I often, after meeting a new person, spend a lot of time contemplating whether or not I have made a good impression. I replay the conversations over in my head- what went well, what I should have said here and there, and all the times I interrupted or spoke too quickly. Really, it's not just after meeting a new person, it's almost every time I have a conversation with someone outside my own family. I have thought for a long time that I am just naturally shy and that is why I am uncomfortable in social settings, but recently I had an epiphany: The reason social interactions are so nerve-wracking for me is that I am completely focused on myself. My self-absorption keeps me worried: I think this person is really (nice, cool, well-educated, or fill in the blank...) and I want so badly for them to think the same of me that I miss out on the actual relationship! I constantly try to find points that we have in common- it's almost like I'm yelling "See! Look! I'm nice (or cool or well-educated or whatever thing I admire about you) too!
I want to try a new way. I want to find the beauty in others and celebrate it. I want to change my focus from trying to make people like me, to just loving them.