Victor Leung
Victor Leung
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On feeling uncomfortable around others

March 15, 2021

Have you ever felt uneasy speaking in front of a group of people? I am nervous when I have to face an audience, whether large or small. This fear is natural, and almost everyone has this phobia. I didn’t realise this fear until I had to give a speech at a conference.

I was at an event and scheduled to deliver a speech. Before my turn to speak, I looked around and discovered that I only knew three persons in this event. In this hall, I had to speak to a group of total strangers. Thinking of speaking, and waiting for my turn to go on stage increases my head beats. There was a constant pressure and obligation to chat when I was with others, which made me feel uncomfortable. Even though I've studied many books and theories about public speaking and how to have a decent conversation, talking in front of other people in real life is a different story. First, I'd have to introduce myself and make a valiant effort to impress people. Then I'd have to listen in on other people's discussions and try to respond to impromptu queries by speaking about a specific topic. My flesh was weak, but my heart was willing. When my turn to speak, my mind was blank. My blood pressure elevated as a result of a flight or fight response in my body. Finally, as I was finishing the speech, I needed to conclude the speech effectively. I could crack a joke or end with a dramatic story. Perhaps I could use this technique of call for action. What I wanted was to receive an ovation from the crowd; at least I could stroll back to my seat with honour.

I could have built a stronger connection by engaging people, making eye contact, and asking questions. Being self-centred and wasting everyone's time by forcing them to listen to me was a mistake. Instead, to demonstrate my appreciation for their time and attention, I would add value by saying something fascinating or valuable to others. I felt better after witnessing the facial expression and reaction, which helped me relax my initial tightness. With my emotional intelligence, I'd think about the other people, what they're thinking, and how I could assist them. I feel more at ease and begin to appreciate social anxiety when I focus on others. It's very normal to be afraid of speaking in front of a group of people, whether little or huge. I'd use my sympathy to organize my speech better and speak in a clear voice so that others can understand what I'm trying to express. I'd be able to add value to others and form meaningful connections.

In a broader sense, it is prudent to devote time and effort to cultivating relationships with people so that unpleasant feelings do not recur. Numerous studies suggest that having a positive relationship with people has a significant impact on our happiness. It aids in the management of stressful situations. It is the antidote to depression and a requirement for our long-term prosperity. In my comfort zone, I should not choose to isolate myself and ignore others. Instead, being at ease in the company of people aids in the formation of bonds and trust. I realized that if I was encouraged to do more along the road, I could do more. As I progress from software engineer to manager, my position has shifted from solving technical difficulties to assisting others in solving more problems. My work had shifted from one that focused on technology to one that focused on people. It has shifted from utilizing other people's technical talents to using other people's interpersonal skills. Because I am more talented and adept at getting things done than others, it is not sustainable for me to do it myself. Because of love and respect, I need to learn to trust others and feel at ease around them.

About Victor Leung

Software development professional with expertise in application architecture, cloud solutions deployment, and financial products development. Possess a Master's degree in Computer Science and an MBA in Finance. Highly skilled in AWS (Certified Solutions Architect, Developer and SysOps Administrator), GCP (Professional Cloud Architect), Microsoft Azure, Kubernetes(CKA, CKAD, CKS, KCNA), and Scrum(PSM, PSPO) methodologies.

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