David Morin

How to become less self-conscious when all eyes are on you


If there’s one thing I remember from school, it’s the terror of arriving in the mornings.

I remember clearly that walk over the school courtyard, feeling everyone’s eyes on me like lasers scanning my every move.

I used to become so self-conscious that it felt like I’d forgotten how to walk. I had to manually control every move my body made and was certain that now, people didn’t just look, they probably took notes and had discussions about what a strange breed I was.

It wasn’t until one of my last years in school that someone told me something that permanently changed how I viewed things.

He said, “When we arrive at school, no one notices how others look because they’re too concerned with how THEY look”.

That comment applied so specifically to my situation, that I couldn’t get it out of my mind. The following morning, I decided to try something I’d never done before.

I decided to study everyone else in that courtyard.

To my surprise, people did totally different things than looking at me.

People looked nervous, fixed their hair, tried to catch a glimpse of their reflection in the school windows (in the corner of their eyes, so that no one would notice).

At that moment, I made three realizations:

Realization 1: People are incredibly concerned about themselves, so concerned that they have a limited ability to take note of others

I later in life learned that when they DO notice someone else doing something weird, they’re often just relieved that they aren’t the only one who does weird stuff.

Realization 2: When I realized how uncomfortable most people are, I became more comfortable.

This is a weird psychological phenomenon: Imagine walking into a room of people who you know are the most confident, socially savvy people who’ve ever walked this earth. You probably feel intimidated.

Now – imagine walking into a room full of people who are anxious, who will wonder what you think of them, who wish they could become more confident. Now you feel more confident.

What happened at that courtyard was that I’d put the others down from the imaginary pedestal I’d assumed they all were up on. When I took them down to my level, they stopped intimidating me.

Realization 3: When I focused on others, I became less self-conscious.

When I forced my attention out of my own head and paid attention to those around me, I automatically became less self-conscious. There’s a simple reason for why this works: Our brain can only focus on one thing at the time.

Since then, study after study has confirmed this: When test participants are instructed to focus outwards they feel less self-conscious and more confident. (As a side-effect, they also become better at making conversation, because when they focus on others or focus on the conversation instead of their own performance, it’s easier to come up with questions that you can build the conversation on.)

Click here: Learn how to make interesting conversation with anyone.

The next time you feel like everyone’s looking at you, do this:

  1. Analyze the people around you.
  2. Think about how most of them are nervous and self-occupied beneath their confident surface.
  3. Notice how liberating it feels to move the spotlight over to them. They are humans, too!

But what about conversations? When I opened my mouth around strangers, I felt like they would judge my every word.

I later learned that I was overly afraid to make mistakes and show weaknesses.

I didn’t want anyone to know how anxious I felt around strangers or how my head came up with crazy thought loops about what to say or what people would think of me.

What helped me overcome this fear was daring to share those insecurities with others, starting with people I trusted.

It felt really scary and vulnerable in the beginning, but in the end it made me realize that I wasn’t alone, that people didn’t judge me and that I was OK even with the “crazy shit” going on in my head.

This kind of open sharing made me stronger because then, I worried less about hiding my weaknesses.

One of our community members, Mathilda, bravely shared this about one of her fears:

“I’m insecure about not sounding smart enough. Sometimes I forget the words I want to say because of my anxiety and overthinking.

I feel like I lose track of what I was going to say and sometimes find myself cutting it short because I get so nervous.”

Another one of our community members, John, shared this:

Every time I leave my house, I become extremely aware of myself. I keep worrying about how I’m being perceived by other people, especially by girls I find attractive.

I feel as if I’m in the spotlight and everyone is looking at me. I should probably worry about other things but you can’t argue with this brain of mine.”

I hope this story can inspire you to share a weakness, too.

So, write down in the comments: What are YOU afraid of being judged for?

Also, do you see someone else in the comment you share a fear with? Reply to them and let them know that they’re not alone feeling like this.

We’re all in this together.

References:

1. Ruscio, A. M.; Brown, T. A.; Chiu, W. T.; Sareen, J.; Stein, M. B.; Kessler, R. C. (2008-01-01). “Social fears and social phobia in the USA: results from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication”. Psychological Medicine. 38 (1): 15–28.
2. Zimbardo, P.G. (1977). Shyness: what it is, what to do about it. Reading (MA): Addison-Wesley.

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Comments (251)

  1. Teressa

    I sometimes feel like the most boring person on the planet. When I’m not with a few friends of mine who gets me I’m so awkward… I’m totally unable to start a conversation.. It’s like I have nothing to say. And it usually freaks me out so much that I end up not talking at all…Nobody ever comes to talk to me and when they do, the conversation dies after few minutes, so the next time they rather talk to someone else..I feel so hopeless like there’s something deeply wrong with me…

  2. Heather

    I am afraid of being judged and/or deemed not good enough to be with the person I am with.

  3. Anna

    I’m afraid that people might think i’m dumb. When i’m with people i feel so small and my mind goes blank, i don’ know what to say and if i think of something it always sounds so forced. i feel that my personality is awful and they’ll get quickly bored, it’s like i’m wasting their time

  4. Abel

    I’m always the quiet guy, sure I can contribute to a conversation but I won’t start one. I’ve always had this fear of being judged for how interactive I was in a conversation, and as I listen to my friends speak I just wish I could talk more and contribute more to a conversation. And the more I think about it the less I want to say anything. I also struggle with being embarrassed, I’ve gone as far as skipping school to avoid a class presentation, I would tel my self I can do this but the closer the day of presenting cane the more anxious I got.

    • Anonymous

      you are not alone i also have the same fear

  5. Luis

    I am afraid of being judged for the wrong reasons. my personality is really bold when im comfortable around people like family, and around my only friend really, but I quite myself in order to feel better in public situations. Thats when I developed a twitching problem. Its extremely uncontrollable and embarrassing. Now, when I hear a sound coming from anywhere close to me, I twitch exactly right after. recently its not twitching its more like a coincidence problem caused by the twitching problem through time. Now when I twitch its because I hear/feel/see people around looking at me and thinking im weird or mentally challenged or frankly retarded. Im a klutz, and get really nervous when I fuck up because it adds to my reputation. I was never like this, and I have theories of why it started mostly death of my cousin I pulled back from society. but I truly think with the right help I could overcome this. So please I ask this one thing, does anyone know a place I could go for a few weeks maybe couple months so I can get therapy and most likely medication like adderall or something for anxiety. my friend tells me I have ADHD so I feel like thats also a factor to the twitching. I need help. simple as that. Im am in Florida so if anyone knows of a place please get back to me.

  6. Anonymous

    Looks , that they’ll think I’m stupid and not as smart or educated

  7. Erika

    I am afraid of beeing judged for not getting well from my fatigue syndrom and for not beeing able to get back to work yet. I am also afraid of being judged for beeing shy and don’t beeing able to have a conversation with people I dont know at dinner parties. I usually end up sitting there with no one to talk to.

  8. Kimberly

    Hi how are you have a good weekend I am afraid of being judged for being shy being anxious and neverous all the time because I have high anxiety , autism , depression , and I think I have ptsd always stressed out 24-7

  9. William

    Im afraid of being judged on my weight, almost to the point I hate myself and I judge myself so it doesn’t hurt as much being judged by others. Or you know I’m worried someone might judge me for how I speak, some have literally called ignorant before because I didn’t know what they knew or talked like they talked. My life has always been a rollercoaster of emotions ranging from fear to outright rage because of my paranoia that others are talking about me… It’s gotten so bad as of lately it’s starting to ruin my relationship with my loving fiance.

  10. Saurava Mohapatra

    Sometimes, I feel confident to face the spotlight but very soon my brain fade start and I am unable to speak anything.
    Many a time I ponder over what to talk about even when talking with my family members(except my mother).
    I hesitate a lot while expressing(due to filtering) my thoughts. It’s easy while writing because I can correct errors/ change the whole sentence-structure.

  11. Surreally

    Did any of you ever just feel that you lost all interest in the people you get the chance to know?!
    Like, there is a lot of people I could get to know, but I am not in to whomever wants to get to know me, just feel so distant from most people; in my work I take a real interest in my collegues and even feel like I would like to know them even more, but in private life it’s just ‘been there done that, not funny’….its weird.

  12. pancake

    iam more afraid of hurting people’s feelings than being judged.i have a fear of i might hurt someone unintentionally by saying something,i would always nod in agreement to make them feel appreciated.i would always silence myself even if people had bad things to say to me because i feel like its better that im hurt than they feel hurt.

    • Saurava Mohapatra

      I too feel this.

  13. Anonymous

    I feel the same way. It`s really hard to commute what i`m thinking and i get so nervous that i either just stop talking or just give up entirely and move on to an easier su

  14. Anonymous

    I fear that I will be judged for my way of speaking (especially English). As a result of which I end up stammering or speaking wrong words. Also, due to this I speak less or in other words I am unable to continue the conversation. I feel that maybe because of this people end the conversation with me.

