We all have felt awkward. Uncomfortable. Shy. At some point in our lives, we have all been there. Some of us have more problems with feelings of social discomfort than others. For many, it controls their interactions and even their feelings when they are in a social setting.
How can we stop the negative thoughts? "Do they like me? Why am I being so weird today? They probably think I'm really quiet..." For some these thoughts will eat away at the fun of a social experience. I used to be that person. My perception of how others would think of me was so negative I became paralyzed in social situations. I spent a good portion of my childhood stuck in this trend. In all honesty, it was misery. I perceived that I had fewer friends than everyone else, and was a loner. I could not tell you if that was true or not, however I believed it and that's what matters. Perception is reality. How did I ever break the cycle?
I became more self aware. In my experience, meditation can help you become aware of racing thoughts that may be untrue. I slowly became aware that many of those around me struggled with the same kinds of thoughts, and that most of us want to make new friends. All of a sudden, as that belief took control of my life, I had more friends than I'd ever had. What happened? Did I make more friends and gain confidence from that? Or did I gain new confidence and make more friends with that?
Interestingly enough I would say the realization that others wanted to be friends with me gave me a completely different personality. This personality was confident in social situations, and that is what brought about even more, better quality friends. Beliefs bring about reality. Our minds are more powerful than we think. Work on changing your thoughts first and results will come, in this area and every area of your life.