Do Your Insecurities Keep You From Joining Social Activities?

Real talk

Overcoming Insecurities

 

Many people who harbor issues with their self-esteem tend to short-change themselves from living life to its fullest potential. In this post I’m going to refer to some of our physical attributes we find ourselves being self-critical about that potentially become handicaps for fully enjoying all aspects of our lives.

 

Let’s start by talking about some of the reasons why some people may refuse to go to a school reunion, as an example. These people feel they may not have lived up to expectations that fellow classmates may have labelled them as most likely to have succeeded at something. Many people feel embarrassed to be seen in these circles of a past life because of how much they’ve physically changed through the years and decades. And these feelings are usually  more prominent for some who perhaps may not have aged so gracefully, gained a few pounds through the years, or even possibly may not have accomplished in life what they feel others may have expected of them. It’s not difficult to understand that our inner insecurities  would be highlighted in such social situations if we are suffering a lack of self-confidence.

 

You may think I may be referring specifically to the female population here more than men, but I have no doubts these issues of harboring low self-esteem can definitely pertain to the male species as well. While the male population may not always focus on their physical attributes as much as many women do and may not worry about how they no longer look like the Prom Queen they once were, or perhaps the popular cheerleader they once were, they have their own insecurities about success levels they may or may not have achieved, or quite often just enough lack of self- esteem from going bald at an early age or becoming a far cry from the school sports jock they once were.

 

Whatever spurs these feelings of inadequacy will differ for each individual, but the bottom line is that often we get stuck in the past with our former looks and accomplishments when it comes to facing old friends or peers from the past. In those moments of fearing our sensitivity and self-conscience about our appearance, it can become an intimidating factor. While holding those fears, we don’t take any consideration for the fact that the very people we’re intimidated to face will undoubtedly also have aged because we’re only focused on the attributes we’re not happy about with our own selves. This will occur more in people who have carried insecurities with themselves most of their lives despite never being Prom Queens or jocks, and those who were never popular in school in their younger years.

 

It’s difficult to change our self perceptions and self-criticisms, especially if we’ve been a tough self-critic most of our lives. Those self-criticisms become a wall we put up that grows bigger as we age, often leading many to becoming homebodies.

 

I don’t profess to be a psychologist nor do I have any fancy credentials beside my name, but I’ve been a studier of people since I was a wee child and my empathic nature helps me read between the lines of silence or that of an over-powering personality when I’m speaking with someone who harbors insecurities about themselves. In many of my own books, I discuss openly about my own insecurities and how I’ve learned to overcome them. I can say with certainty that it’s not always easy and it’s taken me years to become a self-confident person despite acknowledging my own flaws. But I want to emphasize here that if we could learn to love ourselves by focusing on the good things about ourselves as human beings rather than self-criticizing for all we are not, it’s a great starting point for growing and learning to project a self-confidence. And eventually, we can find ourselves feeling more acceptable and comfortable around others.

 

Besides learning to commend ourselves for our finer attributes and all the wonderful contributions we’ve made to others and our communities, we should all learn to walk away from negative people who criticize us and others. We can’t change people, but we can always take steps to change ourselves and our choices in who we wish to keep company with. We need to take a step back and look at our accomplishments, the good things we’ve done for ourselves, our families, our communities. We need to step past our egos and take pride in who we are, all we’ve overcome and remember our younger selves for who we were then, with so much less knowledge and power that we earned with time and hold now from life experiences.

