CBT Shame Attacking Exercises - Terrifying!! - Page 3 - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #41 of 102 (permalink) Old 08-01-2007, 03:34 PM
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re: CBT Shame Attacking Exercises - Terrifying!!


This is definitely a great idea. We'd get noticed and hopefully become less sensitive to people's criticism/disapproval. Really, who cares what they think? We're all so worried about people perceiving us negatively that we meekly sit back and act too nice for our own good. I for one, and probably 99% of us here hate to make waves, so we don't, and people pretty much ignore us.

Now putting it into practice is a whole 'nother story. I would LOVE to really, truly not care what others think of me, but it's behavior that's seared into my subconscious. I sometimes do things like making myself sing along out loud with the Muzak in the supermarket, for instance, but I always chicken out when someone walks by. I'm never going to see that person again so why should I care? It's a relatively easy "disapproval" trick. But there's a mental block that I can't seem to get around and my inner [email protected] turns into a major wuss. Aarugh!!!
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post #42 of 102 (permalink) Old 08-01-2007, 05:28 PM
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Re: re: CBT Shame Attacking Exercises - Terrifying!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitten
This is definitely a great idea. We'd get noticed and hopefully become less sensitive to people's criticism/disapproval. Really, who cares what they think? We're all so worried about people perceiving us negatively that we meekly sit back and act too nice for our own good. I for one, and probably 99% of us here hate to make waves, so we don't, and people pretty much ignore us.

Now putting it into practice is a whole 'nother story. I would LOVE to really, truly not care what others think of me, but it's behavior that's seared into my subconscious. I sometimes do things like making myself sing along out loud with the Muzak in the supermarket, for instance, but I always chicken out when someone walks by. I'm never going to see that person again so why should I care? It's a relatively easy "disapproval" trick. But there's a mental block that I can't seem to get around and my inner [email protected] turns into a major wuss. Aarugh!!!
Yeah, I was having some difficulty carrying out some of these exercises. I think we just have to scale down until we CAN do something that still makes us initially uncomfortable.

I will need to start with any kinds of actions that will draw attention to myself. Look at me! Look at me! Hahaha, this is something I would NEVER normally do. I don't wear flashy clothes or act in any way that would make someone hesitate while glancing at me. I try to blend in to the point where I can't even be seen. It's so unbelievably DUMB, and I have a raging passion to fight this until it's gone. It's the planning that can be a little time-consuming. Once I have a clear target, and a clear exercise to address it, I'm going to go apesh*t on it! LOL!

AIM: adamhoef

He ran because it grounded him in basics. There was both life and death in it; it was unadulterated by media hype, trivial cares, political meddling...It was all joy and woe, hard as a diamond; it made him weary beyond comprehension. But it also made him free.
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post #43 of 102 (permalink) Old 08-02-2007, 08:19 PM
 
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re: CBT Shame Attacking Exercises - Terrifying!!


I wouldn't be able to do it. To intentionally use some random person for the sake of some exercise. What if they were socially anxious? Sensitive? And picked up on being toyed with? Bummer I'll keep my shaming to myself lol
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post #44 of 102 (permalink) Old 08-03-2007, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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re: CBT Shame Attacking Exercises - Terrifying!!


I think its a shame you are writing off something that could be helpful to you, but I understand your choice not to do it.

Ross

On to concentrate on bright things Stuck around in hopes to help, didnt seem like there was much left I could do anymore ... good luck and comfort to those who are on their own path and hope for those yet to take their first step! Much Love
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post #45 of 102 (permalink) Old 08-05-2007, 01:37 PM
 
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re: CBT Shame Attacking Exercises - Terrifying!!


I do know about the rewards of exposure to embarrassing situations and have found it unnecessary to interfere with other peoples lives, sensitivities or safety. I just wanted to express that point of view.
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post #46 of 102 (permalink) Old 08-06-2007, 01:05 AM
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re: CBT Shame Attacking Exercises - Terrifying!!


I've heard of something similar...

-when you feel nervous, announce to others that you feel nervous

I think what this does is lower the shame of feeling nervous and there is no longer that compulsion to hide or control it and instead the nerves mellow out.
This is even comparable to Mindfulness where we observe and acknowledge our thoughts and emotions in an impartial and unattached manner. -The theory being that if we can let our thoughts and feelings come and go as they want, they mellow out of their own accord, like letting a pond settle. And this is completely different to reacting to feelings/thoughts that are uncomfortable, like nerves for example.

