I CAN’T BEAR TOO MUCH ATTENTION
I think people mistake me for being rude or a snob most of the time because I don’t talk much. When I’m in a social situation I often swallow my tongue as I feel I have nothing to say. I just feel so awkward.
How do I get over my fear of being the centre of attention? I don’t know why I feel this way as I don’t have a problem with low self-esteem. What’s wrong with me? Sammy, email
Being the centre of attention means everyone in the room or environment is looking at you or talking about you. Simply talking to people doesn’t make you the centre of attention. In company the person who speaks is simply given attention to afford the listeners the opportunity to focus on what’s being said.
You also need to keep in mind that communication isn’t only about words – we also take note of body language, facial expression, tone of voice and so on. So if people don’t look at you while you’re speaking they’re losing these subtle communication signs.
Try to stop focusing on yourself and what people may think about you. Rather focus on what it is you want to communicate and what the other people are saying. Even the most informed and clever person can learn something from others, so don’t think your ideas or thoughts aren’t worth sharing.
It might help you to become more comfortable if you practise in your room in front of a mirror. Try to look at yourself as other people will see you. Take note of your body language, expression and tone of voice. Notice how you communicate with your voice and body. For example, when talking about something you’re looking forward to, your voice conveys excitement.
If you don’t know what to talk to people about, simply ask them about themselves and things they enjoy doing. There’ll always be people who are more than happy to talk about themselves.