How to Deal with Excessive Self-Consciousness

Tips from a highly self-conscious introvert

Margarette Mathias
6 min readNov 17, 2020


Photo by Larm Rmah on Unsplash

“I am one of the world’s most self-conscious people. I really have to struggle.” — Marilyn Monroe

“I’m not shy!” I defended.

“You only talk when you’re spoken to,” he said.

“That doesn’t mean I’m shy. I just have nothing to say.”

“If you’re not shy about it, then why can’t I talk to them?”

“Because I don’t want them to know my private life!”

This is a recent argument. My boyfriend wants to “talk” to my students after I ranted about their misconduct. He happened to be friends with some of them.

But here’s the real issue. My boyfriend and I never knew about this misunderstanding. I was surprised —shocked even — that he thought of me differently throughout our three years.

“Shy”? I’m never shy. I’m sure of that. Yet, my problem was closely related.

I am self-conscious.

Shyness vs Self-Consciousness

Shyness and self-consciousness are two different variables. They look the same on the outside but they stir up differently on the inside.

According to a study, shyness is self-derogatory. It’s a negative self-bias where you look down on your capabilities, thus, limiting your actions. On the other hand, self-consciousness is how you see yourself in the eyes of others — a self-representation.

The thin line that set shyness and self-consciousness apart is preparedness. As I see shy people, however prepared they were, they still need a boost from others before they go.

On the other hand, self-conscious people ooze with confidence when they’ve prepared for it. This explains why some people can boldly do a public speech or a stage play, but make a fool of themselves when it’s impromptu.

I was a highly self-conscious introvert. Before I walk in the middle of a crowd, I make sure I’ve come prepared. It might be a good thing, but too much self-consciousness has tremendous side effects. It twins with perfectionism.



Margarette Mathias

A daydreamer who loves cats, coffee, and life talks. Support me and my works at