fear of being a bad person - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-21-2019, 12:44 AM Thread Starter
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fear of being a bad person


I think this is the core fear behind my SA. I'm very afraid to inconvenience another person, to offend, upset feelings, or upset through actions. When someone is not happy with me, even if I was not at fault, I assume it's my fault and I'm to blame.

Anyone have this, and any advice on how to get rid of this?

I have an idea, but afraid to use it. I could try offending people on purpose and endure reactions. Maybe start off from minor offenses and work to worse ones. But I'm too afraid to even make the first step. It's easier to do in annonymous online chats, but that too is still hard for me to start. Maybe trolling on purpose? But how do I make a first move when it's so paralyzing.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-21-2019, 01:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humidity View Post
I think this is the core fear behind my SA. I'm very afraid to inconvenience another person, to offend, upset feelings, or upset through actions. When someone is not happy with me, even if I was not at fault, I assume it's my fault and I'm to blame.

Anyone have this, and any advice on how to get rid of this?

I have an idea, but afraid to use it. I could try offending people on purpose and endure reactions. Maybe start off from minor offenses and work to worse ones. But I'm too afraid to even make the first step. It's easier to do in annonymous online chats, but that too is still hard for me to start. Maybe trolling on purpose? But how do I make a first move when it's so paralyzing.
I think most people with anxiety issues have a problem with being assertive - we overthink people's reactions all the time and worry that we've caused offence.

And I think there are probably healthier ways to improve your self-esteem than going out of your way to offend people - either online or in real life. Maybe talking to a therapist might be a better idea.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-21-2019, 01:57 AM
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I really hate to upset people. I just feel really bad when I cause other people discomfort or inconvenience. It's not really about what they think of me, but just knowing that I inflicted harm on another person. I want to make other people's lives better, not worse.

But I'm not a pushover. I don't think anyone has a right to make me feel bad on purpose, either. And I don't take responsibility for everything. I only feel bad when I know (or at least have a strong suspicion) that I was at fault. If someone's mad at me and I haven't done anything wrong, I don't feel bad about myself.

I don't think you should offend people on purpose. I don't think you have a right to make other people feel bad just because you have a problem. And if you're going out of your way to offend people, it won't be authentic behavior on your part, and I'm not sure it will do much to help your SA. In the back of your mind, you'll know that they're reacting to a false version of you, not the real you that is still safely hidden, so it can just be another kind of defense mechanism. (This is my problem with shame attacking in general.)

I think what you need to do is learn to forgive yourself for not being perfect. If you're not intentionally inflicting harm on other people -- if you offend them by accident, or inconvenience them by making a mistake -- well, you're only human. Everyone says stupid things and makes mistakes. Just apologize, forgive yourself, and let it go.

I think some people's SA is exacerbated by an exaggerated sense of shame. They feel like shameful people who need to apologize for their existence, when in fact they really have no more to apologize for than anyone else.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-21-2019, 02:09 AM
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Try not to worry if you were truly bad you'd have no shame, I like the trolling idea but it's a fine art to do well, you have to squeeze all your negative feelings & repressed rage into a little ball & slowly release it in a calm way through the medium of sarcasm, most people let the rage out to fast & implode.






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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-21-2019, 02:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humidity View Post
I think this is the core fear behind my SA. I'm very afraid to inconvenience another person, to offend, upset feelings, or upset through actions. When someone is not happy with me, even if I was not at fault, I assume it's my fault and I'm to blame.

Anyone have this, and any advice on how to get rid of this?

I have an idea, but afraid to use it. I could try offending people on purpose and endure reactions. Maybe start off from minor offenses and work to worse ones. But I'm too afraid to even make the first step. It's easier to do in annonymous online chats, but that too is still hard for me to start. Maybe trolling on purpose? But how do I make a first move when it's so paralyzing.

You are on the right track except for the intentional offense of others. I believe you have discovered the root of your anxiety and this is very helpful when recovering.

However I can tell you from experience, deliberately putting yourself in situations or taking advantage of opportunities to expose yourself to situations that will arouse your fears is super excellent for social anxiety. It wrestles social anxiety to the floor and kills it off. If you have that willingness take advantage of it!!!!!


For example, I used to have my life run by what others think of me etc. So judgement, being embarrassed etc. You are going through the same thing in some way as you feel people will think negative of you. What I learnt is that for this to leave me it was just really simple. All you need to do is get use to the feelings of judgement or whatever. To do that let these opportunities occur and when those feelings happen acknowledge them and feel them but don't dwell about them. Just say to yourself "oh whatever". The problem is that the Socially Anxious person cares too much. You have to lose this feeling of caring too much. If you dwell every time something happens it only feeds the power these feelings have over you. Be okay with the negative feelings or possible judgements of people. Give the feelings their space and let them on their way and move on with your life. With time you won't care and this won't be an issue for you.


