Do you often catch yourself worrying about what others think about you?
I know I was worried about the smallest things for the longest time.
As a matter of fact, most of my life.
How did I minimize my worrying? Well, I had to learn the hard way and I’d like to tell you a story of what seemed to be one of the lowest times of my life.
It was my girlfriend’s 22nd birthday and I had planned with her friends to go for her birthday dinner at a decent restaurant. I had never met my girlfriend’s friends before, but I had texted her best friend indirectly through my girlfriend.
She seemed really excited to meet me since my girlfriend (let’s call her Shelly, for the sake of the story) must have said great things to them about me.
I was very excited to meet them as well, but deep down inside, I was feeling very insecure about myself at the time. Several thoughts crossed my mind:
“What if they don’t think I’m cool enough for them?”
“It’s going to be awkward since they all know each other and they’re good friends with Shelly.”
“The spotlight should be on Shelly, not me, so I’ll have to make sure that I don’t try to take over the conversation too much.
“What if they don’t like how I dress?”
These thoughts, now looking back, seem so silly to me. I was just making excuses in my mind and sabotaging my relationship with her friends before I had even come into contact with them.
Anyways, while I was on my way to the restaurant where we all had planned to host the birthday dinner, I received a text from my girlfriend that she was about 10 minutes away from the restaurant. I was only 5 minutes away at the time, which was good, because I had enough time to park and show up earlier than everyone else for her.
I went inside the restaurant, talked to the waitress, and walked over to the table that was reserved for us. I took a seat and was waiting on my girlfriend and her best friend’s arrival.
I had been building rapport with her best friend (let’s call her Zoe) over text through my girlfriend and she seemed very friendly and excited to meet me.
So while I was waiting for them, the front door of the restaurant opened and I saw Shelly and Zoe start walking towards me. I gave my girlfriend a big hug and I gave Zoe a friendly hug. With Zoe, it seemed a bit forced and she didn’t seem to have a very excited look on her face, which made me start to doubt myself.
The rest of the night, as more and more of her friends arrived at the restaurant, Shelly introduced me to most of them and some were excited to meet me while others didn’t seem to care much.
This made me doubt myself even more, because I had always thought I was a very charming and friendly guy. I thought to myself the following thoughts:
“Have I lost my attractiveness and self-worth?”
“How come some of Shelly’s friends are not that excited to see me?”
“Is something wrong with me?”
“I feel very uncomfortable right now and I can’t wait to go home…so at least I can get away from this uncomfortable feeling.”
I tried cracking a few jokes with her friends, but many of her friends didn’t really find it as funny as I did in my mind, most likely because I was very nervous and it came across through my voice tone and facial expressions.
This further decreased my self-confidence and increased my worrying throughout the night.
I was feeling very defeated inside…I wanted to get away really bad.
After everyone finished dinner, had dessert, and took pictures, we all started getting ready to head out one by one. I told Shelly’s friends it was really nice to meet them, hugged my girlfriend and said my goodbyes to everyone, then left the scene.
Why did I not have a good time on my girlfriend’s birthday dinner? Hmmm…
Maybe because I was over thinking and overanalyzing everything in my mind.
I’ve learned a lot about worrying and anxiety the hard way and I’m here today to share with you some tips to decrease the amount of worrying you’re engaged in as well as decreasing social anxiety as a result of this.
Lesson of the day:
4 Easy Steps You Can Take in Order to Stop Worrying So Much:
1) Realize that you’re worrying and bring it to your attention. Remind yourself that worrying will not solve anything; it will just make matters worse.
2) Replace worrying with positive thoughts about yourself and others you will be talking to.
3) Just relax…Breathe in and out a few times, slowly. Let loose a bit. Become less engaged in your thoughts and more engaged in conversation with everyone.
4) Realize that you’re exactly the person you need to be right now and it’s your unique personality that will attract people into your life.
So get out there, stop worrying so much like I used to, and start being more confident in yourself!
I hope you found this post helpful and hope you will join me on the journey to self-confidence mastery. : )
– Steve Daniels
P.S. I would love to hear what you have to say about this post. Feel free to comment below!