    • Nikki

      Hey anonymous answer, whoever you are, I have the same feeling. I’m quite good at English but still my language skills (whichever language it is) seem to be less when I talk to people who I feel are very smart. Because the person whom I’m talking to might think I am bad at English or something.

  15. Reina

    I am afraid that people will think I am boring. When someone new tries to talk to me i always try to paraphrase what they said or agree with what they said and then I smile and nod. I don’t try to add on to the conversation. But the truth is, its because i’m shy. So when people finish the converstation with me and leave, I always think its because they thought I was boring which leads them to not wanting to talk to me anymore.

    • Droc

      Am currently facing this too. Most times I feel like am losing out on attractive girls because am boring

  16. Anonymous

    I fear that people will think I’m weird or if I let them get too close, they will hurt me and then leave me. And I’m also afraid that because I have a larger body than lots of people my age, they won’t want to be associated with me.

  17. Swagata Kisku

    I am afraid of being judged for my shyness and introvertness.It makes me think sometimes that the other people out there would not understand me or misinterprete my intentions.

  18. Alaa

    Hello, thanks for your hard work <3
    I recently started to realise that everytime i talk to people or even pass by them i have to compare between us, it's the only way i get confident. I think it's kind of an inferiority complex. I think that self-confidence should be persistent

    • Alaa

      And it is very draining too it’s making me hate myself and dread going outside!

    • Elina

      Hi Alaa,
      I feel the same way – when approaching a new person I usually assess them and compare against myself. And if comparison is in my favor I have no issue communicating with them, but if for whatever reason I decide that they’re better than me, I become distant and try to leave the situation ASAP.
      I agree with you – Confidence is everything.
      Good luck to you on this journey of self acceptance and mastering social skills!

  19. Sahar

    Hello, David!
    I’ve been reading alot of your articles these days and i can’t seem to stop haha.
    You see, my voice is rather soft and quiet, the type that’s hard to hear/understand. It makes talking to people hard especially when they are talking loudly and excitedly and can’t hear me. Normal group conversations are sometimes hard too bc i need to repeat myself and people get tired of it and stop asking me to repeat and choose to ignore me instead. Even if i speak loudly it’s still hard to understand.
    I’m getting better at making my voice level (during presentations) because once it cracks i think oh no they know I’m nervous over such a small thing.
    I wish i knew what to do.

  20. Joan

    My age Im a senior. My race. I live in a very mixed race community and my language. I’m white Caucasian and only speak one language English and I feel like other people of other cultures who speak more than one languages speak in their foreign language are talking about me deliberately in another language drliberatey either about me or to shut me out right in front of me. I tried to talk to a woman in front of me in a check out line to ask her a question and when she saw me she froze me out. It hurt because I was taught as a young white girl never to be snobby or mean to others because of skin color or cultural differences. Sometimes I want to be around only people of my own culture and race because I experience so much rejection by people with more than one language who know how to speak English but deliberately speak something else so I shut down and ignore them and the possibility of friendships starting at a bus stop or grocery store not good. I have become a recluse who watches movies borrowed from the library with my cat as my social outlet.

  21. Amber

    I’ve always been a shy person but since I started high school it seemed to get worse. I am now in year 10 and I still get the feelings of fear and worry when I talk to certain people etc. I’m terrified of speaking to strangers and I’m still worried to speak to some people in my friendship group. Recently it has been a little better but thoughts always rush through my head when I’m talking to them, thinking of how stupid I sound or what should I say etc. I just want to be able to feel comfortable talking to most people, whether I know them or not and not feel anxious every time I walk into school.

  22. Anonymous

    I’m afraid of being judge because of my body and I know that I get judge every day, at school or at home. I just want to feel confident but I don’t know how. I never have a real boyfriend or relationship because they don’t really like me the way I’m and I have trust issues. I want to resolve all of this but I don’t know how

  23. Bryan

    I’m afraid because of my uncommon upbringing, not having either parent raise me, that others, who may have had a more typical family dynamic, can see about me, and perhaps even that there are obvious things within my personality and the way I am that only they would be able to tell about. I feel embarrassment which often is coupled with shame because of this, especially when something doesn’t land correctly in a social setting.

  24. Anonymous

    When I talk, I feel as though I’m such an outsider that people won’t be able to talk to me, and that they’re judging me for being different.

    • Anonymous

      It doesn’t matter that you’re different or not. See your differences as all the things that make you unique and those should make you proud

  25. Caden

    When I have to do any sort of public speaking in school, I often get nervous and have a panic attack. I worry that people judge me because of my panic attacks, and so I avoid talking to anyone in any classes that I know are going to have a lot of public speaking assignments.

    • Anonymous

      I’m exactly like you but I’m not nervous anymore because I tell myself if I believe in me there’s nothing to be afraid of so you should talking to yourself like a video and then watch it and little by little you’ll see your progression

  26. Jonathan Mora

    My face gets red when I’m nervous or on the spotlight during social situations. I can feel it and so I over think it and worry that I’m being judged because it clearly shows that I’m anxious or nervous towards others which therefore makes me lose the ability to come up with anything else to say and then get very quiet or awkward.

  27. Ns

    When I open my mouth around people, strangers I feel like they would judge what I am saying and they don’t listen my point of view

  28. Anonymous

    When I open my mouth around people, strangers I feel like they would judge what I am saying and they don’t listen my point of view

  29. CT

    I am the most anxious about people thinking that I am boring and that i am not funny. I also have nothing to talk about because I feel like I have no personality and there is nothing special about me. Whenever people ask: ‘Have you watched this film’ I never know what they are on about so I feel like I cannot relate and then the conversation come to a halt. I literally have nothing to say and I am not good at telling stories because I don’t think they are stories worth telling because they won’t make people laugh.

    • Anonymous

      I totally get it. Something that helps me is culturing myself. Pick an art or area of culture that interests you and learn about it bottom to top, then you have something to talk about. Its a good idea to start off reading wikipedia pages. Reddit and Tumblr are also good for immersing yourself in culture. Good luck brother!

  30. JJ

    This is so true. During a recent social event I had with my club members in college, I realized that some of the members who seemed very social and confident previously, were actually being shy and nervous towards me. During our dinner together, I had several people sat across me and I tried to talk to them and engage in conversations and I could just FEEL that they, even the confident ones, were literally talking to each other (who were already friends) and avoiding eye contact with me. I could feel them being nervous. At first, I thought ‘Are they avoiding my eye contact? Don’t they wanna be friends with me?’ but then as I reflect, I could see that they were just afraid to approach to a stranger. I totally agree with you David, on the note that the one who puts their guard down first is the one who wins ultimately.

  31. Anonymous

    Yeah I’m fedup with feeling like a outsider I often have people just talk over me Wen I’m saying stuff it makes me feel worthless

  32. Andy

    I seem to over-analyze my anxiety and worry of people’s perception of me. I rely too much on how I ‘feel’ too much. I have all the tools and knowledge to overcome this obstacle in my life. But putting it to use, that’s where the challenge begins for this brain of mine haha.

  33. Anonymous

    Today was a bad day for me(shy wise) . In class we had to play a game and I was picked to stand in the middle of a bunch of people and ask them questions but everyone was looking at me and so I couldn’t think of questions and my voice got highs and shaky .UHHHHHHGG! And I’m sure my face was really red. (Btw does anyone else’s voice get shaky when there nervous ?)

    • J

      My voice gets shaky when doing a speech along with really flushed red everything. I’ve gotten a bit better at coping with this but still fear being laugh at for being stupid or something.

    • Anonymous

      Whenever we’re made to read in class we all have to do it and my voice always goes shaky and I always stumble over my words so I get you

  34. Mandy healy

    I’m such a fake! I’m a mental health support worker and am there for my patients and I am working allextra shifts to avoid my own life and insecurities – I do t attend any social events cosim either working or sleeping after my night shifts- I know this is not good for my mental health -but i hate social situations.

  35. Mm

    I don’t like talking too much because I’m not talkative and can’t deliver my thoughts perfectly. I hate this and I’m really tired of it. I’m not good at oral exams and don’t like talking to a girl. I stopped caring about people but I worry that will keep people away from me especially I can’t think about changing myself

    • L.G

      I feel the same way I don’t like talking to much, but my reason is because I’m afraid of being boring or not having something good to say so I don’t say anything at all. I feel like that does make people avoid coming up to me because they think that I’m rude or something, but I’m just afraid of having them not talk to me.

  36. Anonym

    First, I worry if I am not just weird and ugly.
    Then, I’m fa going on a camp with some people. They’ll forget that I have been with them: they sum up everybody except for me (to their friends). That’s even the truth with the people I have been with the closest on that camp: we have slept in one bedroom and we have been doing all the activities in a smaller group together.
    So, I’m gonna worry whether I’m not too invisible.
    Then, I go to school and people laugh at me, or they tell ironically ‘Nha, he is in love with you’ (about sb I don’t know). The whole story starts over and over again.

