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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What are they like? How do they think differently than we do? We know they act differently, but what's actually different in their thought processes and emotions? I'm curious what you all think.
 

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They won't be thinking "Oh God, everyone's watching me!" or "What are they going to think of me?" obsessively, that's for sure.

And they can certainly walk down a street without worrying people all around are staring at them.
 

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Their minds are blank or on work, family, and friends. They're not thinking about how others perceive them. I've never been "normal," so this is only what I think.
 

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They're probably judging the people they see, comparing hairstyles, clothes, and the like.

And checking out people they find attractive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Or maybe their minds work in public the way ours do in situations where we're not anxious. Relaxed, not trying to think anything specific, or not think anything specific, just allowing thoughts to flow naturally and unself-consciously..
 

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There are countless different types of "normal" people who all think differently from each other. What they all have in common that we don't is that their thought processes don't significantly impede their social lives.
 

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This is a great question. I've also wondered about this before.

I think their thought processes are opposite to ours in a lot of ways.

We may dread an upcoming social event, where they totally look forward to it, and even get excited thinking about it. They're so socially in tune they never worry about saying the wrong things, and if they do slip up once in awhile, they shrug it off almost instantaneously, whereas we'll dwell on it for days, even weeks. We'll go out of our way to avoid social situations, they'll go out of their way just to join in. They're confident of their abilities to have a good repore with people, and welcome the challenge.

That giant wall that we have in our brains simply doesn't exist in theirs. Socializing just comes naturally and automatically to them.

Also, I don't believe they think as deeply as we do. It's my guess that the mojority of the worlds greatest minds also share some of our setbacks. Maybe it's a bit of a trade off.
 

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What is normal? And what is abnormal? Are we all just classified as normal and abnormal, or is there several different sections of normal and several different sections of abnormal?

I think people are just people. Some have anxiety, some don't, but everyone is human.
 

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As far as I remember from when I was normal, I didn't think about anything - or I was thinking about where I was going, what was on my mind etc.
 

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I think normal people just say what's on their minds, and the only restraint they have is a social, ethical one. I.e manners, social groups' accepted behavior, moral concerns, individual principles etc. So to some extent emotions such as fear of rejection or empathy or sympathy with others do effect their social behavior, but because they do not have anxiety to confuse them on top of these emotions they are able handle these emotions.

Of course for us, anxiety is like a spanner thrown into the gears of our minds. It just messes everything up, and it becomes harder to differentiate the thoughts created by the anxiety from other thought processes. Everything becomes a muddle.
 

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Know when I think of it, I don't even imagine what is it like to be normal. Like not to worry about what others think. I don't how it would feel to be relaxed and confident in social, public places. It's just hard to imagine. Somehow I don't expect to ever again be normal. I think I was normal until 13 years old.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So non-SAers:

1) don't doubt themselves? but everyone doubts themselves sometimes..
2) can enjoy and take pleasure in social interactions, even if introverted
3) feel accepted by and welcome in the world around them?

The more I think about it, it seems like we just have more frequent and more intense, near-constant versions of the thoughts and feelings that other people have occasionally without distress..
 

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They walk outside and take in what they can from the world, instead of worrying about what the world takes in from them. A normal person mindset seems like fantasy land to me.
 

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I think they have the ability to brush off embarrassing things and not get caught in a loop of analyzing previous conversations to the point of anxiety. What to say comes to them more naturally than it does to us, but many people think before they speak. If they have anxiety, it's not to the point of freezing up: a lot of "normal" people have stage fright, but they're able to pull off presentations fairly well.
 

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My theory is that when someone treats a normal person poorly it changes the normal person's opinion of that other person. But when shy people are mistreated it changes their opinion of themselves.

I think the problem is that in childhood you are so powerless, so if you are having trouble with your parents you can't really change them, you have to change yourself to get along. To give you an example when I was a kid I was playing checkers with my mother and she broke a rule and I said "you cheated!". Got smacked around very hard for that one. But when it was over I just blamed myself for being stupid enough to criticize my mother. I did know that my mother was the one in the wrong, but I knew there was nothing I could do to change her, to avoid this happening again I had to change myself. This becomes a habit, your response to every unpleasant event is to treat it as being your fault. I don't think normal people are like this.
 

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The only real difference between normal people and SA sufferers is that SA sufferers are a bit out of social practice and suffer enormous degrees of paranoia and negative belief.
 

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Our thoughts, especially negative ones, make us feel very anxious and unsure of ourselves, while "normal" people can recover from a bad thought and replace it with something positive. Of course everyone has some degree of social phobia at some point of our lives, however us SA sufferers have much more intense negative feelings and let those drag us down.
 

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i don't think. lol. we are all people and yes we have our differences but i don't think there are "normies" and us, we are all part of one society.

that's my 2 cents
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
My theory is that when someone treats a normal person poorly it changes the normal person's opinion of that other person. But when shy people are mistreated it changes their opinion of themselves.
I like your theory, that's a really cool formulation. I remember when I would be teased, bullied, etc. in school, always feeling like I'd somehow deserved it, unknowingly given offense. I think that gave me a feeling of control. You're right, though, it never changed my opinion of that other person. I guess because I try to be compassionate, and even sympathize with people who are mean in spirit.

I think it's important, too, as hopeful says, that healthy-minded people can "shake off" negative experiences, shrug them off, whereas SA people take those experiences and let them dye through their entire sense of self.

I would rephrase my question, if I could- I don't mean "normal" people so much as "healthy" or "healthy-minded" people. The sort of people I want to end up :)

I wonder if healthy-minded people 'trust' others, implicitly, in ways that SA people don't. Trust people, in the abstract, to be mostly respectful, civil, not-going-to-sucker-punch or judge harshly and unfairly. I don't, even in the face of all rational evidence. I still BELIEVE that if I let my guard down and am fully myself, bad things will happen. Healthy people probably have more of that oxytocin 'trust' hormone.
 
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