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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-03-2017, 01:57 AM Thread Starter
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Do you feel insane?


I do, i just cnt stop thinking and thinking and thinking. Only the worst tuff happens to me.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-03-2017, 02:08 AM
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I did until I went to AA, then I was rather embarassed but amazingly relieved to find out I wasnt insane at all. Real life group therapy rocks.

"I am good enough"
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-03-2017, 02:27 AM
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The problem isn't the fact that you're thinking. Human brains think, just like human bodies digest food.

The problem is that you have specific ideas that shape which aspects of your experience you pay attention to and/or the way you interpret things. If your ideas direct your attention to the negative aspects of your experience instead of the positive, or interpret ambiguous phenomenon in negative ways, then you will experience a lot more psychological pain than you have to, and you will act in ways that perpetuate or deepen that pain.

When you compare how much pain you're experiencing to how much pain other people seem to experience, it can make you feel insane by comparison ("Why do my thoughts torment me, but the thoughts of others don't seem to torment them?"). And the feeling of being powerless to prevent that pain can cause you to feel despair and hopelessness, which contribute to the feeling of being driven insane ("These thoughts are driving me crazy. If I have many more of them, I'll snap.").

It's possible to change the ideas that lead to these states of chronic psychological pain, but it's not straightforward and easy. It requires real effort and work over a period of time. If you just start "thinking positive" without grounding those positive thoughts in solid bedrock derived from experience, those thoughts will quickly be wiped away. Because the problem isn't that you have one negative thought after another, but that you have specific ideas/concepts generating this endless series of thoughts. You have to alter the structure of those concepts so that they no longer produce the negative thoughts you're trying to replace; or, you have to alter your external circumstances so that the conditions which trigger the negative thoughts no longer arise.

I love Society. It is entirely composed now of beautiful idiots and brilliant lunatics. Just what Society should be.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-03-2017, 05:49 AM Thread Starter
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The problem isn't the fact that you're thinking. Human brains think, just like human bodies digest food.

The problem is that you have specific ideas that shape which aspects of your experience you pay attention to and/or the way you interpret things. If your ideas direct your attention to the negative aspects of your experience instead of the positive, or interpret ambiguous phenomenon in negative ways, then you will experience a lot more psychological pain than you have to, and you will act in ways that perpetuate or deepen that pain.

When you compare how much pain you're experiencing to how much pain other people seem to experience, it can make you feel insane by comparison ("Why do my thoughts torment me, but the thoughts of others don't seem to torment them?"). And the feeling of being powerless to prevent that pain can cause you to feel despair and hopelessness, which contribute to the feeling of being driven insane ("These thoughts are driving me crazy. If I have many more of them, I'll snap.").

It's possible to change the ideas that lead to these states of chronic psychological pain, but it's not straightforward and easy. It requires real effort and work over a period of time. If you just start "thinking positive" without grounding those positive thoughts in solid bedrock derived from experience, those thoughts will quickly be wiped away. Because the problem isn't that you have one negative thought after another, but that you have specific ideas/concepts generating this endless series of thoughts. You have to alter the structure of those concepts so that they no longer produce the negative thoughts you're trying to replace; or, you have to alter your external circumstances so that the conditions which trigger the negative thoughts no longer arise.
How do i do that? Alterning the structure. I have been trying for years man. This is insanity.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-03-2017, 02:15 PM
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How do i do that? Alterning the structure. I have been trying for years man. This is insanity.
It depends on the specific beliefs that you have incorporated into your identity.

For example: let's say that your father treated you horribly when you were very young. He yelled at you, hit you, told you you weren't good enough, etc. As a young child, you don't understand why he acts the way he does. You're afraid of him. So to try to find some way to deal with the way he treats you, you try to understand what triggers him. He's always telling you what a rotten kid you are, and how disappointing, etc., so you come up with a hypothesis that the reason why your father yells at you and hits you is because you are a bad person. (Or maybe you're unlovable, or stupid, or ugly, or some other reason -- whatever it is that he seems to think about you that makes him angry.)

You now proceed to test this hypothesis: "Am I a bad person?" You watch for any kind of evidence that you are a bad person. Every time you do something 'bad' (ie. something that makes your father angry) you have 'proof' that you are a bad person. Even thinking about doing those things becomes 'proof' that you're a bad person. And when you see how often he gets angry, and how often you have 'bad' thoughts, you realize, in a shocking way, that you ARE a bad person!

