I'm so self-conscious in real life that I am constantly worried about how I appear to others. Have you gone through this? Is there a cure? Is it caused by low self-esteem?
It's an obsession with self - the flip side of narcissism that produces the same results.
Me, me, me - what is everyone thinking about me?
Focus on others and their experiences, get out of the habit of thinking about yourself and only your own experiences, ad nauseum. The world isn't just about you and what other people think of you.
Yes, I know you're not selfish or bad or anything else. Neither is the narcissist, inherently. It's just that you both share the same habit:
"Me me me me me me. It's all about me!"
The difference is that you're fearful and turn self-obsession into a negative for yourself, where the narcissist doesn't feel guilty about his self obsession.
Thanks R1, I'm going to find a way to walk out of this habit of mind. Your post really helped me to understand my illness.
Anger is self-consciousness
One thing that really helps OP is to volunteer to help others, especially doing work with developmentally challenged people. Often people with down syndrome or other learning difficulties, or even people with physical deformaties tend to be very non-self interested and self-conscious, and simply being around them gets us out of our funk.
It's so good that you're aware of this. Just start giving and helping others. Over time it will go away.
OP, gather up some lint, put it in your navel and contemplate it for a prolonged period of time.
It won't cure you of your "illness" which you have been so charmingly sharing with us on a daily fucking basis, but it might help you to stop typing for a while.
Get cognitive behavior therapy. Either online, with a therapist or a book, It will help you to retrain your brain by changing what you do and think over time. Usually takes about 6-8 weeks.
Me too OP. It's awful. I'm old and will probably die before long, and it's still there. You'd think I'd catch WTF by now!
Nope: no cure. Not in our society, at least.
R4, although your suggestion is a good one, personally i had to laugh at the suggestion of volunteer work. I volunteer for my city's hospice and i just found out that the paid hospice workers have been talking about me. Oh well, no good deed goes unpunished.
The older I get, the more I don't give a shit about how I look to others.
Just keep in mind that the vast majority of people aren't even looking at you. They're thinking about themselves and their own problems.
Op, the reason you feel this way is because you haven't realized how little a fuck anyone gives about you, what you do, or anything about you.
People are predominantly thinking about themselves. Even when they do think of you, it's briefly.
I've always felt that as a gay man, I had to look neater and be extra-pleasant. It's like the breeders are "allowing" me to live and work amongst them... if I behave.
That's a pretty common thing to feel, r15. Don't be so insensitive with your inquiry on what this man is feeling.
We internalize many of the sentiments that those around us have. For a long time gay people were thought of as second class but somehow neater and extra-pleasant. That can't be good for the mental health of a people, especially those living and working where this thought is prevalent.
r14's point was made in the saying "those who study Greek must take pains with their dress."
If you don't go with the flow, you have to dress better because people are noticing you anyway, and are extra judgmental.
Could it be social anxiety disorder OP? I have it and I kind of feel like you too. Except I know it's more of anxiety because if I feel relaxed and "normal" I don't worry so much. The anxiety runs off with my brain and distorts my perception of people and the world.