How to Deal with Excessive Self-Consciousness
“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.