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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
'Be yourself, everybody else is taken'
-That's what it says on the beer mats in the pub I work in, and it's so true.
We are all unique individuals, yet why do we constantly strive to impress others? or live to other people's standards?

I've been reading over this forum since I joined a few days ago, and the same fundamental issue keeps arising, which is probably the very root of SA (I apologize if i'm stating the obvious here).

People with SA (myself included here) tend to be terrified of how people will perceive them, we think that these people might perceive us as being ugly, fat, skinny, a burden, dumb, a waste of their time, retarded, weak, you name it. The question is, why the hell do we actually care what these people think about us?
The typical Beta male mindset. Yet the majority of people (in my experience) have little to no individuality, they obtain all of their opinions and values from society and negative social conditioning, they lack fundamental understand of their own being. Yet why is it that it is us (who have a strong sense of personal identity, hence SA), who feel that we are in the minority?

My problem is, I feel like I understand the human condition better than most people, and I understand that true individuality and authenticity is something that is lacking in society, yet why am I still afraid to express my uniqueness? why am I still afraid to do the very basic things which the socially conditioned mass rabblers take for granted? Why can't I just learn to love who I am? without having to struggle painfully to act in ways which I think others will approve?

Sorry if this comes across as a rant, I guess it is. But I think this is the very heart of SA. Call it a disorder, an excuse, a disease or whatever. I believe it's a mindset which we have become accustomed to from experience, and breaking out of it is something which I think probably gets more difficult the older you are. As the older we are, the more reference experiences we have had to strengthen this false sense of identity.

Peace and love.
:flush
 

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The question is, why the hell do we actually care what these people think about us?

Why can't I just learn to love who I am? without having to struggle painfully to act in ways which I think others will approve?
Well, I care too much what others think of me so trying to not care what others think of me is like telling a schizophrenic to get over it. I try to just let go of my ego and let my mind speak. Ive accepted some parts of myself but to accept who I AM or what I DO is different and low self esteem is part of the problem. Everyone needs acceptance and/or approval but I tend to excessively need approval probably because I dont think highly of myself and have very low confidence.
 

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At my age, people have achieved much more than me and i'm still...well, underachieving in every aspect. I don't really care actually, but the society wants it. They want to know that at my age, I have matured to what they want and not what I want. I think this is one of the reason why I have SA and also constantly having suicidal thoughts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, I care too much what others think of me so trying to not care what others think of me is like telling a schizophrenic to get over it. I try to just let go of my ego and let my mind speak. Ive accepted some parts of myself but to accept who I AM or what I DO is different and low self esteem is part of the problem. Everyone needs acceptance and/or approval but I tend to excessively need approval probably because I dont think highly of myself and have very low confidence.
Yeah this is exactly what I mean.
It seems that all of us with SA are in desperate NEED of external validations to justify who we are as a human being, but why is it that we depend on this so much? why can't we just have that mentality where we don't give a f##k what people think about us?
It's like, 99% of people will give me what I perceive as 'positive validations', like tell me that they think i'm good looking, cute, funny, or whatever validation it is i'm secretly seeking at that time, yet I will focus on the negative 1% reference experiences I get and actually BELIEVE that that is what I am (ugly, socially inept, stupid or whatever).

It's like on the surface I couldn't give a f##k what people think about me, because I (probably arrogantly) believe myself to be more intelligent, authentic and enlightened than the majority of people, yet throw me in an uncomfortable social situation and I am ENTIRELY dependent upon external validations, and I find myself acting in ways which opposes what my heart tells me (like desperately trying hard to 'fit in' or be 'accepted').
This really rattles my cage, because I feel like i'm going against everything I believe in, yet I just cannot seem to act myself or authentic in social situations.
 

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...The question is, why the hell do we actually care what these people think about us?...

My problem is, I feel like I understand the human condition better than most people, and I understand that true individuality and authenticity is something that is lacking in society, yet why am I still afraid to express my uniqueness? why am I still afraid to do the very basic things which the socially conditioned mass rabblers take for granted? Why can't I just learn to love who I am? without having to struggle painfully to act in ways which I think others will approve?
This is a timely thread as I was thinking along these lines last night. Well along slightly different lines, but I think its still related.

The conclusion I came to was that nobody loves me for me (okay I was really worked up last night, actually cried myself to sleep - yeah I cried, meh). Even though the circumstances that lead me to this thought have drastically changed and I feel a bit more settled now I still do believe this is the core issue I have.

Nobody loves me for me. People like me for what they perceive to be me and this perception is never the real me. They like what they want me to be.

Why does this eat me up so much? Because, I guess I have to admit, I want to be loved. Its lonely all alone. I guess thats why people conform to the norm? Whats uniqueness worth when you are alone? Well its worth something to me in a way. Because I don't know any other way to be but be myself. I'm wierd, I make (stupid/amoral? <insert appropriate word here>) mistakes, I can be boring, I can be a jerk, I can betray people myself, but I guess thats me.

But I can't trust that anyone will love me unconditionally. Even my parents, the way they keep flipping their opinion of me makes me wonder. I can't trust even them. I feel everyone will (or can?) betray me. And I can't stand betrayal.