  37. Riota

    Honestly im always scared of judgments and how people will see me, in alot of things i do or say,im afraid to share my thoughts with others for them to not think bad of me, that im stupid and awkward or weird.. , and im really afraid of the way they will react to my comment, i always think that if i say something people will definitely mock me, sometimes i feel that being quite is better( especially with strangers or people i don’t really know) than talking and letting others judge me and discover the true me, alot of people in my family or i know find me quite, shy,nervous, and so arrogant lol cause i don’t talk to them ( i mentioned the reason above).

    • Emma

      I’m really shy around people I don’t know ,but I don’t like people thinking I’m shy so I try to talk anyways. But then I just say something stupid,or Tripp over my words,and my voice gets high and and weird sounding . When someone I don’t really know talks to me , I’m so focus on what I’m supposed to say next that I just blank and awkwardly smile and laugh . I’m sometimes scared to say my opinion on things bc I don’t want to judge. I’m really shy round confident people. When I know I’m going to some social gathering at night I spend that whole day stressed about it . I’m also really self conscious about my body . I think I come off as grumpy to some people when I’m being shy. I hate this cause it’s not who I am I’m really talkative round people I know. I Really Need To Work On This!!!!!!!

      • Anonymous

        This is sooo me! You’re not alone. It’s like you typed my thoughts

  38. Anonymous

    I always worry about who I am going to run into when I go out and how they will perceive me

  39. Anonymous

    1. I feel nervous anytime i need to share my thoughts on something or make a presentation because people might think I am not smart enough. So i tend to break in between words a lot, have shaky voice and hands and then i lose track of everything i had in mind.

  40. Emma

    Everyone thinks that I’m just quiet person but I’m actually really talkative if they would just get to know me . People that I never even been around tell me they can tell I’m quiet . But I’m not. I’m even shy around my cousins and relatives. Don’t like this rep . I hate talking to people I don’t know I feel awkward bc I don’t what to do with my hands and making eye contact is intimidating. Thanks for doing this I can tell it’s gonna help me a lot . .

    • Goldie

      Same. I can talk for hours with someone I know well without worry, but with other people, I only speak when spoken to and find it really hard to approach them. Everyone thinks I’m quiet because of this, but it’s frustrating because I’m not.

    • Amanda

      Emma I feel exactly the same – there’s so much about me that people don’t see because i don’t t have the confidence to let them see the real me and I get angry with myself – I feel like an “introverted” extrovert – I feel like just expressing myself amongst people like us who feel like this without people that know us xx please get in touch xxxx

      • Emma

        Hi Amanda ! I’m like that too. I love that we can talk to people who are like us and that there’s no judging! I feel like a “introverted extrovert ” too . Thanks for replying .Xxxooox

    • Aydan

      I have the same issue where people think im the weird quite kid but im only quite becasue nobody ever tries to talk to me and I have trouble making new friends so I dont really get chances to prove im not quite

  41. Anonymous

    Thanks for doing this for us it’s gonna help me a lot I already know.

  42. Anonymous

    Sometimes I’m afraid of saying my opinion on controversial things bc I think my opinion might be wrong . I know that I should speak my mind but a lot of times my opinion changes so I don’t usually say anything just to be safe

  43. Anonymous

    I’m afraid that people won’t agree with me or somehow get offended by what I say. I really just want make people happy but it’s like the harder I try to them happy the more I fail. It was hard enough to post this comment but I’m doing it.

    • Viktor Sander

      Thanks for sharing! <3

  44. Anonymous

    I’m afraid that no one really wants to hear what I have to say, most of the time if I do talk people just talk over me. Which makes me feel like they are judging me that I’m not worth their time and I have nothing useful to say.

    • Amanda

      I’ve only just posted my own stuff but came across your message – if you want to talk – my name is mandy and no one is judging you- you wouldn’t have contacted this group if you weren’t struggling – if you want to talk I promise use I wo t talk over you xxx

  45. Mandy

    When I speak to most people I feel as they are judging the way I speak. Then not respecting me. They act like I’m just a child and what I say doesn’t matter.

    • Goldie

      It’s so frustrating and disrespectful when people talk to you like you’re a child. It’s like they think that you’re somehow stupid because you’re not as social as they are, even though that’s not true. I’ve had so many people in school do that to me.

      • Maddie

        I can relate. I also have ADHD which doesn’t help my situation and I also look very young for my age. Because sometimes I can feel confident, ready to say something, I say it and it comes out cracked or quietly spoken. Not stuttering, but just sounds like I’m scared because until right when the words are coming out my brain just makes them come out like that. I get where you’re coming from, it’s so frustrating. People who don’t have ADHD or social anxiety or just anxiety in general and don’t really know anybody or have been exposed to it unfortunately do not realize that people do have mental issues today more than ever and it is upsetting, but unfortunately in the society we live it there are going to always be people who just don’t get it and I don’t blame them because they’re are certain things I wish I was exposed too, but until I cared to do research and make myself more aware about not only my mental health struggles but others and started to focus on others and asking things like how are you and offering others help made my confidence sky rocket. Prove you’re teachers or friends or whoever is treating you like a child that you are capable. Yes, it will be hard, not going to lie. However, I learned that you can’t just expect things to fall in place, you have to work on yourself and take baby steps everyday. I like to set a goal for myself to talk to one person who I think hates me or may not like me everyday and just be nice. I kill them with kindness as Selena Gomez’s song goes. It makes you feel empowered.

  46. Anonymous

    I hate how shy and quiet I am. Everyone knows me as the “shy” “quiet” one. I try so hard sometimes to talk more, and be talkao but then I freak out and start stuttering and then I get embarrassed and quiet down. After that I feel so awkward and I think that they of me as a weird quiet one. I am very talkative around people I know for a long time. I’m just not with people I knew not so much. I see so many people get used to people so easily. I can’t it takes me about 2-3 years to make me feel 100% comfortable with someone and start being more open, and talkative. I don’t want that, I want to feel like I can talk to people and not be the odd one out. I feel like since I’m so shy and quiet, people avoid me. I have a few close friends but we split up after going to different schools, I have a few close friends now but not too close, and I don’t feel comfortable with them as much as I want to be.

    • Anonymous

      I think I feel exactly the same way as you do and most times am scared of making mistakes and sometimes eventually make mistake in my expression due to over nervousness. Today in school a lady I don’t know sat beside me so I decided to greet and her, what I noticed when I said “Good morning” was a big shot that I felt it in my chest, I couldn’t say anything else until she stood up and left. It’s so tiring and fruastuating to be like this.

  47. Raja

    I’m afraid that others can judge me if I do something wrong,or I will lose my self if I talk to them.

  48. Stefanie

    I am afraid that I am boring and not entertaining or funny so no one wants to listen to what I have to say. And then I sit there quietly and start to worry about how everyone must think I’m too quiet or “weird” because I don’t contribute anything to group conversations. Even when I can clear these thoughts out of my mind and not sit there completely self-absorbed in my own insecurities, my brain just doesn’t come up with things to add to a conversation or questions to ask. I just completely blank.

    • Izzy

      I feel like I’m in this position a lot too. When I’m with people in a group, I very rarely speak to anyone and only talk if someone asks me something (which is also rare). I’m worried that they think I don’t want to be involved in the conversation so they decide not to talk to me or include me.

    • Anonymous

      I feel the same exact way. Like I have nothing to contribute. Nothing at all comes to my mind to say. It makes me feel stupid. It’s like I have a wall between my mind and my mouth. Sad thing is that my daughter feels the same way. She is only 12 but suffers with exactly the same thing.

    • Peter

      It feels like your describing me there, I get so worked up because the harder I try to think of something to say the more difficult it becomes and I just stand there in silence. I’m okay with my close friends but anyway be else it’s a nightmare!

    • Fran

      The same here. In the past 8 months I’ve joined a social group to find an activity that I enjoy and get to know new people. At times I find it hard to express myself, especially when I’ve been bombarded with tough situations from health scares rocking our family, finance or work situations in the last few months. Many times I feel I can’t contribute due to trying to keep everything together but knowing to sit at home alone is not a healthy option either.

      Other times I think that my work or things I’ve done during the week aren’t as exciting as other people’s stories so sit silent listening and nodding in the right places. Even when situations are getting better I am afraid to contribute too much as I don’t want to distract from others sharing as they might think I’m taking over or not worth listening too.

      I come away trying to figure out how I can best overcome being silent , or how not to convey how tough situations have been so the next time I go with a plan that often doesn’t work. I like being with the people, and doing the activity but get so frustrated and concerned that they might think why I even bother going. I wonder then if I’m the white elephant in the room and should I even bother to meet new people.

