If you know me, you’d be surprised to find out that I’m a social introvert pretending to be an extrovert. I’ve been gaslighting you all and I’m not sorry. My job requires me to be a “put-yourself-out-there” type of person. From writing things like this article to unloading secrets on a podcast to (my absolute least favourite) attending events.
To be clear, I love my job to bits but I’d be lying if I said that thinking about attending an event where I didn’t know many people, will keep me up every single night leading up to it. "What time should I get there?", "What do I wear?", "What do I do with my hands?" and "Maybe I should take a shot of tequila before I leave?" are the thoughts that cloud my mind right until the day I need to show face.
Once I’ve made it to the actual event, I’m completely fine. I’m confident, I know what to do; I know what to say and I have the best time. Not because my anxieties suddenly go away (they’re very much still there) but because I’ve trained myself to be that way.
In one of my psychology electives at university, I learned that confidence isn’t something people are born with but is a behaviour that can be learned until you've completely embodied it. It’s the origin of the saying, "Fake it till you make it." This lesson was one of the (few) things from my tertiary education days that I have successfully been able to apply to my life.
Of course, this age-old psychology tactic has now gone viral on TikTok coining a fancy name called the 'Marilyn Monroe Effect'. A psychology student and TikToker, Mikaela Wilson, explains that depending on her body language, Marylin Monroe could walk out in broad daylight, and everyone would presume that she was a "normal person" and ignore her. It was only when she turned on her "Marylin Monroe persona" that people would then recognise her and walk up to her.