Unnati was the nervous type, she used to get scared and self-conscious very easily. She was very introverted and never really tried to talk with others and make friends. She even used to get nervous when talking to other people, and even the thought of having the spotlight on her was panic-evoking. As a result of this nervous nature of hers, she used to stay quiet, did not make contact with others, and avoided going outside of her home.
One day Unnati got news from her father that her grandma was coming to stay with them for some time. As a baby, Unnati was bought up by her grandma till she was about two years old. But when her parents shifted to the city with her, the connection they had was lost. She had not met her grandma for years, so she was very excited about her arrival.
Grandma came and as the days passed, Unnati and her grandma developed a good bonding. Grandma went to drop and pick up Unnati from her school, and in the evenings they used to go to the garden for walks.
As this bond continued to grow, Unnati’s grandma started to realize the personality that Unnati had. She was starting to understand the nervous and fearful nature that her granddaughter had and hence got a little concerned for her. One day, while sitting in a garden grandma asked Unnati, “Child, I haven’t met any of your friends. Call them for dinner tomorrow so that we can have an introduction.” Unnati replied in a low voice, “Grandma, I don’t have any friends” Her grandma curiously questioned, “Why is that? Do you dislike making friends?” Unnati explained, “No! I want to make friends, but I get fearful when talking to people. I think that they would judge me and not like me, so I avoid talking to others and stay away.” Saying this, she lowered her head.
After listening to Unnati, her grandma put her hand on Unnati’s shoulder and said, “You know, as a child, even I was like this. Even I didn’t like talking to people and was very shy and nervous. The fear of being judged and ashamed made me unable to make friends. But, as I slowly went through life, I realized that the problem is not outside but on the inside. The fear that we have comes from within us, from when we overthink. If I had realised this early on, then I would have been a different person as a child than I actually was. I, unfortunately, had no one to tell me all this, but you do. I want you to not suffer from the emptiness and fear that I had suffered from. Try to avoid this habit of overthinking and grow your self-esteem, and I assure you have a better life ahead.”
Unnati realized that what her grandma told her came from the experience that she had and hence she started battling her habit of overthinking. Though initially, it was very hard, with the support of her grandma Unnati changed her habit and became a confident girl who did not shy to present herself and had no fear or nervousness when talking to others.
What we learned
Managing our thoughts and avoiding overthinking helps us to evolve socially. It is also important for our emotional development and confidence.