crab12

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Everything posted by crab12

  1. I've had social anxiety all my life until 25-26. I'm still not too good at socializing, compared to a lot of other people, but there's no anxiety anymore and I'm way better than I used to be. If you see socially savvy people they make it seem so easy and effortless. Like if it's so easy why can't I do it? Don't be fooled by this seemingly effortless appearance. I've found, over the years, that it takes a staggering amount of different skills and correct mindsets to be socially savvy and not awkward or anxious. If you come from a dysfunctional family, developed neurosis, had traumatic experiences in childhood / teenage years, you are set back so fucking much compared to other people who had a functional upbringing. There are two phases to this. First you develop your ego / chip away all the undeveloped parts of the ego, all the deceptions and incorrect mindsets. You see, your ego development was stunted, your ego didn't mature alongside with your body. Then if you got that covered you learn a bunch of social skills. And then you can socialize like everyone else, free from anxiety, and develop intimate relationships. I suggest you get off mood regulating medication because you are going to need a clear mind for this. But then again I'm just a random guy on the internet. Here's the list for the ego / mind: Victim thinking. You believe you can't do the things you want. Wrong. Resisting negative emotions / thinking negative emotions are "bad". Your emotions should be working together in harmony with your rational mind / thoughts. Probably you have a constant battle in your mind between emotions and thoughts. This is a mayor issue. You suppress "bad" emotions. Actually bad emotions are very useful and not unpleasant at all because they help you solve problems. Your rational mind has blindspots and emotions point your attention to problems you cannot see with your logical mind. Socialization involves appropriately displaying your authentic emotions, including the "bad" ones. This is especially important when asserting yourself. If you suppress them you cant do this and this is a big problem. No vision for your life, you don't know what you want. You should have goals / dreams that you are deeply excited about. Your life is ran by "should" statements. For example you think you "have" to help other people. You think you "have" to be a good person. You think you "have" to reach enlightenment to live a good life. Etc. Get rid of it all. The only thing you do in life is what you want, even if it is perceived as "bad" by other people. You avoid emotional effort. You think making effort is "bad". You have this illusion in your head that you want to retire and relax and take it easy. This is a misconception because that is not what you want. You want to be doing the things what you want not relaxing. You compare yourself to other people. If they have something you don't have you feel jealous. You are competing with other people. Recognize that there is no such thing as "value" and you are equal to all other people. And doing things to be a "better" person is nonsense and an ego deception. Thinking you are not "happy" or that your goal in life is to reach "happiness". You think there are things that you "need" in order to be "happy". There is no "happiness". Throw that stupid goal out of your head. Of course this is a bit tricky. You don't know how to use your intuition. Intuition is exactly like your emotions, it's intelligence outside of yourself. You should be listening to it the same way you listen to your "negative" emotions. Your intuition is highly intelligent, far more intelligent that your logical mind. The same with emotions, they are more intelligent than your rational mind. With intuition you get no explanation or rationalization why this is the right thing, you just get an answer. And you trust it. You know deep inside it's right. Appropriate socialization heavily relies on intuition. You don't "think" what's the appropriate thing to say or how to respond, the right thing just comes up with your intuition. If you start thinking with your logical mind you will be too slow and seem unnatural and choppy to other people. Socially anxious people have their minds running overdrive while socializing when it should be almost completely silent. Your attention should be on the other person while you let your intuition handle how you respond. This is going to take training but you'll get better. Anxious people, in general, try to run their whole lives by their rational mind only. This is not how it's supposed to be. Your rational mind is designed for only a subset of all the problems you encounter in life. You need all 4 running together in harmony: emotions, intuition, your drive (what you want) and your logical thinking mind. You don't know how to eliminate distractions. You may have a crystal clear vision for your life but it it's going to be useless if you get the impulse to watch porn and youtube all day. The trick with distractions is that you have to recognize them. Like "Ooohh watching porn is a distraction! Even though it's pleasurable in the short term I don't want to do it because I don't really care