This insight -- that you are a bad person -- is a kind of psychological trauma. It creates a fracture in the way that you think about yourself, sort of like breaking a bone. And if no one corrects this idea (eg. your mother explains to you that you aren't a bad person, but that your father gets angry because he's an alcoholic or whatever) then it never heals properly. This idea: "I am a bad person" is now part of the way that you think about yourself.

This idea, since it is negative, is painful. Every time you think: "I am a bad person", it hurts. It destroys your ability to build self-esteem because you can't feel good about yourself if you ARE a bad person. Once that concept becomes integral to the way that you think, your mind will always be sensitive to anything that reminds you of it. If someone gets angry at you, or someone makes fun of you, or someone rejects you, you're reminded that the reason is because you are a bad person. And it's very painful for you.

Because people get angry at other people all the time, and people get teased all the time, and people get rejected all the time, your social life becomes a series of painful experiences. You're always expecting to receive one of these shocks, and because you want to avoid them if at all possible, you become more and more watchful of other people's behavior, trying to predict in advance when someone is going to do something that will give you one of these shocks. So soon even ambiguous behavior, like indifference, or impatience, etc., becomes 'proof' that you are a bad person. Even minor slights become painful to you, because you're trying to predict and avoid more serious attacks.

Eventually, so much of your socializing becomes painful that you start to avoid it altogether. Avoiding people is the only way you can avoid pain. But now you have a new problem, because if you avoid people, you can't do all the things you would need to do to prove that you're not a bad person. You can't get your diploma or a job or a gf, etc., because you spend all your time hiding in your bedroom. And the further you fall behind other people, the less evidence you have that you aren't a bad person (a failure, useless, incompetent, etc.) the more convinced you are that you're completely broken and incapable of getting better. Your pain is constant because it's not just other people that make you feel bad; it's the fact that you're in your room instead of out socializing, that you don't have any money, etc., etc. There's no longer any way to escape being in pain.

All of this is a result of a belief that you formed as a child to explain why your father treated you the way he treated you. Children don't have enough experience and information to be able to draw good conclusions from their own experiences, so they draw bad conclusions like this one. They don't know that a person can't really BE bad or unlovable, etc. But once they come to that conclusion, they spend the rest of their life proving it to themselves by interpreting all of their own experiences in light of this 'fact' about their character. So if they look back on it now, they have a mountain of evidence collected to support it. "Well, maybe it wasn't true that I was bad when I was five years old, but it's true NOW because look at me: I'm useless, I haven't done anything with my life, I don't have a job or a gf, people avoid talking to me and call me names, etc. So it might as well be true."

But the fact that you are the way you are now is BECAUSE you had that belief about yourself. You were never bad or stupid or unlovable, etc. But the belief that you were has led you to act in ways that give you more and more evidence that it's true. As long as you continue to believe it, you will continue to act in ways that reinforce it. The only way to fix it is by realizing that it isn't true and never has been true, despite all the evidence that you have that it is true. You have to see that that evidence is a product of the belief, not proof of the belief. You are a "proof that I'm a bad person" generator. You create that proof constantly by the way you interpret your experiences and by the way that you act. If you had believed that you were a lovable person, you would have spent your whole life finding evidence of that instead, and you would have acted in ways that prove that it's true in exactly the same way.

So you not only have to reject the idea: "I am a bad/unlovable/stupid/ugly/whatever person"; you have to consciously choose a different way of thinking about yourself and you have to consciously start looking for evidence to prove that it's true. And at first, it's going to be extremely hard to find that evidence because you don't know how to generate it yet. You'll continue to see evidence of your old belief all around you; you'll continue to act in ways that conform to your old belief because it's become a habit and you're used to acting that way.

You have to consciously act as though your new belief were true, even though everything is telling you it isn't. You have to act in ways that feel like self-deception, because the 'self' that you've spent your whole life building is built around the idea that you're a bad person. But you created that self by believing that you were bad, gathering evidence that you were bad, and acting in ways that produced more evidence that you're bad. So the only way to fix it is to consciously begin acting in different ways and looking for any evidence you can that your new self-concept is true. You have to train your brain to become sensitive to slight positive signs instead of slight negative signs. You have to start looking for the things you do right instead of the things you do wrong. You have to say: "Sure, I screwed up nine times in a row, but on the tenth time I got it right, which means I'm not all bad and I can get better." And then you have to keep trying until you get it right two times out of ten, and then three times out of ten, etc., gradually building up the proof you need to contradict all the old proof you've already gathered.

