How to See Things Differently - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-22-2010, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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How to See Things Differently


We generally misperceive ourselves, and this can lead to low self-esteem.

But I'm not going to bother talking about that, because the ego isn't involved in real happiness.

It is better not to judge yourself at all than to see yourself as worthy.

To judge yourself is to take attention away from the situation you've been given to experience.

We don't appreciate the moment because we think there are more important things to do. We think there are more important things than happiness.

We also assume our emotions are controlled by our circumstances.

Let's say you were driving home from work, and there is a traffic jam. You might be upset.

But let's say you then got hit by a car and your vehicle was totaled... At this point you would be HAPPY to go back in time and relive the traffic jam and avoid the accident.

Now imagine you were paralyzed from the waste down in the collision... And suddenly the original accident is starting to look a lot better.


It's all about your perception.

The lesson here is not to be grateful for what you have, but to understand that your circumstances do not FORCE you to feel any particular emotion.


When we were born, we had no beliefs. We had no opinions about what was good and what was bad. We had no wants from life.

We learn to believe a lot of things since birth, and these beliefs have a huge impact on our lives.

Everything we want is determined by our beliefs... but we do not choose our beliefs.

This means we don't really have control over what we want. We just feel like we want something, because in our head, it's something that will benefit us.

This is how the perception changed each time in the analogy I used above. As the circumstances got worse, the previous circumstances seemed more and more beneficial, when, in reality, they never changed... yet the emotional response did.

Your perceptions rely on your beliefs. So the way to change your perceptions is to change your beliefs.

But like I said, you cannot control your beliefs. HOWEVER, you can discover new beliefs. You can learn new beliefs.

Your beliefs change all the time. We "learn" things (whether they be true or not is irrelevant) constantly; mostly from other people.

It is possible to discover a new belief all on your own. The way to do this is to ask yourself a question, and to answer it truthfully.

If the answer is different than something you previously believed, then it is possible you just changed your beliefs.

How can this information affect you?

Well I can help you discover a belief, from yourself, that will help you stop worrying so much about what is going on around and just let stuff happen.

People make choices they regret all the time... We choose to do things and yet we can say later on that we definitely made a bad choice.

The reason we make bad choices is that we want something in the moment, and later on we realize that there was no reason for us to want that.

It is consistent with everything else I've said so far to now say: we choose our emotions. That may not sound right to you, but remember that we do not choose what we believe, how we perceive things, or what we want; these things, however, influence our choices.

So why do we choose to be unhappy?

Because we don't want to be happy in the moment.

Why don't we want to be happy?

Because we believe there are things we can benefit from more than a feeling in the moment.

Even thinking about our futures we don't really consider our emotions. Happiness seems to be a word that has gone from representing an emotions to representing a set of circumstances in life.

We think having something or accomplishing something guarantees happiness, when in reality, happiness is just a feeling that takes place in the moment, not over a stretch of time.

Can you imagine what it would FEEL like to be truly happy? Instead of thinking about the circumstance, imagine the emotion.

Instead of thinking about what circumstances you want in life, think about what emotion you want.

What is the best possible emotion?

What is more important than your happiness?

Don't use the word happiness, if it helps... that word has too many meanings to us...

What could be better than positive emotions?

What's more important, what people think of you, or how you feel inside?

You don't have to smile to be happy. Just think of that ideal emotion and replace your idea of happiness with that.

Why wouldn't you want to feel good?

Why wouldn't you want to enjoy yourself?

Hopefully these questions can help you see how you could be living life, and how you can stop caring about the circumstances when they are only temporary...

Take care.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-22-2010, 06:50 PM
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I'm just going to go through this as I see it.

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But I'm not going to bother talking about that, because the ego isn't involved in real happiness.
I think an ego is directly involved with real happiness, if you define having an ego as believing yourself worthy. Seeing yourself as worthy even if you aren't is still happiness.

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It is better not to judge yourself at all than to see yourself as worthy.
But it's better to judge yourself as better than you actually are than to judge yourself poorly. The way I see it, heres how it lines up.

negatively<not at all<better than you actually are<accurately

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We think there are more important things than happiness.
I think we often miss interpret the sources of happiness, but I don't think we deliberately put happiness second.

