by: Yvette Valdenegro
Are you looking for a challenge?
Take a whole evening with friends, family, or your favorite networking group and challenge yourselves NOT to say ANYTHING about work, spouses, partners, and kids. The topics should remain around YOU! Yes, just yourself, as in you, the person. Share anything and everything about you. Discuss your favorite things, goals, dreams, hobbies, likes, dislikes, etc. Be a good listener and let others talk about themselves too. Notice how challenging this can be for yourself and others. Talking about ourselves can cause social anxiety, and genuine fear is attached to speaking to others in a social environment. For most, however, the struggle to feel comfortable talking about ourselves is considered improper and bad-mannered.
We have stifled memories of a parent, teacher, coach, friend, sibling, etc., aggressively telling us to stop talking about ourselves. Those memories tell us talking about yourself is braggadocious and self-centered. Of course, we can think of an example or two of people we can place in the arrogant category of bragging. All the other people we know are just sharing about life. Sharing, expressing, and describing ourselves to others is a healthy notion. We are individuals with ideas, dreams, likes & dislikes who see this amazing world from our perspectives. Talking about our views can open up other thoughts for those listening. Inventions, experiments, ideas, and monumental changes have occurred because people shared.
Next time you are in a social setting, try taking the challenge. Encourage everyone to put faulty thinking away and consider the truth about themself. The truth is everyone is interesting, not a burden to others, and can be just the spark someone else needs to hear. Instead of doubting yourself, welcome the opportunity to meet someone new and for your brain to relax and have fun.
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