I'm not pretending to help people with this, although if it offers some new perspective that's great. It's just something I wrote down a couple of days ago. I used to be really self-conscious, not anymore. Once you're rid of it it's easier to reflect on it. Everybody's so afraid of doing something wrong, and when you do something wrong, or even think you do, you're the one who's suffering the most, not the person who you think saw you doing something wrong, whatever it may be. When was the last time when, at the end of the day, you replayed that day's events in your head and accurately pictured someone you saw in the street, out of all the hundreds (maybe thousands, if you live in a big city) of people you saw in the street, who disturbed you mentally without talking to him or her? Most people stress out when they have a pimple on their forehead, people who are already self-conscious go through lengths to cover it up or try to divert attention away from it. They walk down the street with their head down or avoid eye-contact. But if you, whether you're self-conscious or not, see someone you don't know with a pimple on their forehead, you either don't notice, don't care, or you think "That's an ugly pimple" for a second and never think about it again. But if you see someone constantly putting his hand over his forehead, avoiding eye-contact and breaking out even more because of the stress, that person will be more memorable, cause you and me both think: "Chill out dude, it's just a pimple", while 90% of the people who think that will have a more self-conscious day if they had a noticeable aesthetic flaw. Everyone always wants to appear perfect to everyone else. Teeth have to be pearly white, love-handles have to be burned off, nails clipped exactly right, face smooth and blemish-free, because we're all afraid to be thought lesser of. Even though, rationally, we know it's silly to be judged on bodily imperfections, the vast majority of people would much rather have none at all. But when do we judge people with a little yellow in their teeth or a slight belly? Very rarely, if ever (unless you're an asshole). We judge people on positive or negative feedback. When somebody smiles at you, you feel happy. When somebody scowls at you, you either feel shitty and wonder what you did or look like to elicit a scowl, or you think less of the person scowling and wonder what his problem is. You either put the blame on yourself or on the other person, when often there's no-one to blame. Even if the scowling person scowled because of the way you look or something you did, for each person giving you a nasty look there are 99 with either a neutral or a positive expression on their face. We forget the people who have no noticeable expression, even the ones who are smiling, and we let the one person who gave us a disgusting look ruin our day. Silly. If you put the blame on the other person, you jump to conclusions and judge too quickly. There could be hundreds of different reasons for a certain facial expression. Wondering what someone's problem is or thinking lesser of them never feels good, and by assuming someone is judging you unfairly because of a certain look, you're judging them unfairly. We all like to think our existence influences our fellow man greatly, while we usually forget every face we see in the street a couple of seconds after seeing them. Everybody forgets, but everybody (especially self-conscious people) thinks that their face is the one that will be forever stored in the collective memory banks of the human race. You're far less important and noticeable to the rest of the world than you think you are. We are our own biggest critics, and people in general are way more fixated on themselves than on others. You might think you're the only one who is insecure and uncertain on how he/she appears to others, but everyone suffers from it to some degree. Some people just know how to wear the mask better than others.