Exposure theraphy - Page 2 - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #21 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-06-2013, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Feel free to comment here. Or maybe talk about your exposure therapy.


I was thinking about writing or not about my ''rejection'' the other day. One of the things that I want to achieve is to become almost immune to rejection, so I'll guess I'll have to remember what happened and note it here to remain for eternity.

At the 7th girl out of 10, as I approached her and asked her ''Sorry, is your name X ?'', she answered: '' OMG, you asked me all the possible names !''. At that moment, my world collapsed on me, although she was smiling (or laughing at me, dunno for sure, can't tell).

Those words kept repeating in my mind for like 1-2 hours after and I couldn't shake that horrible feeling of embarrassment. I felt like a freaky weird awkward stalker that tries to pick up girls and has amnesia so he can't remember witch girls he asked already and asks them again same question. And I couldn't continue to the norm of 10 girls, I only asked 1 more and went home.



But I'm not gonna stop here. Today it went quite well. My fear of rejection is gotta end, and for this I gotta go through this exposure and ''rejections''. I want to not seek validation or depend on validation from others to feel self confidence.

I'm not thinking what am I doing with my life, but what life is doing with me !
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post #22 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-08-2013, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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New round of exposure today. FIRST day when I didn't get negative reactions, like scare them, freak them away, them pulling back or speeding up ignoring and not responding.

Guess I did all the things right. I try to smile when I pop the question and when they smile back I feel this kind of instant euphoria. I guess my body language improved and I don't go there like a scaredy cat or overfaked alpha male attitude.

I'm curious what the next day will bring me. I wanna do this for 3 months, one day on, one day off.

Oh and yeah, it's still painfull and the anticipatory anxiety is killing me, I sweat like a pig. I'm still waiting for the moment that it will become fun, like the program said it would.

I'm not thinking what am I doing with my life, but what life is doing with me !
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post #23 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-13-2013, 03:44 PM
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Dude.... I respect the hell out of what you're doing with the exposure therapy. I've been in cognitive behavioral therapy for like 2 months now and am just starting the whole exposure thing now. I'm not nearly at the level of what you are doing/have done, but it's still definitely scary as ****, but very rewarding too.......
So far, I've only really asked random people on the street/at the mall for a dollar "because I'm trying to catch the bus"(which is a lie), and even that's been really difficult for me....probably because I feel like a scumbag for asking people for a dollar when I don't really need it...... You are definitely right about the anticipatory anxiety being the worst part of it though. When I actually ask a person for a dollar, their reaction is usually not that bad. For the most part, it's "No. Sorry. Can't help you out". The worst part is building up the courage to ask. Even after I ask one guy, I'm finding it tough to pull the trigger again, and the longer you wait, the tougher it gets. Anyways, let me know how the rest of your exposures go. Hearing that someone else is doing this is a source of motivation for me. No one on this website really talks about doing exposure therapy and, as far as I can tell, that's the only way to get over your fear or rejection/embarassment. You're not going to wake up one day and be magically cured. You have to do **** like this. So keep updating and I'll try and do the same.

Good luck broseph.
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post #24 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-15-2013, 08:55 AM
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I think you're doing a really great job. When I read your story, I feel like I'd be able to have normal social contacts. So thank you.
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post #25 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-17-2013, 02:59 AM
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Great posts. Very inspiring. You seem to be doing great. I think I'll have to start doing more **** this myself..
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post #26 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 10:11 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Madden View Post
it's still definitely scary as ****, but very rewarding too.......
Yeah it is, it hurts when you do it but after that it numbs your anxiety in social situation and you feel more normal, less vulnerable to criticism, more extroverted, less worried that you may sound stupid, uninteresting and awkward, interacting feels more natural, etc.

I'm curious to hear how you progress with the exposure too, maybe you can open a journal like mine.

Glad that what I write here it inspires some people.


Now lately I haven't been doing this cause my therapist said it's too rough and I should take it slowly, doing more comfortable things. The thing I noticed is that my anxiety came back again and I couldn't be normal and interact that easy. So I'm restarting exposure again.

I got speed dating on sunday with 7 girls and I can't go there and be silent and act scared like if I say the wrong words, a bomb is going to explode under the table we are sitting at. I got to do this sh*t again. It's taken me half of hour and I'm still struggling to build up the courage to move my a*s to the mall and get it over with. Pain, here I come again, fresh. Arghhhhhhhhh

I'm not thinking what am I doing with my life, but what life is doing with me !
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post #27 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 02:20 PM
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Good to see that you're starting the exposures again. I'm kind of surprised your therapist told you to scale it back because it seemed like you were able to do that, and if you can do that, you can basically do anything. What does your therapist want you to do this time around?