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It's all about your perception.
VERY true.

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but we do not choose our beliefs.
I choose not to believe this .

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But like I said, you cannot control your beliefs. HOWEVER, you can discover new beliefs.
I believe this is one way your beliefs can change, but I also believe you can choose your beliefs; also, beliefs can change subconsciously through external influence (constructivism). I can choose to no longer believe that I am ugly. I discovered the new belief that I am attractive because I chose to reject believing I am ugly.

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Happiness seems to be a word that has gone from representing an emotions to representing a set of circumstances in life.
Happiness is an emotion. Its where we find its genesis that matters.

This whole thing is amazing. I can relate a lot of this to things that I've thought about. I care a lot about what other people think of me, or about how I look to other people. In the end, I deduced that I was only concerned with what people thought because it made me feel good about myself. If I cut out the middle man and designed my actions and thoughts solely about creating happiness within myself (as opposed to designing my actions/thoughts to create a scenario that I associated with happiness), I would be a whole lot better off. Basically exactly what you said .
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-22-2010, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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Your ego is just your perception of yourself. The word ego does not necessarily mean you think highly of yourself, that's what people would call a big ego or something like that.

Focusing on "who you are" is not where good emotions come from. They come from thin air... Happiness is just enjoying the moment, it's not as complicated as we make it seem. It's not loving yourself, it's not being loved... It happens in the present, and nothing complicated happens in the present.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-22-2010, 10:06 PM
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i don’t know how to put things in a poetic way but here’s my opinion...

i’m starting to see things differently at the moment... that i should look at myself as, point blank, "being better then every one else". yeah...to think that i’m better but not say it.

sure, where one lives depends on how one thinks. if i was a pope i don’t think i would be thinking the same way because a pope would not be living where i am, he would be living among religious people. so i guess in a way our surroundings has to do a lot about the way we think. a dog barking behind a fence can’t feel the same way barking outside the fence...

ok, before i go deeper to other things let me move on...if i think about “being better then every one else”, it kind of makes sense.

i mean i see people who are not considered “normal” in society like a fat lady wearing a mini skirt.

why would she wear a mini skirt if society says it’s wrong?

would it be ok for society tell her what to wear even if it doesnt make her happy?

if she is not happy does it make society happy?

...the simple fact that she is wearing a mini skirt says to me that she DOESN’T give a ***** what people think, which would mean that she is RIGHT than everyone else. she is “better” then everyone else (or at least the ones judging negatively) because she is “right”. she is in her own little world where she is the queen.

so since she feels better then everyone else she is going to do what she damn pleases to do. if people critique her she will not care cus she will view everyone as being lower then her, as in their opinion doesn’t matter. insults bounce off her cus she’s a “god” in her own little world.

how can i be a “god” in my own little world? by her way of thinking.

so i think happiness is what i feel is right and what makes me feel good.

in other words lie (i.e. for get about how society labels me) to myself to boost my confidence (if i still have any)...hmm...and now that i think about it i might be “better” then a few.

EDIT:...wait a minute something just came to me. what if i was never taught how to believe that i’m better then everyone else? after all, our adult lives reflects how one was raised.

so how can i belive that i’m better then everyone else if nobody taught me how to?

everyone learns by learning and remembering. most of the teaching comes from parents tho.

if my parents didnt teach me then am i able to learn from someone else how to feel better then everyone else? hmm...i would say yes for the simple fact that i learned how to drive, i learned how to use the computer, i learned how to use my cell phone. what do you know...i can still learn. SAD is remembering that i have SAD. that means i can learn how to get rid of SAD.

from who, that is the question?

i need someone to learn from. i need some one to teach me how to feel “better then everyone else” which means that i CANNOT DO IT ALONE. because i cannot learn about SAD alone since i found out i had SAD by others not by myself...

how can i get rid of social anxiety if i don’t know how? i need to SEEK for someone to help me get rid of this feeling.

now, what does the seeking really mean? i can go to a therapist for help, for one. or i could just try to throw myself out there to society and give it my all. both can be said are “seeking". but for sure if there’s no seeking there are no results.

i can’t just keep hiding/avoiding the problem. i need to find help, face it (even if it hurts) and conquer.

sorry just thinking out loud (venting).

hopes this helps if anyone understands.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-22-2010, 10:57 PM
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I was sad that I had no shoes until I met a man with no feet.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-22-2010, 11:11 PM
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I believe that how highly you perceive yourself can be very rewarding as far as happiness goes. Happiness stems from stimuli. Some are conscious, some are not.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 03:59 AM
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I was sad that I had no shoes until I met a man with no feet.
Why would you stop being sad just because he has no feet?
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 07:16 AM Thread Starter
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You could say good and bad are relative terms, but I'd say this:

Nothing is labeled good or bad, you can only perceive things as good or bad.

