Claire was shy in school and sometimes felt like she didn’t fit in. She is a fairly quiet, reserved person but she enjoys spending time with people she knows well and whose company she enjoys.
Lately, she has gone into social events with a more positive outlook. Some friends commented to her that she looks much more relaxed and happy lately.
How would you describe your personality?
I think I am a bit of an introvert… I think there is probably something a bit extroverted inside me somewhere that would like to get out!
I would just love people to see me as friendly, relaxed, approachable and likable and just be able to have the people around me that I would like around me.
“It’s not only me who feels self-conscious in social situations but most people feel that way“
Claire talks about social challenges she had and how she overcame them
I think the feeling of not being socially skilled gradually eroded my self-confidence as I got older and if anything, I think it made me reject interaction with people and prefer to stay alone where things are “safer”.
I realized when I found your course that it’s not only me who feels self-conscious in social situations but most people feel that way. I think that had the biggest impact on how I feel about myself initially. I have also always felt like I don’t know what to say and I think I am now overcoming that. I think it was the feeling that actually there isn’t something wrong with me that has made the difference, and it’s helped me to start to forget the painful things that harmed my confidence in the past.
What changes have you noticed since you started the program?
I get more of the feeling that people I meet like me and have enjoyed talking to me. I still feel I have a long way to go but I think it’s now more about finding the opportunities to meet people and putting the new skills and attitude to use!
Before Christmas, I went to the birthday party of a friend and as a result, I got invited to someone’s dinner party after chatting for some time with someone who seemed to really like me and said I was fun!
I really like the part about starting a “conversation by association”. I still find this hard to do and my confidence isn’t completely there yet but I have done it a couple of times and I like the way it has focused my mind on how I can actually do that and come off as normal and friendly!
Dealing with the voice saying “You can’t do it”
I would see someone and I think the voice was telling me that I didn’t know the ‘right’ way to be with people. Same in general interactions with people I don’t know really – feeling like I don’t know how to come off as normal. I think that the more I have followed the course material, I have just started to see that I am over-analysing and over-thinking and that in itself has made me more relaxed and better.
What’s your best advice to someone who’s just starting off the program?
I think to stay positive and trust the material and to realize that it’s only their thinking that is flawed, and that anyone can do this. They just need to do it in their own time.
Definitely also the micro-steps aspect, but I think you need to take as long as you need to with that and also to take social opportunities to practice even if they might seem like they won’t lead to any particular friendships.
Claire talks about her social life nowadays
Last weekend I met a friend at the cinema. It was actually supposed to be an ‘expat meet up’ where we were going to have a drink and then watch a movie, but only three of us turned up! But it was nice.
On Saturdays, I usually go to dinner when I meet my friends. I also meet my friend at Pilates every Sunday morning.
“I’ve really enjoyed the course and the format seems pretty good to me”
Before you signed up, what were some worries you had whether Awkward to Awesome would be right for you?
I had done your Social Success Decoded program before so I was hoping for some new and improved material. But I guess before I signed up originally for the first program, it was really just whether it would work for me. The fear of being disappointed I suppose! I can’t really think of anything else right now… I’ve really enjoyed the course and the format seems pretty good to me.
“It’s not difficult or overly time-consuming”
Claires advice to others thinking about signing up for Awkward to Awesome
I would say the quality and structure of the material is very good and easy to follow, and you feel from the beginning that you can succeed. It’s not difficult or overly time-consuming. I was very happy to find something like that as I had never come across anything like it before. I think I was just very keen to try it, I had a lot of optimism about it.
I like the fact that I don’t feel pressured to spend time with people I don’t want to be around. I prefer to be with genuine friends who I have something in common with.