If you are willing to put yourself in uncomfortable situations I can tell you from personal experience you are well on your way to losing your anxiety. I started doing this. And I still do to this day as a social maintenance method. I will deliberately crack jokes with people I have just met at work that make no sense or that will embarrass me a little. I let people think a little weird of me some times deliberately. I don't go overboard but it makes Social Anxiety recovery/maintenance so fun. The reaction on their faces is priceless. I learnt this from one of my old jobs my colleague was a Concierge and I wasn't really that of a talkative person and I was generally quite anxious. I just started copying him slowly.


Done it a few times. Felt embarrassing or bad. But you get to see the reality of social anxiety and you might wonder why you did this to yourself for so long and then the brain learns that it's nothing bad. Nothing bad happens. You lose your sensitivity to other people's reactions or judgements. Not in a negative way like doing bad to people as you suggested. But when you do this you lose your feeling of what people think of you.


At the root of what you will be doing is facing fears and you can do that because these fears are harmless so nature is on your side.


Please give it a try and you're anxiety will go in no time. I'm happy to give advice if you need it.


Just allow the feelings you feel to rise, feel it and let them go.



Also as you have indicated in your post, you are paralyzed by fear and scared to make the first step. I can help you with that because I experienced it and got to the other side and I couldn't do it without first knowing how to manage the feeling of fear itself. It is an Art that can be learnt. I don't think it is the typical stuff you learn these days with social anxiety unfortunately although one of my Psychologists did allude to it in one way. Perhaps because it's not so straight forward to express and you may need time to understand it.



It's about the anatomy and reality of the fear response and understanding what's going on within a situation of having your fears aroused. Once you know what's going on, you can navigate yourself though situations of fear. This is important because understanding is very helpful with exposure therapy. Some people just expose themselves and it works but if you're paralyzed, you may need a different approach because the problem may also be deep within you. You will also probably need to face fears slowly.

I'm happy to go into more details as I too was paralyzed for a long time.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-21-2019, 03:52 AM
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In most cases, as long as you're not intentionally or knowingly try to be a bad person, you're likely not a bad person to begin with. Unintentionally upsetting others or hurting their feelings, you will likely learn gradually not to with more socializing experience.

Enjoy any good things, even the little and menial ones, as you will never know what impending distresses could descend upon you in a moment.

If I fail to adapt to the fault of others, it is my fault.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-21-2019, 10:07 AM
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Y'all need to train the brain to recognize behavior outside of situation that are unusual from how your subconscious reacted the first time of experiencing the anomaly.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-21-2019, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by truant View Post
I think what you need to do is learn to forgive yourself for not being perfect. If you're not intentionally inflicting harm on other people -- if you offend them by accident, or inconvenience them by making a mistake -- well, you're only human. Everyone says stupid things and makes mistakes. Just apologize, forgive yourself, and let it go.
The problem is that I can't just learn to forgive myself, and I can't stop automatically blaming myself when I'm not actually to blame for an offense... I just dwell for days and can't get it out of my head even though I did nothing wrong. That's how bad the mental illness is. Once the feeling of guilt is triggered, it doesn't stop for days, all my attempts to stop it fail. I believe it is this way due to having OCD in addition to SA.


Quote:
Originally Posted by blue2 View Post
Try not to worry if you were truly bad you'd have no shame, I like the trolling idea but it's a fine art to do well, you have to squeeze all your negative feelings & repressed rage into a little ball & slowly release it in a calm way through the medium of sarcasm, most people let the rage out to fast & implode.
Yes, I want to troll, but if I were to do it, I'd do it to deserving people lol, wouldn't want to upset innocent people. Problem is I can't even start due to how afraid I am of being a bad person.

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Originally Posted by AbbasGreen View Post
I'm happy to go into more details as I too was paralyzed for a long time.
I am aware of the gradual exposure method, but I dunno how to apply it to my problem. My problem is that I'm afraid to be a d*ck and an a**hole. I need to not be afraid of being one. I'm too damn nice and it's crippling me.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-21-2019, 02:33 PM
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I suppose that the old "everybody is different" thing is always worth repeating before I say what I have to say on this. That said, I do not personally believe the "exposure therapy" idea is a good one. In my own personal experience, I found that exposing myself to situations and dilemmas that I knew full well I was averse to and would trigger my SA and negativity did allow me to build a certain tolerance for some things. But it was also (ultimately) a house of cards type of thing where it took forever to build it and seconds for it to come crashing down, leaving me at square one after years of effort.

Just FWIW YMMV.

/WYSD
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-21-2019, 02:43 PM
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Also, I would not say that my aversion to bothering people or upsetting them is out of "fear of being a bad person" but of an avoidance of the consequences of said actions. Since I find people who are upset and annoyed and irritated to be unpleasant, I (obviously) wish to avoid that.

/WYSD
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-21-2019, 02:51 PM
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well therapy by philosophy is what has worked for me. now that I know what it means to me to be a good person I know where I stand and where others fall short. now when someone is a dick to me I still feel a bit bad but it doesn't consume me like it once might have. if someone is upset by the way I act, well I'm not that bad and I'm sure they can take it. people arent that fragile. you have to stand up for what you believe in at least sometimes.

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-21-2019, 03:17 PM
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-24-2019, 10:06 PM
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I'm already a bad person, because I'm bad at everything...

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