Nervous about being liked?

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Nervous about being liked?
Written By: Olivia LePage ~ 1/12/2023


I don't know if it's the same for you, but whenever I start somewhere new, I get nervous. I start imagining scenarios where people make fun of me, or just plain react negatively towards me. Even though I know all these fears are “normal”, I've learned a few things over the years to help me get off this crazy anxious rabbit hole. The first thing I do is to reign in my thoughts. I ask whether they are “what ifs” or are they factual. I find that 95% of the time, they are what ifs, and so if a specific fear is based on experience, then the same thing will unlikely happen again since it involves different people and different locations. If it is a lived experience with the same set of people and location, then it's not new, and it falls in the category of harassment. In this case, I get help, and I reach out to someone who will help me. Second, there are 3 habits that I have control over, and that help ease my anxious mind. The first one is to walk with my back straight and head up. This unconsciously conveys strength and confidence to others and that I am not an easy target. Take notice of people who walk like this, you will see it for yourself. The second habit is that I try not to share my every thought and experience with everyone, all the time. This will make people curious, and over time, usually, they want to find out more. Only people who have built trust with you over the years should have access to your deep fears and biggest dreams. Everyone else is on a need-to-know basis. The third habit is to smile, when around new people. If smiling is not your “thing”, then think of something that brings you joy. Your smile will show through your demeanor. Not smiling will make people wary of you, and it will create distrust towards you for no real reason. I know, it's weird, the mind works in mysterious ways. Smiling, on the other hand, will do the opposite.

So, to recap, the simple (but meaningful) ways to help with being anxious in new environments:

  1. Check your thoughts. Are they based on facts or imagination?
  2. Back straight-head up, it conveys strength and confidence.
  3. less-gab more-smile. Your true self will shine through, and the right people will appreciate you.

I hope this helps. It has helped me countless times over the years.

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