The Self-Destructive, Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

All my life I’ve been shy. I always thought my shyness is just a defect of my personality, something that I can never break out of or change. This past weekend, I realized the mistake I have been making my entire life. I was in my friend’s dorm and her roommate invited over a bunch of people. As soon as people walked in, I immediately kept to a corner and didn’t really engage much with the people that walked in. As everyone was conversing, I kept thinking thoughts such as, “No one would want to talk to me, I’m so boring” or “I’m not charismatic as Becca, so I just shouldn’t contribute to the conversation”. I barely spoke to anyone because of these feelings of low self-esteem and later on, my friend asked me why I was so quiet. I realized what my mistake was when reviewing the self-fulfilling prophecy for Social Psychology. I am in a constant loop of a self-destructive self-fulfilling prophecy.  I blame myself for my “failure” in social situations and I internalize this.  Because I have these detrimental thoughts about my own behavior, I look even more unapproachable to people as I just keep quiet, which in turn furthers my expectations about my own behavior. I always feel like there has to be something wrong with me and that’s why people don’t want to talk to me, so I just keep to my own corner and seem very disengaged. If I was aware of the self-fulfilling prophecy I was putting onto myself, I would have forced myself to engage in conversation even if I seemed a bit awkward because it’s better than just sitting there in silence in a corner. My learning of this concept will most likely help me get out of my shell in future social situations and also will help me to not judge others who may be feeling the same way that I was.

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