"Approval Audition" fantasies - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-29-2011, 09:34 AM Thread Starter
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"Approval Audition" fantasies


For most of my life, I've always had these fantasies that run through my head constantly throughout the day. They always focus on me interacting with other people in a way that I'm sort of auditioning for their approval. For example, I just went down stairs and got a cup of coffee. But instead of say, focusing on what I'm doing and observing my surroundings, in the mind I'm talking or doing something with family members or past friends where I'm doing something to impress them or impress myself. Other examples include when I'm driving, making dinner, etc..They're practically automatic, I don't even have to construct them in the mind.

Also, another thing that happens is when I go out somewhere or talk to someone, afterwards I generally imagine that it went completely differently (usually an outcome that makes me look better or impress the other person) and I will ruminate on it for days. Or, if the experience is particularly negative, it will stay fresh in the mind for months, if not years.

Does anyone else experience this or know what I'm talking about?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-29-2011, 10:03 AM
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I do completely. Sometimes I do it so much that I'm absolutely amazed I can function in my everyday life. Your not alone.

What you grow up with you learn, what you learn you practice, what you practice you become, and what you become you teach to others.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-29-2011, 07:05 PM
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You have worded this perfectly. I know exactly what you are talking about too.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-29-2011, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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I'm glad I'm not the only one who deals with this. Is it maybe a SAD-specific problem?
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-29-2011, 07:47 PM
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Please read my thread about 'Talking to Posters of Celebrities' pehrj. Have you ever done that?
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-29-2011, 08:19 PM
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The first part no but the second part of your post yes...
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-29-2011, 10:22 PM
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I do that all the time. I wish I could stop becasue sometimes I worry that I'm basically living in a fantasy world, and not paying attention to the real world. Also I when make myself acknowlege that this interaction never happened I feel even worse about the real world than I did before.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-25-2011, 10:30 AM
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I do this as well, usually when I have alot of alone time and begin having conversations with myself, wishing I could be talking to a particular person or etc. I usually fantasize someone interviewing me like as if i was a celebrity or something and asking me why I do/did certain things what I plan to do etc and just make up random stories to go along with it. I don't really like doing it as much anymore cause even when I'm not fantasizing about it I then start to question my own actions and it's sucks!

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Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them. They stay focused on their past successes rather than their past failures, and on the next action steps they need to take to get them closer to the fulfillment of their goals rather than all the other distractions that life presents to them. Jack canfield
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-25-2011, 10:33 AM
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I know exactly what you are talking about. I always do this and pretend I am having conversations and talking to people I know in the way I really want to i.e without anxiety and just be myself.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-25-2011, 12:24 PM
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I thought I was the only person who did this...I sorta get burnt from that person if things go bad between us and I tune them out until they set things right :/

I know you tried to change things.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 02:39 AM
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Woah. A few months ago I realized that I was doing this. This whole time I thought I was going crazy.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 04:02 AM
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I do that too.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 06:13 AM
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Wow! As someone else said above, you worded this perfectly. I've tried to pin this down I don't know how many times, and it didn't come out right.

For me this is like a full time occupation, I don't mean 12 hours a day, I mean 24 hours a day, when I'm dreaming, when I can't sleep, when I wake up. Like someone else mentioned, don't know how I function at all... or have real relationships with people, I'm never here. I can barely pay attention to what's going on around me. I am hideously self-absorbed. The only way it will stop is if I take OCD meds (Anafranil or Luvox), klonopin and ritalin.

Anyway, right now it's my primary source of distress. I am pretty dissociated from it (excessive introception = derealization/detachment from world, kind of like a permanent state of zoning out) and paired with depression, all of the imaginings become anxious and painful.

I had an OCD specialist call it 'compulsive mental review'. It is a compulsion, not unlike washing hands or checking knobs, but internal one, used to soothe background anxieties/turn off the "something's wrong" alarm in the body.

I joined the 'maladaptive daydreamers' group but couldn't be bothered to read all the posts since I was too busy imagining interactions. I personally consider it a dopamine addiction. Instead of using exogenous chemicals, I use endogenous ones through the imagining of social reward. My brain doesn't really know the difference. Unfortunately, it all goes bad with depression.

Thanks for expressing this so well. It really helps.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 08:14 PM
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This fantasizing as escapism is a characteristic not of social phobia, but of avoidant personality disorder. But the two are more often than not comorbid.

I don't personally do this. I'm overly critical and ruminative about what actually happened or what may happen. I'm not sure which is worse.
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