about this small pleasure hit, I want to do the things I actually want to do". Your ego generates distractions all the time, you have to catch them all day. Sure some will slip by but you'll get better at it. A big one here, that most people are not even aware of, are distractive thoughts. There is monkey-mind chatter in your head all the time. You get rid of it the same way. A thought comes to your mind, you pause and think about the thought for a second and recognize that it is just a distraction, there's no deeper meaning behind it, then you stop thinking about it, let it go and come back to the present moment. You want to be present and that there is silence of thought in your head. Unproductive daily habits / routine. If you don't sleep and rest well, not keep your body healthy, not have productive routines all the above is going to be worthless. You don't strategize / don't have a realistic plans how to get the things you want. Strategize. You are a people pleaser. You want to get approval from other people. You want to construct a positive image of yourself. You want to popular and well liked. You have to recognize that this is a deception, you want a few but deep meaningful intimate relationships in your life. Also you want to be authentic around other people even if that means you wont be liked because of that. If you are a people pleaser your first priority in life is to get approval from other people. You want to replace this by what you want deep inside. Because deep inside you don't care about approval you just feel you "need" to get it, you feel it's not even a choice you just have to do it. Your first and only priority in life should be what you want. If you do all of the above, you are going to feel like a functioning adult human. You are now able to relate to other people. Just some social skills are missing. Assertion theory. Learn to assert yourself. Understand what is life space. Why you want to protect your life space from other people, this includes the ability to refuse or say "no" to others. And why you don't want to trespass the life space of other people. If you are able to defend yourself from manipulation / attacks from other people social anxiety will mostly diminish. Social anxiety is largely fear of other people, fear you can't get your needs met with other people, fear you wont be able to defend yourself. Notice that it's impossible to assert yourself if you don't have a clear idea what you want and your life is ran by "should" statements or you feel the need to be liked and approved of. Conflict resolving. Conflicts come up sooner or later with everyone you interact for more that little while. If you don't know how to properly resolve conflicts this will ruin all of your relationships. If you haven't paid attention to this then you most likely regularly use barriers in communication, as they call it. That is you criticize other people, judge them, give uncalled for advice, moralize to other people, use closed-ended questions too much and questions in general too much, argue with other people over values, are late, break your promises, repeat yourself. Etc. There are a few dozen of them that you want to recognize and avoid doing. Listening skills and empathy. Humor and fun. You want to know how to have fun with other people, how to make a joke etc. Humor is entirely based on intuition. Conversation skills. Including interesting storytelling and appropriate symmetrical self-disclosure. And a variety of other things. And there you go! Now you should be able to socialize anxiety free. It's gonna take some time to get through this list though. Hopefully you have some of those things done already. Leo has compiled a good list too, but it's more in life in general. I think this list will be the shortest way to rid yourself of social anxiety and solve the actual problem. Best of luck! Edit: This list may appear long but it's actually cut down to essentials for social anxiety. Can't really leave out any piece or the whole thing stops working. I guess the point about "happiness" and conversational skills and humor are optional but you REALLY don't want to skip any of those.
  2. Maybe then God would not re-birth itself. But I guess since it already does this it will continue doing so regardless which method you use to leave the body. Is this correct thinking?
  3. Why not commit Mahāsamādhi and liberate yourself? @Aakash you mentioned it doesn't work, why not? Is there a difference between Mahāsamādhi and plain old death?
  4. I've see 2-3 year old kids emulate youtubers they watch. If you watch some of those videos that appeal to kids, you can see the way they act in there. They overreact, make noises, talk in a really high pitch etc. It's creeps me out seeing kids emulating this behavior in real life. Can't help but feel parents are doing a disservice to their kids in the long run.
  5. What do you think this "flow" is? Sorry to break your bubble, but if you are going after enlightenment because you want this "flow" in your life then you are in for a disappointment. That "flow" is still you. No one is coming to take care of your life. If you just want to let everything go and go with the flow of external forces you can do so right now. But that's not what you want.
