Staying out of the limelight
Isn’t it interesting how some people thrive on social contact, excitedly sharing ideas, giving presentations and getting noticed. Our children are encouraged to learn to join in, be gregarious, play team sports, speak up in class, be popular. Be extrovert. Apparently this is how to get on in life.
The problem is, few people are naturally highly extrovert. Most have a generous dose of introversion mixed in, being more energised on their own or in small groups of people they know. Centre-stage is not always for them. Introverts tend to think before they act, listening to other people’s opinions whilst forming their own, standing shoulder to shoulder with you and lead quietly from within.
Of course, the world needs the differing traits of both extroverts and introverts, despite the voices of all those self-improvement gurus extolling that getting noticed, networking, charismatically influencing people is sure-fire route to success.
So whether you’re extrovert or introvert, relax and enjoy who you really are and stop trying to be what others seem to want you to be.
However, this popular focus on extrovert behaviour puts a lot of social pressure on people to be outspoken in situations where they’re naturally more reserved. Many end up believing they’re shy, when actually they just prefer a night in to a night out, a movie to a party and learn more by listening than speaking.
Sometimes, though, the problems become much bigger. Generalised Anxiety Disorder, or Social Phobia, can lead people to be fearful of everyday social contact. It can disrupt relationships, cut you off from friends and impair your abilities at work or at school. Self-esteem can crumble and leave you feeling hopeless.
If this is you or someone you know, it’s important to seek professional guidance. Cognitive Hypnotherapy is especially well placed to provide expert therapeutic help.
Maybe it’s time someone else did the listening.
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