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Highly Sensitive People: Are You Self-Conscious?

As a highly sensitive person, do you feel more self-conscious than others? For as long as I remember, I’ve always been a highly sensitive person.  Always self-conscious about my appearance, I worried about what other people thought of me. Since I was tall for my age, people frequently teased me about this.

While it’s normal for young people to feel awkward and self-conscious, HSPs are like “human sponges.” We react to, and take in everything around us. Feelings are magnified. We have certain intuition or strong feelings about everything and everyone. We feel we’re different from others.

In reality, we’re not much different from anyone else. Everyone has a certain degree of insecurities about themselves. The only difference is that others brush this initial awkwardness aside and are not affected by it as much. Being highly sensitive and self-conscious shouldn’t be used as an excuse for not fully participating in the joys of life.

Some characteristics of a self-conscious person include:

• A lack of self-confidence.
• Feeling ill at ease in the presence of strangers.
• Feeling at a loss for words in conversations.
• An excessive fear of being humiliated.

Self-consciousness is linked to feelings of inferiority. The idea of not being “good enough” is a self-induced habit. It can have a disastrous effect on our social and business lives. A hesitation to make new friends and the lack of initiative to try new things will result. Having a distorted perception about ourselves and others stops us from leading our happiest and most productive lives.

I have found it helpful to go to adult education classes or informational seminars. The classes provide a “safe” environment to meet like minded-people and to learn about different subjects. This type of activity greatly enhances my self-esteem when I face my fears and learn new things.

I also go to events that are linked to my interests. For example, as a collector, I may go to an event related to something I collect, such as Coca-Cola items. This will put me in the company of people who share an interest with me.

The more you go out, the better you’ll feel about your ability to be around others. When you talk to other people, focus on what a person is saying  rather than what they may be thinking of you. Show interest in them, and ask questions. You will never be at a loss for words when you take this approach. When you encourage people to talk about themselves, they will think that you’re a great conversationalist! Most people enjoy talking about themselves, and it takes the focus off you.

Take the time to work on your personal appearance. Your grooming, the way you dress and the way you carry yourself, shows others how you feel about yourself. When you feel good about yourself, others will treat you accordingly. Also, when you have an increased feeling of self-esteem, you will not care what others think about you.

Remember that the people you come in contact with will usually be much more focused on themselves than on you. Highly sensitive people can become abnormally concerned about their perceived shortcomings. You shouldn’t assume that others will perceive you in a negative light. That’s usually just in your own mind. Who knows? Others may be just as concerned as you are about their own insecurities!

Don’t allow yourself to be paralyzed by self-consciousness. It’s too easy to cling to our hurtful past experiences and bad habits. We have the responsibility of building our best selves from what we have. I repeat…there’s nothing wrong or different about us. Being a self-conscious person is a great way to be. We truly understand how hurtful people can be to each other. We would never purposely hurt others. Who wouldn’t like us and want to be our friend?

Are you self-conscious? I’m interested in any thoughts or comments that you have.

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