Hate being around skilled competent people, always being awkward, what should I do? - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-13-2020, 04:30 AM Thread Starter
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Hate being around skilled competent people, always being awkward, what should I do?


Hi

I'm new here

Long story short, I think I've had social anxiety and basically no confidence since I was little (I'm 22) It's crippling to the point I just always want to be left alone and stuck inside even though I get lonely a lot but I'm probably used to it by now.

I always felt worthless, not smart or skilled enough to belong anywhere or be around my family and couple of friends to the point I just avoid them and avoid trying anything if I make the tiniest of mistakes. Now they think I'm a weirdo/loner/recluse which makes me feel worse.I'd rather use the internet or media than go out that much

I really hate the way I look to the point I dont really care about my appearance and doesnt that I got facial hair (I'm a girl) in the worst places ever. I never bothered how to learn feminine stuff like makeup or having a decent fashion sense or even practice cooking.

I always freeze up and my mind goes completely blank and very slow when I'm around people to the point I can't process what they're saying that well and stumble/stutter over my words a lot, it makes me look stupid and paranoid of what people think of me all the time. I got dragged abroad for 2 months to see other family and my many relatives,I just felt awful there since I always had to interact with them on a constant basis, going to birthday parties, weddings and gatherings etc.

Not to mention Im a massive doormat, I'm terrified of hurting people's feelings or making them angry to the point I cant say no or stand up for myself if things go to far. I feel like a fool afterwards for letting myself be walked over and dominated by others.

What I can do to break this habits since the've taken over me?
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-13-2020, 11:20 AM
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i know how you feel.....i avoid extended family like the plague.....my heart is in my mouth whenever im round them.....my only social life is this site and www.mentalhealthforum.net

by the way welcome to this forum
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-13-2020, 12:50 PM
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Welcome to the forum @BlueHailNight33

Hoping that you'll find this site to be useful, and will get the support you're searching for. And so let's see what we can advise regarding breaking these "bad habits".

Regarding how you feel you are "not smart or skilled enough to belong anywhere", can you perhaps share which context this is most relevant to you? Employment? Social skills? Hobbies? Or something else?

An approach I'm thinking is if you were to first list these habits very clearly and then choose one for us to focus on for the time being, for you to then overcome. Ideally, it would be one you feel is the most straightforward to overcome. And then we can take it from there (if you want).

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-14-2020, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
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@macky

Thank you so much.

By bad habits I mean not immediately giving up when I attempt anything

In the context of not being smart or skilled enough, I'm talking about in every way possible for example social skills where I've seen people not afraid to say whats on their minds, being really funny and charming to othets in a way and look decent.

Employment is another one since I've never had a job despite applying and failing here and there causing me to instantly feel like nobody wants to hire me and i get envious of others who're my age or younger that have jobs. I had hobbies (storwriting, art) but im on the fence about them.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-14-2020, 02:03 AM Thread Starter
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@irishkarl

That's exactly how i feel around all my family (main and extended).

Don't you hate it when they ask you about what your doing in your life (like career, hobbies, as a person in general) and constantly having this feeling that they're watching and judging you every second.

I tend to try to hang out with my few friends,go to appointments/places alone, internet etc, this feeling vanishes thankfully.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-14-2020, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by BlueHailNight33 View Post
Hi

I'm new here

Long story short, I think I've had social anxiety and basically no confidence since I was little (I'm 22) It's crippling to the point I just always want to be left alone and stuck inside even though I get lonely a lot but I'm probably used to it by now.

I always felt worthless, not smart or skilled enough to belong anywhere or be around my family and couple of friends to the point I just avoid them and avoid trying anything if I make the tiniest of mistakes. Now they think I'm a weirdo/loner/recluse which makes me feel worse.I'd rather use the internet or media than go out that much

I really hate the way I look to the point I dont really care about my appearance and doesnt that I got facial hair (I'm a girl) in the worst places ever. I never bothered how to learn feminine stuff like makeup or having a decent fashion sense or even practice cooking.