This is why there are no immediate fixes and why changing yourself is hard work. Because you have to consciously force yourself to hold ideas about yourself that feel self-deceptive, and you have to act contrary to your instincts, and you have to train your brain to look for new evidence that is hard to find or rare to happen, etc. And you have to keep doing this for long enough that you have enough evidence to efface the old self-concept. You have to have faith that the process will work.

If you feel stupid, and have a mountain of evidence that you are stupid, you have to say: "I'm not stupid, I'm smart" and then start looking for evidence that you are. It won't change all the stupid things you've done in the past, or immediately transform what you're currently capable of; it's not being willfully self-deceptive. It's making a conscious decision to start collecting evidence of your intelligence instead of collecting evidence of your stupidity. It's making a conscious decision to start doing what smart people do so that you can create more evidence. Smart people read books. They take courses. They challenge themselves intellectually. They try to figure things out. So you start doing all these things. You ignore all the evidence that you're stupid because it's not what you're looking for anymore; instead, you pay attention to all the evidence that you're smart. And the more evidence that you collect, the more convinced you will become of your own intelligence, and the more willing you will be to think about problems and solve them yourself, and over time you will actually become a smarter person. Because you will be trying new things and learning from your mistakes, which is how everyone learns. And since you have no real knowledge of your own capabilities, you have no reason to limit how smart you might actually become.

You can use the same process for every other part of your life. You can become a good person, or a strong person, or a lovable person by following the same procedure. But it will require time and effort, and you will often feel as though you're deluding yourself. Because it's very hard to reverse processes that have been going on automatically and unconsciously your entire life.

I love Society. It is entirely composed now of beautiful idiots and brilliant lunatics. Just what Society should be.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-03-2017, 04:23 PM
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Not necessarily feel insane. I really am batsh*t insane...
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-03-2017, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by impedido10 View Post
I do, i just cnt stop thinking and thinking and thinking. Only the worst tuff happens to me.
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Originally Posted by TheLastShy View Post
Not necessarily feel insane. I really am batsh*t insane...
Yeah same here. The only things keeping me partially sane are video games and Internet. Take these two things away, i guarantee you i will have to be admitted in a mental asylum within a week.

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mingled with grief, it still grows, perhaps, the greater.”
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-03-2017, 11:55 PM
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When comparing and overthinking, yes.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by truant View Post
It depends on the specific beliefs that you have incorporated into your identity.

For example: let's say that your father treated you horribly when you were very young. He yelled at you, hit you, told you you weren't good enough, etc. As a young child, you don't understand why he acts the way he does. You're afraid of him. So to try to find some way to deal with the way he treats you, you try to understand what triggers him. He's always telling you what a rotten kid you are, and how disappointing, etc., so you come up with a hypothesis that the reason why your father yells at you and hits you is because you are a bad person. (Or maybe you're unlovable, or stupid, or ugly, or some other reason -- whatever it is that he seems to think about you that makes him angry.)

You now proceed to test this hypothesis: "Am I a bad person?" You watch for any kind of evidence that you are a bad person. Every time you do something 'bad' (ie. something that makes your father angry) you have 'proof' that you are a bad person. Even thinking about doing those things becomes 'proof' that you're a bad person. And when you see how often he gets angry, and how often you have 'bad' thoughts, you realize, in a shocking way, that you ARE a bad person!

This insight -- that you are a bad person -- is a kind of psychological trauma. It creates a fracture in the way that you think about yourself, sort of like breaking a bone. And if no one corrects this idea (eg. your mother explains to you that you aren't a bad person, but that your father gets angry because he's an alcoholic or whatever) then it never heals properly. This idea: "I am a bad person" is now part of the way that you think about yourself.

This idea, since it is negative, is painful. Every time you think: "I am a bad person", it hurts. It destroys your ability to build self-esteem because you can't feel good about yourself if you ARE a bad person. Once that concept becomes integral to the way that you think, your mind will always be sensitive to anything that reminds you of it. If someone gets angry at you, or someone makes fun of you, or someone rejects you, you're reminded that the reason is because you are a bad person. And it's very painful for you.