Understanding that nothing really matters is key in allowing yourself to be happy.

There are two reasons we don't want to be happy.

The main reason being: we think it is more beneficial to us to focus on changing our circumstances than to be happy with the way things are.

This is not true though. What can possibly benefit you more than happiness?

The second reason, that occurs less often, is guilt. We might feel it's unfair for us to be happy when there is unhappiness around us...

There is no reason to feel guilty for anything, because you are giving yourself too much responsibility if you think that way. You don't matter, and it doesn't matter what you do. You are never doing anything wrong by being happy.

Beliefs = What you think is true.

You do not choose your beliefs, because your beliefs require proof. Your mind will not accept something as true just because you say so in your head. You can't lie to yourself, there is only one of you.

It is better to see your beliefs for what they are than to deny them and assume you can change them that easily. Don't pretend or try to act any certain way that seems fake, because it will not do anything for you. It only effects the things around you, but you know what's going on inside of you and you can see it all.

So yeah, just figure out what emotion you really want out of life. Just ask yourself:

How do I want to feel?

Because if you don't figure out how you want to feel, what are you really doing with your life?
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 09:55 AM
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I was intimidated by the length of the OP but this is actually a really interesting discussion. Letting go of all beliefs and thoughts, and just "being in the moment" is inarguably the ultimate goal. Really difficult to do though. I find that my mind gets stuck in thought patterns that can last for hours, or even days before I become aware of them and try to challenge them.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 12:38 PM
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great thread, I imagine this like we are in ancient Athens in the public square on top of our soap boxes yelling out the truths to people passing by.

My thoughts on pretending you are better than everyone else:
So you hold your belief that you are better than everyone else and you go play basketball one on one, You get beaten real bad, 21-0....what happens then ? All the foundation you built on pretending you are better than everyone else will collapse. Truth is there is always someone better than you, even if you reach the pinnacle of whatever task it is eventually you will fall behind. In my point of view I dont envy a woman who wears a miniskirt even though she looks awful in it.

I believe we are too attached to what we believe, think and feel. We need to weaken these attachments and spend most of our time cultivating our positive side. If we are engaged and concentrated in doing what we like and need to do we can get out of this social anxiety slump. We need to treat each moment as a precious commodity and use it wisely on things that will move us forward, closer to where we want to be...

Speaking of which, in a couple hours I have a support group meeting for the first time. I dont feel like going, I think I could have a hard time being there but I will do it nonetheless. The question becomes why would I go? Because I know the benefits that will come from doing it....it is the right thing to do. So I choose to do it despite my thoughts and feelings...


also, what I mean by positive side,
lazy/hard working
purposeless/purposeful
scared/courageous
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 12:40 PM
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Why would you stop being sad just because he has no feet?
My point exactly.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 12:58 PM
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I think another reason we "choose" to be unhappy is that we believe being "right" is better. Did I do the right thing? Did I say the right thing? Will I be wrong if I choose this path? So instead we hold back and allow anxiety to well up inside all on the basis of being right. This is from my personal exerience of course others may be different.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 03:44 PM
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note: i’m just seeking the ‘truth’ i don’t really think i’m better than everyone else.

