By Leo Babauta
In this webinar, I addressed the problem of how our insecurities interfere with socializing and meeting new people, and I answered some great questions.
I’ve broken this webinar recording into two parts:
- Part I – My Talk: Dealing with Insecurities in Socializing. (See notes)
- Part II – Questions & Answers: I answered questions about overcoming insecurity, how to begin socializing regularly, overcoming personal judgements, bringing up interesting things about ourselves without bragging, and more!
Part I: Leo’s Talk (with notes)
Here are the notes from my talk (video is below the notes):
Dealing with Insecurities in Socializing:
Insecurities and feelings of inadequacy are some of the biggest problems we face when meeting new people. This causes us to stay in our comfort zone and refrain from trying new things. This can come up at any point in the relationship.
How did we become insecure?
- A voice of criticism appeared. It could have been from a parent, grandparent, sibling, relative, teacher, society or the media. At some point criticism was introduced and that voice is in us. This inner dialogue of negative self-talk or doubt influences your feeling and how you relate to others and to the world.
- Comparison. This emotional outlook on life makes us feel down about ourselves that is caused by comparison of an ideal we have.
- Uncertainty. We don’t like uncertainty and shy away from it. Uncertainty is another cause that makes us feel insecurity about ourselves.
How do we deal with these insecurities?
- Allow the insecurities to come up and not hold you back. Insecurities will still come up, even in the most confident of people, but we move forward anyway. Not taking action and shying away from the insecurities causes us to have difficulties. If we can push through the insecurities, it’s not so bad.
- Recognize our self-talk. You may not realize the voice is causing certain emotions in you. The first step is just to hear it. Notice it is there. What is the inner dialogue in you saying? Pay attention to your inner voice an notice feelings of inadequacy. Journal and write down those thoughts without a filter.
- Pay attention to the effects it has on you. What do these feelings do to yourself-image?
- Replace those with more loving thoughts. Just do it. Practice the Buddhist metta (loving-kindness) meditation. Wish for an end to your own suffering.
- The Gratitude Habit. Be grateful for where you are right here and now. The Comparison Habit is an unhelpful mental habit of comparing ourselves to others, an ideal, and social media. These inferiority and superiority comparisons are not helpful. There is always something that we can be grateful for right exactly as I am right now. This is the antidote to the comparison habit.
Part II: Questions and Answers
Questions answered in this video:
- How would you suggest overcoming insecurity from an unavoidable personal situation (an illness/living situation) to feel ok asking someone out and not feel defeated out of the gate?
- Do you think one should ‘shape up’ mentally/physically/in life before socializing regularly again. or just go out there anyway?
- Most of us are continuously liking/not liking people to some degree, so wonder if this affects how we then are aware that others are liking/not liking us? Perhaps we need to practice completely and wholesomely loving others, then we might not perceive others are judging us so much? :-)
- The most dreaded question from new people I meet is “so, what do you do?” where the truthful answer would be “nothing, really”. Mentioning depression at that point seems like a bad idea.
- As you listen to interesting things about others & their lives, how can you bring up interesting and relevant things about yourself as you talk without bragging? Or make them relevant?