When I was still an adolescent, I was extremely shy. This was especially exaggerated after my initial experience of a major depressive disorder episode.
During this time, I remember feeling exceptionally self-conscious about initiating conversations with others. I questioned whether or not others would truly be interested in what I had to offer during a conversation.
As a result, I actively avoided opportunities to engage in conversations with others. Doing so only reinforced my lack of self confidence in taking an active part in conversations.
Over the next few years, I gradually became more confident about socializing with others. Initially, I literally forced myself to initiate conversations with others.
I intentionally went out of my way to ask others about their personal experiences. At first, I acted as if I were more confident than was actually the case.
In doing so, I developed a greater degree of self confidence. I realized that being a good conversationalist is truly a skill. Developing confidence in most skills requires an active degree of participation.