Exposure theraphy - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-14-2011, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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Exposure theraphy


Ok i will start here the so called diary.

I'm currently doing some exposure therapy. Each day an exercise. It helped me tremendously just by doing a few days as my anxiety dropped from 5-8 to 2-3 with opposite sexes and from 3-5 to 0 with boys/mens.

Now this is a bit tricky cause some of you will be asking what therapy is that, i wanna try it too. For those who want to try it, DON'T READ AHEAD - SPOILERS. U are not supposed to know before what u are going to do, it sabotages your progress. It's called demonic confidence (lucas west).

Ok so till now: I've done day 1 to day 4 and I'm stuck at day 5. Day 5 requires that u compliment 30 women that u find attractive. I can't get over my fears and shame cause it feels just out of place to me to compliment a stranger on the street, more so a women, I feel like Johnny Bravo and expect the same reaction from women: being called a pervert and even slapped

Although I've complimented like 10 till now in many days added. I just can't get to 30 in one day. Some ppl told me its more about quality then quantity. So my new goal is 10-20.


What I need now is how to change my beliefs that when I compliment a women it means that I'm hitting hard on her like a gorilla in heats, cause that's like complimenting strangers seems to me at this moment. If I pass this belief, I can finish day 5 and move on to day 6.

Tx in advance.
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-14-2011, 09:22 PM
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hmm im gonna check this out...
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-15-2011, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
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Noo ideeas on how to escape from that belief ? Its time to get out now and that thought is killing me, I almost tripped and lost vision, like I was drunk when I made some compliments, cause the author says to compliment and walk past her.

But they stopped and smiled and expected for me to continue...that's when I lost it and anxiety sky rocketed in those 1-2 seconds. Compared to this exercise, asking for time or direction is comfortable, this was previous days exercise.

Well, here I go. I hope I get to at least 10
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-15-2011, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Update: i paused today. I had no water to take a bath after exercising so I couldn't just go stinking like that.

Or did I just looked for ANY reason not to go ? The anticipation of fear is big...

I'm still opened to suggestions. Any suggestion is more than welcomed.
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-15-2011, 06:12 PM
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Thats awesome that you're actually doing this. I don't think I'm ready for something like this but if I was in you're position, I'd probably watch some movies or tv where people are giving compliments and watch their body language and facial expressions. See what they're doing that you're not and practice in the mirror so you know how it comes off when you go out and actually do this. It might make you more comfortable in the real deal situation. Hope this helps somewhat.
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-15-2011, 07:22 PM
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I think it would be really hard to find 30 women I find attractive in a single day, never mind complimenting them. Maybe not though... I can't say I count them or anything.

I think it is super extreme exposure you're doing right there. Even some pretty confident outgoing people would struggle to randomly compliment that many women. I think if you just keep on trying you will eventually be able to do more and more. You're doing great... keep it up!
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-15-2011, 07:45 PM
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oo I didnt get you were asking for suggestions....

hmmm....the no water thing is obviously an excuse....here is an alternative that might help,

You say that they stop and are kinda waiting for whats next....so you need a goodbye phrase so you can move to the next girl. Come up with something before hand...even if its simple like "what? you want another compliment?"...
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-15-2011, 07:49 PM
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I didn't read past the "DON'T READ AHEAD - SPOILERS", but now I'm intrigued and curious.

Either way, sounds like it is doing great things for you.
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 06:37 AM
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I gotta say I think what you're doing is absolutely heroic, and I don't use that term lightly. It's hard to imagine a comparable feat for someone who doesn't suffer from SA, I literally can't think of one. You have my utmost respect.
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RenegadeReloaded View Post
Although I've complimented like 10 till now in many days added. I just can't get to 30 in one day. Some ppl told me its more about quality then quantity. So my new goal is 10-20.
That's staggering! (Staggeringly good, I mean) But I agree about quality. Complimenting 10 women then disappearing as quickly as possible is good, but complimenting 1 or 2 and following up would seem to be more useful.
But I'm sure you're on the right track!
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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by confidencelost View Post
I think it would be really hard to find 30 women I find attractive in a single day, never mind complimenting them. Maybe not though... I can't say I count them or anything.
Im living in a 3rd world country where women consider themselves export products so they do all the possible things to look their best. And of course my country is also known for beautiful women.

And i live in the capital, 3 million inhabitants, u can imagine at rush hours at malls the chances of finding attractive women. U might me surprised if I showed u a video from just filming when walking down the street in the center of the city. I might just do that but I'm just telling finding gorgeous women is the last thing i'm worrying about.


