Have you ever felt like you’re being watched?
Judged and scrutinized.
Like all eyes are on you and every potential error you make?
Everyone experiences this phenomenon from time to time, especially when trying out something for the first time.
Think back to the first time you gave a dinner party, swung a golf club, wrote a college exam, or posted your first blog online.
Social Anxiety and Heightened Experiences
Individuals with social anxiety experience this sense of being watched (and thought about) significantly more than the average person.
Independent of skills and expertise.
Why is this the case?
The Imaginary Audience
One potential explanation is a psychological phenomenon called imaginary audience experienced frequently in adolescence.
- A concept first introduced by social psychologists David Elkind and Erik Erikson in the 1960’s.
Think back to how easily embarrassed you were as a teenager.
- If you wore the “wrong shirt” to school, it felt like everyone was gossiping about you and your entire social life would end as a result.
Resulting in perpetual self-consciousness, distorted views of how others saw you, causing in a tendency to conform for fear of sticking out.
- Limiting your freedom to express outside the norm for fear of collective banishment and reprisal.
What does the research say?
Using the Imaginary Audience Scale as a Measure of Social Anxiety in Young Adults
Two studies explored imaginary audience phenomenon among college students.
Imaginary audience behavior was found to be related to measures of social anxiety, self perception, and personality.
Furthermore, imaginary audience scores were more strongly related to anxiety than abstract reasoning.
These results suggest that imaginary audience experiences that persist into early adulthood have more to do with social anxiety than with cognitive development.
Original Source: Click Here
Simple Things on Repeat
The next time you imagine you are being watched, talked about, or judged by others, remember that imaginary audience IS AN ILLUSION heightened by social media, physiology (eg., lack of sleep), and overthinking.
- When in truth, people are so focused on themselves (and their phones), that there is a 99% chance that no one cares what you are up to or how you are performing.
This is a very good thing!
Today’s Freedom Mantra
Live like nobody’s watching. Love like nobody’s watching. Succeed like nobody’s watching. Fail like nobody’s watching. Write like nobody’s watching!
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