One thing I did recently -which received mixed results!!!!- was to announce to my fellow Contiki tour room mates that I had a case of diarrhoea from the plane flight over!!!
Because my roommates were down-to-earth Aussies, they didn't think so much of it -and, hell, I was doing them a favor giving them a warning!
I told a couple of American girls and at the word "diarrhoea" they shrunk back in horror -"oh, how could she say such a thing!"
But, come on now - '@#it happens!'

I guess the problem with this variation of 'shame attacking' is that most people would consider it odd for a person to be nervous in everyday social situations ....which is quite odd from my perspective, because I tend to be anxious in ordinary situations and function at peak performance in crises when everyone else is losing their cool.
....perhaps I should consider work in an emergency ward.


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post #47 of 102 (permalink) Old 08-06-2007, 02:27 AM Thread Starter
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re: CBT Shame Attacking Exercises - Terrifying!!


The idea of shame attacking is to shame yourself and gain the disapproval of others - to put yourself in a 'looked down upon' position so that you can get a better perspective on what it really means. Its a bit different to normal exposure where the idea is to show that the situation is not as dangerous as you think e.g. people will not humiliate you and go away talking about you, leading to your ultimate rejection by the the whole of humanity. This is good because people can then see that they neednt limit their positive social behaviour so much. This helps to get us socialising and expressing more, but goes only so far and you may still lack assertiveness because even though youe range of acceptable behaviours has got bigger, you may still have a genuine fear of conflict or disapproval.

So in shame attacking, you actually try to approach the danger zone - to get disapproved of to see that even SOME disapproval doesnt lead to complete ostracism and that you can live through being rejected. So making a fool of yourself by e.g. singing in a shop and having people give you disapproving looks. Its a very powerful (if you can make yourself do it) way of shifting a fear-based chronic lack of assertiveness.

Shame-attacking IS hard to do and wouldnt normally be used as a first-line exercise for someone with severe social anxiety. In those that do use it, the success rate is about 50-60% - its a little bit kill-or-cure, but I am sick of my own personal fear of conflict and fear of disapproval and so I am willing to try it.

Ross

On to concentrate on bright things Stuck around in hopes to help, didnt seem like there was much left I could do anymore ... good luck and comfort to those who are on their own path and hope for those yet to take their first step! Much Love
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post #48 of 102 (permalink) Old 08-06-2007, 02:48 AM
 
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Re: re: CBT Shame Attacking Exercises - Terrifying!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by myshell
I do know about the rewards of exposure to embarrassing situations and have found it unnecessary to interfere with other peoples lives, sensitivities or safety. I just wanted to express that point of view.
I think its a ridiculous view. How is yawning near someone or running past them in tight shorts "affecting their safety, sensitivities or lives"? I'm not saying you are dumb - its just a dumb thing to say. Its just a badly informed opinion based on your fear of people noticing you. 7% of the US population have social anxiety, you have less than a 1 in 10 chance of doing it near them. If you did, what are they gonna do? Imagine the post they might write if they were at SAS: "Subject: GUY SINGS A SONG IN A SHOP NEAR ME!!! WTF???? This guy sang near me! Its so awful - I hate these extroverts who want to oppress me and make me feel bad!!! he sang Bon Jovi, its like he thinks I am a nerd and like sad rock bands!! Replies: Did you think that maybe the guy was a nut-job and just a little ill-mannered? Thats probably what everyone else thought too. You are jumping to conclusions there dude". If you spend your life in fear that you might spark someones total irrationality then you will never leave the house - which is exactly what many guys with SA do. The point of the exercise is to get over that. No one will die or go into an anxious nervous state of shock because you yawned as you walked past them. I think you are just scared of expressing yourself - which is cool, you have SA, it makes us scared of looking a fool or angering people. But thats kind of the thing this exercise seems to be trying to crack. You arent jeapordising someones safety by wearing tight running shorts dude - you're just humiliating yourSELF.

---dwarfy----
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post #49 of 102 (permalink) Old 08-06-2007, 06:18 AM
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Amen! My tight running shorts might go at it again tonight too.

AIM: adamhoef

He ran because it grounded him in basics. There was both life and death in it; it was unadulterated by media hype, trivial cares, political meddling...It was all joy and woe, hard as a diamond; it made him weary beyond comprehension. But it also made him free.
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post #50 of 102 (permalink) Old 08-06-2007, 08:56 AM
 
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Someone actually called me once insisting it wasn't the wrong number when in fact it was. I couldn't just hang up on them so I think we talked for a few minutes lol. It could have been CBT, but I think it was just some drunk girls.