  6. I've had a couple of peak experiences where the ego dissolved away, seemingly at least. But each time I return to normal followed by a massive ego backlash. Quite recent one lasted a good 4 hours or more. During that I still had motivation to work on my personal goals. It seemed quite obvious at the time. The thinking went something like this. What else would I do? Reality didn't change, I was still looking through the eyes of the guy that was being me and there were still hands and feet dangling below. I couldn't float out of the body or do supernatural things. I wanted every being to live a fulfilling purposeful life including the guy that was being me. So why would I not do this for the guy that was being me? I felt empathy towards everyone but I could see that there was not much I could really do to help others. Helping others is even more difficult than helping yourself and I don't have a lot of wisdom or material things to give yet, I couldn't do much right now. And I realized that the reason I was trying to reach enlightenment was because I wanted the benefits. I wanted to be more wise, escape suffering, feel good emotions or "bliss", have insights how we should run society, not be afraid of death etc. I wanted benefits for the "ego". See the contradiction? And right now I don't want to seek enlightenment anymore. Because if I'm honest with myself I want financial independence, good relationships, family etc more. And I know that I don't need enlightenment for that. I'm still curious about the truth but I can appreciate now how difficult and tricky it is. It would takes minimum multiple years of dedication to get a proper grasp of, not even talking about mastery. And I don't want to do that right now. I will likely revisit in 5+ years when I'm more mature. It has occurred to me that it might be an elaborate ego deception to prevent me from doing the work right now. But my gut is telling me leave it for now.
  7. Even though you have seemingly good life there are still some things missing and you don't feel content. The 9-5 grind is a problem because you don't have enough time to do the things you really want. You appearing "weird" to other people is not the main concern, it seems, but the relationships you do have are superficial and you don't have anyone to connect with on a deep level. That's because you are escaping from your problems in some way, otherwise you wouldn't have this feeling. Trying to figure out what you "need" is not a good way going about it. It will lead you astray. The right question is: what do you want? Some practical pointers: Can you reduce your workload and monthly expenses so that you would have more time to do what you want? I reduced my workload to 20 hrs / week for half a year before coming to a firm decision that yup this is what I want and quit my job altogether. If you have a well paying job you could probably easily get rehired if you wanted. Imagine you had really deep connections with a few like minded people right now, would this improve anything? If it does, maybe you want to concentrate on finding these people. When you were away on long retreats did it click feel "right"? It's hard to explain, once you find the right thing it just feels natural and flows.
  8. This thread has been on my mind a lot. There are people who work extremely hard but are still miserable inside. Like a workaholic CEO or most 9-5 workers sadly. Thinking that you'll be happy or fulfilled once you earn / save enough money or get a raise or get some other external thing that you desire only brings misery. And even if you do get the external thing you think you wanted the good feeling never lasts more than a couple of days or weeks, it always erodes and you'll just invent the next goal to chase after and continue being miserable. The anxiety and depression are there to tell you "hey! You're wasting your life, this is not what you actually want, do something!". But since you are so trapped inside your mind you are unable to see this yourself. And since you keep ignoring or distracting yourself from negative emotions they'll keep hurting you more and more until they become unbearable. A good way to discover what you really want is by listening to your negative emotions, that's why they are there. Once you discover what you want, whatever it is, you'll find that making an effort towards it is not bad at all. It'll be worth it. Even if you want want to drop everything else and meditate for the rest of your life to reach enlightenment it's going to take foresight and planning and therefore effort. @Joscha The cycle you described in your original post sounded eerily similar to what I went through couple years ago. That's why I was able to describe it accurately. I was stuck in pretty much the same situations for ~5 years. I went through my old journals and discovered that after I figured out what I wanted in life, instead of motivating me my life vision became a huge source of anxiety and pressure. I had thought like "The things I want are so ambitious. I have never done anything this hard. I always fail. I can't do it. There no way I can do this. This is ridiculous and impossible. Etc." Yeah that's how I discovered I also have massive victim thinking. The next step was to break out of victim thinking so that I honestly believed that I could do the things that I wanted. Just a heads up if you happen to stumble upon this too. I remember how fucking torturous this process was for me. I just wanted to let you know that there's light at the end of the tunnel and I hope you make it.
  9. @ajasatya brings up a very good point. This is the flip side of the equation. If you don't try to create anything there will be no suffering. And I'm not being dismissive, this is also a good way to live, maybe even better than mine. Why do I make an effort to create things that I want? I question this all the time, especially right now as I can feel the pull of @ajasatya argument. I know that life is not what it appears to be. The first time I experienced this it demolished my motivations that I had back then. I'm also not looking for contentment. I have no illusions about finding fulfillment in external things because there is non to be found. I just do because I want to, I can't even explain this. There's just a deep desire in my gut to do certain things and I follow it. @Joscha The realization about effort will not come easily and the ego will fight back. Don't take my word for it. Contemplate on it and you should eventually reach this conclusion yourself because it's just the truth. After you have this insight that effort is not a "bad" thing / it's neutral, then you can implement this way of life. On the other hand after you get some glimpses of what life really is you'll be able to let go of everything and be totally content too. In the end it's going to be your personal choice.