 

We are who we are, not what we look like or how much money we’ve made or lost. If we aren’t getting the vote of confidence from those in the circles we are keeping, we really need to re-evaluate the people we allow into our inner circles. If we don’t have a support system at home to lift us instead of berating us then this may be something to reflect on and discuss with those in our home lives. As for friendships, if they aren’t uplifting and don’t make us feel worthy in any fashion, it’s time to let go of those friendships. It is often the people we choose to keep in our close circles that are indicators of our happiness meters. If we have friends that congratulate us on our victories, give our confidence a boost when it is sorrily lacking, or can laugh with us, not at us, then we’re halfway there  with a healthy self-confidence and self-acceptance.  This contentment we feel around others leaves us with a comfortable feeling with ourselves, and one that gives us the courage to get on with our lives and exposure to outside influences with a feeling of self-satisfaction and helps to break down the barriers of not feeling confident enough to meet anyone any time in our daily endeavors without dwelling on whatever physical attributes we may feel we’re lacking. The over abundance of positive people we keep in our circles will undoubtedly lift our self-esteems, just as easily as being around negative people on a daily basis will contribute to those walls we often tend to box ourselves into when we have no positive influencers in our lives.

 

Remember: Self-confidence is built on daily acceptance of who we are, how far we’ve come, what we give and get from others. It’s not about being a certain size or how many wrinkles we’ve dodged. Traveling in circles with positive people is key to building self-confidence. And our delicate psyches can be so easily torn down by a lack of those positive people in our lives when living in a negative environment. It’s up to us all to evaluate what’s good and what’s not in our lives and to make the necessary corrections to begin living a life more fulfilled by opening ourselves up to the many good people and opportunities there are when we step out of our egos and into the outside world.

68 thoughts on “Do Your Insecurities Keep You From Joining Social Activities?

  1. Well said, Debby. Once we’ve found a way to deal with ageing, everything else becomes easier. Yes, we have to focus on our accomplishments and not bemoan the fact that we do not look the same as we did when we were 16!

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  2. I am going to work really hard to socializing more this summer. It’s the first summer I haven’t been in a relationship since I was nineteen! I need good friends as opposed to finding another damn man 😉

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    1. I am so glad to hear that Jeri! Remember – good friends are for life as romantic relationships come and go. Stay away from the energy vampires and the ones that don’t lift you up and you are halfway there my friend. 🙂 xx

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  3. I always say, “I yam who I yam!” I don’t see people, I feel them. You, know what I mean! ❤

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  4. Great post, Deb, and especially helpful in this time of upheaval. Accepting who we are becomes a real challenge when our little voices contradict our positive affirmations. The only way around this is through it, by acknowledging and thanking the part of ourselves that is fearful; the part that helped us survive. Often this little voice is a child, strong but in need of reassurance. Thanking her is the first in letting go of old beliefs that no longer serve. You’ve given us a lot of food for thought! Thanks, girlfriend ❤️

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    1. Thank you so much for adding your own touch of wisdom here as always T. There is always a way to overcome but overcoming fears are the first stumbling block. The rest should flow naturally. ❤ xxx

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    1. Absolute truth Sal. Those insecurities have deep roots and may need a lot of work to overcome, but there is always a path to walk away. ❤ xx

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  5. Very interesting post, Deb. I do avoid many social events but it’s more about the Who I have become just doesn’t fit with today’s California. I really need to move!

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    1. I know that feeling Jacqui. I don’t feel like I’m living where I need to be either, but not sure where I need to be. I have faith that I’ll know when the time comes. 🙂

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  6. Sadly I will never have my youthful self back again but I do feel more comfortable in my skin than I did when I was younger. In my case my confidence has grown with age! There is still hope for us ladies of middle age! My mum was the same, I remember how she excelled as she became older. She graduated as a mature student and my brother and I were so proud of her. So, never say never! Lovely post Debby. 🙂

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    1. Thank you Marje for sharing some of yourself here. It’s true we will never be our younger selves, but learning to feel good in our own skins now is a beautiful acceptance of all we are. ❤

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  7. Your summary was perfect, Debby. So much of how we think about our selves is influenced by the negative feedback we’ve internalized from others. Choosing to be around positive people is a huge part of changing those messages. I also love affirmations because over time they can override the negative self-talk with positivity and can truly rewire the brain. Great post.