Tx all for advices. I'm trying them now, tomorrow is the ''big'' day. If u have some other ideas or suggestions, post them here.
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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by confidencelost View Post
I think it would be really hard to find 30 women I find attractive in a single day, never mind complimenting them.
There's a way around that. You don't have to compliment her on her beauty. In fact, it might be easier to start with plain women, and compliment them on their dress, or hair-style. A good start is supermarket checkout chicks, etc. If you've seen the woman before, you can say things like, "Hey, I like your new haircut." One plus with this (or minus, depending how you look at it) is that you have to stay in contact for a minutes while your groceries are processed and packed.
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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-22-2011, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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One plus with this (or minus, depending how you look at it) is that you have to stay in contact for a minutes while your groceries are processed and packed.
thats scary...

Well I didn't progressed. Following that day when I had no running water were heavy raining days, there was no way I could find girls in that conditions.

And during that break my anxiety grew back to where I started. I also had some other things to do that took up a large portion of my time. Unexpected, unplanned things that needed to be done.

The author said to clear up your schedule for the next 3 weeks during the exposure therapy, and I did, except it those 3 weeks have nearly passed and important things popped in.

But I know that I'll be back on tracks when I get back on doing it. Now to fix my problems and get it over with so i'll be free to reserve like 5-6 h/day for this.
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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-22-2011, 03:28 PM
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The other person above who said this is pretty intense is right. You should be proud of yourself for being able to do this.

In Cognitive Behavioral therapy they have us do exposures, but not giving 30 beautiful women compliments. (but maybe if you've gradually worked your way up to that sort of thin) Wow that seems like an intense exposure session.

I think it's often good to gradually work your way in a ladder of anxiety situations. ie: first start by going out in public, then start making eye contact, then start saying hi, then start saying hi to more beautiful women, then start small conversations about weather, then start longer conversations, then compliments .....etc etc
(of course u can tailor this to your own individual fears)

Good job. If anyone's interested in CBT u can click the second link below

http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/...p-therapy-357/
Online Cognitive Behavioral Group Therapy (CBT) - Join if interested in Overcoming SA
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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-26-2011, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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I had CBT with more than 1 therapists and they sucked when they gave me exposure exercises. They didn't knew about graduation and as u can tell, they ended up as a fail.

Anyway, my plan is to do day1 to day 4 again to get my confidence up again so I can ask out this girl. I'm now at my gradparents, in another city, and I've been chatting a while with her while I was at home and it seems she's interested in going out, but I haven't popped out the big question yet.



This is how I started my journal when I stated the therapy, I was very happy cause for the first time in the last 6 years of trial and (always) error, i have finally found something that work; this is a post from another forum.

''I've been trying some new therapy lately and it absolutely stunned me. I mean I was amazed how this method has change the way I see things.

I've done first 3 days of exposure and I had a blind date on day 4. Before those 3 days I could barely look into the eyes of a girl. But I went on a date and , when we acctualy met and saw eachother she was someone who would instantly give me 10 anxiety on a scale from 1 to 10. She was preety, classy, elegant, etc, and she came with a friend/another girl (she told me she would come alone to this blind date).

We went to a restaurant and chatted for like 2 hours and i couldn't *****ing recognize myself. My anxiety never exceeded level 5 out of 10, and was mostly at a 3. I couldn't believe it

How is this possible ? I mean lately I've been housebound and suddently I can go to dates and NOT have anxiety ? I'm really shocked and I dunno what to believe, its seems out of this world. And trust me, I'm a hardcore social phobic.

It all came so natural , the conversation, the smiling, the flirting (yeah I know), I looked her in the eyes permanently, I didn't stuttered, I didn't blushed, I didn;t had any body reactions to fear, and for the FIRST time in my life, I felt really confortable with a girl that I like (and that I just met).

I don't know what to believe, where did my SP went ? Not in my wildest dreams would I never thought that.
''
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post #16 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-05-2011, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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In which country do u live?
Romania.

I'm not thinking what am I doing with my life, but what life is doing with me !
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post #17 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-21-2011, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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I was wanting to recomence this theraphy first 5 days of it to get in phyhical ''shape'' for an dating and cooking show i explained in another thread in more detail.

The thing is I ran into some situations during this theraphy that one would say: what are the chances of that happening ? like 1 %

It's about coincidences. If I think of it better, what are the chances of encountering the same person twice in a 3 million city crowded center, at ruch hour, and not recognizing it and approach it again ? Less that 1 % to be honest.

As u know the tharaphy consists of approching 30 persons a day. Ok here goes some obstacles I encountered.


As I was doing the ''where is that objective, can u tell me ? '' day of the exercise, I just took a route of about 1 km from point A to point B, asking ppl along the way. At 1 point, I was asking a pharmacist where is McDonalds from the Roman Square ? At that point, the person I asked the same question (lucky me) walked in and I was like in my mind : didn't u passed by me, walking in the opposite direction ? wtf are u following me?

