Cultivate an Air of Mystery- Self Observation
Curious things, habits. People themselves never knew they had them.
I’ve discovered a bad habit of mine- nervous laughter. It is not exactly a recent discovery. I’ve always had a penchant for laughing in awkward moments (remember conversations with my mysterious neighbor?)- it is a coping mechanism of mine. But when watching myself in a video taken at a recent party I held for family and friends I noticed I did a lot of nervous laughing. Particularly when the spotlight was on me.
Now don’t get me wrong- I am all for laughing if something is amusing or if one feels like laughing. I love to laugh and laugh a lot (it is, as they say, the best medicine!) but when I was laughing in the video- nothing in particular was funny. I was laughing to cover up my social anxiety and using it as a coping mechanism.
You see I do have a bit of social anxiety. I have hermetic tendencies. To put things in perspective out of all the characters in The Wind in the Willows I most identify with the Mole. I am perfectly happy at home with a book and a cup of tea rather than in a large crowd or party atmosphere. Being around a lot of people in social situations stresses me out and to atone for the stress? I giggle nervously in an effort to appear up-beat and au courant with all of the excitement.
The trouble with this nervous laugh? It is so not mysterious.
Sometimes we use habits of ours (like my nervous laughter) as a crutch to help us get through difficult situations. The question is- what am I afraid of? If I didn’t laugh when I felt anxiety what would happen? Would I actually have to have a real conversation with someone? Would there be moments of silence? Would people have a look at the real me instead of the jovial, constantly bubbly me? Yes! And would that be so terrible? No!
Now that I am aware of my nervous tendency I can take some action to fix it. This does not mean that at my next social gathering I am suddenly going to sit in the corner with a smoky eye, a cocktail and a scowl in an effort to be mysterious. I am just going to be myself- with no apologies, no people pleasing behavior and no armor (in the form of nervous habits). As a result I might seem more mysterious and maybe even intriguing (which can never hurt, in my opinion). But mainly I will be ultimately more authentic- more myself.
I highly recommend watching yourself on camera to figure out your nervous habits- and possibly discover ones, as Agatha Christie says, you never knew you had. Self observation can be very valuable tool.
So whether it's anxious giggles, biting your nails or over-sharing, I would love to know… do you have bad habits that compromise your air of mystery?
Apologies to those email subscribers who did not receive last week's special Thursday video on Skindinavia Makeup Finishing Sprays. To see the video click here.
A Chinoiserie commode and two French Rococo chairs are pictured above. I love the porcelain lidded bowl, which is from China and dates from the Xanghi Reign 1662- 1722. Isn't the color celadon divine? These objects can be viewed at the Getty Center in Los Angeles.
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