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post #51 of 102 (permalink) Old 08-06-2007, 09:25 AM
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re: CBT Shame Attacking Exercises - Terrifying!!


I did some pretty "shameful" things this weekend. I was taking a long subway ride after a long wait in a boiling hot station and so I took a seat and started reading. An old couple entered a few stops later, and the wife sat down next to me. The only other empty seat was across from me and I figured he could sit there if he wanted so didn't budge. Plus, I was hot and tired. Anyway, a stop later a woman gave up her seat for this guy and he said something like "I'm not that old but thanks." Normally I would be bothered by a comment like that, it didn't bother me at all.

Later, I did give up my seat for another old man, but a little boy jumped into my seat before the man could sit down! The mother didn't even say a word. So later, when a seat opened up next to the boy, even though the mom was standing w/a stroller, I sat down again before the mother could! LOL.

Now before anyone gets up in arms, I was raised well. I would normally give up my seat for a senior citizen. However, I always imagined that if I didn't, not only would I get an embarrassing lecture from the old person but also others around me. In reality, it really was no big deal. I don't think this particular guy cared either way. And as for the mother, while my SA prevented me from doing things like that in the past, I won't let it anymore. We tend to be pushovers who do things out of fear of conflict or guilt. In truth, we don't really owe anyone anything unless they deserve it. In this case, if that woman wasn't going to discipline her kid, why should she get a seat?
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post #52 of 102 (permalink) Old 08-07-2007, 06:46 PM
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Re: re: CBT Shame Attacking Exercises - Terrifying!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by RubyTuesday
I've heard of something similar...

-when you feel nervous, announce to others that you feel nervous

I think what this does is lower the shame of feeling nervous and there is no longer that compulsion to hide or control it and instead the nerves mellow out.
I had an interview today and just as I got anxious and I started to sweat, I told the interviewer that the job was already making me nervous. She laughed and my anxiety disappeared. For the rest of the interview, I was relaxed. I did not have a negative thought for the rest of the interview.

Thank you Ruby Tuesday!
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post #53 of 102 (permalink) Old 08-07-2007, 07:00 PM
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Re: re: CBT Shame Attacking Exercises - Terrifying!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by tomcoldaba
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubyTuesday
I've heard of something similar...

-when you feel nervous, announce to others that you feel nervous

I think what this does is lower the shame of feeling nervous and there is no longer that compulsion to hide or control it and instead the nerves mellow out.
I had an interview today and just as I got anxious and I started to sweat, I told the interviewer that the job was already making me nervous. She laughed and my anxiety disappeared. For the rest of the interview, I was relaxed. I did not have a negative thought for the rest of the interview.

Thank you Ruby Tuesday!
That's awesome that you tried out the strategy and it worked! Congrats!

AIM: adamhoef

He ran because it grounded him in basics. There was both life and death in it; it was unadulterated by media hype, trivial cares, political meddling...It was all joy and woe, hard as a diamond; it made him weary beyond comprehension. But it also made him free.
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post #54 of 102 (permalink) Old 08-08-2007, 12:24 PM
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re: CBT Shame Attacking Exercises - Terrifying!!


I have decided to attend a Toastmaster Meeting tonight. Just the thought of going to a meeting where I don't know anyone is making me anxious.

I am reading David Burns book Panic Attack where in he advocates the Smile and Hello and the Self Disclosure (saying you are nervous). I will try both of them tonight.

As I am writing this post, I can feel the anxiety surge through me. Hope I have the courage to go through with it.
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post #55 of 102 (permalink) Old 08-08-2007, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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re: CBT Shame Attacking Exercises - Terrifying!!


Thats awesome Tom, you will really enjoy it - toasmasters is cool, amd your disclosure will really help!

You make me wanna go back to toastmasters myself

Ross

On to concentrate on bright things Stuck around in hopes to help, didnt seem like there was much left I could do anymore ... good luck and comfort to those who are on their own path and hope for those yet to take their first step! Much Love
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post #56 of 102 (permalink) Old 08-08-2007, 12:40 PM
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Re: re: CBT Shame Attacking Exercises - Terrifying!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by tomcoldaba
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubyTuesday
I've heard of something similar...

