There is something called the Spotlight Effect — where everyone, regardless if they have anxiety or not, feels there is a spotlight shining on them in one way or another. We are, after all, the lead in our own movies.
However, anxiety can increase this spotlight, making you feel that every action you take and every word you utter, is noticed in great detail by the people around you. Anxiety often causes a person to over-analyze their actions and feel an increase in self-consciousness. If placed in a new or anxiety-producing situation this consciousness can increase. It might feel like there is a spotlight shining directly on you at all times.
This may increase your anxiety and might even cause you to avoid situations where you predict you may feel extra self-conscious. The fear of other people noticing your imperfections may limit how much you’re willing to try new things. This is something to be especially cautious of if you’re hoping to enter the dating world.
Before this spotlight effect keeps you from talking to someone you find attractive or going on a date, remind yourself that the other person is probably equally preoccupied with their own actions. They won’t notice (or care) if you stutter a little since they are too busy worrying if you notice the mole on their neck.
One of the best ways to help alleviate the affects of this spotlight that follows you around is by practicing empathy and generosity. Practice putting yourself in other people’s shoes and wondering how a situation might make them feel. Give the gift of your kindness, a listening ear, or a good laugh. The more you’re able to feel connected with others and think of others the less you’ll focus on yourself.