Because people get angry at other people all the time, and people get teased all the time, and people get rejected all the time, your social life becomes a series of painful experiences. You're always expecting to receive one of these shocks, and because you want to avoid them if at all possible, you become more and more watchful of other people's behavior, trying to predict in advance when someone is going to do something that will give you one of these shocks. So soon even ambiguous behavior, like indifference, or impatience, etc., becomes 'proof' that you are a bad person. Even minor slights become painful to you, because you're trying to predict and avoid more serious attacks.

Eventually, so much of your socializing becomes painful that you start to avoid it altogether. Avoiding people is the only way you can avoid pain. But now you have a new problem, because if you avoid people, you can't do all the things you would need to do to prove that you're not a bad person. You can't get your diploma or a job or a gf, etc., because you spend all your time hiding in your bedroom. And the further you fall behind other people, the less evidence you have that you aren't a bad person (a failure, useless, incompetent, etc.) the more convinced you are that you're completely broken and incapable of getting better. Your pain is constant because it's not just other people that make you feel bad; it's the fact that you're in your room instead of out socializing, that you don't have any money, etc., etc. There's no longer any way to escape being in pain.

All of this is a result of a belief that you formed as a child to explain why your father treated you the way he treated you. Children don't have enough experience and information to be able to draw good conclusions from their own experiences, so they draw bad conclusions like this one. They don't know that a person can't really BE bad or unlovable, etc. But once they come to that conclusion, they spend the rest of their life proving it to themselves by interpreting all of their own experiences in light of this 'fact' about their character. So if they look back on it now, they have a mountain of evidence collected to support it. "Well, maybe it wasn't true that I was bad when I was five years old, but it's true NOW because look at me: I'm useless, I haven't done anything with my life, I don't have a job or a gf, people avoid talking to me and call me names, etc. So it might as well be true."

But the fact that you are the way you are now is BECAUSE you had that belief about yourself. You were never bad or stupid or unlovable, etc. But the belief that you were has led you to act in ways that give you more and more evidence that it's true. As long as you continue to believe it, you will continue to act in ways that reinforce it. The only way to fix it is by realizing that it isn't true and never has been true, despite all the evidence that you have that it is true. You have to see that that evidence is a product of the belief, not proof of the belief. You are a "proof that I'm a bad person" generator. You create that proof constantly by the way you interpret your experiences and by the way that you act. If you had believed that you were a lovable person, you would have spent your whole life finding evidence of that instead, and you would have acted in ways that prove that it's true in exactly the same way.

So you not only have to reject the idea: "I am a bad/unlovable/stupid/ugly/whatever person"; you have to consciously choose a different way of thinking about yourself and you have to consciously start looking for evidence to prove that it's true. And at first, it's going to be extremely hard to find that evidence because you don't know how to generate it yet. You'll continue to see evidence of your old belief all around you; you'll continue to act in ways that conform to your old belief because it's become a habit and you're used to acting that way.

You have to consciously act as though your new belief were true, even though everything is telling you it isn't. You have to act in ways that feel like self-deception, because the 'self' that you've spent your whole life building is built around the idea that you're a bad person. But you created that self by believing that you were bad, gathering evidence that you were bad, and acting in ways that produced more evidence that you're bad. So the only way to fix it is to consciously begin acting in different ways and looking for any evidence you can that your new self-concept is true. You have to train your brain to become sensitive to slight positive signs instead of slight negative signs. You have to start looking for the things you do right instead of the things you do wrong. You have to say: "Sure, I screwed up nine times in a row, but on the tenth time I got it right, which means I'm not all bad and I can get better." And then you have to keep trying until you get it right two times out of ten, and then three times out of ten, etc., gradually building up the proof you need to contradict all the old proof you've already gathered.

This is why there are no immediate fixes and why changing yourself is hard work. Because you have to consciously force yourself to hold ideas about yourself that feel self-deceptive, and you have to act contrary to your instincts, and you have to train your brain to look for new evidence that is hard to find or rare to happen, etc. And you have to keep doing this for long enough that you have enough evidence to efface the old self-concept. You have to have faith that the process will work.