  49. Sands

    Well Im not “afraid” of being alone, its just that i feel like i want to be with my friends and im usually there early so im always waiting alone and i feel people are judging me and thinking that I dont have any friends? Does that make sense? Sounds silly like that

  50. Emma

    I’m mostly scared of being judged. I’ve noticed when I’m talking one on one with someone I feel comfortable unless the small talk is awkward then anxiety kicks. But in a group of people my anxiety is through the roof I guess this is because I feel if I spoken out there are more people to judge me on what I’m saying. I am an introvert, so feel as though my personality does not match everyone else’s constantly feeling drowned out by everyone talking therefore I get anxious thoughts about not Fitting in and keeping up.
    An add on… I avoid talking because I’m very self conscious about my teeth and my lips they way they look, and definitely the way they look when they are moving so hate drawing attention to them… I never smile with my teeth showing.

  51. Sara

    My biggest fear/ insecurity is not sounding intelligent and not being interesting. I have a lot of topics stored inside of me but when it comes to speaking about them I go blank and sometimes just can’t carry on a conversation.

  52. RW

    My biggest insecurities is not sounding intelligent enough (aka using “big” words) or not interesting enough. Due to the nature of my work as a yoga teacher, I feel like it isn’t a respected profession because it isn’t paid a certain amount or it is inconsistent work. A lot of times, I feel like people get checked out after a minute of me talking…it makes me feel self-conscious and that they are unavailable when I’m talking. Especially when they interject and you can tell they weren’t listening…

  53. Joel Bryant

    FEELING NOT SMART ENOUGH TO ENTER IN CONVERSATION. FEELING MENTALLY BLANK.

  54. Patricia

    I’m afraid to put myself out there – approach groups or unfamiliar people, express interest in doing things together, be more expressive (hugging, patting on shoulder, etc). These kinds of activities take initiative. I realize that I want to be more charismatic and outgoing. At the same time, fear of rejection, keeps my expressiveness and authentic self at bay.

    • Goldie

      I feel the same as you. I want to be more outgoing, but I just can’t approach people.

  55. Jan

    I’m afraid I will be judged for being an imposter—not very smart after all. And that I will be judged for being so quiet.

  56. Jessica

    I am afraid to suddenly try and be more open and talkative with people because they’ve already labeled me as the “shy, quiet one”. since I’ve already let people know me as shy that I have to uphold that character or else I’ll come off as fake and be judged even more. I’m excited to try these excercises with new people, but not sure how to open up around people that already have this perception of me.

    • Emma

      Ya same . I’m more out going with people I have never met before then people I know bc people I know already see me as the shy girl . But I have a clean slate with the people I don’t know .

  57. angela

    I am afraid that when people look at me that they will know that I hate when people look at my face. They will sense the insecurity that I feel I am not that pretty and then make judgments. I am afraid that they will read everything about me and know everything the moment they look at me. I do not want to be read or examined. I am afraid

  58. aishwary sharma

    i am mostly afraid of non sense talking with others

  59. Anonymous

    I’m afraid of being judged negatively on how quiet I am

    • Hannah

      Hi, I can relate. I am a quiet person aswell and I just want to let you know that you are not alone

  60. Morgan

    One thing that gets me super depressed is when I try talking to someone and they only give one-word responses, but then I see them chatting up other people who they aren’t close with. I wonder could be so wrong with me that people don’t want to talk to me. Whenever I’m hanging out with one of the few close friends I have and someone else comes along, even if that someone is another friend of mine, they always talk and ignore me. I’m sick of being everyone’s twelfth option and never a first choice, even to someone who calls me their best friend.

  61. April

    I’m always afraid I’ll be judged for the way I speak and my appearance. Although I’m almost 17, I’ve never really worn make-up and I pretty much always wear jeans and a hoodie. I’m worried that this will give the impression that I don’t care about my appearance when really I’m afraid of how people will judge me if I DO change my appearance. It doesn’t help that I have really bad social aniexty and whenever I talk to someone I don’t know that well they always seem to make some sort of comment about how quiet I am. I want to be someone who others can feel comfortable around, and me worrying about how people will judge my appearance and what I say doesn’t really help with that goal.

  62. Linnaia

    The thing I’m most self concious about is how quiet I am. I have been quiet my whole life but because of how many comments I’ve had about it my whole life, it’s created a lot of anxiety for me in social situations. So then I try forcing myself to speak, and all that does is make me say super awkward stuff, which gives me even more anxiety.

    I also just have a fear of judgement from others instilled in me from the way I was raised.

    The 2 things I want are a) to be comfortable and confident with just being quiet, and b) to be able to converse freely and effortlessly when I do want to. I don’t know how people think of things to say, especially when it’s small talk.

  63. Tim

    Evreything I say and eveything I do.
    My appearance
    My sense of humour
    Reticence
    Lack of social skills
    Inability to ‘read’ people / situations

    • Tim

      Lack of spelling ability
      not proof reading
      🙂

      • Viktor Sander

        Haha, at least you still got a good sense of humor 🙂 Thank you for sharing so openly!

  64. Anonymous

    Things I’m afraid of being judged for:

    -that I don’t wear makeup
    -that I look young compared to my actual age (people will think I’m immature and incompetent)
    -that I don’t know what they’re talking about / am not in the loop / do not like “popular” things
    -the way I dress (it’s not a taste issue for me but it is a financial issue but people don’t know that)
    -that I seem nervous (so they’ll look down on me and see me as a lower social status)
    -that I seem bored (which is true sometimes because they are talking about something boring. sometimes it’s just because I’m too anxious to show emotion.)

    • I

      I’m really self-conscious about the fact I don’t wear make-up too. I’m very quiet in any social situation and the few friends I do have are all super pretty and I often feel like they see me as less because of the fact that I don’t wear make-up or wear designer clothes. I don’t usually engage in group conversations because I have a fear of saying something that they would consider to be weird or wrong which would affect their judgement of me. I remember when one of them asked me if I was okay because I’m quiet and they “can’t tell what I’m feeling.”

    • Anonymous

      You are not alone. Sometimes when people talk to me, I don’t know how to reply. I always use the same reaction because I’m not as interested. When I am interested questions pop up in my head so easily. I just want that for every conversation so the conversation won’t get boring, and won’t have a awkward silence in the middle of it.

  65. Rehan

    I’m afraid that people will see me as weird because I’m so quiet and to myself. Especially in work settings where all my coworkers are so interactive. I even notice that my actions are a bit.. off. I see the body language of everyone around me and that they’re uncomfortable or feel the awkward tension I bring when I’m around them; I hate being that person and I really do feel like I’m better than how I come off, but I just can’t shake my bad social habits. The scary thing is admitting to myself that I am the way I am, which took a while for me to understand because I felt like I was lying to myself about my own personality.

    • Jen

      I totally relate to this – I too feel like I bring an air of tension and awkwardness. It is so hard – but it is not “who you are” in my opinion, just poor social
      Habits that can be broken!

  66. Alethea

    I am self conscious about my appearance, because I have heard people making negative comments and staring. I feel like most people are not interested in what I have to say and try to avoid conversations with me. So, I keep my distance because I do not want to bother or bore anyone. I had important people in my life they me that I am boring. I have had a boss and others say I don’t have a personality. I often find myself in one sided conversations where the person talks about themselves and when I try to share, the conversation comes to an end. This has made me feel like the only reason want to talk to me is to dump their problems or spread negativity. I have cut people out if my life because if this.

    • Rehan

      I can relate to this so much, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one because anxiety really does a good job at making me feel alone and strange. I like being helpful and being the one to bring smiles on someone’s face but just like you I don’t want to bother anyone or make them feel cornered with my awkward conversation skills. Literally any long conversations I have with someone are usually based around negative things or for them to vent without worrying about me spreading any information, because who am I going to tell right? Sometimes I cut myself out of peoples lives because I feel like I’m doing them a favor…

  67. Lapeed

    When I enter a social gathering I feel like everyone is watching me and judging me negatively.
    I also fear to speak up my opinion in a grouo discussion

  68. Trudy

    I’m afraid of speaking out especially
    In a group.scared that I might say senseless, insulting things.Scared that I might say things that won’t make sense.That people would disregard what I say.That they will think I’m a fool for saying the things I say.

    • Jessica

      It’s refreshing to know that I’m not alone in feeling this same way. I feel like there is something wrong with me because I feel like I don’t know what to say in social situations and then feel like I am not smart enough. This turns into a vicious cycle making me really self conscious. This behavior is holding me back a lot from personal growth and where I want to be in my future career. I want to be a counselor/MFT but I wonder how I can ever achieve this If I can’t even talk to people 🙁

  69. Mar

    I’m afraid that no one cares what I have to say, that I’m uninteresting, I’m afraid they’ll say that my opinions wrong, or that they’ll make fun of me, that I’ll embarrass myself,it’s like I need every conversation to be perfect and always flowy, I except everything to be great or perfect, it doesn’t help that I’m just a huge fat coward, who’ so insecure with her self.

