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I've been reading some self improvement books lately and have noticed how i instinctively do the opposite of what is being suggested. I guess it shows how difficult it is to overcome psychological barriers as even simple actions such as smiling, looking people in the eye, displaying positive body language and calling people by their names can be a real struggle. I was skeptical of self improvement books until about 18 months ago, but now I am starting to believe a lot of our behaviour may be the result of bad habits built up over a lifetime. Do you think it is possible to overcome this to a large extent by replacing old habits with better ones or is there more to it than that, and for biological reasons we will be restricted from ever being perceived as normal.

I'm thinking of ways of developing new habits. One solution may be to focus on one each week and work on it and then the next week try something else. Maybe by attending some kind of confidence workshop designed for this problem i can build up confidence more as well.

What are your thoughts?
 

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Honestly, I think it all starts with your belief system. I graduated yesterday. I have friends, I have acquaintances but in the back of my mind I always thought they hated me. I have no idea why, that's just how wrecked our belief system is. I've read a lot of self-improvement books... in fact, I've read so many, that I really think I've repeatedly sucked it all in subconsciously. Yesterday, when I walked the line I got so many shout-outs from friends and acquaintances. A lot of people telling me how much they appreciated me being 'positive' all the time... (I can't even believe that!!!) how I always kept it real... it was great, but really, it hurt me... because all this time I've been stuck in between two different beliefs, and I never took advantage of socializing as much as I wanted to. Honestly, I envisioned myself getting booed off stage... hahahaha, I know it's so unrealistic, but that's how beliefs can mess you up.

Well, to answer your issue... yes, they are bad habits... how do you break them? By being aware, and by using willpower to break them. It's not that hard to act happy... just do it. Chances are, you've been happy at least once in your life... remember that time and go on from there.
 

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Honestly, I think it all starts with your belief system. I graduated yesterday. I have friends, I have acquaintances but in the back of my mind I always thought they hated me. I have no idea why, that's just how wrecked our belief system is. I've read a lot of self-improvement books... in fact, I've read so many, that I really think I've repeatedly sucked it all in subconsciously. Yesterday, when I walked the line I got so many shout-outs from friends and acquaintances. A lot of people telling me how much they appreciated me being 'positive' all the time... (I can't even believe that!!!) how I always kept it real... it was great, but really, it hurt me... because all this time I've been stuck in between two different beliefs, and I never took advantage of socializing as much as I wanted to. Honestly, I envisioned myself getting booed off stage... hahahaha, I know it's so unrealistic, but that's how beliefs can mess you up.

Well, to answer your issue... yes, they are bad habits... how do you break them? By being aware, and by using willpower to break them. It's not that hard to act happy... just do it. Chances are, you've been happy at least once in your life... remember that time and go on from there.
I don't know why you should be unhappy. It sounds like you are making progress. I should stress though my aim is not to become the life and soul of a party, I just want to be able to hold my own in a social situation.
 

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wondering
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I'm thinking of ways of developing new habits. One solution may be to focus on one each week and work on it and then the next week try something else. Maybe by attending some kind of confidence workshop designed for this problem i can build up confidence more as well.

What are your thoughts?
This is exactly the same thing I want to start doing, but my main problem is that there are so many things I want to work on, it seems like I can't just pick out one at a time.:roll It's as if I pressure myself to start out with the "worst" things or most important things, when I know I need to just pick out any one thing, major, minor, in-between...any step is progress.
So give it a go, you're reaching out and pressing forward...nothing but good will come from this:clap
 

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i've been at this material for some time now and i like to dig around and look for different points of view.

sure i agree that some non-verbal language is caused from bad habits... hands in pockets... ... arms crossed....walking with face down looking at the ground... bad posture......slouching while sitting... . and correcting this stuff is very rewarding because its easy to see the benefits right away.

personally i've come to the conclusion that most of the very unconscious gestures and movements and things cannot be corrected with practice. its really hard to control the non-verbal reactions, rate of breathing, rate of eye blinking, tensed or relaxed facial muscles, natural mirroring/matching while in conversation... not to mention all the micro-gestures....... i personally think this comes down to vitamin/mineral/chemical

it seems all the really subtle body language improves when the correct vitamin/mineral/chemical levels start to come back into balance.

i guess the easiest way to imagine this is to imagine the five sense and then imagine that each of the five senses has a sub-communication channel. so when you see someone's body language (arm's crossed), you also unconsciously notice micro-gestures (specific facial muscles that make that smile) or the visual sub-communication channel, when u listen to someone's voice you hear the words they say and you also pick up on the volume, timber, clarity, confidence etc or the verbal sub-communication channel. when u smell some girls perfume you smell the fragrance and you also pick up the chemical signature or the olfactory sub-communication channel.

so the point that i'm trying to make is that when u correct the major body language its a great improvement however correcting the internal chemical problem then allows the sub-communication to be congruent with the major non-verbals.
 