If you feel stupid, and have a mountain of evidence that you are stupid, you have to say: "I'm not stupid, I'm smart" and then start looking for evidence that you are. It won't change all the stupid things you've done in the past, or immediately transform what you're currently capable of; it's not being willfully self-deceptive. It's making a conscious decision to start collecting evidence of your intelligence instead of collecting evidence of your stupidity. It's making a conscious decision to start doing what smart people do so that you can create more evidence. Smart people read books. They take courses. They challenge themselves intellectually. They try to figure things out. So you start doing all these things. You ignore all the evidence that you're stupid because it's not what you're looking for anymore; instead, you pay attention to all the evidence that you're smart. And the more evidence that you collect, the more convinced you will become of your own intelligence, and the more willing you will be to think about problems and solve them yourself, and over time you will actually become a smarter person. Because you will be trying new things and learning from your mistakes, which is how everyone learns. And since you have no real knowledge of your own capabilities, you have no reason to limit how smart you might actually become.

You can use the same process for every other part of your life. You can become a good person, or a strong person, or a lovable person by following the same procedure. But it will require time and effort, and you will often feel as though you're deluding yourself. Because it's very hard to reverse processes that have been going on automatically and unconsciously your entire life.
Thanks, but isnt the truth, that i just am the way i am? (not bad or good, just me)?

I will try that, i dont think it will work right a way, or even in a year or whathever but i will try.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 03:45 AM
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Thanks, but isnt the truth, that i just am the way i am? (not bad or good, just me)?

I will try that, i dont think it will work right a way, or even in a year or whathever but i will try.
Sure, but what are you? What you are depends on how you think about yourself, and it's extremely important that you think about yourself in ways that affirm your potential, not in ways that limit it. Because how you think about yourself will influence how you act.

If you've tried to accomplish some goal 100 times and failed every time, you can think of yourself as a failure. It's 'true', because you have plenty of evidence of your own failure. Or you can think of yourself as someone who just won't quit. You have just as much evidence of that, don't you? It depends on whether you look at how many times you tried, or how many times you failed. But it's better to think of yourself as determined than as a failure, even though they're both objectively true based on the events that you've experienced.

Professional athletes, performers, etc., are people who kept trying, no matter how often they failed. Because they didn't think of themselves as failures. They thought of themselves as 'learning', as 'growing', as 'improving', as 'getting better'. They were focused on what they still needed to learn, not on the fact that they just kept failing, so 'failing' wasn't painful for them in the same way as it would be for someone who thinks of themselves as a failure. If "I'm a failure" is part of your self-concept, it's going to be painful every time you fail. So you're going to try to avoid failure, which means you're going to avoid doing the very things that would teach you how to not fail. If you don't think of yourself as a failure, then 'failing' is just something that happens a lot when you're learning how to do something. It would be just as 'logical', 'rational', and 'realistic' for the professionals to focus on their failures, and think about themselves as failures, as it is for the person who currently does think of themselves as a failure. But it's not really in their interest to start thinking that way, is it?

SA people seem to have self-concepts that create pain for them when they fail in social interactions. An extrovert who goes around talking to lots and lots of people doesn't expect all of those people to like him. He knows that lots of them won't. He knows he's going to say the wrong thing, or do the wrong thing, or create the wrong impression sometimes. But he isn't focused on that; he's focused on getting to know people, on getting a job, on getting a gf, etc., just like a pro athlete is focused on being a better player. So if someone rejects him, or gets mad at him, or ignores him, he just moves onto someone else and tries again. It's not 'painful' for a non-SA person to be rejected/slighted/ignored by another person in the same way it is for a SA person because they're not thinking about themselves in ways that make it painful. They know there are lots and lots of people out there -- billions, in fact -- and that some of those people will like them fine just the way they are ... so they just keep talking to people until they run into people who like them. (Even complete weirdos and violent criminal psychopaths have friends, don't they?)

People with SA are not inferior in any way to people without SA; they're people who have self-concepts that make failure in social interactions painful in ways that aren't painful to other people. They're ashamed of themselves because they're 'unlovable' or 'a loser' or 'ugly' or 'stupid' or 'boring', etc., and their minds are constantly scanning their interactions with other people to find proof of these things and interpreting everything in ways which reaffirm their beliefs. "If you make fun of the way I look, it's because I'm ugly.", "If you ignore me, it must be because I'm ugly.", "If you say I look nice, you must want something from me, or you're just being nice ... because I'm ugly." <-- there's literally no reaction that can't be interpreted in a way that supports your negative self-concept. Your mind rationalizes all of your experiences so that they conform to what you already believe. So your social interactions become an endless series of pain for you, because every interaction can be interpreted in a way that leads to pain.