  10. You are stuck in life, you feel depressed and apathetic. Then when the depression and anxiety becomes unbearable it pushes you into action. You start getting back on track and things are improving. But then the anxiety and depression and guilt, that was compelling you to work, dissipates and you become apathetic again and stop taking action. And then the depression and anxiety starts building up again and the cycle starts all over. The only thing that gets you off your ass is unbearable anxiety, depression and pain. And everything you do is difficult and you hate that. Your intuition is telling you that something's wrong, life is not supposed to be this way, otherwise you wouldn't have come here looking for answers. And you're right, this is a horrible way to live life. You can clearly see this from your own life. But you just can't do anything about it, everything you have tried so far has failed. You're still stuck in the cycle. You mean productivity techniques like 5 second rule, TODO lists, eat the frog etc? Of course they don't work, sooner or later the ego finds a way to bypass them. They were written by clueless people and they don't address the underlying issue. This is going to be a bitter pill to swallow, but no. You know that there are people in the world that do extraordinary things, right? Like people who come from absolute poverty, start a successful business, work 12 hours a day for years and years, while still exercise, eat healthy, find time for their family and raise awesome kids. How do you think they do it? Do you think that they have some kind of superhuman tolerance for pain? Imagine all the pain and suffering you are going through, their pain and suffering must be at least 10x that, right? Well, no. They don't have a higher pain tolerance than you, they are normal humans just like you. So what is it then that makes them able to do this? God had to rest on the seventh day. This is not just a silly old saying, god had to rest because it is difficult and a struggle even for a god. Btw I'm not a christian, but this saying is true nevertheless. This is the fundamental nature of life that it's difficult. Nothing is free in life, everything has a cost and that cost is emotional effort. The greater the thing you want to accomplish the greater the cost of emotional effort. Do you see the problem now? You don't want to be miserable and stuck in life. You want to be happy and you want to do awesome things in life. But it's going to cost you a fucking boatload of effort. The effort is not the problem. The problem is how you view effort. You think that effort is "bad". You want to avoid effort. You are afraid of hardship and struggle. You think that you want a life where there is no more struggle, hardship, pain or effort, you can finally kick back and relax. You think that this is happiness. I'm going to tell you that this is not what you actually want. Your ego wants that and it has tricked you into believing that this is what you want too. You actually want to not be stuck in life, you want to live an amazing life, you want to do the things that you secretly dream of. The solution is you have to reframe what effort means to you. Here is a better way to view effort. Effort is not that unpleasant. It's like you are standing in front a cold pool and you have to jump in but you are afraid, you dip your toes in and it's freezing. You stand in front of the pool for 10mins fighting and arguing with yourself. This is what makes it unpleasant mostly. If you just say fuck it and jump in then yeah it's going to be painful for a bit but then you quickly acclimatize and it becomes refreshing and pleasant in its own way. Making emotional effort doesn't leave any permanent damage to you. You'll never run out of effort, you'll recover. Emotional effort is good because it lets you create whatever you want in life. There's a trick in life that whenever you are stuck and don't know what to do, then the correct thing to do is the thing that is emotionally the most difficult. The best path in life is the path of most resistance. Right now you are leading a life of least resistance. You want to get on the path of most resistance. Yeah, easier said than done. Personally for me it took tens and tens of hours of contemplation to break out of this thinking that effort is a "negative" thing and something to be avoided. I can honestly say that I will gladly face massive struggle and hardship if it's for the right thing. Which leads us to the second part of your problem is that you have no direction in life. Why would you suffer through a boatload of effort if it goes towards something you don't really care about? You won't be able to do it. You need a clear understanding of what you want out of life and only then you can take on the massive effort to work towards it. This is the only way it can work. There's no other way. That's why all the productivity techniques fail because they don't address the obvious problem that you have no idea what you want out of life and you view effort as "bad" and something to be avoided. Try it. Once you have those 2 things fixed (you view effort as good and you want to face effort; and you know exactly what you want out of life) you wouldn't believe the difference it's going to make in your life. You'll never look back again. Best of luck!