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My thoughts on pretending you are better than everyone else:
So you hold your belief that you are better than everyone else and you go play basketball one on one, You get beaten real bad, 21-0....what happens then ? All the foundation you built on pretending you are better than everyone else will collapse. Truth is there is always someone better than you, even if you reach the pinnacle of whatever task it is eventually you will fall behind.
ok, lets says, that in that game there’s one guy who thinks “i’m less of a player than everyone else".

how would he feel playing that game?

how would he feel if his team won that game?

would he still feel the same, “i’m less of a player than everyone else" or, “i’m a better player than everyone else” because his team won?

my bet would be that he would still feel them same.

now what if there’s a guy in the loosing team who thinks “i’m a better player than everyone else”.

would he feel the same after his team lost?

my guess would be yes. “i’m a better player than everyone else” gives hope and happiness. “i’m less of a player than everyone else” gives low self worth. it’s a dead end.

if the player who lost changed his mind from “i’m a better player than everyone else” to “i’m less of a player than everyone else", after his team lost, he would be accepting society labels.

the winning score, 21-0, is nothing more then society labeling who’s better.

sure the wining team is better in societies eyes but what i was trying to convey is that happiness is ignoring how society labels me as or anyone for that matter.

edit: i missed the one on one part...but the point still there.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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Seeing your beliefs is the first step to proving them untrue. If you don't know what your beliefs are you can't really do much about them.

You can't just let go of beliefs, you have to prove to yourself that they aren't true.

Beliefs are just things you think are true... not all beliefs are harmful, only beliefs that encourage judgment.

If you see your belief, you know it is not necessarily the truth, and it is no longer has power over you. If you believe something is true, then you don't think of it as a belief, you just think of it as a fact.

I don't know if it's possible to have no beliefs. We are born with no beliefs, but I cannot even imagine an adult that doesn't accept anything as truth. Not that it would be bad, I just don't know if it's possible.

There is one key belief (that I can think of) that can help get rid of the harmful ones:

To believe that emotions are all that matter, and that emotions/perceptions are the only thing that can be good or bad.

If you can imagine the emotion that you really want from life, and to believe that that emotion is all you need, then nothing can phase you.

It's not about controlling your emotions, because you can't do that, it's about letting go of the unnecessary, unjustified negative emotions.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 07:42 PM
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I don't know if it's possible to have no beliefs. We are born with no beliefs, but I cannot even imagine an adult that doesn't accept anything as truth. Not that it would be bad, I just don't know if it's possible.
It's not really a question of not having beliefs, as you say that would be difficult, it's more about seeing them for what they are. Beliefs. Things we believe to be true. Once this distinction is seen they lose much of the controlling power they have over us.

Thought creates the world, then says, "I didn't do it!" ~ David Bohm
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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 08:30 PM
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No, far too simple, because it's how we react to something which determines what happens next.

Thought creates the world, then says, "I didn't do it!" ~ David Bohm
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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 05:07 PM
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I think I was being a bit 'tricksy' there. What I meant was, say I'm a better driver than anyone else. I drive all day, every day, and haven't ever made an insurance claim. I'm the best. But, I'm only a better driver, not a better person. The two aren't related. And I could be the best at a million other things. It still wouldn't make me a better person.
if you are religious would you say that god is better then the devil?

would both be the same and why?

i think we are speaking of two different things but i’m open minded.
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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 09:41 PM
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how can you not see the good and bad since by seeing the good you know what is bad?

we can say that the good is god and the bad is the devil.

now, the ‘skillful’ actions that give rise to happiness is good because happiness cannot be bad. ‘unskillful’ ones could be said to be bad since they don’t produce happiness.

just seeking ‘truth’.
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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-25-2010, 04:20 AM
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how can you not see the good and bad since by seeing the good you know what is bad?

we can say that the good is god and the bad is the devil.

now, the ‘skillful’ actions that give rise to happiness is good because happiness cannot be bad. ‘unskillful’ ones could be said to be bad since they don’t produce happiness.

just seeking ‘truth’.
Happiness is a state of mind. 'Good' is simply a judgement call.

Thought creates the world, then says, "I didn't do it!" ~ David Bohm
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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-25-2010, 04:47 AM
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Happiness is a state of mind. 'Good' is simply a judgement call.
you say ‘skillful’ actions give rise to happiness (state of mind) and ‘unskillful’ to suffering (sadness).

so happiness is dependant on 'good’ and 'bad’ judgment calls?

‘skillful’ is showing knowledge, be it a doctor or a teacher. they both poses ‘good’ skills. good skills because they do good things.

they don’t do bad things?

so doing ‘good’ things brings happiness.

doing ‘bad’ things brings sadness.
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