  70. L

    In high school I used to be scared of talking in front of my classmates. My anxiety got so bad that I had trouble sitting in assembles because I was worried that someone behind me was talking about me. I would start sweating from the anxiety and eventually I started skipping assembles. I am off to university now and I am feeling really anxious about how new people see me.

  71. Lynn

    Hello, I am also afraid of being judged for not saying the right thing at the appropriate time. I feel socially awkward sometimes and loose my train of thought due to anxiety.

  72. Kelly

    I was not very smart at school either and certainly not super social. Now though I have done ok in life I have a good job that earns reasonable money. I worry though what people think of me way too much, definitely something I need to stop. I stress that others dont like me and talk about me behind my back in my workplace.

  73. Nr

    I get nervous when i talk to my classmates and get even more nervous that it might show that i am nervous. Ive known them for 11 years now but i still cant get out of my shell at school, and its destroying me that i cant be myself and get to know them and allow them get to know me, especially since ill graduate soon.

  74. B

    I’m afraid of looking stupid/vapid in public, or if not, looking conceited. I think this stems from early high school, where I did not achieve well academically. That is no longer my situation and I am well-educated and have a competitive job, however I constantly am aware of people perceiving me as stupid or worthless, even though in reality they are likely not even thinking about me. Knowing the reality of the situation yet still feel anxious is difficult, and even when I overcome the stupidity thing, I worry I come across as conceited and vain. Can’t seem to win! (But managing okay with it)

    • Kelly

      I’m the same! I was not very smart at school either and certainly not super social. Now though I have done ok in life I have a good job that earns reasonable money. I worry though what people think of me way too much, definitely something I need to stop. I hope things have got better for you. 🙂

  75. Brennen

    I feel really awkward when I’m in a group of people. Especially if we aren’t doing anything. I don’t know how to say it but it’s like my hands don’t know what to do, so I’ll just cross my arms or something the whole time and even though I may be tired of crossing my arms or whatever I’m doing I feel like everyone will judge my every move. It makes it extra difficult if there are any girls in the group especially if it is a girl I find attractive. But a lot of that has to do with the fact that I don’t have any sisters and most of my friends are boys.

    • Emma

      Ya same problem . I have no idea what to do with my hands and I hate eye contacted . The people in my class are really nice ,so they try to talk to me a lot. But I don’t what to say to them so I just laugh and blush . My hands get really red when I’m nervous so I try to hide them so people don’t know that I’m nervous . Uhhhg.

  76. B

    I often know what I’m doing but due to my anxiety I worry it’s wrong and then don’t do it or mess it up this makes me worry that people think there’s something wrong with me or that I’m dumb.

  77. G

    I feel anxious when talking to people because they will think I’m boring and in short conversations, they wouldn’t wanna talk to me again.

  78. N

    I sometimes feel anxious when going into a building because everyone would be staring at you and judging you. So I just look down and quickly hurry to my seat.

  79. T

    Afraid of not sounding as smart or being as smart as my peers.

  80. N

    I’m running for Student Body Officer at my school and I’m worried that people won’t even notice me, or I will mess things up and become awkward and not get voted.

  81. Nick

    I’m afraid of not being able to start up a conversation with people and being seen as the awkward one.

  82. A

    I have always been the quiet type. I usually didn’t have much to say. Growing up, I’d see all the other kids in my classes carrying on in conversations, at lunch, in the halls, even during class. I would often wonder how they could have so much to talk about throughout the day.

  83. P

    I’m scared that when I talk to people I won’t be able to keep the conversation going, as I run out of things to say. And this is because I feel as if I’m not up to their standard, such as they always have better clothes, they are prettier and I’m a bit overweight. I feel that if I’m myself around strangers I won’t be liked because of my insecurities. But I really do want new relationships and friendships.

    • Kelly

      This is exactly my problem too 🙁

  84. Lauren

    I’m generally afraid of making a bad impression. When I speak in groups, I’m afraid that people will think I’m unintelligent, inarticulate, or boring. Sometimes I’m afraid that people will find a fault in how my hair or clothes look. I’m afraid that people will only speak to me out of politeness and not because they like my company.

    • P

      That’s exactly like me as well. Also because of my insecurities I feel as if people will think I’m just a downbuzz

  85. Steph

    I’m afraid of being judged for not being smart enough or interesting enough. I’m afraid people will think I’m boring. I’m afraid people will look down on me or see me as useless.

  86. Anonymous

    My Mind Goes Blank In Social Situations,,,

    • R

      Same… that’s the biggest problem for me. I can’t even focus on that person and come up with things to say because I just notice surface level things… if anything the conversation I come up with would last 15 seconds and end with awkward silence and walking away regretting even showing my face in the first place

  87. MariA

    I feel ashamed of being poorer than my friends, of looking less “cool” , lively , brave, dynamic ,open minded and social than people my age.

    • Mar

      I iterally feel this way all of the time! Sorry for you though.

    • Emma

      Me to . I don’t feel as “cool”as them or as pretty . I also hate being with my friends with other people watching /judging how we act together (grown ups watching) but I know it’s all in my head

  88. Anonymous

    When walking into a room full of people my eye’s blink uncontrollably.

  89. Jeff

    I’m afraid of being seen as stupid or just plain weird. It doesn’t help that I have Aspergers and can’t figure out all these unwritten social rules that come naturally to others so I’m afraid of looking like a freak

  90. Tete

    I am afraid of people looking down on me. They think I am not capable of doing things. They see me as a low life human being. I am afraid not proving that I am smart , I am afraid of looking unimportant, worthless, and more . I am afraid of this because nothing proves that I am better and I know that I am not a great person. I wish that I am funny, social and more but I feel selfish saying these things . So I just not show that I want to be needed.

    • R

      Everything you said was on point with how I feel about myself. I feel that I’m smarter than how I come off and people treat me like I’m a kid or just plain slow.. I feel like there’s just so many things I do know but they never pop up in my mind when I need them because my anxiety or whatever it may be just clouds all of my thoughts and memories. All I can think about is everything you listed and more. How quiet I am, I feel like a zombie trying to fit in.

  91. Benjamin Taylor

    I’m afraid of being judged by other people.
    Afraid of looking like an idiot when I’m in a group.

  92. Anonymous

    *unintelligent

  93. Anonymous

    I’m afraid of group discussions in class… Afriad of being wrong and looking stupid or incompetent in front of others. I’m scared of what others may perceive me as… timid or unitelligent. I want to become more self-confident and more bold.

  94. Anonymous

    in afraid of being judged by my appearance. I’m afraid people will think I’m lazy and not really trying very hard or that I’m arrogant or stuck up. I am terrified of having to stand up for myself to women. or men.

  95. Tom Lennon

    I worry about what people think about me.
    I worry incase I say something stupid and cause a lull in the conversation

  96. Madison

    I overthink just about everything. Especially if it is talking to people. I’m afraid of talking too much and wasting their time. Or what if they actually don’t want to talk to me. What if I accidentally offend them. These are just a few of the things that go on in my head. In the end I just worry the whole time instead of talking to people.

    • Cynthia

      Same here

  97. Mohammed

    My main weakness is feeling too self-conscious and nervous when people are talking to you and directing their attention to you. Unless I’m comfortable around the person, it usually results in this uncomfortable, nervous feeling that originates in the gut, and the feeling also causes nervous laughter or smiling very often.

    I’m also not comfortable or confident around strangers or girls that I like, to the point where asking someone out or confessing my feelings is a daunting task. Sure one can reply “there’s plenty of fish in the sea” and that it’s just a girl out of many, but if I really do like someone and want to be with a particular person instead of just any girl, her rejection is going to affect me more than asking or confessing to a random cute girl.

  98. Mohammed

    My main weakness is feeling too self-conscious and nervous when people are talking to you and directing their attention to you. It results in feeling uncomfortable and some nervous laughter.

    I’m also not comfortable or confident around strangers or girls that I like, to the point where asking someone out or confessing my feelings is a daunting task. Sure one can reply “there’s plenty of fish in the sea” and that it’s just a girl out of many, but if I really do like someone and want to be with a particular person instead of just any girl, her rejection is going to affect me more than asking or confessing to a random cute girl.

    • Mohammed

      Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that, regarding what I was talking about in the first paragraph, that the feeling completely goes away if I have physically or mentally exerted myself in some way, as in exercising (physical) or talking in front of a whole crowd (mental). I feel the most loose and at ease when in these states for some reason.

  99. Matt

    Firstly I’m actually impresses with this so far as I come across many self help that’s aimed at self gain not help so thank you firstly to all that share and help. I’m the same really I feel people will assume I’m a creep if I look at them so I look everywhere but and if an attractive lady is opposite me on train I freak thinking don’t look she will think I’m leering so I state st my phone out the window but anywhere instead of her direction so there’s my fear being judged for being a creep which I’m not but let’s be honest attractive is hard not to look at

  100. Anonymous

    I am afraid people judging everything I do..the way I talk…people might think I am so dumb …the way I dress ..how not so fashionable I might be..or how I lack taste ..how I can’t fit in any group at all…I am scared of how people see me when I suggest something. Let’s say in a discussion…I always end up not suggesting anything no matter how correct it is..I feel like they would take my points as the dumbest point ever…it is so frustrating that I prefer being alone..not having many friends.. before I do anything I will always ask myself …what would people think of me…would they like it?

