PenguinPablo

Need help brainstorming on what I could do right now to improve my social anxiety...

28 posts in this topic

Hi guys!

Another year has gone by and in some ways I am even more withdrawn and even more afraid of people. I am more angry and resentful at times. Generally, speaking I have not been well. However, I will be working with a very good counselor soon to help me with this as well as trying to get some help from you guys. Also, it's winter break so I have a lot of time to tackle this part of my life, as well as come up with both short and long-terms plans to alleviate this life long issue. I need ideas like comfort zone challenges, particularly around women, or just generally what you guys did.

What can I go do tomorrow basically, that I could reasonably do without developing PTSD.

 

Some ideas I've had is just being in public places a lot more around people. Such as parks, music, venues, etc..., even clubs ( though I find them vapid). Even if I don't talk to people but just kinda being there chilling, and developing a sense of connection quietly with my environment in spite of not  doing much direct interaction. 

Edited by PenguinPablo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, that's a good start.

One thing you can do is go to shopping malls at a quieter time and go inside the shops that are mostly empty. Start talking to the staff, there are a lot of bored people working there who are up for some chit chat (some are pretty girls). Someone will come over to help you, just start talking to him/her. Ask them how their day is going, get interested. Over time, you can even start to flirt a little.

Anyway, it's a win-win, no pressure kind of scenario. You're making their day more interesting and practicing your social skills at the same time.

Edited by Gili Trawangan

Alternative Rock Music and Spirituality on YouTube: The Buddha Visions

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

when i had this problem i started with an eye contact training videos (it's cringy, but it's always something to start with), just having small talks or trying to tell something funny to cashier etc.

after that i tried demonic confidence program - it's cringy shit too, but I think for a started it's something to try, you don't have to do all of this or follow it 100%, but it will for sure increase your confidence, because you'll see and experience, that there is nothing to be afraid of

i tried speed dating, tinder dating, but for me it was all forced and after some time i just decided to focus 100% on myself and have hope that the one will eventually come into my life when i'm ready for it, but there's nothing wrong with it, you'll have to find your own niche

something more that can help : 

try it for couple of days, it's basically changing your automatic thought pattern and you'll start to see things differently

Edited by 28 cm unbuffed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@28 cm unbuffed

 

yes, i dont care too much about the SA anxiety either and fighting it feels contrived... its just my counselor said that my SA is REALLY bad but I'm okay generally speaking in spite of this, I dont see it as an issue. 

 

....

 

i wonder what is the best option. i wonder if I am BSing myself when I could force myself to do some of these things and it will have good long term effects. thats precisely why I made this threa, so people can point out flaws in my reasoning and help me avoid my own traps/

Edited by PenguinPablo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@PenguinPablo I've faced bouts of social anxiety throughout my life, and I can see how it can turn into a vicious cycle. Being in front of people can be uncomfortable, so I tried to avoid it, which made me less socially capable, which made being in front of people even more awkward, making me not want to do it more, etc. Because you said you're on winter break, I'm assuming you're still young and in school, so this is the PERFECT time to gain some social confidence! I have 2 main pieces of advice:

First, what are your overarching goals for your life? To have a strong purpose or passion? To become financially successful in your field? To have strong connections and relationships with others? To learn more about life? Once you become clear and specific on these, ask yourself: If I was comfortable talking with and asking questions to anyone and everyone, how would this help me achieve my goals? This will give you multiple stronger reasons and motivation to go out and do the difficult task of facing your fear of strangers.

Second, I would record your interactions with a camera and audio. I know this seems weird, but professional fighters do this for their craft all the time. They will film their workout and sparring sessions, and after training, they'll watch and rewatch hours of their training footage with their coach, pause it at certain moments, think of what they could have done differently, practice those things, and overall progress their training. You could potentially do this with your social interactions, and maybe watch them together with your new counselor. It's also a way to track your progress!

Hope this helps :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why are you afraid of people? Where does the anxiety come from? Put that counselor of yours to work and get these questions answered! Or answer them yourself.

You dont want to be afraid of people anymore. Ok maybe 2020 is the year where you can finally drop all of that fear!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Funny how this "social anxiety" works, and what proves this "illnesses" are just relative labels and it's CRUCIAL that you do your own instrospective work on your own.

I consider myself I would match many of the social anxiety symptoms, however I am totally fine with being in crowd places, but for example I wouldn't go to a counselor (even if I know it could be beneficial to me) because I judge myself if I would go it.

 

See? There's a hint. Maybe for you social anxiety comes from other place, but for me it's all about JUDGEMENT.

If I don't judge myself I have 0 social anxiety. Self inquiry about that. 


A thought is never true

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@universe I agree although the counselor just ask the right questions. He has to be the one who answers. 


