Imagine standing in front of two people and you are frozen and unable to speak.
That is what happened to me years ago at a medical conference. I’m not a physician; this conversation was before my presentation to a group of physicians. I was a stranger to these two men. I needed to introduce myself. My body and brain were suspended in fear, I was unable to come up with the simplest small talk, and it had me praying that someone would interrupt us.
After a few of those experiences, I realized I had Asperger Syndrome. One of its unique traits is social awkwardness.
Part of my success in shifting this was learning how conversations actually work. I couldn’t go from being an introvert to an extrovert if I wanted to, and I didn’t. I did want to enjoy speaking to people.
I continued to read the list of “shoulds” that others give us about how we should act. I don’t know how you feel but much of what we are told feels unauthentic to me.