So yes, you are 'just what you are'. But the label you attach to that, the way you think about it, affects your behavior. And there is always more than one way to interpret anything. You have to stop using labels that cause you pain and start thinking about yourself in ways that free up your potential. But that requires a conscious decision on your part and a lot of time and effort before these new ways of thinking about yourself become as natural as your old ways. You already have a ton of momentum carrying you in the direction you're already heading, so before you can even turn around, you have to put effort into just slowing down. And at first it will feel very difficult, if not almost impossible, to do that.

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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 07:01 AM Thread Starter
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Sure, but what are you? What you are depends on how you think about yourself, and it's extremely important that you think about yourself in ways that affirm your potential, not in ways that limit it. Because how you think about yourself will influence how you act.

If you've tried to accomplish some goal 100 times and failed every time, you can think of yourself as a failure. It's 'true', because you have plenty of evidence of your own failure. Or you can think of yourself as someone who just won't quit. You have just as much evidence of that, don't you? It depends on whether you look at how many times you tried, or how many times you failed. But it's better to think of yourself as determined than as a failure, even though they're both objectively true based on the events that you've experienced.

Professional athletes, performers, etc., are people who kept trying, no matter how often they failed. Because they didn't think of themselves as failures. They thought of themselves as 'learning', as 'growing', as 'improving', as 'getting better'. They were focused on what they still needed to learn, not on the fact that they just kept failing, so 'failing' wasn't painful for them in the same way as it would be for someone who thinks of themselves as a failure. If "I'm a failure" is part of your self-concept, it's going to be painful every time you fail. So you're going to try to avoid failure, which means you're going to avoid doing the very things that would teach you how to not fail. If you don't think of yourself as a failure, then 'failing' is just something that happens a lot when you're learning how to do something. It would be just as 'logical', 'rational', and 'realistic' for the professionals to focus on their failures, and think about themselves as failures, as it is for the person who currently does think of themselves as a failure. But it's not really in their interest to start thinking that way, is it?

SA people seem to have self-concepts that create pain for them when they fail in social interactions. An extrovert who goes around talking to lots and lots of people doesn't expect all of those people to like him. He knows that lots of them won't. He knows he's going to say the wrong thing, or do the wrong thing, or create the wrong impression sometimes. But he isn't focused on that; he's focused on getting to know people, on getting a job, on getting a gf, etc., just like a pro athlete is focused on being a better player. So if someone rejects him, or gets mad at him, or ignores him, he just moves onto someone else and tries again. It's not 'painful' for a non-SA person to be rejected/slighted/ignored by another person in the same way it is for a SA person because they're not thinking about themselves in ways that make it painful. They know there are lots and lots of people out there -- billions, in fact -- and that some of those people will like them fine just the way they are ... so they just keep talking to people until they run into people who like them. (Even complete weirdos and violent criminal psychopaths have friends, don't they?)

People with SA are not inferior in any way to people without SA; they're people who have self-concepts that make failure in social interactions painful in ways that aren't painful to other people. They're ashamed of themselves because they're 'unlovable' or 'a loser' or 'ugly' or 'stupid' or 'boring', etc., and their minds are constantly scanning their interactions with other people to find proof of these things and interpreting everything in ways which reaffirm their beliefs. "If you make fun of the way I look, it's because I'm ugly.", "If you ignore me, it must be because I'm ugly.", "If you say I look nice, you must want something from me, or you're just being nice ... because I'm ugly." <-- there's literally no reaction that can't be interpreted in a way that supports your negative self-concept. Your mind rationalizes all of your experiences so that they conform to what you already believe. So your social interactions become an endless series of pain for you, because every interaction can be interpreted in a way that leads to pain.

So yes, you are 'just what you are'. But the label you attach to that, the way you think about it, affects your behavior. And there is always more than one way to interpret anything. You have to stop using labels that cause you pain and start thinking about yourself in ways that free up your potential. But that requires a conscious decision on your part and a lot of time and effort before these new ways of thinking about yourself become as natural as your old ways. You already have a ton of momentum carrying you in the direction you're already heading, so before you can even turn around, you have to put effort into just slowing down. And at first it will feel very difficult, if not almost impossible, to do that.
Soo, i just repeat new types of thoughts in my head?