  101. Anonymous

    I’m scared of people thinking I’m stupid, as sometimes when I speak I overthink and say things that don’t make sense, cause sometimes I just don’t know what to say.

  102. Anonymous

    I’m insecure about almost everything and that’s so annoying. I fear that i’m not witty or smart enough, I’m not ‘cool’ like most people my age, I’m not @ least funny or charming, fun or lively. I feel i’m ‘just there’, u know, dumb, lack sense of humor, normal( as opposed to being lively, spontaneous and fun), bland, boring, uncool and this sucks, it makes me think that immediately i open my mouth to talk people would get uninterested and bored, i feel my talks and conversations are irrelevant and my stories or experiences are sometimes sad. It has consumed me so much that when asked to give my opinion on something I seem not to have any, I can’t even answer a simple question, my mind goes blank or even if i do have an opinion i just keep quiet because i know it wont even matter cause no one would agree, understand or see the angle I’m coming from so i might end up having to explain myself and sounding even dumber, more stupid or weird (boring kinda weird). This makes me overthink what to say, how to say it and i eventually get stuck….. I sometimes think everyone hates me for no reason whatsoever and that has hindered my ability to make friends.

    These days i realized that i’m fed up and tired of trying to make friends, get people to like me or at least acknowledge my presence, connect with people… it has become exhausting for me (The thought having to force conversations even when i notice the other party is loosing interest, being forced to stay among a group a of people awkwardly silent and the only thing i can do is smile and laugh while listening to others talk, say insightful things or simply try to be humorous just to lighten the mood and later regret that I was silent and that I should have said something) and i’ve literally given up trying even though it still bothers me like hell.
    I know this isnt the best thing for my life coz i still have a long way to go and one needs connections and connecting with people to survive or even make it in life. I try not to let the fact that i don’t really have friends and cant connect with people bother me…. but i can’t. Every now and then it just hits me that i’ve spent over 20 years on earth and i don’t have close friends not acquaintances (coz i think i have a lot of those)… real friends that know me in-depth, understand, accept and respect me the way i am…. in spite my countless flaws. There are people in my life that think we are friends and i observed that the relationship is formal most of the time, they aren’t completely free with me and me with them.

    • Mar

      Its is terrifying how much I can relate to this comment. I’m in highschool dealing with this. I’m almost done and it sucks bc I don’t have many friends cant talk and everything is social. I’m 18 btw,

    • R

      I can relate.. I’m not even close to my own friends and family. There’s so many things I don’t know about them and honestly I don’t even feel like there’s much to know about me.

  103. Anonymous

    I fear that I’m not witty or interesting enough and that it’s important to be the class clown as this is heat people remember and are drawn to funny people. I then get so anxious about not being able to pull off being funny that I get tongue tied and then feel like I’ve completely failed. This doesn’t just happen with new people but even with close friends as I fear that friends will notice my awkwardness and get bored of me easily because I’m not funny.

  104. Clarus

    I am really anxious about the way people judge me. Before I even leave the house, I will be full of anxiousness about what people would think about my clothes. When I am talking to people, I always felt really uncomfortable and I didn’t even know what we’re supposed to talk about. I always just answer the question given by the other person with a short answer that made the conversation stop at an awkward silence. Even then, I will be thinking what I should say in that situation and end up never saying anything because I am afraid of how the person will react. The same thing happen with online conversation in Discord or whatever, I rarely participate as I don’t even know what I should talk about.

  105. Albin

    I can be really judging on people fast. After one mistake. Probaply cause i judge myself so hard. I think everyone hates me for no reason what so ever. And that becomes a handicap in social situations

  106. Anonymous

    When asked to give my opinion on something I seem not to have any. I can’t even answer a simple question my mind goes blank

  107. Ananya

    Thank you for your wonderful support. I am most afraid of thinking if i sound interesting enough? is the person talking to me bored because of my irrelevant talks. I feel i maybe sound irrelevant and boring.

    • Anonymous

      Ananya,

      I feel this way too, along with the feeling that I’m not funny enough. I even fear that close friends will get bored with me because of this. I try to relax and tell myself that I don’t have to be the most interesting or the class clown for people to love me and try to focus on my good qualities and what I can bring to the conversation ; good listener, kind, non judgmental, empathetic etc.

  108. Jim

    I’m always afraid of saying something really stupid, or that people won’t agree with me, or that I won’t have anything to say at all. It makes me overthink how and what I say and get stuck in this self-perpetuating cycle.

  109. CP

    Group convos have never been my thing. Most of the time I either not say anything at all and look unapproachable or I say something so out of left field that I come across as weird. It is so hard for me to find a sweet spot since most of the time group convos are centered around small talk, something I am absolutely terrible at. Whenever it does move past small talk, so many people are chiming in I find it hard to speak up and when I do it is always at the wrong time. Most of the time I just avoid groups of people that I don’t know very well just to save face.

    • Anonymous

      I’m the same way! Small talk is something I’m terrible at, and I find myself stuck in the awkward silence.

  110. Some Guy

    Whenever I get into a large group, I always worry that people will not exactly accept me… like they’ll think I’m boring and awkward, possibly even try shooing me off. This makes me feel that I don’t exactly belong there but leaving without saying anything the group will just be weird. This makes me forced to stay in the group, awkwardly silent as I see others talk and laugh. Later, I regret that I was silent and that I should have said something… thought that I was overthinking and should’ve said a line or two. Maybe I might’ve been accepted and thought to be the “fun guy” of the group. But whenever I get into the same or another group, I come back to the awkward silence. I try thinking of what to say, but when I try to, the words just don’t come out of my mouth. I just can’t improve on my social appearance. I’m quite comfortable with the people in my school and society, but meeting strangers get me frozen, not able to talk at all. At this point, I try to stay out of the spotlight, make sure that I don’t get noticed. I want to improve with this… but I don’t know what to do. What should I do?

    • Yvette

      Maybe you should change your intention whenever entering a group dynamic. You mentioned that if everything went well, you would want to be seen as the “fun guy” of the group. I think that that can be a lot of pressure put on yourself especially around people that don’t know you that well (presumably). I think the best advice that I have gotten to come across less awkwardly in groups is to smile and laugh at the jokes often. If you change your goal to be just coming across as a open, friendly person, people will probably be more receptive to what you have to say when you do eventually speak up. Another tip is to approach groups where you already know 1-2 people in it. That way, you can feel comfortable directing a conversational topic their way that everyone can relate to and other people in the group can join in.

      Hope this helps! Still struggling with it myself.

  111. Ricky

    I’m scared of people judging my looks, how I act and smell. I’m terrified of talking to strangers and making friends because I think I will make a fool of myself and I don’t want to get hurt.

  112. Anonymous

    I fear that I am not good enough for people. That I am not the brightest, funniest, charismatic, outgoing guy everyone wishes I was. I’m constantly fearing people notice the mispronunciations of words, phrases that I’m not using correctly, it’s a constant battle with myself about how people are perceiving me. I try to relax, focus, not let it get to me but the fact that I’m attempting all these other things distracts me from what is actually going on which makes everything worst. This has a toll on my self esteem as well.

  113. CB

    Although most of the time I can have a basic conversation with people, I often get intimidated to say something funny/more on a personal level. Getting close to people is hard for me – even when I regularly talk with someone, it feels like they view me as more of an acquaintance than someone they have a deeper bond with. Usually when I make conversation, it is only about very surface level things like school/sports. Even if I do ask more personal questions, that is where it ends, and it never comes up again. Idk, just kind of frustrated.

  114. Sebby

    I’m scared people will just ignore what I say, or they won’t agree with me, or they won’t like me, or they don’t really want to be around me, they are just tolerating me. I’m scared to approach people because I’m scared they don’t actually want me there. I’m scared of people’s opinions of me. Do they think I’m too quiet? Too arrogant? Too smart? Too different from them? It’s gotten to the point where I’m not usually honest in the conversations I have because I’m too scared to be.

  115. Erin

    I stutter in conversations with people when I view them as socially more valuable than me. Sometimes it’s trying to impress a potential mate, or trying to talk to my boss, or even people in the same position as me at work who I feel are better than me at the job.

  116. Zai

    I wasn’t in the light spot in my whole life , I was just listening all the time so it’s scary to me to think what to say and think fast , I say full shit that no one understands not even me , I’m afraid to be judge as weak person and to be left alone , to be left for not being good enough , or worse bitty , I hate that , I don’t want people to think I’m not amazing , I’m thinking too much and be stressed like I can’t breathe right , overthinking is driving me crazy .

