You don't need confidence, you need to relate - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2019, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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You don't need confidence, you need to relate

The best interactions in your life are not characterized by confidence but by comfort. When you are with the best people in your life, these moments are characterized by comfort and ease. When you see a three-year-old running around and saying hello to everyone, they do not do it out of confidence.
What you need to ask yourself is not how to gain more confidence to feel at ease but how you can change your perspective on others, how can you relate enough to realize you don’t need any confidence.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2019, 01:52 PM
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Three-year-olds do this out of ignorance, when their experience of adults are benevolent parents and cooing family members. If they’ve grown up in a stable environment, they haven’t truly conceptualized dislike from other adults. It’s little wonder social anxiety often occurs in puberty, at the cusp of greater self-awareness, and the transition of importance from acceptance by parental figures, to acceptance by peers.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2019, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by turtleneck0987 View Post
When you see a three-year-old running around and saying hello to everyone, they do not do it out of confidence.
When you see a three year old hiding refusing to say hello, they usually do that out of lack of confidence. What is fear but lack of confidence in the outcome of the interaction?

Relating to people is the expert level socialization that makes for the best experiences, but it's neither necessary nor sufficient for basic socializing.

Confidence doesn't do anything particularly special for socializing, but lack of confidence is fatal to making the attempt. Also it's difficult to feel at ease with and relate to people if you can't feel at ease with yourself.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2019, 05:10 PM
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Well yes, but no...
I find that relating isn't enough...

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 #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2019, 05:14 PM
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I wish I could say I had ever met someone I felt comfortable around. My mere existence seems to make other people uncomfortable, and no amount of changing my perspective on other people changes their perspective on me. I am already open to positive social interactions. I am friendly, I smile, I ask people how they are, I thank them. I do this defensively to minimize the degree of discomfort I give them. But the people who do approach me -- and it is very rare, indeed -- do not approach me with positive intent. They really only seem interested in informing me of their disapproval, in subtle or not-so-subtle ways. That I am not more proactive about initiating conversations with strangers is based on my observation that most people do not appreciate it. It seems to me that it is up to other people to learn how to relate to me. There's nothing more I can do on my end.

For forty-seven years I've put up with it now. I must stop Christmas from coming ... but how?
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2019, 06:41 PM
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Confidence definitely seems overhyped by western society, it's seen as a crucial ingredient for socialising here, but I'm not sure I agree because I've seen confident people who are socially annoying, and shy people who are well liked (though their shyness is still usually seen as a hindrance, but that's cultural). The most important thing for good quality social relationships, is being able to relate to other people, and them feeling the same way back, but I think this can happen independent of confidence.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2019, 06:52 PM
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what is confidence?

what is relating?

by relating to someone does that make you confident of positive outcomes, and therefore at ease?

anyway i think i have a lot of difficulty relating and therefore i am not confident

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-04-2019, 08:34 AM
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You need confidence to be able to socialise - or at least a lack of anxiety. Pretty hard to even begin to relate to another human being if you don't have the confidence to talk to them. I guess you can still relate - sitting at home in your apartment, (like I often do.) But it takes a lack of anxiety to go out and talk to them.

I don't think I have a problem relating to most people - but I often lack confidence. It depends how I'm feeling in general. Sometimes I can be quite confident and couldn't care less what people think of me, other times not. It's a little bit complicated with me.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-04-2019, 08:23 PM
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Yeah I don't really relate to most people and vice versa so that doesn't help.
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