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wow great advice

For best results, don't pick out the most major (or important) item to work on first. Instead, order the items on your list in the order of most probable success. Successes give you confidence and encourages you to continue. With all the successes along the way by doing the items in order of probable success, then the last item on the list may be a lot easier than it appeared to be when you originally put the list in order.

My suggestion is to get a calender and mark down the one item you want to work on that week. The next week, mark the next item down but work on that weeks item along with the previous weeks item. And so on. Then as you work on it write down comments that may help you succeed (the next day) if you fail the current day. Do not move onto the next weeks problem until you succeed with this one, unless you decide you'll have more success with the next weeks problem than the current one. Then it's OK to re-order the calender. Do refer to your earlier notes and mark them on the week you re-order so you can use those notes for later assistance with success.

It's important to always break a big problem down into it's smaller component parts to achieve success. No one has ever overcome one big problem as easily as they have when that big problem was broken down into parts that were more managable.
 

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I don't know why you should be unhappy. It sounds like you are making progress. I should stress though my aim is not to become the life and soul of a party, I just want to be able to hold my own in a social situation.
Thing is, I'm not unhappy. It's progress, but it's still a process.
 

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I've been reading some self improvement books lately and have noticed how i instinctively do the opposite of what is being suggested. I guess it shows how difficult it is to overcome psychological barriers as even simple actions such as smiling, looking people in the eye, displaying positive body language and calling people by their names can be a real struggle. I was skeptical of self improvement books until about 18 months ago, but now I am starting to believe a lot of our behaviour may be the result of bad habits built up over a lifetime. Do you think it is possible to overcome this to a large extent by replacing old habits with better ones or is there more to it than that, and for biological reasons we will be restricted from ever being perceived as normal.

I'm thinking of ways of developing new habits. One solution may be to focus on one each week and work on it and then the next week try something else. Maybe by attending some kind of confidence workshop designed for this problem i can build up confidence more as well.

What are your thoughts?
socially anxiety is simply a BEHAVIOUR. its a behavioural habit that is second nature to you

the behaviour is a result of your FEELINGS

your feelings are a result of your AUTOMATIC THOUGHTS

your automatic thoughts are a result of your PERCEPTION

your perception is a result of of your UNCONCIOUS beleifs that filter reality by deleting distorting and generalizing reality

have a look at the nlp communication model and also read gillain butlers book overcoming sa and shyness. this will give you an understanding of how your behaviour works

the way to change is simply to change your behaviour. to overcome sa you need to do the opposite of what you do now e.g attend instead of avoid, stay put instead of escaping the situation, show your blushing or whatever instead of hiding it, embrace the centre stage instead of hiding etc.....

to change behaviour you need :

*change unconcious beleifs - u can do this with cbt, hypnosis, nlp, thinkrightnow

*change your perception. changing beleifs automatically changes perception but you can help the process by conciously changing your perception yourself. cbt is very good for this

*chnage automatic thoughts. agian belefis automatically change this but you can help by conciously doing it yourself too

*change feelings. again beleifs will automatically do this but you can help by changing your body posture, breathing correctly etc... or using nlp technique called anchoring

*action. you need to use repetion. try one new behaviour at a time. repeat it until its a habit then move onto the next one. start small and build your way up
 

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Everybody is absolutely 100% capable of overcoming social anxiety. I think that's one of the stigmas that keep people hiding in the corners and in fear--I've heard that once you have social anxiety you have to live with it forever, I'm sure a lot of us have heard that. It's BS though.

Anyone is capable of changing their behavior over time. It just depends how bad you want to change, and how much patience you have for it. No, I don't think you can suddenly snap out of it. But you have to take small steps and after years of trying you will notice a difference. It happened to me.

Start smiling at people you see on the street or corridors. People automatically smile back. Makes you realize people are not inherently evil. Most of the negative emotions we produce in public are like negativity we send out to others than in turn gets bounced back at us. If we send out positive vibes to others, it bounces back to us. Positivity becomes contageous. And so does confidence.

The best thing, honestly, is force yourself to get a job (ie. something that's a necessity) working with the public. It's terrifying at first, but after two years you are so much more confident.

For me, it all really came down to necessity. There was no way I could go on living in a socially anxious way--I don't have anybody's back to ride on, I only had myself. If you cut off any dependencies and make it so you only have yourself, eventually you HAVE to do everything by yourself and become confident. It kind of sounds brutal and rough, but it's really the only way it works. In my opinion. You can't avoid necessity.

But you come out the other side a confident person. Everyone has anxieties, fears, and shynesses though. Even the most confident people still feel shy in many situations, and you will learn that about people too. Everyone has the same possibilities in life, its just that people with SA are born into or developed within the confines of what makes us socially anxious. But when we change our surroundings everything about us changes too.
 

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For best results, don't pick out the most major (or important) item to work on first. Instead, order the items on your list in the order of most probable success. Successes give you confidence and encourages you to continue.
:yes Wow, this makes perfect sense...thanks for the tip.
 
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