Friday, June 06, 2008
I'm putting my answer to this Ask.MetaFilter question here so I'll remember to try and keep observing it myself... Here's the question:
How do you learn to feel comfortable with yourself?And my reply:
I think a lot of the answers seem to just be pulling out the standard answers to "help me not feel unhappy" but your situation is a little more specific than that and it's one I can identify with.
Something I realized was that part of the reason I expected others to be so judgmental of me was that I was silently doing the same thing to a lot of the people around me. I am not saying you are or you aren't projecting in this way, but perhaps it would be easier to learn to be accepting of yourself by practicing on other people first. Little things like paying no mind at all if my carpool mate starts to hum a little too loudly to a song on the radio, and being more patient when a family member calls to see how I'm doing and just asks the same usual questions that I had been getting tired of. That's not to say let people walk over you, but just realize that as their flaws and shortcomings do you no harm, in the same way the way you act isn't causing anyone else any real damage either, to the point that they probably aren't noticing it while you are worried sick about their perceptions.
Of course the opposite of judging others too quickly, putting them on a pedestal, won't help you either. If someone makes you feel nervous or inadequate.. well, one time this really gorgeous girl who had come up to me at the bar and wanted to talk to me was causing me to stammer a little, and I just on a whim decided to say "OK, I'm going to admit right now that I'm finding you a little intimidating". She thought that was very funny but it made her relax herself and the conversation after that was completely fluid and easy. So honesty sometimes is the easiest solution.
posted by Space Coyote at 12:55 AM on June 6 [+] [!]