I allready formulated the question to the pharmacists when she entered and recognized me, and asked me: hey, have u found McDonalds from that square ? I said above lucky me cause, although I didn't asked the ppl for the same landmark, I still kep it a narrow list, so immagine if I were busted and I said to the pharmacist I was looking for the post office, and the person walking in asking me: hey have u found McDonalds ? It would have been an embaressing moment. This is where I was lucky.

The situation when I wasn't lucky came next and it shattered any future attempts to commence this great result theraphy again.

Ok so I choose a spot of student houses, girls close to my age and in great numbers. I established some route to follow, stopping by in some places. I managed to ask like 24 girls the time, all were polite to answer. Then as I was stopped on the sidewalk, when I asked one ''whats the time'' she (more correct they, cause they were 2 friends) said to me: U asked me again soem moments ago, jesus.

At that time I senced the whole world crushing down on me and saw myself like a residue f society, a stalker, a weirdo, a reject, a person that is seen by others somehow of a amnesiac, and so on, the negative descriptions kept flooding my mind.


Now I can't get pass that moment and I'm so afraid something like that will happen again if I strart it doing the theraphy, that I can't bring myself to do it anymore, the scene keeps repeating endesly in my head and can't distract my attention from it.




Any advices on how to overcome this ?

I'm not thinking what am I doing with my life, but what life is doing with me !
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post #18 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-30-2013, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, a new round of exposure therapy.

This time I was with my new (and only) friend to assists me, well, just by being there as an outside observer to bring his feedback.

I did this for 10 days, 10 girls per day: walk out to a girl and ask her ''sorry, is your name X ?''. It's so rewarding when they smile, but I'm a bit confused when they laugh, cause I don;t know if they laugh cause of me being a loser or because they are entertained by the ''surprise'' question. Some are neutral, some back off a little. Eh, but it doesn't matter, this 10 day step is done.

Now I'm gonna move to more difficult interactions. This friend told me he did exposure therapy for like a year, almost daily, and it has changed his life, hope it's the same for me. He told me he even asked them stuff like: do you wanna be my girlfriend, or do you wanna marry me, or even nasty stuff like: hey, you look good, do you wanna meet later to get laid, yeah he is that crazy.

I'm now anxious of the difficulty of the next step, but hey, one has to go through hell to make it to heaven, right ?


I'm already seeing the results of those 10 days, today when I visited my mom at the hospital there were this 2 girls my age and I was able to speak, flirt, make them laugh, and the anxiety was at a fairly manageable level. In normal circumstances I would just sit there scared fantasizing how it would be to talk to them...

As a conclusion, I'm very satisfied with the partial results till now

I'm not thinking what am I doing with my life, but what life is doing with me !
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post #19 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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The thing with exposure therapy from what I noticed is to endure pain to see the results later, that bring satisfaction.

Yesterday I started out on the wrong foot, same question as the other days, same approach. As we walked towards each other, I looked her in the eye, then engaged in conversation with her. She didnt't answer the question and sped up, acting like nothing happened. for the first approach of the day, I felt like sh*t.

BUT the next ones came out quite ok, I managed to bring a smile on more than half the girls I approached, so that boosted my morale back.


Today it was crazy. When I went to visit my mom I met (again) the 2 girls my age that I flirted with the last time. In my head I was: omg here we go again, hope I don't blow my cover and stand out like a shy weird creepo that has nothing interesting to say. But what actually happened was way out of my expectation zone. I managed to keep the girls smiling and even made them laugh several times, for like 40-50 minutes. That never happened to me in the last period of my life, except 5 years ago when I had a gf.

Do you know the feeling of being mindblown ? It was like that today, and the fact that I did it for the second time made me realize that the first time wasn't an accident. And most of all it was fun, all the flirting and teasing, but fun combined with social anxiety and fear, a mixed feeling. My mom told them I had social phobia (dang) and one of the girls said she doesn't sees it at all. I never felt this way in a long time, enjoying social interaction like this, with the opposite sex.

This proves to me that doing painfull exposure therapy really shows it's effects in desensitizing you from anxiety and fear of failure. This is becoming addicting, not the therapy itself, but the outcome. I've been wanting to ask out one of the girls there that is hot, and I've been wanting to do this the last 2 times I went there, hope next time I'll make it happen

I'm not thinking what am I doing with my life, but what life is doing with me !
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post #20 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
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Dunno is anyone is reading this, but whatever.

Today was exposure day again.Interesting things begin to happen. At two of the girls I approached, they wanted to keep talking after i said ''ok, bye'' to them. So I turn back to them and did a little more chat.

I guess my body language is improving, the ability to look them in the eye, even smile, the body posture not so tense, many subtle things.

I'm not thinking what am I doing with my life, but what life is doing with me !
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