Just last night, a friend in one of my support groups was asking about how to deal with social anxiety.
I told him that the secret for me has been in realizing that even the coolest person you can think of feels like a fraud deep inside. We all look at ourselves and see giant weirdos or dorks. We all imagine that if people really knew us, they’d figure out that we’re not as good as they think we are.
So I can’t be bullied, because I know my weaknesses and I’m not ashamed of them anymore. I’m also well aware of my strengths, and know that if I was friends with me, I’d be much kinder to Jenna than Jenna’s critical voice is.
I think the natural default for humans is loneliness. So I look for reasons to engage people in conversations. It’s rare that I find someone who isn’t eager to reciprocate. I have had some of the most wonderful moments with people that way.