What if I don't want to get better? - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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What if I don't want to get better?


This may be a strange question to bring to a place like this, but here goes...

I posted an intro thread yesterday and got responses (both public and pm) with tips and ideas to "get better." Seems like a sensible reply I guess, but I realized it's not at all what I'm looking for. At the moment I'm realizing I have no real interest in changing or fixing myself. I miss being out in the world...I miss being active, going hiking, seeing friends, etc. But right now that doesn't seem like my biggest issue.

I struggle a lot to express myself, to the point that sometimes I can't speak at all. What's really scaring me right now is that when I've found the words, practiced them, and finally told people, no one can seem to understand. Most of the time I can't leave my house or do much of anything. I guess that's not a way to live, but I don't have any big goals to fix it. Honestly I can't even put a finger on what I want to be different.

Mainly, I think I just want to be heard and have my friends understand. The problem is, on the rare times that I do make it out in the world...it seems that the same mechanism that won't let me talk to people or leave the house most of the time, suddenly doesn't let me show how I'm really feeling. I could be totally miserable or terrified or whatever inside, but I greet people with smiles and participate "normally" in whatever I'm doing. Then, when I do tell people how I'm feeling, all they see is the "normal", and they don't seem to believe how bad it gets. They say things like, "I don't think you're doing as bad as you think you are." Lines like that honestly trigger anxiety more than anything else for me. I don't know that I'm ready to "get better", but it's terrifying to be that even when I want people to know I'm essentially not believed.

Each time I try to put myself out there, it tends to get thrown back in my face and I leave the situation feeling worse. So I'm not sure that "getting better" is actually my goal. I think my goal is just to express myself in a way that people can understand. Or maybe find a person that understands so I'm not alone in it all.

Does this make sense to anyone?

If this isn't an appropriate perspective for this forum let me know and I'll look elsewhere.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 03:14 PM
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Being able to communicate your feelings clearly and make/maintain friendships requires getting better, doesn't it?

My main end goal is to have a few close understanding friends. All the socializing I do, and the social anxiety improvement ideas I try, is a means to that end. But I think that's natural... we don't want to get better to win a trophy, we just want social anxiety to stop preventing us from achieving our goals.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 03:22 PM
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This sounds like something really relatable to me... I hate myself, but don't have any clue do I want to change or do something about it, or it is something else...

Even shy people can be sassy sometimes...
I'll put drunk raccoon in my signature as well, because I CAN...
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 05:30 PM
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I'm not 100% sure but I think I understand you because I think I'm about the same as you are based on this post. Interesting either way!
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 05:38 PM
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Explore your hidden benefits. What are the benefits of you not getting better? Because they could be keeping you from wanting to get better.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 07:28 PM
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I keep trying to think of some way to respond to your thread, but yes, I think I am right there with you. Sometimes, I don't want to change as much as I want to be understood as you said.

I think that would actually make me much happier and even prompt some changes in and of itself. That being said, I don't think the vast majority of people are willing to try and understand/accept others as they are.

I've tried changing for a long time and it hasn't ever worked.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 09:09 PM
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I think you need to be ready to get better for it to be able to work. Even if you really want to get better, if you’re not ready to make changes, nothing will change.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Don View Post
I keep trying to think of some way to respond to your thread, but yes, I think I am right there with you. Sometimes, I don't want to change as much as I want to be understood as you said.

I think that would actually make me much happier and even prompt some changes in and of itself.
This is a really good point. Especially that last sentence there. I think when you try to force people to change you kind of force them to resist. Because nobody likes to be forced. And the harder you try to force them the more you force them to resist that. Eventually it gets to the point to where everyone is locked into a pattern of stubborn pushing back against things to the point to where they don't even know (or care) why they're doing it. They are just reacting to unpleasant pressure the way people generally do when you're pushing too hard and not listening to them.

People might not like the idea of standing by and watching someone be self-destructive but if they are ever going to make changes (and actually WANT to while they're doing it) they're going to do it when/if they choose to. If they are forced, they will probably just go right back to the way they were when the person doing the forcing gives up, gets tired of it or (frankly) passes away.

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That being said, I don't think the vast majority of people are willing to try and understand/accept others as they are.
Oh definitely not. Everything is all about acceptance until it comes to something no one wants to accept. Then it's like they forgot what acceptance even means.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 01:54 AM
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Riverbird, it makes complete sense.

And if you don't want to get better, don't. You only need to get better if you feel like you have to - for whatever reason.

However, if you are UNHAPPY with not wanting to get better, you have to fight that feeling tooth and nail, EVERY DAY.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 02:36 AM
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Riverbird, it makes complete sense.



And if you don't want to get better, don't. You only need to get better if you feel like you have to - for whatever reason.



However, if you are UNHAPPY with not wanting to get better, you have to fight that feeling tooth and nail, EVERY DAY.
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This is why you shouldn't always take your feelings and emotions as truth. A junkie might be completely happy with not wanting to change, it feels good to get high and they aren't experience anything negative yet or they aren't experiencing any negativity that they can't handle. But of course we all know what can happen of they keep going so it's in their best interest to want to stop because there are no benefits of any real value in staying a junkie just as there are no real benefits in having anxiety or whatever suffering someone might be going thru.

That's why it's important to realize that there are hidden benefits that can cloud someones judgement. Of course it would be in her best interest to get better because of she doesn't she will continue to suffer and potentially get even worse and only an insane person would want that.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your replies and for helping me to better organize my thoughts.

