Most of you have experienced awkward moments, whether it was giving incorrect answers in class or cracking a lame joke in front of your friends. You can also recall your faux pas and believe that those around you do as well. Is this, however, the case?
People are egocentrically biased when deciding how obvious their faux pas is to others, according to researchers. They have a tendency to exaggerate the number of people who may have heard their blunder. However, no one talks about or remembers their faux pas as much as they do. The “Spotlight Effect” is the name given to this phenomenon. Thomas Gilovich, Victoria Medvec, and Kenneth Savitsky invented the word “Spotlight Effect” in 1999 and published it in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. The Spotlight Effect is described as an overestimation of how often other people notice and remember your appearance and actions. It’s a cognitive bias that makes you feel like everyone is looking at you, particularly if you’ve made a mistake. For example, if you have a cold, you might believe that everyone around you is listening and counting every time you cough. But, in fact, the vast majority of them are completely unaware, and those who do hear you are likely unconcerned.
One of the most common reasons why people avoid going to social activities alone is that they are unable to do what they want without being socially uncomfortable or awkward.
How can I get rid of the Spotlight Effect?
Distract yourself with these activities: Get out of your own mind and take a look around. You’ll notice that everybody is engrossed in their own worlds, and no one is paying attention to you as much as you think they are. Put yourself in the shoes of others: Try to see yourself from the eyes of someone who have a different viewpoint than you. It will assist you in moving from an egocentric to a neutral point of view.
When you’re anxious in your mind, for example, you may believe that your thoughts and feelings are clear to others and that they can tell you’re nervous, which isn’t always the case. No one can tell how you’re feeling just by looking at you. So when you make a faux pas and believe that someone can see right through you, it’s just a trick of the light.
Examine the reasons for your embarrassment: Tell yourself, “So what?” if you’re nervous at a social gathering and keep imagining the worst-case scenarios. After you’ve answered that, ask yourself, “So what?” and keep answering until you no longer care what others think of you. For instance, if you’re at a party and you feel like everyone is staring at you because of your outfit, ask yourself ” “What if they don’t like the clothes I’m wearing?” They would pass judgement on me. “What if they pass judgement on me?” There will be rumors about me. “So what if they whisper about me?” and so on, until you are no longer bothered by other people’s views.
Furthermore, other people’s negative views should not be used against you because it reveals more about them than it does about you. So, instead of doing what others want you to do, keep doing what you want. Change your focus away from yourself: Shift the concentration away from yourself and toward the objects and people around you, as well as the agenda for that social event or meeting.
During social events, it is normal to feel the Spotlight Effect. It is not, however, worth putting off what you want to do because of what others can think.
So, whatever you do, make sure you do it!