A thought is never true

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I've been out 2-3 times since I made this post. Will leave notes for me to reflect on, to get some constructive advice from others, and to hopefully help others dealing with similar issues. I am working with an anxiety workbook I bought at a bookstore. Will come back later to give field reports so to speak. 

 

Also, if you're here to criticize or leave primarily judgmental remarks, please I don't want anything to do with that. I know this is an intermediate step on my path in life. A bit superficial in some sense, but I believe it is an essential one that cannot be skipped.  

Edited by PenguinPablo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Get a job in sales.  Your anxiety will become mostly non-existent once you realize people aren’t gonna kill you.  Doing those “challenges” are easier said than done.  You always have the option of not doing it.  In a job you’re kinda forced to keep going.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would try to get to the root cause, the past traumas you had that makes you feel afraid of people. Lot of meditation, feeling into your emotions letting old memories come up and letting them heal. 

And then contemplating to get some profound insights on the nature of other peoples judgements of you. Other peoples judgements of you are figments of imagination in your own mind. Have to be totally grounded in yourself, not needing any external validation, good or bad. 


"Started from the bottom and I just realized I'm still there since the money and the fame is an illusion" -Drake doing self-inquiry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You could start by trying to understand why you have it, is it because you are shy, or is it because you are indecisive if you really want to make closer bound with people, maybe it is because of some traits of overthinking of how to react to people actions, conversations they make because you do not want them to misunderstand your body language in negative way. does having more people nearby make it harder for you to make conversation, then being alone with someone. 

We could start from this and some pointers you can add,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@TrynaBeTurquoise  i've done plenty of this but it seems like unless i dont get some level of actual, direct exposure is a more immediate way to face this issue. perhaps not at the root cause, but certainly prevents me from avoiding it in some sense.

so perhaps a mix of both... being on this gradual desensitization protocol, combined with lots of meditating on the feeling which will inevitably arise in quite an intense manner.

Edited by PenguinPablo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@PenguinPablo Short answer: practice.

Expose yourself. Talk to people and find common interests. It's a matter of time until you realize that nothing bad can really happen.


unborn Truth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had very severe social anxiety in the past. When I would cross people on the street, my energy would rush to my head, I would lose all connection with my body - my feeling. While the person on the street passes me, I would look down, I would compusilvely take my phone out, look at it without something on the screen and pretend I'm busy on it, just so I don't have to think about being judged at that moment. And a lot more of different compulsive behavior for escaping the feeling in my body. 

You have to practice grounding your energy into your body. If your anxiety is really severe, practice feeling into your body, feel into your legs, your arms, your chest, feel it. And relax into it. Relax all your muscles. Let the tension flow away into nothingness. Do this while walking down the street and passing strangers. Then go to shopping malls, busy streets, and stand there, still, completely still, while 100s of people pass you. Try to put all your feeling into your body, focus on breathing, and let your energy ground into the earth, like you're a tree and it roots go into the ground. Visualise your energy going down into these roots. After this, while previously if you would stand there in the middle of a street, completely still, you would think about what people are thinking about you, that you look stupid, standing there, or weird, or anything else. Now you find yourself standing there completely relaxed, with a still mind free of anxiety and worrying.. . you're just really present.

Then practice this while walking in these busy places. After a while, your nervous system adapts, and being grounded will be your natural state. After that, you can practice talking to people. Your energy will most likely escape to your head again, and that's normal. You have to challenge yourself, and adapt the technique of feeling and relaxing into your body, and grounding your energy. Place yourself in new situations, ask directions, ask for stuff, ask for cigarettes, ask questions, talk, go into sales, go do improv theater, and relax into your body, always. After a while, you will notice that your anxiety is gone because your nervous system has adapted.  This worked for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, PenguinPablo said:

@TrynaBeTurquoise  i've done plenty of this but it seems like unless i dont get some level of actual, direct exposure is a more immediate way to face this issue. perhaps not at the root cause, but certainly prevents me from avoiding it in some sense.

so perhaps a mix of both... being on this gradual desensitization protocol, combined with lots of meditating on the feeling which will inevitably arise in quite an intense manner.

What @ajasatya said, the things are you are afraid of in social interaction really can do no harm to you. Don't expect to just shake it off in an instant, but trust in this, the more interaction you get, you will find thats theres no reason to be anxious. Be welcoming to experiencing what you are afraid of when in a social setting, feel into it, and accept it. Picture the most embarrassing, humiliating situation and still have unconditional love for yourself.  You will find the majority of the time this is just imagination in your mind and not what is really even remotely likely to happen.


"Started from the bottom and I just realized I'm still there since the money and the fame is an illusion" -Drake doing self-inquiry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now