When we are nervous, you think only of yourself

The alarming state (and we are talking about normal everyday anxiety and not something more serious) we have almost ceased to pay attention to others. We only care about how and what we could say (do) not.

When we are nervous, you think only of yourself

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"When we are alarmed, the field of attention is narrowed. You like to go deep into yourself and try to answer questions like: "Like if I told them," "Do I do a good man," - says Adam Galinsky (Adam Galinsky), a social psychologist at Columbia Business School, one of the new study co-authors devoted to the subject. By focusing on ourselves, we pay less attention to the people around them. In support of this Galinsky conducted six experiments in which 135 people participated (1). Participants were divided into three groups: the first two write up case from a life in which they were tested, respectively, anxiety and anger (problem - cause they have these emotions). The third group was given a neutral task - to describe how they usually spend the evening.

Then, participants were shown photograph of a man sitting at a table, facing the camera. On the table was a book: in relation to the person in the photograph it was left to the viewer - to the right. The subjects were asked which side of the table it is. 72% of those who had entered into a state of alarm, said that right. In other groups this answer was given 40-50%. Researchers believe that a person in a state of anxiety is more difficult to look at the situation through the eyes of another. This conclusion is confirmed in other similar experiments. The question arises - where the cause and where the investigation. We closes on itself due to anxiety or, on the other hand, anxiety is the root cause? Canadian scientists in 2012 conducted a study and concluded that it is the latter hypothesis (2). They studied patients with social phobia. During the experiment, the subjects, who were asked to focus on yourself during intercourse, the next day more worried about how the conversation went, than those who were asked to focus on the interlocutor. The authors believe that all of us should pay attention to their recommendations: during a conversation is better to focus less on yourself and more - on the interlocutor.

1. A. Todd et al. "Anxious and egocentric: How specific emotions influence perspective taking", Journal of Experimental Psychology, 2015, vol. 144, №2.

2. D. Gaydukevych, N. Kocovski "Effect of self-focused attention on post-event processing in social anxiety", Behavior Research and Therapy, № 50.