Let’s start from analysing what self consciousness is and end with practical real life techniques that will help you to overcome Self Consciousness and gain self confidence.In between we are going to cover a lot of examples of self consciousness in different social situations and self evaluate the degree of your self consciousness also but i promise you that this is not going to be a boring ride.
What is Self Consciousness?
Following is the simple definition of Self Consciousness that i can relate to…
Self-consciousness is an acute sense of self-awareness. It is a preoccupation with oneself, as opposed to the philosophical state of self-awareness, which is the awareness that one exists as an individual being. An unpleasant feeling of self-consciousness may occur when one realizes that one is being watched or observed, the feeling that “everyone is looking” at oneself. Some people are habitually more self-conscious than others. Unpleasant feelings of self-consciousness are sometimes associated with shyness or paranoia. –Wikipedia
If the definition doesn’t make much sense let me explain with my favourite metaphor which i personally came up with in my quest of overcoming my own self consciousness .
In real world we have to use our senses-eyes,ears etc.. to listen and see the people around us to respond and react to others perfectly.Let’s crudely call it consciousness.
Imagine all people are fitted with a helmet with a Smartphone attached hanging in front that is big enough to hide your whole face blocking their vision.Now the only way to see the outer world is to use the smartphone’s front camera and watch the phone’s screen to interact with the people around you.We can still go around and interact with the People,Right?
Let say for some People their smartphone are in the Front camera mode automatically and they can see only themselves.They start seeing their own faces and facial expressions every time they interact socially with other people.Every time this happens they start to fumble around with their interactions with other people.They see their own frightened faces and get more nervous and this vicious cycle continues till they become worse and stop avoiding interacting with the outer world.Let’s Crudely call this as self consciousness.
Now all that is needed to be done,to make them normal,is to change their camera to back camera mode.Once you understand the Problem the solution is so simple. Right?
So why don’t you just change your mode and start focusing outwards on people during social interactions instead of focusing inwards on yourself.
Now don’t get me wrong.I know self consciousness is not a disease and you won’t believe if i say i might get hate mails from self conscious crusaders who send hate mails.They just don’t want to change and like melancholy and self pity and nobody can understand them better than me because i was one of them.As they say in nlp, everything has a good intention.But Everything has a time and Place and social situations are not the best time to go inside your mind and do a self analysis.
Let us now see why self consciousness is a problem which you should be trying to come out of by some case studies.Rita is a shy Girl in the class and she is self conscious.Guys and Girls in her class like to make fun of her and like to watch her go nervous.When ever someone cracks a joke at her expense instead of giving a fitting reply she wonders what other people are thinking about her and feel shame.If she focuses her attention on delivering a comeback line or at least a assertive answer others will be thinking twice before teasing her again.
The Problem with being self conscious is it will eventually develop in to negative self talk.It’s when something inside you talks back to you…saying things like ‘you cannot do it’,or ‘you look fat’ or what ever you are self conscious about.The more you listen to your negative self talk the worse it will get and sooner rather than later you will have depression.At this stage the only way to come out of the mess is to catch yourself having the negative self talk and stop it.There are effective Techniques to stop negative self talk but that is a different subject altogether,for this scope of this article it suffices to know that self consciousness can lead to further personality complications if you don’t do something about it.