crying every time I force myself to face social situations - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-27-2020, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
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crying every time I force myself to face social situations


I will every now and then (not often) force myself to participate in social situations. I *want* to be social and just have conversations with people but I end up feeling frozen every time. I always end up crying in frustration on the way back home/at home, hyperventilating and beating myself up.

I really want to make friends or at least be able to have a good time with other people but it doesn't seem possible. The fact that I haven't figured it out by now makes me feel like it's never going to happen.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-27-2020, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by whatsinthebox View Post
I will every now and then (not often) force myself to participate in social situations. I *want* to be social and just have conversations with people but I end up feeling frozen every time. I always end up crying in frustration on the way back home/at home, hyperventilating and beating myself up.

When was the last time that you forced yourself to be in a social situation, and what kind of situation was it?
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-27-2020, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by whatsinthebox View Post
I will every now and then (not often) force myself to participate in social situations. I *want* to be social and just have conversations with people but I end up feeling frozen every time. I always end up crying in frustration on the way back home/at home, hyperventilating and beating myself up.

When was the last time that you forced yourself to be in a social situation, and what kind of situation was it?
Last week, my partner asked me to join him and his friends. They were having a few drinks at one of his friends' house, I went because I didn't want to sit at home alone when I could spend time with people. There were around 10 people and it was pretty bad (everyone was nice but I was super anxious anyways).

A few months ago I joined my partner and his friends (4 people, not counting me) and it was awful as well.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-27-2020, 03:50 PM
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Well, I would say that the beating yourself up isn't helpful. This seems obvious, but it maybe isn't obvious just how unhelpful it is.. in fact, what this is like is noticing someone bravely struggling in a social situation and verbally abusing them for it.

Imagine this in your mind. A random person you know you saw really bravely face up to a phobia, put themselves in it, and then afterwards you stopped them and verbally "beat them up" for trying.

Would you do this to a stranger? Would you do this to a friend? Would you do this to a family member?

The answer is of course no, as you are likely compassionate towards others. But you (we, or most of us, you are in no way alone) do this to ourselves without even noticing. You are literally abusing yourself.

I don't say this to be more critical (because its the last thing you need, or deserve, you deserve praise for carrying on), but to point out, hopefully in a fairly glaring way, exactly what you are doing when you beat yourself up, and how cruel you are being to yourself.

Now, picture a child (because we are all basically children). Replay the above with a child. How will a child will react the next time they want to socialise after being called whatever it is you call yourself? They aren't going to like it. Their anxiety is going to go sky high, they are going to struggle, and after they do the brave thing they are going to get bullied anyway.

Point is, its not only not beneficial for your anxiety, its literally worsening it.

That you want to socialise is great, amazing. Honestly. That you are willing to do this is heroic. Really.

My advice, there is no solution here other than what you are already doing, but to try to see and treat yourself like a vulnerable person trying to get over a phobia, because that is the truth. Encourage, reward, don't beat yourself up. It creates a "dirty harm" that causes pain way in excess of the actual pain. Reality:

1. You bravely are facing up to anxious situations
2. You are getting anxious (this is 100% inevitable, its part of the deal now, accept this, it isn't going away for a while)
3. You are putting yourself out there, regardless of the discomfort.

My hat comes off to you. Keep going, but instead, try to view yourself like you would a child, and encourage yourself accordingly. Accept the anxiety. Be genuinely kind to yourself. Pick easier social situations. Reward yourself for trying. Over time you may associate social situations with fun (its supposed to be! but it wont be if you are being cruel to yourself).

I hope this helps a little (look into CFT and ACT, is my advice).

note, please don't beat yourself up for beating yourself up either, its perfectly normal to do this!. Be compassionate there as well.

Enough about me, lets talk about you, what do you think about me?
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