  11. You went through a lot of struggle and then you saw your old friend who has a great life, confidence, women, everything that you want just handed to him and he never had to struggle for any of it like you do. That's a difficult thing to come to terms with. To get the things that you want (success with women, enough money, recognition with music, expanded consciousness), it'll easily take you 10 year of intense consistent work, like 12 hours of work every day for the next 10 years, and you'll face even bigger obstacles and struggle than you already do. Do you see the problem here? You're not going to be able to take on such a commitment yet. As you said it yourself you are in a cycle of "becoming depressed and then getting motivated for a few days". That's not going to get any better by itself. You have to deal with it first. You already do "try to remind myself to take 100% responsibility" but that's not quite enough, you don't get it fully yet. You have victim thinking as you said: And the fact that seeing your friend succeed makes you jealous, feels unfair and demotivating to you. You see, just having a vision for your life, by itself, is not enough to put you into action working towards it. You also have to believe that you can do the things you envisioned. If you think you don't have it in you then you aren't going to be able to take on the massive fucking effort that it requires. Because how could you? Why would you work 12 hours every day for the next 10 years if perhaps it will only be a waste of time? You'll get discouraged and tired only a few weeks in, you'll get depressed, you'll get demotivated when you see how easy your friend has it, you'll give up when you stumble upon the next seemingly impossible obstacle (and there will be plenty of those down the road). Watch Leo's video on victim thinking if you haven't already: Personally for me it took something like 100 hours of contemplation to break free from victim thinking. For example, I also wanted to succeed with women. So I asked myself why can't I do it? Then my mind comes up with a list of reasons. I pick one of those and ask, well why can't I overcome that? And so on. Until you get to the bottom of it and find that all your reasons and excuses are not true. Any obstacle will eventually crumble if you keep working at it. There is always a workaround or a solution. If you get to creator mindset then your friends success won't bother you anymore because there will only be the things that you want to create and the things you gotta do to create them. Hopefully by now you can see that if you had creator mindset (you'd believe that you are able to create everything that you want to create) you wouldn't need to ask us what's the right thing to do. You would just go for the thing that you want the most and make it happen. After breaking out of victim thinking you'll run into a couple more internal obstacles / ego deception: distractions, tendency to avoid emotional effort / struggle / negative emotions / failure, unproductive daily habits etc. But no need to worry about them yet. Best of luck! One more thing: after you initially break out of victim thinking, it will return in a few days. There's a thing called "forgetfulness" in spirituality. That's why they pray 5 times a day in islam for example. That's why in my every day meditation routine I go over victim thinking, again and again, because otherwise it will return sooner or later. It will get easier though in time.
  12. I wanted to clarify that @Nahm is also correct. I just made a rough guess at what is your current level and how I could give you a solution that would be most understandable and useful to you, @Dan502. At some point @Nahm's explanation will make more sense to you, or maybe it already does. But if you're not there yet, you're not. Trying to bypass the low and dirty work will lead you nowhere (spiritual bypassing in other words).
  13. Other people are presenting you documents in a way that you don't like because that's confusing to you and causing you more work. You get angry at this and you want to refuse. This is completely understandable. The solution here is not that you have to bite the bullet, to just accept the documents without saying a word even though it's making you angry. You really do want to tell other people how they should present you the documents and how they should treat you in general. But that's not an easy thing to do, it is very easy to mess up and cause unnecessary conflicts. You may want to learn this skill. The problem here is that other people don't understand you. As you said it yourself you just "refuse bluntly". From their perspective you are just an asshole or lazy or difficult to work with. They need to give you that paper in order to get on with their work and you just bluntly refuse without giving a clear reason. Of course they are going to be frustrated with you. They don't understand that they are causing you confusion and more work with poorly formatted documents. You need to make them understand this. I highly suggest you read this book, because this skill is way too complicated and nuanced to explain in a post: https://www.amazon.com/People-Skills-Yourself-Resolve-Conflicts/dp/067162248X/ref=sr_1_2?crid=NNUHDH8QKKTM&keywords=people+skills&qid=1567506214&s=gateway&sprefix=people+skills%2Caps%2C254&sr=8-2 If you do read it, start from "Part three: assertion skills". The beginning will seem incredibly boring and dry if you don't get the big picture yet. Also, if you are already spiritually advanced, you may want to dismiss my solution as being too "low conscious". Don't get trapped by this line of thinking. Enlightenment / ego death will not solve this problem by itself. If you want to solve this problem then you must solve it directly by doing the low and dirty work necessary. As for the career part, sounds like you are not happy with your current career. You should do something about that. If you don't know yet what you want to do then explore, try a bunch of different jobs. I'm going to suggest you try what I do now for money: trade stocks at Nasdaq / NYSE. You can get away with working 3 hours a day and you can scale it up to earn as much as you want. You get to work from home or wherever there is internet. Since you said you you have IQ around 130 (i have less but that's irrelevant), this might be something you may enjoy because you would be staring at charts all day, very dry stuff, but fascinating to me. But be aware that it's going to take you at least a year before you start making any money and you need some starting capital (~25k) and it's much much more difficult than engineering or whatever 9-5 job.