  117. Linda

    Not knowing enough or not at all; about current or past events.
    Not, remembering someone’s name or where we met or what we talked about.
    Stumbling or mispronouncing my words.
    I tend to speak backwards. The last part of my sentence should of been said in the beginning. I think this comes from years of being self conscience. I turn red just thinking about a situation that happened or is about to happen.

    • Zai

      I don’t know why I’m writing this , so anyhow , about talking backwards , there was too many times when I did that , and people don’t get it and understand the opposite , in example “I like tea then coffee” what I mean that I prefer coffee first but they understand that I mean that I prefer tea first , I guess I should organize my words before saying it and being slow to know what I’m saying , you agree ?

  118. Anonymous

    Its uncomfortable to feel judged by my color. To walk in a room as the only woman of color can be overwhelming.

  119. Anonymous

    My face, my hair, my teeth.

  120. Anonymous

    Honestly when someone has an entire story to share with me I never have anything to say that relates to the situation and end up just replying with a comment or two. I find that I don’t have anything interesting enough to share so I tend to stay quiet. I ask questions just too make it seem like I’m in a conversation.

    • John

      Wow, I thought I was alone! I have very charismatic friends who have lived lives that one would love to experience. They’ve done it all. They have the best stories, always entertaining the crowd. And then there’s me, quiet old Johnny who lives in his friend’s shadow. When I’m alone, they always ask me about my friends, “ where is he?” “If he were here, we’d be having so much fun”. It breaks me everytime. I just don’t know how to have fun times with people. I feel like I’m just someone who happens to be there.

  121. Anonymous

    I’m afraid to sound boring.I never have funny memories to say or funny thing in general

  122. AG

    I’m afraid to come across as dumb. Especially with people that intimidate me easily- such as very confident, honest and extrovert people. I very easily run out of things to say in a conversation because I overanalyze everything. I have a hard time keeping eye contact with a person for too long, because I feel intimidated. And, I am terrified of conflicts- every time someone has made me sad or angry, and I really want to tell the person how I feel, I always end up not doing it, because I am so afraid how the other person will react, and that I will stand dumbstruck and full of anxiety as I usually do.

    • Anonymous

      Hi AG – i just noticed your comment about eye contact. One method i learnt that really works, is that if you look directly at their nose, they cannot tell! Honestly try it. It makes it so much less intimidating for you, without having to maintain constant direct eye contact, and they have no idea. win-win !

  123. Mohamed

    I get scared always from revealing any of my non important secrets from my important secrets list to avoid breaking up with for example my friends even when I feel that I am close enough to tell them these secrets some times these secrets are feelings towards them most probably +be but I gets scared from their reaction so I thinks of making one of my friends(boy) who is as close as i or more to that girl to give hints but i also get scared that he reveals what i asked him to do.

  124. James

    Im afraid of not knowing things i feel i would be expected to know in work situations. Saying i dont know doesnt feel like a valid answer sometimes with colleagues or customers.

  125. Anonymous

    I’ve been afraid of being rejected by others for being awkward or anxious in social situations ever since I started struggling with social anxiety.

  126. Katie-Jayne Boardman

    I’m afraid of people thinking I’m a loser. I’m afriad of sharing my true opinions in case I get judged for them.

  127. sanaullah

    whenever i get out of hostel room or home i feel like everyone i come across at my way has something bad about me on his mind and he or she is judging me for that and then i try to to act like to show them i am not like this and this makes me more anxious and panic because at that moment i think they caught my weakness and then i try to escape the situation and even dont get the things done for which i was out of home .

  128. Anonymous

    There are so many sore spots in communication between people now. Everything seems to have an agenda. I feel very incompetent and judged for things I may say without any intention to slight or offend. I commented that I liked the color of a guys shirt, and was rebuffed with a downward glance. I guess that you should not comment on appearance due to defensiveness? It can produce. Women have have a harder time if they are correct weight and attractive. I am forever stuck talking about the weather only.

    • Melly

      Dude this is somewhat me! I’m scared I might offend someone if I speak in acertaron way or if I don’t say “thank you” sincerely enough. Like yeah…..it sucks.

    • Anna

      I know, there seems to be a ton of unspoken rules. I am afraid to break them and be judged for that.

      • Jonn

        I’m always afraid to do something that is socially unacceptable or do it the wrong way, and end up messing the whole thing up. I hate it when someone has to step in or say “no it’s okay, just leave it, I’ll take care of it”. I feel like I failed at such a simple task and whoever I’m with is judging me on it. It happens all the time. I feel like a loser

  129. Dennis

    I’m afraid that I’m a joke to everyone and I just dont know it.

    • Jonn

      I know I’m a joke, I see them laughing and staring all the time. Why don’t they help me out? Show me instead of laughing at me…but then again, nobody wants to spend their time helping a loser, they have better things to do. They live interesting lives, why waste it with someone so stiff and boring?… they just couldn’t care less

  130. NT

    I can relate to so many of what people have posted here. Sometimes you think you’re the only one feeling this way. I think people are judging me as being slow and not that smart. I try to talk and make friends but soon feel excluded. I cant think of the right words and become intimidated by people that speak really well.

  131. CL

    I have tried sharing how I feel with people I work with. If I am nervous or anxious, I might make a joke to let them know how I feel. I try to help if someone else might be feeling nervous. I share my experience to set them at ease. I always praise them for their achievements so they feel empowered. However, I think this has made them judge me. Now, I get the impression that I am judged as weak or incompetent for admitting to my feelings. Maybe it would have been better to say nothing about my anxiety. It has made me angry that the people I trusted now treat me like a child. My hard work and achievements are not recognized. I am very good at my job, but I am still seen as less worthy because of my anxiety. I am not included in decisions which effect my work and I am never given a raise, even though my responsibilities are increased. When I try to talk about it, I am dismissed. It seems like I am a slave to those I work with. I am considering quitting my job and starting over. I won’t feel so confident about sharing my feelings or giving praise again. I thought I could relax and share more about myself at work as long as I performed well at my job, but it seems that it did not work for me. Now I am more anxious than ever.

  132. Ambar

    I’m scared of being persieved as the “quiet girl” when its not that I’m quiet its just that I’m so in my head and anxious i cant concentrate and i panic in conversations .when I’m not comfortable with a person I feel so helpless too ,like I’m trying o talk to them in my mind but my body will to physically let me speak.im not self conscious or not confident i am in fact the opposite but i cat express these to others

  133. Sally

    I am afraid people will think am not smart enough so I hold back to any thought that I may have,,I also get very nervous speaking in front of a people whether I know them or I don’t .I also think people despise me because I am small person

  134. Gill

    I fear people finding out the ugly truth about me. I can’t sustain friendships and often have no friends. My confidence is so low I avoid people now, and rarely attend social events. I’m sure I look aloof and unapproachable. I’ve spent years perfecting this.
    The sad truth is I’m lonely and afraid. So afraid I’m isolating myself so I don’t feel rejected.

  135. Mia

    I’m afraid of not having anything to say and making awkward silences which I always do and can’t get rid of it

  136. Kevin

    I’m afraid of like failing with something or just embarassing myself in front of an attractive girl, and if i’d do that i’d probably miss out on her.

  137. Paul

    I get caught in my own head with fears of not being smart enough if I engage in a conversation, at the same time I am overly concerned about what people think of me for how I like and how much money I make and when this is going on I cant find anything to say or think to say and it almost becomes a panic then I get scared that they think I am weird and introverted and it becomes a total melt down.

  138. Adam

    I am afraid people will reject or judge me harshly. I am worried think I am ugly and have a big nose. I am afraid people think worse things about me. I am afraid I will be ridiculed.

  139. Kk

    My worry is when I come into room that I will be judged for my awarkd body language.if someone there ask me who’s this how to respond without coming off backwards or unsure how to respond back to them any help from the group would be great

  140. Kashif

    Being judged for my speech. I’m not the greatest speaker in the world & when I get around people I tend to stutter alittle bit. My mind goes blank often and I often force words out which makes it worse.

    • Anonymous

      I feel the exact same way my head is always blank when it comes to people and talking to them

    • Erin

      I also stutter when talking to people I perceive as superiors (even if there is no reason for me to think they’re superior). It’s embarrassing and I wonder if they noticed how I trip over my speech and relate it to me being nervous with them. It scares me because a bad person could really use it to hurt me.

  141. Zhanique wilson

    I’m afraid of being rejected, left out. Judged. Being boring to people because I’m always trying to think what else to say since I always go blank while talking to others.

    • anonymous

      I Have the same feeling. I fear that ppl will think that I am too clingy

  142. Swati

    Worried about how to act if someone makes fun of you.you don’t feel good but how to respond..n thanks a lot for ur mail…it means a lot..thnks n keep sending pls

  143. danial

    i am always afraid that the next is not judging me it really made me angry thinking about it i know people dont give a damn but still my mind working like this

  144. Nick

    As of lately, I’m afraid of looking like an aloof, stuck-up, and seedy asshole because I can’t look people in the eyes, don’t really say much, or don’t acknowledge certain people that I find intimidating.