I always freeze up and my mind goes completely blank and very slow when I'm around people to the point I can't process what they're saying that well and stumble/stutter over my words a lot, it makes me look stupid and paranoid of what people think of me all the time. I got dragged abroad for 2 months to see other family and my many relatives,I just felt awful there since I always had to interact with them on a constant basis, going to birthday parties, weddings and gatherings etc.

Not to mention Im a massive doormat, I'm terrified of hurting people's feelings or making them angry to the point I cant say no or stand up for myself if things go to far. I feel like a fool afterwards for letting myself be walked over and dominated by others.

What I can do to break this habits since the've taken over me?
I've been there. Didnt start overcoming my social issues til my late 20s (in the last 2 years or so). You still have plenty of time. I remember in my early to mid 20s struggling to say hi to people and could barely talk out loud in class when called on. Couldn't really make conversation. Now I can talk to people and have conversations with basically anyone for over an hour even with women I'm attracted to.

You have to start small. We humans tend to expect quick results from our efforts and when we fail a couple of time we end up quiting because we don't see the results we want. This doesn't just apply to social skills, it applies to learning almost anything big, like learning how to play a sport at a high level. Start saying hi to strangers. Keep at it. Do this dozens of times if you have to. Until it gets more comfortable. Then you can add on to this, ask how was their day etc. The key is to start small. Failure is part of the process. Improving will be slow but overtime you will improve.

Ask google if you need any specific tips on how to improve. The key is to start small but also another key is that eventually you really have to push yourself and go all out every day. What i mean by that is to achieve big success in any area of life, will require alot of time and effort. The ONLY way to achieve greatness in almost any area of life is to go all out every day over the course of months and then years. Alot of the most successful people with great social lives etc had to work really hard to get to where they are. We only see the finished product. Yes many people don't start off as shy etc as us but for them to have a great social life they still have to work really hard for it. Read the book Talent is Overrated and other books on the topic.

Here's the good news. You can learn alot and improve alot even without other people (in the beginning at least). You can learn how to apply makeup etc through youtube tuturials. Cooking is easy to learn, hard in the beginning but there are numerous free tutorials.

The thing to remember is that we basically all suck in the beginning, when we first learn something. Whether its cooking, socializing, etc. but all of these things are a skill that can be learned. It just requires alot of hard work. Google deliberate practice. It's not hard work alone that gives you results, its practicing deliberately. This is why nany people work hard for decades at losing weight and can't keep a healthy wealthy. THis is why many people drive for years and still suck at driving. This is why many people work hard at socializing for years and never get very far towards building a social life. The key with hard work is to practice deliberately. Which means learning from your mistakes, analyzing them, trying again, making more mistakes, analyzing them, learning from them, figuring out what works, making more mistakes trying again and again, and slowly getting better. You should be making progress after a few months and within a year for sure.

Google is your friend. Reddit is another great learning source. Just break down the skill of socializing into tiny parts. Google how to say hi, how to make small talk etc (or look it up on reddit).. Remember learning from other people's mistakes and actually googleing the process will speed up your results alot but at the same time it will still take a long time to create a social life from scratch.

You still have time on your side. Alot of work in the next 2-3 years to create a social life is a small price to pay. It gets easier over time and becomes close to second nature often if you do it enough. It's soo easy to let time pass by and before you know it, you're in your 30s and 40s in the same exact spot.

One thing to remember is when you're trying to achieve something big, whether it's learning social skills, how to play a sport well, etc., even if you take all the right steps, progress is slow and failure is part of the process. But failing at something often makes people feel worthless and badly about themselves, and often makes them quit and avoid the work of changing their lives. The key is to not run away from failure. It is literally how you improve over time, as long as you actually learn from your mistakes. It is just a part of the process that can't be avoided if you want to learn a new skill. Easier said to done, but learn to embrace failure, put in the work, and years later you won't even recognize the person you used to be.

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Originally Posted by DWong View Post
"But I'm not good at anything!" Well, I have good news -- throw enough hours of repetition at it and you can get sort of good at anything.

Don't like the prospect of pouring all of that time into a skill? The good news is that the sheer act of practicing will help you come out of your shell. People quit because it takes too long to see results, because they can't figure out that the process is the result.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-15-2020, 07:25 AM Thread Starter
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Wow

Exactly this!