-when you feel nervous, announce to others that you feel nervous

I think what this does is lower the shame of feeling nervous and there is no longer that compulsion to hide or control it and instead the nerves mellow out.
I had an interview today and just as I got anxious and I started to sweat, I told the interviewer that the job was already making me nervous. She laughed and my anxiety disappeared. For the rest of the interview, I was relaxed. I did not have a negative thought for the rest of the interview.

Thank you Ruby Tuesday!
That's quite a witty thing to say but I imagine in certain situations (where you are being evaluated) it is best not to openly reveal your insecurities/weaknesses. This pressure to hide your anxiety only adds to the anxiety though. :/

It's ok and probably helpful to say you are nervous in informal situations.
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post #57 of 102 (permalink) Old 08-08-2007, 01:12 PM
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Re: re: CBT Shame Attacking Exercises - Terrifying!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by ag
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomcoldaba
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubyTuesday
I've heard of something similar...

-when you feel nervous, announce to others that you feel nervous

I think what this does is lower the shame of feeling nervous and there is no longer that compulsion to hide or control it and instead the nerves mellow out.
I had an interview today and just as I got anxious and I started to sweat, I told the interviewer that the job was already making me nervous. She laughed and my anxiety disappeared. For the rest of the interview, I was relaxed. I did not have a negative thought for the rest of the interview.

Thank you Ruby Tuesday!
That's quite a witty thing to say but I imagine in certain situations (where you are being evaluated) it is best not to openly reveal your insecurities/weaknesses. This pressure to hide your anxiety only adds to the anxiety though. :/

It's ok and probably helpful to say you are nervous in informal situations.
I agree with you that in certain situations it is best not to openly reveal your insecurities/weaknesses. In certain professions, admission of your insecurities/weakness will be a career limiting move.

However, if you are sweating or shaking, the interviewer (in my case) can see the visible signs of nervousness. So I admitting the obvious.

If I was not sweating or blushing or shaking I would not admit to being nervous. In fact, there is no need for such an admission. You are right that this pressure to hide your anxiety only adds to the anxiety though. Even then I would not admit to being nervous.

For years, I refused to admit publicly I was nervous. To avoid embarrassment from the sweating and shaking, I would avoid or decline social or business situations. My career stalled because I was trying to avoid the embarrassment and I did not seek professional help to remedy this condition.
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post #58 of 102 (permalink) Old 08-08-2007, 04:31 PM
 
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re: CBT Shame Attacking Exercises - Terrifying!!


There was a tv-show a couple of years ago where I live by these two guys who would dare eachother to do crazy stuff, much like shame-attack exercises put in extreme form.

I remember one of the guys went into a crowded city library where 2-300 people were sitting quietly and studying, he stood in the middle and held a boombox cassette player up and started blasting music at top volume until they pulled him out. It was hilarious to watch.
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post #59 of 102 (permalink) Old 08-11-2007, 12:27 PM
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Re: re: CBT Shame Attacking Exercises - Terrifying!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by tomcoldaba
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubyTuesday
I've heard of something similar...

-when you feel nervous, announce to others that you feel nervous

I think what this does is lower the shame of feeling nervous and there is no longer that compulsion to hide or control it and instead the nerves mellow out.
I had an interview today and just as I got anxious and I started to sweat, I told the interviewer that the job was already making me nervous. She laughed and my anxiety disappeared. For the rest of the interview, I was relaxed. I did not have a negative thought for the rest of the interview.

Thank you Ruby Tuesday!

I got hired! The Self Disclosure principle is from Burns book Panic attack works.
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post #60 of 102 (permalink) Old 08-11-2007, 10:23 PM
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Re: re: CBT Shame Attacking Exercises - Terrifying!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by tomcoldaba
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomcoldaba
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubyTuesday
I've heard of something similar...

-when you feel nervous, announce to others that you feel nervous

I think what this does is lower the shame of feeling nervous and there is no longer that compulsion to hide or control it and instead the nerves mellow out.
I had an interview today and just as I got anxious and I started to sweat, I told the interviewer that the job was already making me nervous. She laughed and my anxiety disappeared. For the rest of the interview, I was relaxed. I did not have a negative thought for the rest of the interview.

Thank you Ruby Tuesday!

I got hired! The Self Disclosure principle is from Burns book Panic attack works.
Congrats!!!

AIM: adamhoef

He ran because it grounded him in basics. There was both life and death in it; it was unadulterated by media hype, trivial cares, political meddling...It was all joy and woe, hard as a diamond; it made him weary beyond comprehension. But it also made him free.
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