Recently, I’ve had a fair few people describe me as being quite confident. Others have also said that they think that I am self-assured to a healthy extent and that I seem quite secure. I’m always very happy when people say nice things like this, but I also find it very interesting. I’m not saying that I lack confidence or that I am insecure, but I do think that I come across as more confident and assured than I am.
For example, I know that a lot of people worry when somebody doesn’t reply to their messages. This is something that doesn’t bother me – but only because I make a conscious effort to stop it from affecting me. Maybe someone won’t reply to a few messages and I’ll momentarily think “Perhaps they’re not interested in responding to me” but then I instantly identify this as an irrational thought and identify that there is a very large number of reasons that somebody wouldn’t reply, which have nothing to do with their opinion of me or their interest in engaging with me. To assume that it’s to do with me is both pessimistic and very ego-centric. As soon as I identify the irrational thought, I can dismiss it quite easily.
Similarly, if I am meeting up with a large group, I might find it a little difficult to to join into a conversation for a bit and so sit quietly for a while, simply enjoying my friends’ company, rather than actively engaging with them. In these cases, occasionally a negative thought might pop into my head “My friends are probably disappointed that I’m not speaking much and thinking that I’m not worth spending time with” again, this is also entirely irrational and I can instantly dismiss it due to the fact that the same thought would never enter my mind if the situation were reversed.
These kind of thoughts aren’t things which occur to me very often, but when they do my process for dealing with them helps to stop them from ever getting to me too much. Being able to identify when your concerns are irrational is a very useful skill to develop as it means that you’ll be able to reassure yourself when it comes to most things quite easily. I’m particularly pleased that I was able to cultivate this ability, because in the past I was quite an anxious person at times and these days I wouldn’t say that I am an anxious person at all.
Obviously, I am very lucky in that anxiety is not something which affects me to a serious extent and I know that it will be a lot worse for other people. Knowing how people can start to feel anxiety over such little things, I like to offer positive comments to friends when I interact with them, so that there’s no risk of anxiety caused as a result of an interaction with me. Positive reinforcement can go a long way. I also thought it was worth sharing all of this because I know a lot of people do become anxious about little things and I thought this method may be helpful. Logic and rationality are always very useful, I find.
(Don’t miss today’s Finger Puppet Show!)