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Overcoming Self-Consciousness

Author: "Being a Man in a Woman's World"

"Thinking that you're going to make this girl fall in love with you from the way you approach her. That simply doesn't work."

Dear Doc,

I have a social issue. Ever since I was a kid, I was always very friendly, outgoing, sociable, charming, positive, and likable. In addition, I was never shy, but as I approached my teens, I became reclusive and reserved. It was also at that time when my self-esteem severely affected my social life, particularly where women were concerned.

This is about how I see myself and how other people see me. Years ago, I was in a restaurant with family and friends. I had to use the restroom, which was located at the other end of the restaurant. As I made my way across, I have a tendency to look around at peoples' faces out of curiosity. When I do this, some people responded by looking back at me while others didn't notice. The ones that do appeared to have unfriendly looks. From what I can tell, they see me with glaring stares and when that happens, I tend to get self-conscious.

Maybe I am misinterpreting, but that is what I've noticed. It doesn't happen all the time and there have been situations in which people were responding in a polite way with smiles.

Does this affect everybody to an extent? Have you ever experienced this? Does it ever go away at one point? How can I overcome my self-consciousness and how other people perceive me?
Kind regards


First off, yes. It affects every single person to one degree or another. You are certainly not alone in this!

Everyone is self-conscious at some time or another. Imagine starting a new job or going to a new school where you don't know anybody. How could you NOT be this way?

Interestingly, as you get older, it tends to subside for most people, but frankly, why wait? It's not difficult at all to fix!

When you realize that everyone is in the same boat you are, you also begin to think that you can affect others too. For instance, when you carry a "pleasant look" on your face, that's a pleasant look to you - not everyone interprets things the same way. Some actually may see this as aggressive for instance simply because you're holding their eye contact.

One of the exercises I give my students is to walk through a crowded mall or restaurant and practice holding someone's eye contact until THEY look away. This is a very aggressive action however and on occasion, you'll find someone that won't break it.

That's an Alpha male by the way. The net result can be interesting - everything from more aggression from that person to actual acceptance and connection! It's amazing!

However, the vast majority of people will look down at this point. When you see that, you'll now know that it's a sign of submission and self-questioning - just like you're doing to yourself! See? Almost everyone does the same thing!

In my first book, "Being a Man in a Woman's World" I have an exercise where I have people make eye contact and then use it to break the silence as a way to learn how to approach people. The details are more than I can give you here in these messages but trust me, it's a great first step to getting this fixed permanently. If you want to discover this, consult the book.

The point however is that you can easily control this! You don't have to suffer with this sort of anxiety at all. In fact, you shouldn't suffer with it. People actually are fun and engaging if you give them the chance. More important, WOMEN are fun and engaging, but you have to learn how to give them that stage. When you do, you're entire life turns around.

As I asked before - why wait to get this fixed?

Best regards...
Dr. Dennis Neder

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Copyright (c) 2007-2012 Dr. Dennis W. Neder All rights reserved.
Dr. Dennis W. Neder
Author of: Being a Man in a Woman's World
Dedicated to advancing the arts and sciences of relationships.
Start having the relationships YOU deserve!
Got a love, relationship or man/woman question? I answer all letters. You can write to me at for answers. For more information about my book, "Being a Man in a Woman's World", visit: 

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