I will often remark that I tend to be a bit on the anxious side as a general rule. Not to say I have a legitimate anxiety disorder, but I am often anxious about things many people wouldn’t care about. Like the way I interact with my boyfriend’s friends for example. When it’s just a couple of them it’s not a problem, but more than that and I feel like this awkward, strange being and that no one knows why I’m with them. I’ll mention that I’ve been with my boyfriend for 8 years and he’s only been friends with these people for about 2 or so years so I don’t really have a reason to feel this way. They don’t even make me feel this way necessarily. It’s just a lack of confidence mixed with my anxiety over meeting new people especially in large groups. It all culminates together in this feeling of overall inadequacy that I’m not good enough or cool enough or interesting enough or friendly enough etc. etc. I wanted to be impressive, and I’m not.
Confidence. It would go a long way in these situations.
I read an article today that got me thinking about my confidence. I’m not saying I totally lack confidence, because that’s not true. I am confident in many situations, like at work or with my friends. I’m my normal kind of kooky, fairly knowledgeable self. Not afraid to be who I am. Then there are situation like the one above where I just feel so out of my element that I lose all confidence and crumble. I am not one of those people who can walk into a room and just start talking to people and be funny and charming and make friends with people who I wouldn’t normally be friends with. I’m not that girl.
So back to that article I mentioned. I saw it on Linked In, my former boss had commented on it. I read it and it made a lot of sense. I’ll link it here if you’re interested in reading: it. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/formula-building-confidence-olivia-barrow
Basically it says that your expectations vs reality are what often result in poor confidence. An example based on the above mentioned situation was that expected to walk up to his friends at this party and be my usual bubbly self and talk about my interests and find a couple people who maybe were iinterested enough to keep talking about it and maybe people would remark to my boyfriend how friendly I was. Reality was I tend to be uncomfortable around people who are heavily intoxicated when I am not and since I don’t drink much that tends to be all the time. I act awkward and barely talk, reverting to my 12 year old self who seems unable to make conversation. I walked into the situation unawares and was left disapointed and feeling unliked.
The article basically says that I need to change my mindset after the fact. Don’t lower my expectations, but understand that when those expectations are not met I shouldn’t beat myself up, but rather forgive myself. Basically say “you’ll get ’em next time sport” and point out to myself what did go right in that situation.
I think this is important. Being nice to yourself. Forgiving yourself. Remembering that you’re not perfect and no one is even if you think they are. These are things I need to remember and something other people who feel this way should remember. It isn’t always easy; my anxiety is mild at worst and gives me enough problems. I can’t imagine how difficult it is if you have more extreme anxiety and how hard it would be to remember these things in everyday encounters, but give it a shot. Read the article and tell me what you think.