Spotlight effect

At times, you may have experienced the feeling that everyone around you was focusing on you and was interested in everything happening in your life.

In reality, this is often not true, as most people are too busy with their own lives to truly bother much about what is happening in your life. Psychologists have named this way of thinking, where one’s mind wrongly makes one think that everyone is focusing on him or her; the “spotlight effect”.

The spotlight effect can make one unnecessarily feel self-conscious and anxious. Below is a short example of how it can cause harm.

Rachel works in a large office with many co-workers. She recently underwent a divorce and was really worried that everyone in the office was talking about her and judging her actions. Rachel was so worried about facing her colleagues that she even decided to take some days off work.

However, when Rachel eventually returned back to work, the reality was much different to what she had imagined. When she returned, most of her colleagues were sympathetic and supportive of her. After initially talking about it, everyone had moved on to talking about other things. The spotlight effect had made Rachel worry needlessly

As you have seen in the above example, the spotlight effect can make one unnecessarily distressed. So whenever you feel that the whole world is looking at you, try and remember that in reality, people are too busy to worry too much about the ups and downs in your life. The world does not revolve around you!