The George Costanza method - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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The George Costanza method


If any of you guys are fans of Seinfeld then you likely recall the opposite episode. Everything was going wrong for George and he came to the conclusion that every decision he had ever made in his life had been wrong, so to compensate he did the complete opposite of his normal routine and things started turning around for the better. His theory was, "If every decision I've ever made is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right." My anxiety has caused me to regret many things in my past that anyone with a backbone could have avoided. For example, someone cuts ahead of me in the lunch line and I don't say anything. The whole time I am telling myself that I should say something to him but I couldn't bring myself to it. This whole time i was thinking of the perfect thing to say when the truth of it is that I didn't need to say the perfect thing, I simply needed to say something, ANYTHING!!!! What could have happened if I had stuck my arm out while he was cutting ahead and told him to get to the back of the line where he belongs, I mean what was the absolute worst thing that could have came from that. So my question to all of you is what do we have to lose? Why not do the opposite? Why continue to regret when we can take action? We take too much time thinking about how to deal with these problem instead of acting on our instincts. Doing the opposite was my new year's resolution to myself, and I ask all of you, why not trust ourselves and simply act? I know it won't be easy, but I'll be damned if I won't give it a try. What do we have to lose?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 08:32 PM
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That was an extremely funny episode. He is a really good actor.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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That was an extremely funny episode. He is a really good actor.
Indeed it was, and he was the best character on the show without a doubt in my honest opinion.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 08:38 PM
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Actually, I think so too, yes. His neuroticness or neurosis (I don't think that's a word either) is believable too. Everyone else has more confidence than him.

I remember this one.

Jerry: Does everyone have to like you?

George: Yes, everyone has to like me. Everyone!
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Actually, I think so too, yes. His neuroticness or neurosis (I don't think that's a word either) is believable too. Everyone else has more confidence than him.

I remember this one.

Jerry: Does everyone have to like you?

George: Yes, everyone has to like me. Everyone!
Truthfully, if I had the courage to fully speak my mind then I would fit the persona of George Costanza to a tee, is it bad that I want to be him? And yes, neurosis is actually a real word.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 08:52 PM
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Oh he is just funny on tv is all lol. I think probably a lot of people can identify with him at some time but I think its probably most people's goal to control their emotions and speech more than that lol. He kind of blurts out things most people process in their minds.

I don't think neuroticness is a real word though.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 09:21 PM
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My name is George. I'm unemployed and live with my parents.

I'm Victoria, hi.

Love ittt. Good luck on your attempts to follow George's opposite religion. It's definitely an interesting idea, and with how we struggle with social situations naturally it just might work.

- I'mma be the syrup she can be my waffle.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 10:35 PM
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Nice. Always wanted to go all out despite my SA. But I wonder if it will backfires to my face though by always speaking out my mind. Sometimes you got to look and analyse the situation first before speaking out?

Living is easy with eyes closed
Misunderstanding all you see
It's getting hard to be someone
But it all works out
It doesn't matter much to me

Let me take you down
'Cause i'm going to strawberry fields...

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-02-2009, 02:14 AM
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Good post Uncle Charlie. What you say is very true, giving in to the anxiety and avoiding doing things only makes the beliefs we cannot do it and the situation really is scary even stronger. This is why practice and exposure is so important, successfully performing in a situation and at a task is evidence to the mind that you can do it and it wasn't that bad, so if doing the opposite would be very beneficial. We can't give in to safety behaviours and taking the easy options as it gets you nowhere.

But the problem is, what if you are too anxious to force yourself into doing something you are so worried about? If you go in full of anxiety and panicking and mess up, your mind will see that as evidence that you really can't do it, its so scary and you will humiliate yourself. This will make it even worse for yourself. But you need to push yourself as much as you can. For instance if you were to push yourself to do something you would usually avoid and not do because you were anxious and self conscious and fearful, etc - if you were to push yourself once every day, the amount of confidence you would build from that would be incredible.

SA is not an illness, its all down to confidence and the way you think. It can be improved and overcome for sure, but you have to work hard at changing how you think and push yourself. 2009 I certainly will be pushing myself into doing the opposite of what feels easy and most comfortable, I want a successful, fulfilling, exciting life!
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-02-2009, 04:28 AM
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Question

not sure if i saw the episode, but thinking about george and his idea makes me chuckle. Was it the episode where he decided to change his normal sandwhich? That's all i can remember. For instance, he got rye instead of white, and switched to chicken or something, and was really proud of himself for changing things up.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-02-2009, 03:30 PM
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I don't think it's that everything I'm doing is wrong, it's that some of the things I'm doing are wrong. Back when I didn't care what people thought about me, I'd say whatever was on my mind, and I was a lot more outgoing. People liked and respected me, and strangers would come up to me and we would have conversations. I also would start conversations at my job with customers when they checked out their groceries, and they would actually come back just to see and talk to me.

It was a great time, and I wish I could go back to that. My personality hasn't changed, and people still like me, but they won't approach me because I'm now so anxious that I've put on a shield and I'm not as open as I once was. Plus, I'm now so shy that they don't get to see that part of me until they talk to me for a while, whereas before it was instantaneous. I know I have the ability to go back to that guy who people liked for just being myself, but it's hard to battle the insecurities to get there.



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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-02-2009, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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I don't think it's that everything I'm doing is wrong, it's that some of the things I'm doing are wrong. Back when I didn't care what people thought about me, I'd say whatever was on my mind, and I was a lot more outgoing. People liked and respected me, and strangers would come up to me and we would have conversations. I also would start conversations at my job with customers when they checked out their groceries, and they would actually come back just to see and talk to me.

It was a great time, and I wish I could go back to that. My personality hasn't changed, and people still like me, but they won't approach me because I'm now so anxious that I've put on a shield and I'm not as open as I once was. Plus, I'm now so shy that they don't get to see that part of me until they talk to me for a while, whereas before it was instantaneous. I know I have the ability to go back to that guy who people liked for just being myself, but it's hard to battle the insecurities to get there.
Well said. Maybe I exaggerated a bit when I said that every decision I've ever made is wrong, as I would be dead if that were the case. Its just social situations in general that I end up regretting later on. I do not ever recall having social anxiety before high school, which is where things started going downhill. What's more respectable? A person who sits oddly by and hesitantly accepts pity invitations like some kind of moron who just doesn't get the hint? Or a person who does things the way they want and shows no desire or desperation to impress others, as they remain confident in themselves and whatever they do despite others who may think negatively? This is my primary argument. I'm 21 years old and I'm still acting like some kind of child wanting to fit in with popular people of which many are in the same age bracket as my 18 year old brother, and I have never been desperate to fit in with any of his friends. Its time I act my age and man up. I have no reason to be intimidated by these people, and I won't sit oddly by any longer.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-02-2009, 06:08 PM
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I need to watch that episode (if I haven't already, can't remember)...maybe it'll make me see the light. I need some spunk that's for sure.
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