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Self-consciousness is an acute sense of self-awareness, with slight tinges of paranoia. It is the unpleasant feeling of being watched or observed, that "everyone is looking at" one. It may be the basis of shyness.

Impairment[edit | edit source]

When one is feeling self-conscious, one becomes aware of even the smallest of one's own actions. Such awareness can impair one's ability to perform complex actions. For example, a piano player may "choke", lose confidence, and even lose the ability to perform the moment they notice the audience. As self-consciousness fades one may regain the ability to "lose one's self".

A person especially prone to self-consciousness may be labeled shy or introverted.

Psychology[edit | edit source]

As consciousness is itself poorly understood, so too is self-consciousness.

It is a unique type of consciousness in that it not always present, and it is not sought after. Unlike self-awareness, self-consciousness has connotations of being unpleasant, and is often linked to self-esteem. Self-consciousness is credited with the development of identity, because it is during periods of self-consciousness that people come the closest to knowing themselves objectively. Self-consciousness plays a large role in behavior, as it is common to act differently when people "lose themselves in a crowd". Self-consciousness affects people in varying degrees, as some people are in constant self-monitoring, while others are completely oblivious about themselves.

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