    I’m also afraid I’ll run out of gas in the middle of the social highway because my energy for it is just so finite.

  145. Anonymous

    I am afraid of people noticing how awkward I am and also being laughed at for the boring, weird life I have because I was teased a lot in most of high school and college.

    • Anonymous

      I also faced the problem sometimes but you have to do follow the mantra..
      You are what you think of yourself..
      Not others

  146. Linda

    I’m afraid of sounding awkward or weird so I am very closed off and then get worried that I’m a boring person I get so worried about how I’m going to be received instead of just being myself

  147. Samuel Mcburney

    My biggest fear is coming across as boring, whenever someone asks me ( well what’s the crac am like in my head wtf I’ve nothing happing in my life since the last time we spoke. It’s like i cant think of anything humorous to say. This is a major problem for me I feel brain dead

  148. h.

    I’m afraid of being judged for speaking bad English. ;_;

  149. Sandy

    I worry about someone judging me for something I like. So I sometimes pretend I like something else. I now realize people aren’t friends with the real me. They are friends with the fake me. So I’m now trying to let everyone know the real me and not worry about being judged. It’s hard. But in the end I end up having friends that are similar to me.
    I use to worry about people thinking I’m weird then I realized that everyone is kind of weird in their own way. I like to find people who are as weird as me to talk to.

  150. Akumaru

    I am afraid of HOW do I look, did I attractive or not, and I can’t seem to make eyes contact with others. I always hesitate when try to make conversation and I can’t even say ‘Hello’ to the person i find interesting.

  151. Anonymous

    I am afraid of being judged as a dumb and uncivilised and ugly person.

  152. Ian

    Im afraid of going into a conversation. I never know what to say and I hate to always jave to use small talk I want to get on more of a personal level with people

  153. M

    I’m afraid of blanking In the middle of the conversation and not knowing what to say next. I’m also afraid people will think I’m dumb/weird.

  154. Conor

    I’m afraid of people thinking I’m a weirdo and a freak, of not accepting me for who I am.

    • Anonymous

      Please start loving yourself the way you are..and if you don’t like something about yourself then try changing that..focus on your weaknesses and improve

  155. Melanie

    I’m afraid of lot knowing what to say. Of having this deep blank, where anyone would think ‘what’s the matter with her?’

    I’m also scared of ruining my appearance of perfection throughout words, even if I know that perfection is impossible.

  156. B

    I’m afraid I look or sound weird, that other people would look at me or talk to me and be thinking “why is she wearing/doing/talking like that”. I’m afraid my outfits are ugly or mismatched or unflattering. I’m afraid of trying to be funny and just saying awkward things.

  157. Christina

    Saying something dumb.

  158. Conor

    I’m afraid I come across very boring and maybe even sometimes rude. I feel like I never have anything to say that’s interesting, funny or intriguing. When I am trying to be funny or sarcastic I don’t think people really get me. I really want to make connections with people outside of my family and close friend but struggle. I constatnhly feel like iv some sort of wall up protecting me but I don’t know what from. I do have days were I’m in a great mood and really get along with people but it’s up and down. I also feel like sometimes I come across as stupid when I’m not. I struggle to remember conversations I had with people as sometimes my brain just wonders of mid conversation. I’m afraid I pf coming accross as boring and that people don’t like being around me I sometimes feel like I’m being ignored by others.

    • Ian

      Wow you summed up my life everyday perfectly.

    • Anonymous

      I swear to God,same!

  159. anon

    i’m scared that i come across as a boring, unfunny person with no personality who can’t even hold a conversation properly.

  160. Anonymous

    I am always nervous people will judge me as being ditsy and stupid. I hate feeling incompetent and having no confidence.

  161. T

    I fear that when I start a conversation with someone, and after a while, I would suddenly go blank on what to say, that leaves the conversation dry and boring. Because I’m an introvert, I tend to overanalyze my words before I speak, and therefore I’m also afraid that there will be awkward silence, or difficulty in maintaining the connection with others.

  162. Tanu

    I fear public speaking so much , as soon as I walk towards that deadly stage , my heart starts beating so fast as if it wants to come out of my body. I could never frame my words , they come out like broken sentences.I am always afraid what the people in the audience must be thinking , they must be framing a view of me while I am talking and that view would be the truth that I am not at all confident, though I know everyone must be feeling the same as me.

    • Angelo

      That is my exact fear.

  163. Chanuth

    I am afraid of taking to more than one person and making a conversation interesting or even enjoyable

  164. Brad

    I am afraid of being judged as boring and not worth knowing.

    • anon

      me too, brad. me too.

  165. Oliver

    I’m afraid of being judged as awkward so that people won’t want to talk or be around me.

  166. Anne

    I can relate to Teresa’s comment below, however for a different reason. Most of my life I’ve been sensitive to prejudism, either directed at others or sometimes at me. I am Hispanic, but with European features so my heritage isn’t obvious to most people. Because of this, I become acquainted with people, that are ultimately prejudiced, but because they don’t know I am a minority, befriend me. Once they find out, the relationship changes and I am left wondering if it is prejudism or something about me that has nothing to do with where I am from. So I am doubly anxious and find it is easier to keep people at a distance. I know I can move on and choose to avoid those people, but sometimes you can’t, such as the workplace or neighborhood. My mind constantly wonders and it is so exhausting.

  167. Salem

    I am afraid sometimes that when I have a nice talk with someone that it might be the last one .

  168. Alyssa

    I’m afraid of being awkward I feel like I can never come up with an interesting topic or anything to talk about.

  169. Celia

    I am afraid I will get into a conversation that will go too long. If it goes long, then I get fatigued and have a hard time remembering my train of thought or words. Then I look stupid or weird.

    • Marguerite

      I am actually afraid of a lot of things. Sometimes I am afraid to socialize with other people, because I would not know how to start up conversation. I am very insecure about myself, and because of that it only encourages me to be more afraid of how I look, and what people think of me. I am afraid to talk to someone about the anxiety I always have, because I feel they would not understand, or they simply can’t help me.

      • You

        This is exactly me, we share the same thing bruv

  170. Anubhav

    When I’m going to attend any party or any marriage I feel that every one see me …if I make any mistake they laugh at me thy thing anything about me. And I feel that anybody try to abuse me like they are ignore me don’t want to talk with me . I feel like I’m a bore person. Anybody don’t want to talk to me .Im go to bathroom n just strt crying. Wht I do. Please help me otherwise i think always I live single …

    • David Morin

      Do you mean that people are actually abusive toward you or is it your fear that they will be (but never are)?

      If they are abusive, is there any way for you to find a new social circle or spend less time with the abusive people?

  171. M

    I’m afraid of almost every social situation, mostly what people Will Think of my personality. The consequences of my anxiety is that I Think I come of as rude, wich I probably do.. Really want to talk, be polite and answer questions without overanylizing Every single word. But when i answer I feel stupid because of my short or maybe arrogant answer and the feeling of being a rude person grows. My head just gets blank in social situations, every word is forced and it dose’nt reflect the real me. Sucks.(A messy comment but this is what I feel right now.)

    • Viktor Sander

      Thank you for sharing M. It’s ok to feel conflicted.

      I just wanted to add that I doubt I’d experience you as rude if your answers were short. At least as long as you make an effort to be polite. Then I’d understand you’re just anxious about it.

  172. Anonymous

    Being myself and confident in my ability to talk

  173. Teresa

    When I enter a room, my first concern is how many people are judging my looks, my clothing, my size. Once that anxiety sets in, I’m afraid to speak to anyone, whether I know them or not. When I do speak to someone, I pay more attention to their body language than what they actually say because I’m trying to be sure I’m not annoying them. It’s exhausting.

    • Viktor Sander

      Thank you for sharing Teresa. I think you are brave for sharing and being honest both with yourself and with us. You are definitely not alone feeling like this.

  174. Anonymous

    For one I’m already viewed as a person being dishonest or just making things up so when I’m around my work surrounding I question myself how these people view me??? I don’t explain myself because when I’m talking to someone the words won’t come out but If I write it I can bring my point across that way. People find me to be fussy.. truth is I can be annoyed but I rather not speak my mind but instead keep it in…however having that feeling that everything I say can be read or heard makes me quite uncomfortable because then I am being judged for things I say….

  175. Pelle Åkerström

    Spot on! its facanating how easy mindyricks can change ones persona. Im from sweden apology my english. Also, guess in the same kategori; it makes it easyer to remember others name if ur not reflecting on how “god” ur handshake was.. im bad with names.

    • Viktor Sander

      Nice Pelle! Both me and David are Swedish too, so that’s ok 🙂

      Hope you will start seeing improvements on your upcoming introductions.