  14. The way to move past this is, you understand why other people are having that opinion, understand their perspective, what has led them to believe in that opinion, understand how they feel about this. Place yourself in their life as if you were them, empathize with them. Hell, discuss it with them if you just can't fathom it by yourself. This is emotionally the most difficult thing to do in this situation, which is a good indicator that it's the correct thing to do. You want to demonize them. You will be tempted to conclude that "they believe so because they are idiots and evil humans". But that's silly. They are not idiots nor evil, they are just like you, only that their life experience and circumstances have been different from yours. If you are able to do this, you will grow as a person and the hurt will dissolve. I totally understand if you can't, most people can't. The fact that you don't really understand their position and you are trying to resist / fight it is what's causing the hurt, not the opinion itself. PS that's was smart of you not to reveal the opinion itself, then you would have just gotten biased answers.
  15. If everything is love then how do you maximize it? And why even try? Serious question, not trying to be nihilistic.
  16. I used to work as a programmer in 2 start-ups and in 1 medium sized company. I have done some interviews for new programmers. No one cares whether you have a degree or not. Having a Github account with interesting projects that show off your coding skills is far superior than any degree from whatever college. And if your going to freelance, then the same applies. Customers don't give a fuck whether you have a degree or not. They want to see a proven track record of projects / well written software. So if you just want money, don't go to college. You'll waste years and get into debt, if your from the U.S. Learn it from Google and by writing interesting projects yourself. You'll save years. The problem is whether you are disciplined enough to self learn.
  17. You will not cease to exist, you will not die in the sense that you shoot yourself in the head and everything goes black. The guy that is you will continue to exist just like it is now. Only you will realize that you are more than just the guy who is being "you". You are everything, including the guy that used to be you. Yes, you will lose your old motivations that were strictly meant for the guy that was being "you". In that sense you will lose your life. But you will become more than just that guy. You will also discover that enlightenment by itself will not solve any of your old problems (insecurities, money, relationships etc) nor give you special insights in other areas of life and you will probably even be motivates to work on your old issues / your old self. Or at least this has been my experience so far.
  18. Your feelings are right. You posted another thread: Start by fixing this. Women do not find men with these issues attractive.
  19. Your problem sounds very similar to what I went through, I'll share my own journey of overcoming this problem in the hopes that it'll be of some use to you. I have had this problem most of my life. It took me over 2 years of struggle to overcome this, mostly because I had no clue back then and no one guided me in the right direction. I realized that I wasn't able to say "no", I was people pleasing, I needed approval from other people and this was making me miserable and I was unable to develop meaningful intimate relationships with other people. I was googling and stumbled upon my first Actualized.org video: This video was a good place to start but It wasn't enough by itself. The first time I watched it it blew my mind and instantly cured me of people pleasing. But then after a few days I fell back into my old self and started being too nice again. So I watched it again, got rid of my neediness for 1-2 days and then fell back to my old self again. This pattern kept repeating over and over. I have watched this video at least 50 times (and a ton of other resources) but I could never make it stick. This back and forth struggle was extremely frustrating but it led me to discover spirituality. I discovered that people pleasing / being too nice is a complex issue with multiple ego deceptions causing it and I had to chip away at my ego quite a bit before getting rid of people pleasing permanently. I had victim thinking. I believed that I had Aspergers, anxiety disorder, social anxiety, depression etc and that there was nothing really that I could ever do about it. I'm just not good with people and not confident and never will be, my brain is just defective, so I thought. Leo has a video on victim thinking. But it took me tens and tens (hundreds most likely) of hours of contemplation to break free from victim thinking. Ask yourself why is this thing not possible? Okay that's why, but why can't I overcome that thing? Etc until you get to the bottom of it and realize that, in fact, it is possible to overcome your problem. All obstacles have a solution. Nothing has to stop you. Next I discovered I was resisting negative emotions, I thought negative emotions are "bad". I had to learn to not resist negative emotions. Leo yet