Friday, October 11, 2013

Healthier Inner Dialogue - Me, Me, Me

Have you ever talked to a friend the day after a party and had her mention something like, 'so did you like my dress last night?" or "Oh wow, did you notice that I spilled that dip on my shirt right at the beginning of the night and I had to wear that on my front the entire evening?" or "I'm so embarrassed, did you hear me slip out something about Jane's husband?" only to realize you have absolutely no recollection of this 'horrific' event? You were there, must have heard or seen it, but nope, didn't stay with you at all.

When I started to really look at it, I discovered that people are only worried about themselves. Worried about their own appearance, their own social performance. Nobody was looking at me.  Nobody was judging me. They were (and are) too busy worrying and stewing about themselves to pay any real attention to me.

I found this to be surprising at first and then liberating: it isn't all about me. I used to worry all the time about what people were thinking about me.  Were they making fun of me when I entered a room? Were they judging my appearance? My conversation? My job? My school? Everything about me?

I was terrified that I wasn't measuring up.

Turns out, nobody was measuring. When I finally accepted that, I was able to come up with the perfect technique to feel comfortable at social gatherings. Now, I focus on making other people feel comfortable, and welcome, and special. I could have an entire dinner on my shirt and it wouldn't matter a bit.

I try to find someone who looks awkward or uncomfortable and start a conversation.  I ask a lot of questions, listen well, and it's amazing how I don't even think about my own insecurities.  They vanish as I make someone else a priority.

Do you have any tips or tricks for attending gatherings that might otherwise be intimidating?


Magic Love Crow said...

Fantastic Terry! You are right! I agree with everything you have said ;o)

Tina Bradley said...

I attended a BBQ that Mark's supervisor hosted last weekend--didn't know a soul there (aside from him). Funny thing is that Mark loves to talk about his family-- so, he'd already told everyone about me and the boys (probably too much--LOL). These folks all acted as if they'd known me for years. :) I agree with what you said everyone's always so worried about how they look, sound, etc. that they aren't tuned in to what us others are doing, wearing, saying, etc.

Mindy said...

That's pretty funny. Like my parents always told me growing up, "What makes you think you're so special that everyone is looking at you?" It sounds bad, but what they were trying to convey was, get out there and have a good time, and don't worry about anybody else.
I'm sure I've told you, I hear that sentence every time I'm afraid to do something because of what other people would think.