I guess I need to start trying more by using tutorials as you said once I get over negative mindset of mine. Small talk is something
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-15-2020, 07:27 AM Thread Starter
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Wow

Exactly this!

I guess I need to start trying more by using tutorials as you said once I get over negative mindset of mine. Small talk tends to work in my favour here and there at least as since a few years ago I've tried making friends even though I tend to grow distant with them pretty quickly but I'll give your advice a go
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-15-2020, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by BlueHailNight33 View Post
@macky

Thank you so much.

By bad habits I mean not immediately giving up when I attempt anything

In the context of not being smart or skilled enough, I'm talking about in every way possible for example social skills where I've seen people not afraid to say whats on their minds, being really funny and charming to othets in a way and look decent.

Employment is another one since I've never had a job despite applying and failing here and there causing me to instantly feel like nobody wants to hire me and i get envious of others who're my age or younger that have jobs. I had hobbies (storwriting, art) but im on the fence about them.
Thanks for sharing.

Just wanted to say this - though it may not feel like it, unfortunately many young people are having difficulties finding work right now, especially in this year's rough economy (the same thing happened in 200. Overqualification plays a factor in some areas, along with lots of people applying for a single job position, etc. So while your social anxiety certainly isn't ideal, I'm sure there are still plenty of opportunities to improve your approach. Keep in mind that luck likely had a large part to play in your friends getting a job, so try not to beat yourself up too much.

So thanks for providing more details on your situation. From your post, I think I could make out four main areas:
  1. Getting a job
  2. Maintaining focus and seeing things through
  3. Being open and outspoken, and also being charming and funny
  4. Outward appearance

This is just for illustration purposes, and so apologies if it doesn't quite match what you said.

Rather than working towards all these goals, it might instead be advisable to focus on two for the time being - with getting a job being one of them due to its importance. For tackling each goal, you may want to try what is commonly referred to as a "project sprint". This would be setting a specific timeframe (in terms of weeks) to work on these two goals as much as possible.

Of the non-employment goals, it might be worth starting with the seemingly least challenging goal, so that you get into the momentum of progressing forward. Fortunately, your goals are not mutually exclusive, and so accomplishing one will help in making accomplishing the others much easier.

Definitely educating yourself will help your focus, and there's nothing stopping you from opening a forum thread for each goal you are currently working on - which will make the comments more focused and effective. And if you want I'm fine to provide my personal inputs towards any specific ones you are working on.

Well, I hope this helps you in some way - wish you the best for now.

@IllmaticJJ - that's some useful advice you've given. Real good of you to takie the time to write it out for a fellow forum member.

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-16-2020, 07:36 AM
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I don't mind it unless they're rude and obnoxious and make it a point to bring up all my deficiencies in an "I'm so awesome and you're just a bum!" sort of way. Like if they're cool about it and only bring it up if I do and/or are possibly even willing to try to help me out if I should ask, that's fine.

There are a few people I've been around who were very rude about it and once they've done it once, I'm done with them. I'm well aware of everything that I'm not and I don't need some jerk pointing it out at every opportunity. I have family members who do it almost every time they see me and I don't need more of it from random people.

/WYSD
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-16-2020, 11:21 AM
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Wow

Exactly this!

I guess I need to start trying more by using tutorials as you said once I get over negative mindset of mine. Small talk is something
You just have to be able to sort from the bad tutorials and the good ones. It gets alot easier with experience. Check out https://www.girlschase.com/content/g...ast-small-talk for how to get past small talk. I know its a site for picking up women, but that article was super helpful for anyone struggling with small talk. Even many normies can struggle with this.

Read the book mindset by carol dweck . It should be mandatory reading for everyone in the world. Basically, usually people's beliefs about what they're capable of doing end up holding them back more than anything else, whether it's in regards to socializing, sports, etc. The great news is you can change your mindset and beliefs, it just takes time and work. There were studies done that showed that depression is common among college students. Those students with a fixed mindset constantly torment themselves with the idea that the setbacks meant they were incompetent or unworthy. The more depressed they became, the more they just gave up, and the more they stopped finishing homework, stopped turning in assignments, etc.

