Post # 1
I have always struggled with my confidence and always preferred to hide in a corner rather than be in the spotlight.
It has recently started to become an issue between me and my FI as when we go to parties I really struggle to make conversation with people as I feel incredibly nervous talking to new people, especially people at my FI’s work events as any negative opinions people may get of me will reflect badly on him. My FI recently commented that I come across as ignorant and not interested in other people when at gatherings like this. I do not want to come across like this as when I am chilled out I consider myself to be easy going and friendly.
My self confidence also means that I feel really self concious about dancing at parties. I feel like everyone is looking at me and cant relax so I just avoid it.
I am really concerned about this as I am really looking forward to our wedding and want it to be perfect. I don’t want my self-confidence to get in the way of me or my FI enjoying the day.
Does anyone have any advice or tips for overcoming this?
Post # 3
Hmm. I used to be like this. I just got myself out there in public situations more often and eventually it went away. It’s hard work, but if this is something you want to work on, then you’ll do it. It worked for me.
Post # 4
@Fazza1717: Making small talk at a party and shining in your bridal spotlight are two different scenarios but attempting to MAKE small talk might make you more comfortable on your wedding day when you are being complimented by your guests.
You know, you should google “the spotlight effect.” It’s interesting and might give you some perspective. Keep in mind too that people LOVE to talk about themselves so the next time you are out, ask people questions that you would love to be asked. If they are interested, they’ll keep it going. It’s a great way to practice dialog with new people.
Post # 5
@Fazza1717: I’m sure your FI pointing this out didn’t make you feel any better. I agree with PP that asking other people questions is the best way to get over being anxious….examples….
So what will you be doing for the holidays?
How long have you lived in such and such?
That is a beautiful bracelet/earrings/dress! Where did you get it?
You can Google questions if you are unsure. Generally showing enthusiam in other people and getting them to talk can help get you out of your shell.
As far as dancing I wouldn’t worry. No one else is scrutinizing you like you think they are. They are just as worried about how they look. Have some wine and you’ll be ok!
Post # 6
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@Fazza1717: The best conversationists are those that let you talk about yourself. Even if you aren’t interested in what they have to say, approach someone and ask them about themselves.
Keep 2-3 questions in mind that you can ask people and hopefully one of the answers will spark a conversation. Ask about what the person does for a living, how they know the guest of honor at a party, or how they enjoyed the last movie they saw. Make sure to use one of the 6 open ended quesiton starters: Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How. These allow for open ended answers instead of yes or no answers. With a little practice, you should feel more confident in having conversations with people.
When the covnersation wanes, move on politely by saying you need to refresh your drink, use the restroom, or check on your FI.
Post # 7
I have been extremely shy all of my life and am very introverted, so I know exactly where you’re coming from. Social situations wear me out. Unfortunately, that makes me come off as aloof and intimidating when I actually feel just the opposite, so I’ve made a concerted effort to try to be more outgoing. Small talk is still hard for me (before, it was excruciating so I guess that’s an improvement!) but I have found that going in prepared with some questions in mind to ask people when you feel one of those long awkward pauses coming on, like a previous poster said, really works. People DO love to talk about themselves! Once you get going, it’s a bit easier. A glass of wine or other adult beverage helps too!
I feel like saying, though, that it was counterproductive of your FI to say what he said about you coming off as ignorant. That probably made you feel even more like people are scrutinizing you! Just keep in mind that a lot of people who are outgoing don’t understand at all what it feels like to be the opposite, and when people say things like that they think they are being helpful. Next time, gently tell him that saying things like that actually has the opposite effect.
Post # 8
Try some CBT for social anxiety. I know it sounds exreme but it has been a game changer for me. I learned to avoid interrupting people and stuff. Also people love to talk about themselves, so ask questions about them and really listen.
Post # 9
@Fazza1717: I am the SAME exact way. The way I am getting around it, is that we are having NO dancing (other than First Dance, Mother/Son, & Father/Daughter dances). We are a dance free wedding. We will have other games (not cheesy, promise!) to make up for the no dancing. Also, its a day time wedding, so dancing isn’t as important as it is for an evening wedding.
Post # 10
@Fazza1717: Make your wedding be whatever you want it to be! If you’d prefer a small intimate group, do it! If you want to elope (or just have family), do it! If you want a big bash, but to do lawn games and brunch instead of a dance party, do it! It’s you’re day – I hope you love it!