Foes to success
"Over-sensitiveness, whether in man or women, is really an exaggerated form of self-consciousness. It is far removed from conceit or self-esteem, yet it causes one’s personality to overshadow everything else. A sensitive person feels that, whatever he does, wherever he goes, or whatever he says, he is the center of observation. He imagines that people are criticizing his movements, making fun at his expense, or analyzing his character, when they are probably not thinking of him at all. He does not realize that other people are too busy and too much interested in themselves and other things to devote to him any of their time beyond what is absolutely necessary. When he thinks they are aiming remarks at him, putting slights upon him, or trying to hold him up to the ridicule of others, they may not be even conscious of his presence."
This piece by Orison Swett Marden is just a snippet from his chapter on Foes to Success, things that hold us back. When I was young I was very bashful, to the point I would cry bloody murder if someone just wanted to take my picture. When I was older and got into business I was forced to talk with strangers and eventually I overcame shyness. But I still find a degree of discomfort when I enter a room full of strangers. I have learned how crippling self-conciousness can be to some; but I find his assessment above is generally true. Most people are far to self absorbed to spend time considering others.
Photo by Sergio Passolano