Here's the crazy and inspiring part. There were still plenty of people with the growth mindset who felt pretty miserable and depressed. The more depressed they were, the more action they took to confront their problems, the more they made sure to keep up with their schoolwork, and the more they kept up with their lives. The worse they felt, the more determined they were. They force themselves to go to class, keep up with their work, and take care of themselves, so that when they eventually feel better, their lives were still intact.

Unfortunately, it is easier to develop fixed mindset especially when people around us have one too. But you can always change that mindset.

American society celebrates natural talent. Studies show people are more inspired if they believe someone achieve success through being born gifted and naturally talent rather than hard work. Yet when we look at the greats in basically any field, we can see that it was hard work that made them who they are. Michael Jordan was quite possibly the greatest basketball player of all time yet he was cut from his high school basketball team when he was younger. He was well known for his work ethic and was always the first to practice and the last to leave. Kobe didn't score a single point when he first started playing basketball. Tiger Woods was one of the greatest golf legends. When he was just a toddler, his dad made him practice so much golf that by the time Tiger Woods entered high school, he was practicing around ten hours of golf a day. It takes an average of around ten years on intense deliberate practice to become a grandmaster in chess. Yao Ming was an NBA basketball star at around 7 foot tall. Yet he still had to practice ten hours a day in high school before he would become an nba star. Kevin Durant is a NBA legend at 6 foot 9 inches, yet in high school he would spending 8+ hours a day practicing basketball drills, skipping time with friends, people would literally look at him like he was crazy because he was so obsessed.

I'm not trying to say you'll have the same exact success as these world class people, but if you put in the work, even if you're somewhat below average, you can get soooooo much better and even beat the average person by a large margin at almost anything in life, including social skills. It just takes a few years of hard work, and you don't need 8-10 hours a day to surpass the average person. 1-2 hours a day for a few years and you can beat most people by a large margin.

Most normies aren't exactly living their dream lives. Many of them are unhappy even though they have relationships. Here's the best news possible: it's not because of bad luck or lack of talent or whatever that most people don't have the weight they want, don't have the social skills they want, etc. It's because they didn't put in the necessary work yet to create the life they want (not just the amount of work but actually learning from your mistakes so that you get better overtime). Here's the bad news, it takes a longggg time to get really good at anything big (think 3-5 years but you should be making decent progress within a year).

Just using America as an example since that is where I live.

Most Americans are overweight or obese. Studies show that most men and most women are not happy with their physical appearance. Yet with proper diet and exercise, basically anyone could be in shape and a healthy weight.

85% of Americans hate their jobs.

The average American has a personal debt of around $100k (includes mortgage, student loans, etc). Americans love to spend but everyone hates to save money. We live for today's instant gratifications which is why it is easy to spend but hard to save. But this is a habit that can be changed. You can see some horror stories of people making $400-500k a year AND still living paycheck to paycheck. Studies show most people raise up their standards of living when they make more money.

Around 80% of American's live paycheck to paycheck. Even 25% of Americans who make $100k a year still live paycheck to paycheck. You always have the option to get either multiple sources of income or work hard to get a better paying job. It will not be easy, it will be very hard. But like with losing weight, the simple truth is the average person isn't willing to put in the work needed to not live paycheck to paycheck.

Studies show that after the 8 year mark, only 13% of people in relationships are still in love with each other and only 3% are obsessed/in bliss with one another. That means the vast majority of relationships end up breaking up or end up in not so happy relationships. This is another reason to learn to like yourself first, but also to learn everything you can about relationships so that you can have the best relationship you can.

Just like you'll never be the richest guy in the world but you can still be rich someday if you put in the work. You'll never be the greatest basketball player, but even with average genetics you can beat the vast majority of people out there. This applies to almost anything in life. You'll never have the greatest social skills or social life of all time, but you can still learn to have a decent fulfilling social life with a girlfriend, etc. Even the natural talents had to work really hard, because natural talent alone is not enough.