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  8. Hello Debby! Very insightful post. I have to admit that there have been times that I did not attend some function because of how I felt about myself at that moment. I’m trying to correct that. I remember a good friend of mine refused to attend his high school reunion, because he used to be a popular football quarterback in high school and through the years, he had gained weight and lost his hair. 😦

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  9. Yes, I have a lot of social anxiety but it has nothing to do with the way I look. I think I stopped being concerned about my looks when I realized that everyone looks old to people under the age of thirty. At about the age of 35 everyone starts to look young. According to what I’ve heard, after the age of 60, everyone under the age of 20 begins looks like an embryo.

    I guess my point is, we all look weird to each other regardless of age. 🙂

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    1. I loved your analogy Rob. You are so right. Nobody knows anyone else’s journey by just looking at them. Often those with the insecurities don’t see things as we all look strange to each other but rather only seeing themselves as unacceptable to themselves, so what will others think of them. 🙂

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  10. Debby, a brilliant post! I feel my confidence boosted reading your words – there is a lot of truth in your thoughts, many hard-learnt I understand. Our minds are so powerful and I think if we can manage to re-wire them, to follow your suggestions here, a lot of insecurities will disappear and our lives will be lived to the full. ❤️

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  11. A very interesting post, Debby. I never went to my high school reunion but that was because I changed school so many times I didn’t really have any deep friendships or relationships to recapture and remember.

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    1. Oh that is fabulous Kathleen. I was hoping they would find it uplifting as many of us carry these insecurities. Thank you so much. 🙂 🙂

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  12. Lovely to see you in Senior Salon Debby. It is a great meeting place. Thank you for all your wise insights. It took me a long time to feel good about myself and I am very thankful to have found true friends as I age. Lets just say I had a lot of learning experiences!

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    1. Thanks so much Brigid. I think there are so many of us who’ve been in these situations. I too have found true friendships as I aged and I’m especially happy to be part of our wonderful blogging community where I’ve made some deep and wonderful friendships. 🙂

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  13. This is great advice, Debby. It is important to surround ourselves with positive people, and that’s both online and offline. We also need to ensure we are telling ourselves positive messages. Keep up the wonderful work. We all need reminders. 🙂

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    1. So true Norah. But sometimes telling ourselves positive messages seems to be the hardest thing. It’s learned for sure. 🙂 Thanks for reading. x

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  14. I find it sad that people would become less confident as they age, since aging, means maturing, which means having figured out what’s important in life. It appears to me that retired people don’t have a lot of problems with insecurities.

    I’d love to go to a high school reunion or college reunion, but for some reason, I must have been in years that didn’t produce people wanting to organize them, because I have not been told, or informed about any.

    While I was never a popular kid at school, the opposite (since I was tall and skinny, I had lots of “call names”), I would feel confident enough to see what everyone else has been up to. The biggest problem would be explaining how I managed to live my life so very different from them (living in Belgium with kids, a big house, careers, and way more money than me). 🙂

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    1. You would indeed be someone fascinating to meet up with at a reunion. Not too many people have the guts or inclination to do what you and Mark do. I too never received any communications about reunions, and I would certainly have been curious to go. 🙂

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  15. A terrific post, Debby! Parents should instill confidence in their children from the day they are born. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. My mother always some of the most important people in my life – my paternal grandmother and my father were two of those people. She would say things to me such as “oh, God, you look like your Grandma Clements!” or “what a shame, you have your father’s nose.” It backfired, of course! Both of my grandmothers were the most wonderful women I have ever known. They are my greatest role models, they taught me how to be not just a nice girl, but a loving and kind woman. My dad? My dad was a prince, a knight-in-shining-armor, my hero! I don’t know why, but my mother was a very small-minded person, but she was my mom and I do miss her. Thankfully for me (and my siblings), we had some positive role models that taught us to be strong, caring, and to live the Golden Rule. ❤️ Love and hugs ❤️

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    1. You are so right Michelle. And our esteems get built absolutely from when we’re younger. Even teasing for fun at home becomes a mark in our memories. I’m glad to hear that your had lots of love and support from some good role models in your family. Hugs to you. ❤ xx ❤

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