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How to Be Less Self-Conscious at Work

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Are you consistently concerned that your colleagues are judging you? Chances are that you’re not alone. But worrying about what other people think of you — especially at work — can be exhausting, and even distressing. To manage this feeling, make small changes to your behavior. For example, you might focus on active listening. The more attention we pay to things outside ourselves, the easier it becomes to have real, meaningful interactions. Pay attention to what someone says before trying to formulate your response. The key is not to come up with the “perfect” response, but rather to make the other person feel heard in the moment. If someone asks you about your week, don’t rehearse what you feel is “the right answer.” Simply answer with whatever first comes to mind. If it’s big social events, like an office party, that stress you out, try creating a game plan ahead of time. This might mean buddying up with someone you trust, or picking three to four people that you know you’d like to talk to. Finally, be kind to yourself. When you feel embarrassed or anxious, imagine how you would treat someone in a similar situation. Try to stay grounded, compassionate, and give yourself some grace.

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