The simple reason why most people don't have the life they want is simple. Most people live for instant gratification. What I mean by this is as they say: 99% of your problems is about feeling good in the short term. Eating lots of food or junk food feels good right away. Exercise and eating healthy doesn't feel good in the moment. Spending money feels good right now. Saving money doesn't. This is why there are so many people in America who are obese and/or broke. Not bad luck or genetics. They simply live according to their feelings and impulses.


Last note, I know this sounds dumb and clinche, but you have to learn to love yourself or at the very least like yourself. I have seen several posters on SAS get girlfriends for a couple years and they posted later admitting that they were still unhappy and depressed. It's not just them, many regular "normies" end up depressed or suicidal even though they have wives, kids, girlfriends, etc. You can only find happiness within yourself as dumb as that sounds. Millionaires get depressed or kill themselves. People with lots of friends and a wife etc get depressed or kill themselves. Rich and famous people get depressed or kill themselves. As someone once said, "It isn't what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it." It's not what you don't or do have that makes you happy, it's how you feel about it.



Doctors are considered successful by society's standards. They make $200k a year on average, have high status jobs, and even help save people's lives. Yet half of doctors hate their jobs. Every single day, in the US alone, one doctor dies by suicide.

I've done alot of research on happiness. When people talk about happiness, they are really talking about fulfillment. Fulfillment is the ultimate goal in life. There are two main ways to get fulfillment: have fulfilling relationships with significant other, friends, family etc and having a career that you love and is fulfilling. As evidenced above and there are numerous other examples, you can have lots of money, be good looking, have lots of friends, etc but if you're not fulfilled, you end up feeling empty and often times end up depressed or even worse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DWong View Post
"But I'm not good at anything!" Well, I have good news -- throw enough hours of repetition at it and you can get sort of good at anything.

Don't like the prospect of pouring all of that time into a skill? The good news is that the sheer act of practicing will help you come out of your shell. People quit because it takes too long to see results, because they can't figure out that the process is the result.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-19-2020, 11:30 PM
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Hi Blue,

Much like Illmatic I also struggled with really bad anxiety and have pretty much overcome most of it.

In my opinion there is no magic bullet. The way I overcame my anxiety was through a lot of hard work. Going to counseling/psychiatrists/reading/meditating/etc...

I will share with you what one of my biggest revelations was and that really helped me get started on the road to recovery.

It happened when I had parked my car to go to a college class, I got out of the car and I walked like 5 paces and I remembered I had forgotten my pen in the car. As I turned to go back to my car to get my pen, I remember saying some really awful things to myself like "how can you be so stupid to forget your pen" "no wonder you are not going anywhere if you cant even do something so easy as remembering to take your pen from the car..."

and it hit me really hard on how aggressive, rough and abusive I was being to myself.
If someone else forgot their pen in their car I would never think they were idiots but when it happened to me I was incredibly harsh.

Right there I had an epiphany that the enemy was inside, I had to stop that abusive voice that was destroying my self-worth at every opportunity. I tried many methods, read a ton about negative thought patterns and how every time you have a negative thought your brain gets used to thinking in that specific way. Many strategies exist to stop this negative thought cycle but the one that worked for me wasnt even in a book, I just kinda came up with it and it worked for me.

I decided that whenever I caught myself having negative thoughts, I would just recognize it and drop it. Just start thinking about something else. As time went by my negative thoughts started to go away more and more until I never have these overly negative thoughts.

So my suggestion to you is to start listening to your thoughts, see how you treat yourself. If you find that you are constantly being abusive to yourself, consider yourself lucky because now you have identified part of the problem. Now you can start taking action!
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-23-2020, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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@macky

Thank you for narrowing down some key areas that could be worked on, its way better than the mental bucket list I have, full of 1000s of things that should be improved/Done

I know, the whole pandemic is terrible, there isn't any point in leaving your house anymore other than for important stuff, I'm a complete shut in anyway but I kind of miss going outside but I really feel for the outgoing types who probably are having a bad time rn.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-23-2020, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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@IllmaticJJ

Double thanks for the link, I'll definitely use it, its not like going anywhere

I suppose I should just keep my head down and force myself to do things in order to ignore that mental block in my head, at least I'll get things done and hard work always wins. As you said, people held back since they know what they're capable of, I'm afraid when people have high expectations of me since I don't want to disappoint them at the end.

