Originally Posted by Persephone The Dread
haha murder apes. I don't think I know why people make me anxious. It's not that they could hurt me but it's kind of hard to know why since it's just a general feeling that's usually there and also with other new stuff too to be honest I seem to have some general anxiety as well. (although not always, like I'm not scared by the 'new things' that bother others culturally as much.)
Children make me anxious as well but that's because I don't really know how to intuitively communicate with them due to lack of experience. But I don't really encounter them often. I have some young cousins I've seen only a couple of times as an adult, and then much more rarely young children have approached me in public (like once or twice ever.) One time after it had gotten dark I was walking somewhere and this young kid came running at me, and I heard their mum warn them not to run ahead because I might kidnap them :/ I think it's on some parent's minds constantly.
'New things' don't bother me; it's the people who are afraid of new things that bother me. This image seems curiously apt for this discussion.
I actually sort of like kids, I'm just afraid to go anywhere near them because I do such an outstanding job fitting the threat narrative for a predator. If I were a well-adjusted person with a job I probably would have fostered or something. I grew up in a house full of crazy people, so a house full of disturbed children doesn't really phase me the way it probably would most people. And I actually enjoy helping people with their problems.
When I had long hair, wee little tots would sometimes ask their parents if I was a boy or a girl. At which point the parents would become horribly embarrassed and drag their children away, apologizing for their rudeness. But I always found it sort of funny. Kids just have no ****s to give.
I kind of disagree. I think a big part of social anxiety for a lot of people is a faulty expectation of how your own identity is perceived by others. You have constructed an identity of self in your head, and when you fail to perform it, you get anxious. At least, that's how it works in my head.
This is a good point. Thanks for bringing it up.
I sort of think this is the other side of the coin, tbh. You have an image of yourself, and you don't like it when you are not able to live up to that image. You think of yourself as being a smart person, but then you do something stupid (a common occurrence for me). But I feel like, as far as SAD goes, that it's only really a problem if there are other people there to witness your failure (ie. when you embarrass yourself). Your awareness of their awareness of your failure is what makes you hate your own failure. Or am I misunderstanding you?
I don't consider myself an idiot, but I know I must look like an idiot to most people, because I am constantly screwing things up when there are other people around (so, functionally, I am an idiot, lol). At the time I goof up, I feel embarrassment, but I don't feel embarrassment when I do something stupid at home. (Unless I engage, "What would someone think if they could see now?" But I don't generally ruminate like that.)
I think there are actually two separate "identities" at work here. There is the way you see yourself, which you may fail to live up to, and there is the cultural stereotype for how a person should
be able to function, which you may also fail to live up to. There may be a lot of overlap, ofc.
If you're an unemployed shut-in at home, for example, you're not generally anxious 24/7 about the fact that you don't have a job or friends, are you? It's having to admit to someone else that you don't have a job or friends that gives you anxiety (or the thought of having to do it at some point in the future), and it's one of the reasons you don't want to talk to other people--because you're afraid that they're going to judge you. You
might not care that you don't have a job because you may think it's your parents' or society's responsibility to take care of you; you
may not want friends because you prefer being alone. But you could still be afraid of what other people will think about the fact that you're unemployed and don't have any friends. So you're not failing to live up to your own image, only the cultural stereotype. This is just what I've observed happening to other people.
You're right that it hinges on how you think other people are perceiving you. You may think people care more, or that they think more negatively about you, than they actually do. That's where stuff like CBT comes in.
perhaps its better for the rejection exposure therapy to focus on scenarios most reflective of what the person normally faces as possible - along with assessing the impact of their rejection anxiety on their ability to actually face it
Why not, instead of asking people for money, simply approach them and say, "I have social anxiety, and, as part of my therapy, my therapist has recommended that I approach people and tell them about my anxiety"? This is functionally more or less the same, isn't it? Except it's actually true. And I suspect people, on average, might respond more positively to an admission like this than they would to being asked for money. I've told a bunch of people I have anxiety and none of them have reacted negatively to it. They mostly just shrug. I doubt they would have been as nice if I'd asked for money. Ofc, because it's actually true, it might create even more anxiety than asking for money. (Which is the point of my original post. It's very easy to convince yourself that you've overcome more anxiety than you actually have through a technique like the one in the OP.) I'm not recommending this as a strategy, btw.
Murder apes thats a funny way to look at it! lol. But I do understand their are a great many people out their in the world who will not help a person, or stand by and do nothing while they are getting hurt or try to hurt you them very selves. The world is a rough and dangerous place. Makes me glad I live today and not in the distance past where people with mental health issues or who were different were treated even worse. I can just imagine how fun it would be to be locked up in a insane asylum in the 1850's for example. Reminds me of the story of reporter Nellie Bly who went undercover in a mental institution. Not good what she experienced and reported on
Oh yeah, I wouldn't have survived long in earlier eras, haha. I'm glad I live in a relatively 'safe' time. I've never heard of Nellie Bly. Thanks for sharing.