Friday, June 9, 2017

Spotlight Effect, 4

What is the bottom line here? Other people are not paying attention to you nearly as much as you may think they are. Knowing this can give you permission to be yourself, help you feel less embarrassed in public when something untoward happens, and take it a bit easier when you do make a mistake. Kenneth Savitsky put it like this: "You can’t completely eliminate the embarrassment you feel when you commit a faux pas, but it helps to know how much you’re exaggerating its impact.” Studies have shown empirically that a drastic over-estimation of one's effect on others is widely common. Once you know about the spotlight effect, you can choose to become more realistic in terms of how much you believe you really are the center of attention and in a social spotlight. The perception of being under constant scrutiny is a mind construct, and the self-doubt you feel after making a mistake appears not to truly reflect reality. That’s good news! 

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