There's a lot going on when two people engage in conversation. We think of what to say, listen, adjust our body language subconsciously and consciously, all while staying aware of the environment in our periphery. It's no wonder some find interactions stressful. Mercury goes retrograde today, introverting some of social interactions.
ARIES (March 21-April 19). Who you really are is not always the same person you've allowed yourself to become. It is the same for everyone. What is also the same for everyone is the potential to steer things back on course at any moment.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20). Those who react badly to criticism prevent themselves from growing, because they alienate the very people who can enlighten them as to how they (or their work) are being perceived.
GEMINI (May 21-June 21). The person who is trying to seduce you away from your work or your goals isn't really on your side. Those who want you to succeed wouldn't dream of tempting you in another direction.
CANCER (June 22-July 22). Your friendliness puts all at ease. There are those who take themselves too seriously to fully understand the importance of small talk and its role in building rapport. But even these types will not be immune to your charms.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22). Because someone wants your approval, this person is unlikely to speak of anything unflattering or controversial. You're better off with the truth. Make it clear that honesty is a stipulation of your approval.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22). Is what you want really worth working so long and hard to get to? That future day will come whether or not you worked long and hard — only, if you don't put in the work, that future day won't have nearly the same significance.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23). You want to know that the other person will be there and be loyal. This is not too much to ask, though it's not the right time to ask it, certainly not directly. Look for clues instead, and trust your instincts.
SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 21). A Chinese proverb says that the eye can't see its own lashes. This was before the invention of extra-long eyelash extensions. Still, it's possible that you possess a quality that is invisible to you though others see it clearly.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21). You'll be catering to an ego today, and this is tricky business for sure, especially if the ego in question happens to be your own. Go gingerly, as no good will come of alienating your subject.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19). Certain emotions are unobtainable without a good amount of self-awareness. Jealousy and shame fall into the category; so do pride and admiration. Today you'll put what you know about yourself to good use.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18). You want to be dazzled by greatness and are therefore rooting for every source of potential amusement in your world, hoping (sometimes against hope) for the very best presentation.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20). Your path will converge with another's. Neither route is wrong. Neither is trying to own the whole path, just needing to take it over for the moment to get to the next place. All can be solved with courtesy.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAY (Aug. 30). One of your birthday wishes will come to fruition next month. Now through the year's end, a great sense of self-discipline will well up in you. You will expertly manage your emotions, curb your cravings and shine in the social arena of your choice. Family will grow in January. Finances improve in October and May. Capricorn and Gemini adore you. Your lucky numbers are: 39, 10, 4, 6 and 45.
ASTROLOGICAL QUESTIONS: "I'm a super-shy Cancer. I want to relate to people, and I don't know how. I never know what to say to anyone. I read all kinds of dumb advice telling me to 'be myself.' When I'm around people something prevents me from being able to do that. I don't know how to overcome my problem, but I want to have friends and maybe even meet someone special and just be normal like everyone else."
You're already more like "everyone else" than you think. Feeling uptight in social situations is common. Studies indicate that somewhere between 45 and 65 percent of people experience some degree of shyness in their daily lives. For a sensitive Cancer such as yourself, the fear of being humiliated or ignored because of something you say can have such a strong hold over your psyche that you resolve inwardly to say nothing at all. Your fear has grown to an unreasonable and unrealistic level and is preventing you from experiencing life. Consider that in actuality you may be acting selfishly by not contributing to the social swirl and hoarding your opinions, ideas and talent. Become a student of social interaction. Read on the subject and get a mentor, coach or counselor to help you break this habit that's keeping you from the life you so deserve.
CELEBRITY PROFILES: At age 16 the adventurous Cameron Diaz was traveling the world as a model. At 21 she was hired without any previous acting experience to play the lead in "The Mask." Her travels had taught her the kind of courage and confidence that couldn't be picked up in an acting class. Diaz is a levelheaded Virgo with Jupiter, the good luck planet, in worldly Sagittarius.
To write to Holiday Mathis, visit www.creators.com/author/holiday-mathis and click "Contact."