So far, the biggest problem for me has been not so much asking people for a dollar or what time it is, but having to do it over and over again. If I had to do it once, or if I genuinely needed a dollar, I'd have no problem doing it, but having to ask people over and over in a public setting, just makes me feel weird. Like people might see me asking a couple of different people and be like why the hell is that kid asking everyone what time it is? That F's with me more than anything else. Don't know if it's the same for you.
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post #28 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 11:23 PM
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Good to see that you're starting the exposures again. I'm kind of surprised your therapist told you to scale it back because it seemed like you were able to do that, and if you can do that, you can basically do anything. What does your therapist want you to do this time around?

So far, the biggest problem for me has been not so much asking people for a dollar or what time it is, but having to do it over and over again. If I had to do it once, or if I genuinely needed a dollar, I'd have no problem doing it, but having to ask people over and over in a public setting, just makes me feel weird. Like people might see me asking a couple of different people and be like why the hell is that kid asking everyone what time it is? That F's with me more than anything else. Don't know if it's the same for you.

I can relate, especially on a bus where there are 10 people around me and all have the potential to see and hear me. Do it once, was difficult but not that bad, twice in the same area is even harder. Doing it far away in another place everytime wouldn't be as difficult.

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post #29 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-12-2013, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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Good to see that you're starting the exposures again. I'm kind of surprised your therapist told you to scale it back because it seemed like you were able to do that, and if you can do that, you can basically do anything. What does your therapist want you to do this time around?

So far, the biggest problem for me has been not so much asking people for a dollar or what time it is, but having to do it over and over again. If I had to do it once, or if I genuinely needed a dollar, I'd have no problem doing it, but having to ask people over and over in a public setting, just makes me feel weird. Like people might see me asking a couple of different people and be like why the hell is that kid asking everyone what time it is? That F's with me more than anything else. Don't know if it's the same for you.
My therapist told me to do simpler things like saying hello to people in the markets and do small chat with them or saying hello to people in the parc near my place.

People might see u asking different persons, but only if they fixate you, and u can change places to escape the people you think are watching your every move and observing what you do, in fact people mind their own business, not follow you around with their sight to see everything you do, but I know the feeling, I go through the same thing.


I've interrupted for like 3-4 weeks the exposure since my theraphist told me so and I noticed my anxiety levels going up again. And now I'm doing it again every 2 days, 10 girls, same question: Excuse, is your name X ?

In the mean time things happened to me, my anxiety being lower I was able to go date some girls, but unfortunately I couldn't get the girls. One girl who is schizophrenic approached me and she's my ''compromise'' girlfriend now. I was approached by another girl in the church, but didn't went good cause I found out she was homeless (couldn't tell though, he was so clean and tidy), and he was a nutcase, litterally, but we kissed and it felt so good.

It seems that this theraphy has its effects and it's the best thing in 8 years I've tried since I've begin searching for a (partial) cure for SA. I'm not gonna stop it and I'm gonna go every 2 days to do my stuff. It hurts so much sometimes when they don't respond well but I've read somewhere that every rejection is a learning lesson, and a building block for confidence and the death of fear of rejection. I'm curious in 3 months how this is gonna evolve, this friend of mine who initiated me into this said in 3 weeks we're gonna go to the next level, asking more provocative questions.

I'm not thinking what am I doing with my life, but what life is doing with me !
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post #30 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-12-2013, 06:01 PM
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It takes work, like trying to stay in shape.

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post #31 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-12-2013, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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It takes work, like trying to stay in shape.
Yeah, that was the exact comparison my friend (and mentor) in this filed told me: the brain must be trained like a muscle, constantly and raising the difficulty progressively.

I'm not thinking what am I doing with my life, but what life is doing with me !
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post #32 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-02-2013, 07:10 AM Thread Starter
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Well after taking a long break I returned to doing this exercises again.

I was hoping it would be tough like hell after these months of brake, but I was so tired and mentally exhausted yesterday that they seemed easy to do, or I must have developed a tolerance (I wish it was the second )

From 10 persons there was like 2-3 that appeared to have been spooked or creeped out, so a good percentage considering I haven't done this for a while.

And I was with my wingman witch has spotted the mistakes out for me, and the mistake was I was either to shy in approach, or I was trying to fake smiling and feeling happy when I actually was feeling mediocre and didn't felt the need to smile. That reflected in my voice tone, my body language, etc.

I dunno why I want to look happy and project a feel good attitude when asking them, but I can't control it sometimes. Guess I don't wanna give hints about my depression or something, or my incapability to speak to girls and I'm trying too much to make it look that I'm a fun guy and a natural with girls.

Ok, too much blabbering, next session is on Sunday.

I'm not thinking what am I doing with my life, but what life is doing with me !
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post #33 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-03-2013, 11:51 AM
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Im about to start this too man, I went to a party last night for the first time in a long time and it was scary as hell but it PAID OFF. And what a great feeling after being stuck for so long.

+ Respect for you
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post #34 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-05-2013, 05:32 PM
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Bravo! Keep going and updating
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post #35 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-18-2013, 09:24 AM Thread Starter
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Tx guys.

Now I am taking a break. I did a total of 30 days, but the fact was it wasn't enough to keep the benefits permanent.

Maybe I'll start again after the holidays.

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