ill at ease vs self-conscious

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Do these two mean exactly the same or is the former more general? What I find in the dictionary is that "ill at ease" means "to feel uneasy", while "self-conscious" means "uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others". Is it always so that being self-coscious is about observing others or can I be also self-conscious as a result of my character (shy)?
  • bluegiraffe

    Senior Member
    English - England
    No, they are not the same. You can be ill at ease with a situation, a topic of conversation, in a room full of people, in the company of someone, all for example. You don't like being there, you're not comfortable for some reason. I am always ill at ease with the topic of religion.

    Being self-conscious is about being aware of yourself in a situation or in the company of someone. You feel that people are looking at you and perhaps criticising. I feel self-conscious when in the company of people a few years younger than me who I consider to be young and trendy, as I do not consider myself to be either of these things.
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