again has great videos on that. Then I was able to develop a vision for my life. I realized that what I really want is meaningful, deep, intimate relationships with a few people. I don't really care about being popular, well liked, having a "cool" image etc. I don't really care if people think well of me or not, that's irrelevant. That was one of the main things keeping me stuck in people pleasing, I used to think that it was extremely important to be well liked and to present a good image of myself. I wasn't able to develop a vision for my life while I still had victim thinking and resisting negative emotions, I had to get rid of those first. If you are a people pleaser then your first priority in life is to get approval from other people. If you are going to stop needing approval then you need something else to guide you in life - you need to figure out what you want to do and what you think is right. Next I reframed that "value" doesn't exist and all people are equal. You are not "better" or "worse" than anyone else. There is nothing that you can do to make you a "better" person. This was also key because I thought other people are "better" than me, I was not "good" enough etc. Next I reframed that I am not envious if people have something that I do not have but want. Leo has a great video on that: At this point I realized that I want to be authentic around other people, I don't want to leave a better impression than I actually am because that can only create a fake / superficial relationship which I don't want, I'd rather be alone doing my thing. I want deep intimate meaningful relationships in my life. Also I learned about assertion theory and I realized that intimate relationships can only happen when you protect your life space from other people. Meaning I have to stand up for myself, I can't say "yes" when I really want to say "no", I must not let others take advantage of me. Because that only leads to toxic unequal miserable relationships that I do not want. Ah and finally I reframed that there is nothing that you "have" to or "must" or "should" do in your life. You don't "have" to help other people. You don't "have" to agree to things that you don't want to. You don't "have" to be a good person. Other people don't "have" to like you. You might protest that you'll become an egotistical monster asshole this way. But this is baseless fear, at least that what I found in my case, you will actually want to help other people, even though it is detrimental to you, because it will use up your time, money and energy that you could otherwise put into yourself or into self-inquiry or into reaching the Truth. The most tricky one here is that you don't "have" to do things that are beneficial to you either. The only thing I do is what I want, which is my vision / purpose in my life. After I did all of the above I was finally able to break free from people pleasing. Hopefully you already have some or most of these things done. If you do have some of the same issues that I did, try fixing them. I wasted over a year by not starting from victim thinking. Best of luck!
  20. What does optimism and pessimism mean to you? What is the greater good? I'm not trying to be a smartass, these terms have kinda lost their meaning for me and I'm having a hard time relating
  21. Sounds like you think that you are "better" than your friend. There's nothing that you can do that makes you a "better" person, including attaining higher spirituality. You can't change someone's mind by arguing or accusing. Think about it from his perspective for a second, it has taken him years and years, his entire life experience, to arrive at his values and his understanding of the world. Hundreds of news articles, hundreds of hours of videos and scrolling through forums, books, personal life experiences etc etc. Just like you. It would be ridiculous to assume that he should just change his mind because you told him so. You didn't change your positions either when he accused you back of closed mindedness, so why should he? Sounds like it. Never. Why are you even trying to change his values? Do you know how annoying it is to have friends like that. Why don't you try understanding and accepting him first?
  22. Start with the basics of spirituality: Do you believe your disabilities (ugly, autism etc) are stopping you from living a good life (victim thinking)? How do you deal with negative emotions (do you resist negative emotions)? What is your vision for your life? Are you avoiding emotional effort? How do you deal with distractions? Are you afraid of social ostracization / do you want to be popular or well-liked (people pleasing)? Do you know how to handle conflicts with other people / protect your personal boundaries (assertion)? Seems to me you have victim thinking. Leo has great videos on all of these (besides 7), try working down the list. This is will take you at least 3-6 months. EDIT: Psychedelics is a tool you can use if you are stuck with a particiluar spiritual problem. I don't think it's going to help you in your current state.
  23. Probably fiscal stimulus / print dollars / lower interest rates. IMO this will only worsen the problem of malinvestment setting the stage for even worse recession.