I am a 19-year-old girl and my problem is that people think that I am very proud. My behaviour creates the impression that I am short-tempered, due to which people hesitate to make friends with me. Even boys are afraid to talk to me. Those who know me well say that I have a good nature. I really don’t know what to do.
Sounds like you’re feeling very discouraged that you cannot make friends easily because others see you as proud and short-tempered.
If you find yourself being short-tempered, i.e., getting irritated and angry, easily, reflect on what makes you angry. Work through your anger using calming techniques such as mindfulness, breathing and physical exercise. Use creative expression like art and music to help you to be less irritable.
Proud persons are generally pre-occupied with themselves. They want things their way and believe themselves to be right always; they don’t like to ask for help nor do they accept their mistakes, and do not have respect for others.
It is quite possible that more than being proud, others see you as unapproachable. Perhaps you wait for others to make the first move? So, if you want to be more approachable, smile! When you greet others, smile and make eye contact. Keep your body language relaxed and more open, and be less stiff. Also make sure your body is turned towards them. Take interest in others and in what they say by listening, asking questions and acknowledging them. A great way to open a conversation is to pay someone a genuine compliment. Practise getting the focus off yourself and you will automatically appear more approachable to others!
Nasreen Hashambhoy is a Counsellor, Life Coach and a Facilitator of training programmes for schools and corporates. Through a combination of coaching, counselling and facilitation techniques based on cognitive science and positive psychology, she helps clients achieve their true potential. She is the author of the series Values In Action published by Better Yourself Books.