Square Peg – Round Hole?  The Anxiety of Not Fitting In.

“Hello and Welcome to Episode 45 of ‘Tuesday Choose Day’, your inspirational weekly post.

My aim here is to inspire you to feel more positive and more confident within yourself so you can find your way to overcome anxiety and create the change you want to happen in your life.”  I’m offering you here every Tuesday straight to your inbox empowering strategies to help you to take control, feel better and feel good!


Today’s Inspiration To Brighten Your Day…


Do you ever feel that socially you are a square peg in a round hole?  So many clients over the years have used this expression to explain their feelings of social anxiety to me.
Feeling this way means you have told yourself that you just don’t fit and there is nothing you can do but remain an outsider at most social occasions, looking in on everyone else having a good time.
But here’s hope…  Being an ‘inferior’ square peg is an illusion that your thoughts have created!


Somehow you learned that it wasn’t Ok to be yourself, and that in order to fit in, you had to be the same or similar to everyone else.  This is simply not true.  We humans crave individuality – just imagine how dull friendships would be if we were all a clone of each other.   You’re right not to sacrifice your authenticity so that you are seen to fit in.  Be proud to be yourself.


Here are some ideas to help you get comfortable socially.

Pay attention to Self Talk.  In what way might you be thinking negatively about yourself and about the other people?  Might your thinking be restricting you in connecting with others?
Quit telling yourself that no-one likes you or that you don’t fit in.  Instead, choose to think about what you want from the social occasion, the kind of people you want to meet and what you’d like to do.  Seek out these people and do more of these things.
Make the effort first.   Being anxious socially, you might have gotten into the habit of ‘hanging back’ and waiting for the others to talk to you first.   Be bold and start talking.  Start with ‘Hello’ then KEEP TALKING!
To keep you from spiralling  into destructive self talk, place your attention away from you and on to the person you are talking to.  . Be interested.  Keep eye contact, smile and ask questions.  When you acknowledge other people’s individuality, it becomes easier for you to share yours too.

When you worry too much about what people think of you, you tend to seek their approval so that you can feel comfortable in their company.   You lose yourself when you do this because your focus is on what they want and not what matters for you.   Instead, make it ok for you to worry about this less and do more of what you want to do, for you.
Take steps to get heal any past hurts or current stresses so that your energy is more welcoming and less protective or suspicious of others.   In this way, you will attract more positive people in to your life.


Take the time to get to know yourself…


In what particular situations and with which particular people, do you feel most uncomfortable.  Consider what you honestly like and appreciate about yourself and find out what others see in you, whose opinion you value.   Others reflect to us what we often don’t accept in ourselves.  Growing to respect and accept yourself more means you’ll be less critical and more open towards others.
Remind yourself that everyone feels a bit awkward sometimes.  Notice who else might be feeling uncomfortable and go talk to them.  You’ll have something in common at least, which may forge a connection, and the chances are you will both relax a little more and begin to chat naturally.
Don’t try to fit in to established clichés – you never will.  So decide make your own instead with people you feel comfortable enough around, to be yourself.
With love and light x

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Lisa Skeffington, Anxiety Expert – Anxiety Help Bournemouth

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