Riya Mital

Picture this: you are trying to go to sleep (it is way too late) but your brain will not let you fall asleep. Instead, it decides to replay every single interaction that makes you physically cringe. You feel so overwhelmingly embarrassed, maybe you even feel like no one likes you (why does our brain do this?!). Many people feel uncomfortable or anxious in social situations. This can even go as far as feeling uncomfortable doing perfectly normal things, just due to the fear of embarrassment. So how do you get over this fear?

Here are some ideas that I like to keep in mind in order to ease some of my anxiety when interacting with others.

1. Realize that everyone has embarrassing moments. 
Embarrassment is a part of life and it happens to the best of us—even the most put together people. It is completely human to feel self-conscious. But that is the comfort of it. You are not alone and you are human. Being human is messy and complicated, but it is also beautiful and enriching. So it’s fine to feel messy emotions like anxiety. Just don’t let those messy emotions stop you from experiencing beauty and happiness. That’s what makes all of those messy emotions worth it.

2. Know your worth.
If you feel uncomfortable in a group situation, that’s totally fine! Again, life is messy. However, remember that no matter what, you deserve respect. You deserve to be heard. If you are asked to hang out with a group, know that you are a member of the group at that moment. If you feel undervalued, you can always choose to not spend as much time with them. However, in that moment, you deserve to be there. I know it’s easy to forget sometimes, but hopefully remembering this will really help with making you feel more comfortable.

3. Find something that gives you confidence.
Although it is easy to just spew a bunch of advice and intangible ideas, it is harder to implement these ideas. So, something that could slowly help is finding something that makes you feel confident and reminds you of your gifts.

Here are just a few examples:
● Fashion ● Makeup ● Music ● Movies

Find something that makes you feel happy and that will take you out of that constant spiral of overthinking. Personally, I’m a big reader, so quotes really help make me feel better! Sometimes I just like to read my favorite quotes to help remind myself of these ideas. These are some of my favorites: 
● “When the world owed you nothing, you demanded something of it anyways.” -Leigh Bardugo, Crooked Kingdom
● “Never let anyone make you feel ordinary.” -Taylor Jenkins Reid, Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
● “People can think whatever they like...I don’t desire their validation.” -Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me

Final Takeaways

Social interactions can be hard. Especially when you don’t feel comfortable. But small steps, little reminders, and a different mindset can change everything. I have progressed a lot by just implementing these steps. Although it’s still a struggle, I encourage everyone to take these small steps to try to feel more comfortable, no matter where you are. You were born into this world to have a space in this universe so don’t be afraid to occupy it.

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