Growing up I used to play the "quiet one" game in social situations, in which I listened way more than I spoke. I limited conversation with friends to waiting until the right time to say something funny or smart while they engaged in casual conversation. Recently, and I don't know why it has taken so long, I've realized that I need to be less apprehensive about most aspects of my life. At a party or any type of social gathering, I'll catch myself listening to a three way conversation (me included) for up to 5 minutes+ at a time, not contributing anything to the conversation. I have witty and valued quips to say, but just end up not saying them...I guess due to fear of not being taken seriously or devalued. Recently, I've caught myself having a lump in my throat (literally) and having a shortness of breath when talking to a superior. I'm also at a loss for words as my brain seems to search for the best adjective mid-sentence, leaving my speech with several second gaps between subjects and predicates. I guess I feel that I'm trying to mentally out-do myself and appear more astute than I am, even though I had high SAT scores, have a bachelors in engineering and now make six figures, blah blah blah. What gives, OT? I know I need to get on a work out regimen since I've been 145lbs, 5'10" for forever, but are there any mental tricks to simultaneously helping me overcome this hump? I'm not a complete idiot during social situations, but feel that I'm only operating at 50% capacity. I need to learn how to stand my ground in meetings and not give in during adverse communications with co-workers, etc. Thanks for any advice you have.