I'm getting more and more convinced that the path to true happiness lies by myself. Its through this loneliness that I have to find a way to happiness. My thoughts may be flawed (they are certinly disjointed, because I wrot ethis thing straight away without too much editing) but this is how I feel right now. I'm not saying I'll never find someone who I like, but I don't know if I'll ever be able to give myself wholly to that person.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
At my age, people have achieved much more than me and i'm still...well, underachieving in every aspect. I don't really care actually, but the society wants it. They want to know that at my age, I have matured to what they want and not what I want. I think this is one of the reason why I have SA and also constantly having suicidal thoughts.
This is another society created thing, when you talk about achievement.
The 'stereotypical' life involves:- going to school/college, having fun, meeting a partner/settling down, having children, wasting 20 years working a boring job, retiring, having fun for 10 years or so retired, becoming demented then dying (if you're lucky).
THAT, is the stereotypical life, you say you're under achieving, but that is simply living by other people's/society's standards.
It's extremely difficult to break out of this mindset (believe me I know, I havn't yet), maybe you have have broken out of it. But the problem is is that we are essentially social creatures, we cannot escape that. There will always be that conflict between our own individuality and herd (social) mentality, which I believe is where SA arises from.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think essentially this comes down to the fundamental conflict which arises due to consciousness (the fact that we are self aware of our own existence), the conflict between individuality and socially accepted 'norms', or the 'herd mentality'.
 

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'Be yourself, everybody else is taken'
-That's what it says on the beer mats in the pub I work in, and it's so true.
We are all unique individuals, yet why do we constantly strive to impress others? or live to other people's standards?

I've been reading over this forum since I joined a few days ago, and the same fundamental issue keeps arising, which is probably the very root of SA (I apologize if i'm stating the obvious here).

People with SA (myself included here) tend to be terrified of how people will perceive them, we think that these people might perceive us as being ugly, fat, skinny, a burden, dumb, a waste of their time, retarded, weak, you name it. The question is, why the hell do we actually care what these people think about us?
The typical Beta male mindset. Yet the majority of people (in my experience) have little to no individuality, they obtain all of their opinions and values from society and negative social conditioning, they lack fundamental understand of their own being. Yet why is it that it is us (who have a strong sense of personal identity, hence SA), who feel that we are in the minority?

My problem is, I feel like I understand the human condition better than most people, and I understand that true individuality and authenticity is something that is lacking in society, yet why am I still afraid to express my uniqueness? why am I still afraid to do the very basic things which the socially conditioned mass rabblers take for granted? Why can't I just learn to love who I am? without having to struggle painfully to act in ways which I think others will approve?

Sorry if this comes across as a rant, I guess it is. But I think this is the very heart of SA. Call it a disorder, an excuse, a disease or whatever. I believe it's a mindset which we have become accustomed to from experience, and breaking out of it is something which I think probably gets more difficult the older you are. As the older we are, the more reference experiences we have had to strengthen this false sense of identity.

Peace and love.
:flush
One of the requirement for overcoming social anxiety is time so don't be haste. It sounds like you are being impatient. I have gotten a lot better but it took years. The change is so gradual that I didn't even notice the improvement until carefully look back in my life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
One of the requirement for overcoming social anxiety is time so don't be haste. It sounds like you are being impatient. I have gotten a lot better but it took years. The change is so gradual that I didn't even notice the improvement until carefully look back in my life.
Perhaps I am being impatient. What steps did you take to improve?
 

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Perhaps I am being impatient. What steps did you take to improve?
I use CBT and I highly recommend it. CBT makes you more aware of your thoughts and beliefs. Explore the thoughts and beliefs to find the fundamental negative beliefs that cause your anxiety. Caring too much about what people think is the symptom of negative fundamental belief! If you just tell yourself not care what people think without dealing the fundamental belief, you will fail.

From personal experience,

CBT + Time + Patience = result.
 

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Yeah this is exactly what I mean.
It seems that all of us with SA are in desperate NEED of external validations to justify who we are as a human being, but why is it that we depend on this so much? why can't we just have that mentality where we don't give a f##k what people think about us?
It's like, 99% of people will give me what I perceive as 'positive validations', like tell me that they think i'm good looking, cute, funny, or whatever validation it is i'm secretly seeking at that time, yet I will focus on the negative 1% reference experiences I get and actually BELIEVE that that is what I am (ugly, socially inept, stupid or whatever).

It's like on the surface I couldn't give a f##k what people think about me, because I (probably arrogantly) believe myself to be more intelligent, authentic and enlightened than the majority of people, yet throw me in an uncomfortable social situation and I am ENTIRELY dependent upon external validations, and I find myself acting in ways which opposes what my heart tells me (like desperately trying hard to 'fit in' or be 'accepted').
This really rattles my cage, because I feel like i'm going against everything I believe in, yet I just cannot seem to act myself or authentic in social situations.
You're being to harsh on yourself. One thing that I've learned from experience is to never be too harsh on yourself. Give yourself some slack. Even at your current state you are not that bad of a person. Other people have anxiety and confidence problem too but you just don't see it. We (SA people) single ourselves out because we think other people don't have problems but they do. We just don't see it.
 

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I use CBT and I highly recommend it. CBT makes you more aware of your thoughts and beliefs. Explore the thoughts and beliefs to find the fundamental negative beliefs that cause your anxiety. Caring too much about what people think is the symptom of negative fundamental belief! If you just tell yourself not care what people think without dealing the fundamental belief, you will fail.

From personal experience,

CBT + Time + Patience = result.
plus Medication also..
 
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