People who are extremely self-conscious often display these 7 body language cues without realizing it

Are you one of those people who often feels self-conscious in social settings?

You know the kind—the ones who overthink every move, every word and worry about how they’re being perceived.

If that’s you, then listen up.

What if I told you that your self-consciousness might be revealing itself in ways you’re not even aware of? 

Body language is a powerful tool that silently communicates our feelings, thoughts, and moods. But there’s an interesting twist.

Your body language could be giving away more than you think.

In this article, we’ll look at some common cues that people who are extremely self-conscious often display without realizing it.

So, stick around; we might just help you feel less self-conscious and more confident.

1) Fidgeting

Fidgeting is a common habit for self-conscious people. It’s like your body has this excess energy it needs to burn off because of all the anxiety bottled up inside.

You might find yourself tapping your feet, twirling your hair, or repeatedly touching your face without even realizing it.

These are all signs of unease that others can pick up on.

But don’t worry; we’ve all been there at some point. But being aware of these cues can help you work on managing them better in the future.

When you find yourself fidgeting, take a deep breath, relax your muscles, and try to settle into the moment. It might just help you appear more confident and less self-conscious.

2) Avoiding eye contact

Now, this is something I’ve caught myself doing more times than I’d like to admit.

I remember being at a networking event a few years ago. I was feeling particularly self-conscious that day and found myself struggling to maintain eye contact with the people I was meeting.

I’d quickly glance at their eyes, and then my gaze would just as quickly dart away, finding solace in the less intimidating floor tiles or the abstract paintings on the wall.

Looking back, I realize that my lack of eye contact might have given off the wrong impression. It could have been perceived as disinterest or even rudeness.

The truth is, avoiding eye contact is a typical sign of self-consciousness. It’s our way of trying to hide—to become invisible in an environment where we feel exposed.

But, like me, you can work on this!

Practice holding eye contact a little longer each time. It might feel uncomfortable at first, but with time, it can significantly boost your confidence and help others see you as more approachable.

3) Closed body language

Here’s something a little less talked about: closed body language.

Imagine you’re at a party. The music’s great, people are laughing, it’s a good vibe.

But there you are, sitting on the sidelines, arms crossed, legs crossed. It’s like you’ve created a physical barrier between you and everyone else.

You think you’re protecting yourself, masking your discomfort, but what you’re really doing is sending out loud signals of your self-consciousness.

And trust me, people can pick up on that.

Closed body language can make you seem unapproachable or uninterested. It can stand in the way of potential connections and conversations.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this happen. People missing out on opportunities because their body language is screaming “stay away” when they actually want to be included.

When you find yourself crossing your arms or legs, try to relax. Open up your body language. It’s a step towards appearing more confident and welcoming to those around you.

4) Hunched shoulders

You can often spot someone who’s feeling self-conscious by their posture. More specifically, by their hunched shoulders.

I’ve seen friends do it when they walk into a room full of strangers. I’ve done it myself when I’ve felt out of place or uncomfortable in a situation.

But here’s the thing:

This kind of posture not only communicates a lack of confidence, but it can also impact your own feelings of self-worth.

So, when you catch yourself rounding your shoulders, take a moment. Stand tall. Pull your shoulders back. Remind yourself that you have every right to take up space.

5) Excessive nodding

Nodding is a universal sign of agreement, right?

We nod to show we’re listening, to show we understand. But did you know there’s such a thing as too much nodding?

Excessive nodding can actually be a sign of self-consciousness. It signals that you’re trying too hard to show that you’re engaged.

I’ve been in conversations where the other person nodded so much that it felt more like a distraction than an affirmation.

Stop bobbing your head like a dashboard figurine. It’s okay to just listen. You don’t always need to nod to show you’re paying attention. Sometimes, simply maintaining eye contact and offering thoughtful responses is more than enough.

6) Trying to blend into the background

When we feel self-conscious, we often try to blend into the background—hoping to become invisible, to avoid drawing attention to ourselves.

I’ve seen this at social gatherings where people stick to the walls, remain quiet, and avoid contributing to conversations.

But here’s something I want you to remember.

It’s okay to be seen. It’s okay to share your thoughts, your experiences, your voice. You don’t have to hide or blend into the background.

Your presence is valuable, and you have every right to be part of the conversation.

7) Overcompensating with loudness

This might seem counterintuitive, but sometimes self-conscious people overcompensate with loudness.

I’ve seen people laugh a little too loudly, talk a bit too much, all in an attempt to mask their self-consciousness. They’re trying to prove they’re confident and outgoing, but inside, they’re feeling quite the opposite.

But people can often sense when someone is being genuine or not.

The best way to appear confident is not by putting on a show but by being yourself. Authenticity speaks volumes more than any loud laughter or chatter ever could.

Wrapping it up

If you’ve found yourself nodding along to these signs, remember, self-consciousness is something we all grapple with at times.

But here’s the silver lining: recognizing these habits is the first step towards change. With awareness and a little effort, you can start to shift these behaviors. 

Begin by paying attention to your body language. Notice when you’re fidgeting or avoiding eye contact. Catch yourself when you’re trying to blend into the background or overcompensating with loudness.

And then, gently remind yourself that it’s okay to take up space. It’s okay to be seen and heard. You’re more than enough, just as you are.

Picture of Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair is a former competitive athlete who transitioned into the world of wellness and mindfulness. Her journey through the highs and lows of competitive sports has given her a unique perspective on resilience and mental toughness. Ava’s writing reflects her belief in the power of small, daily habits to create lasting change.

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