You are right, it seems impossible to change my frame of mind.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 07:32 AM
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i feel like im loosing my mind too.....i even get headaches from overthinking
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 08:16 AM
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Yes, I feel insane. Right at this moment. I'm thinking about taking the last of my Xanax. I'm afraid of my own mind.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 02:14 PM
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 02:19 PM
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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 03:13 PM
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Soo, i just repeat new types of thoughts in my head?

You are right, it seems impossible to change my frame of mind.
No, it's not enough to just repeat new thoughts. You have to understand how your thinking shapes what you pay attention to. You can say: "I'm a confident, outgoing person" as many times as you like, but if you're not actively looking for evidence to build a case for it, it's probably not going to do you any good. That's the trap that 'positive thinking' falls into, and that's why it doesn't work for most people.

As a child, when you suddenly fear that you're unlovable, your mind instantly goes searching for all the evidence it can find that proves that you're unlovable. It takes all of this evidence very seriously and begins to build a case for your unlovableness, like the prosecution in a trial. You're not repeating "I'm unlovable" over and over again in your head like a mantra; you're afraid that you're unlovable, so your mind is constantly searching, searching, searching for evidence to prove that you are. Every time someone gets angry, or ignores you, or teases you, it counts this as evidence that you're unlovable. (Fear seems to bias the mind so that its project becomes trying to prove that the negative thing is true; it's not an objective process of inquiry, but works more like a witchhunt.)

If you don't understand that this is the way your mind operates when it's afraid, you can get yourself in a lot of trouble very easily. You'll start to focus on every mistake, every weakness, every failure until your whole life becomes painful in every dimension. (The opposite process, hope, works in the opposite way. When you hope that something is true, you search constantly for any evidence that it is true. That's how religions, cults, political ideologies, etc., maintain their hold over people. People use every scrap of evidence they can find to 'prove' that what they already believe is true.)

Here's an example. You say: "It seems impossible to change my frame of mind". This is a belief. You fear that it's true. And when you think it, you have no trouble coming up with evidence to prove that it's true. You think about all the effort you've already put into changing yourself and see that you're still a miserable wreck. If you try to do what I'm telling you to do, and you have this belief, every time you try to think differently and fail, you will count this as proof that your old belief -- that you can't change -- is true. This belief focuses your attention on your failures, it's watching for your mistakes. So every time you do successfully change a belief, you won't even notice that it's happened, because you won't have been looking for it. If you're watching the ground to make sure you don't step in a puddle, you won't see the birds flying over your head. That doesn't mean that they aren't there; it's just that you weren't looking for them. So they might as well not exist. This is why people who hold negative beliefs about themselves find it so hard to find evidence of positive things. Because they're so busy watching for the negative things that they don't notice the positive things; so those positive things might as well not exist. When they try to remember positive things happening, they can't remember any, because they weren't paying any attention.

Your beliefs direct your attention to what parts of your experience to pay attention to. If you have a lot of negative beliefs, you will only be paying attention to negative things. And that's why your experience becomes painful all of the time. Worse, because your experience is usually painful, you avoid more and more kinds of experience to avoid the pain. And the worse things get, the worse you think about yourself because you have more and more evidence that all the bad things are true. But this entire process is controlled by the way your thoughts direct your attention. It's not true that you're a bad person, or unlovable, or a loser, or any of those other things. You become those things when you believe them to be true, because when you believe them to be true you act as if they were true. So that's what other people see, too. If you believed other things, you would be those other things instead.

So just repeating thoughts to yourself isn't good enough. You have to make a conscious decision to actively search for, and construct evidence to build, a case for positive traits. You have to start watching for every good thing that happens, or every time you do something well, and start using that to build up a positive belief to negate your old belief. And at first you will have trouble finding that evidence. It will seem insignificant and tentative and you will feel like you're lying to yourself. But it will grow over time just like the evidence for your negative beliefs grew over time. Because that's how the mind works. Watch your own mind. See what it's actually doing moment-by-moment. If you can figure out how your thoughts are controlling what you pay attention to, and how you interpret things, you can use that knowledge to your own advantage.

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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 03:46 PM
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 04:00 PM
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i go through some scary periods where i feel like i'm losing my mind sometimes.
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 04:45 PM
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Yeah same here. The only things keeping me partially sane are video games and Internet. Take these two things away, i guarantee you i will have to be admitted in a mental asylum within a week.
I have to play video games at least a few hours a day and take a walk (randomly walking, going to a coffee shop) otherwise I'll quickly start to lose my mental equilibrium.
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