Changing my mindset is something I barely even try so I should focusing on that first of all even if it feels odd at first then work out what path I want to take (career/profession) that'll get me to feel great.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-23-2020, 07:41 PM
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Feel ya


I get ya.

I actually go through the same feeling of envy with similar situations. I think what gets me more upset is that even when I do try, I do not get the same results.

It annoys the hell out of me. What am I supposed to do?

Though I have always made it my practice to be pleasant to everybody, I have not once actually experienced friendship. I have only the most painful recollections of my various acquaintances ..."
― Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-25-2020, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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@ That Random Guy

Glad to know I'm not alone on this one

Yeah, when this don't go right, I'm like screw this. Nowadays I'm trying to drag myself to just do things because ive got nothing better to do the.
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-26-2020, 11:26 AM
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@macky

Thank you for narrowing down some key areas that could be worked on, its way better than the mental bucket list I have, full of 1000s of things that should be improved/Done

I know, the whole pandemic is terrible, there isn't any point in leaving your house anymore other than for important stuff, I'm a complete shut in anyway but I kind of miss going outside but I really feel for the outgoing types who probably are having a bad time rn.
I agree that having a large bucket list of things to do is mentally draining and also a common way of ultimately achieving very little - aside from indecisiveness, you'll also have too little attention to focus on the things and gain exponential progress. Nevertheless, I'm glad my suggestions were in line with your expectations, and I'm grateful for your feedback (I wouldn't have made the effort unless I was confident it would help you accomplish something).

Your empathy towards people who are outgoing is quite refreshing, and a welcome character trait. Well with half the world going through the same thing, I guess we're all just waiting. Many people will be reevaluating their own situation and take the opportunity to try to improve it, and so this year may bring some positive opportunities to a lot of people. Hoping you'll be one of them.

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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-29-2020, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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@macky

It's no problem with your excellent advice, I'll get into a habit of breaking things down instead of blindly rushing and getting annoyed since I can't do it all at once.

Thank you, Yeah lot of people see me as empathetic, I cant stand to see anyone in bad times, if only I could be a bit more useful to the people I'm close to. Who on earth knows what next year will bring.

How are you getting along in these tough times if you dont mind me asking?
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-29-2020, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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@Jaspion2

Wow that's amazing you broke away from that mindset, good on you!

I tried to think positive but to me it just feels odd like I'm in some sort of dream that when I wake up everything goes back to normal if that makes sense.
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-03-2021, 03:32 PM
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@macky

It's no problem with your excellent advice, I'll get into a habit of breaking things down instead of blindly rushing and getting annoyed since I can't do it all at once.

Thank you, Yeah lot of people see me as empathetic, I cant stand to see anyone in bad times, if only I could be a bit more useful to the people I'm close to. Who on earth knows what next year will bring.

How are you getting along in these tough times if you dont mind me asking?
Thanks again. I'm glad I helped. Getting started and building momentum is the hardest bit I think. Once you start making progress and keep at it then the process itself, including the setbacks, starts to be an interesting learning experience.

Not surprising that people are seeing your empathetic side. Just being an active listener is something they'd probably really appreciate. Being able to express their thoughts openly normally is enough for the person to start viewing their issue objectively anyway, and so if they have very obviously got something on their mind, there are many ways to encourage a person to open up. This is distinctly different from you offering some practical solution, which actually might not be appreciated at the time, and so you not being sure how to solve their problem is fine.

These times have not really impacted me negatively much at all. I can work from home and thus am in a very fortunate and comfortable position in comparison to many others. I try not to take this for granted, and so throughout last year have been improving my business analysis skills (which are indeed impacting my interactions on this forum), and improving upon my investment knowledge. Though I'm much more social now than in my younger years, at my core I'm still an introvert and so am not desperate to re-engage in the social scene.

In other words - definitely don't worry about myself. But thanks for asking

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