexist, shy, sad that their grandmother just died, etc. (conscious or not). They are likely not trying to offend you by not working as hard as you are to keep the conversation alive.

Don't take uncomfortable silences too hard. Sometimes I'm in my own world, thinking other thoughts, when suddenly the other person interrupts to say, "Well, that was an awkward silence." ahem, it was only awkward when you said that.

You say you're "anxious/uncomfortable," so I have to ask...have you considered counseling? Individual counseling wasn't helpful for me, but group counseling was, especially a group geared towards overcoming shyness. While not all the exercises were helpful, I was relieved to realize that there are so many people out there who think their shyness and/or introvertness was a burden and that some people have even more deeply rooted anxieties about approaching people, beginning conversations, and so on. Maybe you might find a group setting helpful too.

Anyway, I still consider myself a self-conscious introvert who sucks in crowded settings, but more importantly I don't see myself as a problem waiting to be fixed. I didn't mean to write a novella of my own observations, but I hope someone finds my suggestions helpful...
posted by myntu at 4:05 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Nthing the "shut up and listen" thing. Think of it this way: You feel, intuitively, that you should be entertaining people with interesting stories and anecdotes and all that, because you need to dazzle them. Well, guess what -- YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY CORRECT. Most people feel that way, too, and especially those extroverts that you think are so different from yourself. We all secretly want to be the center of attention and blow everyone away with our awesomeness. It's human nature.

So, you have a choice: keep on with the relentless conversational dueling matches, or surrender and let the other person "win."

Dueling: Trying to think up the perfect bon mot, anecdote, joke, etc to capture and captivate the other person for as long as possible. Ransacking your mind for something, anything about yourself (the most reliable source of data you have!) to do so. Feeling puzzled as the other person withdraws. Knowing that you are likely boring the other person. Concluding that the flaw is that YOU are boring. Dragging yourself into the next dueling match....

Surrendering: Finding the topic that the other person wants to talk about. Turning on the tap and listening as the other person tries to capture and captivate YOU. Graciously allowing yourself to be captured/captivated (or feigning it!) for as long as you want to be there. Asking follow-up questions drawing upon the copious data the other person has put out there. When you're ready, thanking the person for such an interesting conversation, and moving on.

Your instincts are correct but you're choosing to duel rather than surrender.

Techniques to try: "So what have you been up to?" "I've never really tried [birdwatching/BASE jumping/bricklaying/ballet]. How'd you get into it?" "Last time I saw you, you told me about [birdwatching/BASE jumping/etc]. How's that going?"

Downsides of surrendering: You HAVE to pay attention. And when you're self-conscious, this is really hard. Here is where the effort comes into it. You can't allow yourself to be sidetracked by your anxiety. Train yourself to maintain concentration and focus on the other person's WORDS, not just the physical cues that your brain is telling you are more important. This is hard, even for extroverts, because again we are all the same -- we want attention for ourselves because we think it's the best thing for everyone concerned. Instead of thinking "how does this person's story remind me of something about ME" you have to ask simple and sincere questions. Practice helps.

I just want to give you a little shot of confidence because YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY CORRECT with your instincts -- we all want to talk about ourselves because we all think it's the best topic there is. Just take that concept and turn it around and be the vehicle for others to do it. It takes practice, and discipline to keep it going, but it gets better. I just really want you to start from a good place here -- you are CORRECT, your instincts are RIGHT ON, you are NOT some alien creature. We ALL feel this way.
posted by woot at 4:07 AM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


  1. Control the anxiety with regular, vigorous exercise. The body can quiet the mind.
  2. As Wossname says, learn and practice routine forms of small talk. It's the social lubricant that keeps conversation between strangers going.
  3. Singing is great for anxiety, emotional comfort and voice control.

posted by ead at 9:02 AM on February 13, 2012


« Older What should I wear to a busine...   |  Should I take a 40% pay cut to... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.