As I think through it further, i'm realizing that what I want most is understanding, for myself and those around me. I'm realizing that what I want more than anything right now is understanding, for both myself and those closest to me. I want to have a better understanding of what's happening to me, and I wish to be around people who can also understand. I think it was a shock for me to immediately be inundated with responses of how to fix it, when I'm still trying to figure out exactly what "it" is.

Also, I'm bothered by the idea of getting better and getting worse. Is there one way that we're all supposed to be? Is it wrong to not particularly enjoy the company of most other people? I don't have an answer to that, but it's something I'm seeking. Frankly I think I'm a pretty great person, and others would see that if they took the time to get to know me. So I feel like what I need is a way to help others understand how to get to know me...that I need them to take it slow and be gentle...not a path towards changing who I am. Unfortunately when I've tried to explain this to others, in the best ways I know how, it has not gone well... And THAT is where the pain starts for me. I don't have a lot of pain in wishing I were different. I just wish I could find a corner of the world that's different.

And yes, as someone said, I think I'd be a lot more likely to want to change if I felt some level of acceptance from others around me. Instead I've just felt pressure of, "You need to change to be accepted," which makes me want to figure out how I can go about not changing and making things work for me.

Thank you to all who took the time to reply. It really helps to know that others can see where I'm coming from and can help me see it more clearly.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Paul View Post
Being able to communicate your feelings clearly and make/maintain friendships requires getting better, doesn't it?

My main end goal is to have a few close understanding friends. All the socializing I do, and the social anxiety improvement ideas I try, is a means to that end. But I think that's natural... we don't want to get better to win a trophy, we just want social anxiety to stop preventing us from achieving our goals.
I'm fortunate to have some really really amazing friends. I don't see them a whole lot, but I know 100% they would be there for me if I needed them. I wish they could better understand my anxiety, but I'm grateful to have them. If being able to better explain my anxiety to them means getting better than yes, I want that.

Maybe my bigger issue right now isn't my anxiety but my lack of goals. I have no idea what it is that I want out of life, so I don't really see my anxiety as preventing me from having it.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
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This sounds like something really relatable to me... I hate myself, but don't have any clue do I want to change or do something about it, or it is something else...
I don't hate myself, but I can definitely relate on having no idea how to start the process to change! I don't know what I would change. I feel like something should change at some point, because eventually i'm going to run out of Netflix shows, but I have no idea what I want to be different or what steps I would take to get there.

I hope you can find some direction for yourself, or an ability to see yourself in a different light.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
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I keep trying to think of some way to respond to your thread, but yes, I think I am right there with you. Sometimes, I don't want to change as much as I want to be understood as you said.

I think that would actually make me much happier and even prompt some changes in and of itself. That being said, I don't think the vast majority of people are willing to try and understand/accept others as they are.

I've tried changing for a long time and it hasn't ever worked.
YES! Thank you! I don't feel so much like changing or fixing myself. I just want to figure out how I can be more accepted with those around me. I'm ok with myself as I am, but get frustrated when people accept me to do things that are more than I can handle. I can't always show up and be on time, for example, because sometimes just leaving the house is a lot. I wish that I could find people willing to meet me in the middle. I don't expect to make zero effort, but I'd like to be seen for who I am and for the effort I do make.

And yes absolutely I believe if I could be seen for the value I have now I would be more interested in changing. Right now I see very little to change for, as I'm not particularly impressed with the "others" out there that I'm apparently supposed to be emulating.

Thank you for your reply. It's definitely given me a lot to think about!
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 09:57 AM Thread Starter
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This is why you shouldn't always take your feelings and emotions as truth. A junkie might be completely happy with not wanting to change, it feels good to get high and they aren't experience anything negative yet or they aren't experiencing any negativity that they can't handle. But of course we all know what can happen of they keep going so it's in their best interest to want to stop because there are no benefits of any real value in staying a junkie just as there are no real benefits in having anxiety or whatever suffering someone might be going thru.

That's why it's important to realize that there are hidden benefits that can cloud someones judgement. Of course it would be in her best interest to get better because of she doesn't she will continue to suffer and potentially get even worse and only an insane person would want that.
Excuse me? Are you suggesting that I'm an insane person because I don't want to change who I am for the sake of others? Wow.

Who are you to say what is better or worse for me? You don't even know me!
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 10:13 AM
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I think being forced into being social kinda cured the worst of my anxiety. It did take a few years. Now it's more social awkwardness. Idk.. Make plans for yourself. I've read upon meet up groups which might help. Even just to relying on yourself and making yourself happy at first is important. When your comfortable in your own skin, on your own, your more likely to think less of the other person in said situation. But it could still be the build up into getting there in the first place. Idk anxiety is weird.

I'm really pro on forcing yourself into uncomfortable situations. It's hard but it's worth it eventually. Achievement.

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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 10:27 AM
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Ugh this post hit me in the chest... I feel the exact same way (sigh)


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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-22-2019, 07:17 PM
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Is it anxiety or aloofness? I remember a few years ago I friend from high school came back to town and we made plans to go out to lunch. He was a good friend and really the only friend I have but about an hour before we were to meet I just didn't want to go. It wasn't anxiety, I just didn't want to go. I went anyway and we could have spent hours talking and catching up and afterwards I felt happy and glad we got together.

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