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My enemy is myself
#1
My enemy is myself. I've realized this for a long time and yet I am unable to change.

I look in the mirror and I have no trouble at all seeing the qualities that I believe are lacking when I compare them to other people. I am only five feet six inches tall and I wish I were taller. I wish I were a bit thinner. I wish I could smile as easy as I see others do. I even practice smiling in the mirror and it just never looks right to me, like I'm making a funny face or something.

I even have a hard time saying the word "shy" out loud. I don't know why I am uncomfortable saying it. Just another mystery I suppose.

Shyness has caused me to miss out on many things in my life. I never went to my junior prom or senior ball. I wanted to so much but I never had the courage to take the steps to ask a girl to go with me.

I was on a bus once coming home from school and there were a group of girls sitting near me talking and having a good time and they started talking about not ever being able to find a guy who would treat them the way they should be treated. I wanted to tell them that I am one of those guys that they were looking for but I never did. I remember this like it was yesterday.

That's one of my problems that I carry around too. I have a fantastic memory and there are times when I don't know if it is a blessing or a curse. If someone says something about me or to me that insults me or embarrasses me I won't forget it and I'll keep re-hashing it over in my head like a film strip played over and over.

I am so concerned with what people may think of me or if they'll judge me. I can't follow conversations well because I am so concerned with what I am going to say next that I don't follow what the other person is saying.

I am not asking to be the life of any party. I don't look to be the center of attention. But I desperately would like to have some and I would like to be able to talk with a girl without finding something on the floor more interesting than her eyes and smile.

I am tired of being me. I want the person that is inside of me to be seen by others. I'm tired of what I see in the mirror.
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#2
I could have written most of this post myself. The comparing myself to others and coming up inferior, the worrying what others think of me, the longing for the real me to be seen and accepted instead of just the little bit of me on the surface, going over and over things people have said to me many years later and feeling worked up about it, worrying what to say next in conversations etc.
I don't know the answer, but wanted you to know that you are not alone in thinking and feeling this way. It can be hell.
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#3
(03-18-2015, 08:43 PM)Tiina63 Wrote: I could have written most of this post myself. The comparing myself to others and coming up inferior, the worrying what others think of me, the longing for the real me to be seen and accepted instead of just the little bit of me on the surface, going over and over things people have said to me many years later and feeling worked up about it, worrying what to say next in conversations etc.
I don't know the answer, but wanted you to know that you are not alone in thinking and feeling this way. It can be hell.

Thank you Tiina for responding. I really appreciated that.
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#4
(03-18-2015, 12:01 PM)BeyondShy Wrote: I look in the mirror and I have no trouble at all seeing the qualities that I believe are lacking when I compare them to other people. I am only five feet six inches tall and I wish I were taller. I wish I were a bit thinner. I wish I could smile as easy as I see others do. I even practice smiling in the mirror and it just never looks right to me, like I'm making a funny face or something.

What you BELIEVE is lacking is your main problem. You can't see yourself in reality because you think there must be all these flaws, most of which aren't really there are are inconsequential or even emphasized in your head.
You can't do anything about being taller, although, there's nothing wrong with being 5'6. Tom Cruise is only 5'7 and he does okay. You can, however, do something about being thinner if you really want it. The smile, you are probably trying to force it, it's not coming out naturally, so of course it won't look natural to you.
Comparing yourself to others, well, that's a never ending journey, because there will likely always be people you perceive as better than you, but there's also people who are not better than you. In the end, we are all the same, in that we are all different. There are qualities that you have that others don't, and the same goes for the other way around.


(03-18-2015, 12:01 PM)BeyondShy Wrote: Shyness has caused me to miss out on many things in my life. I never went to my junior prom or senior ball. I wanted to so much but I never had the courage to take the steps to ask a girl to go with me.

I was on a bus once coming home from school and there were a group of girls sitting near me talking and having a good time and they started talking about not ever being able to find a guy who would treat them the way they should be treated. I wanted to tell them that I am one of those guys that they were looking for but I never did. I remember this like it was yesterday.
You can conquer your shyness, but it will take hard work and putting yourself out of your comfort zone. Try something harder than you usually do, say hi to people, that sort of thing, and it will get easier the more you do it.
As for those girls talking about finding a guy to treat them well, saying that you are one of those means nothing, it's an action kind of thing, they have to SEE it.

(03-18-2015, 12:01 PM)BeyondShy Wrote: That's one of my problems that I carry around too. I have a fantastic memory and there are times when I don't know if it is a blessing or a curse. If someone says something about me or to me that insults me or embarrasses me I won't forget it and I'll keep re-hashing it over in my head like a film strip played over and over.
I am so concerned with what people may think of me or if they'll judge me. I can't follow conversations well because I am so concerned with what I am going to say next that I don't follow what the other person is saying.

These people that insult and/or embarrass you, do they KNOW you? If they don't, what they say means nothing. They insult you because they can see it bothers you, because you seem like an easy target to them and it makes them feel superior over the own shit they have going on in their own likely messed up life.
What people say about you can't harm you unless you allow it to. Instead of focusing on the insults and what see see wrong with yourself, look for the good, focus on that. Go a week or even a day without judging yourself and see what happens.
DISCLAIMER:
The views I express are my own opinion. More often than not, if I say "you," it is generalized and not to a person specifically.

My advice is based on my own experiences and those of my friends and family. I may not have a degree saying I read a bunch of books/passed tests, but I have been through a lot and helped others through a lot. Experience is often a better qualification than having read books/passed tests.

I speak in a blunt manner. I mean no disrespect and I'm not being rude. This is just the way I am, please do not take offense.

Take what you like and leave the rest.


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#5
That sounds a lot like me back when I was in middle school and high school.

The problem isn't that you're "shy" it is that you have incredibly low self esteem. The solution to it is very simple, you just need to stop worrying about what everyone else thinks and just be yourself. Learn to take chances. Learn to open up. Learn to worry less and act more.
What are really the consequences to being rejected? Rejection is a part of life and the sooner you realize and accept this the sooner you will learn to overcome it and be happy.

What you should realize is that a lot of the people you know probably feel exactly the same way as you, and that they are also waiting for someone to walk up and just talk to them. Waiting for someone to come and get to know them. If I had realized that back in middle school or even high school I'm sure things would have went completely different for me. All you need to do is realize this, too. Even the people who might look like they already have some friends might have really low self esteem and unable to really talk to anyone else. It's all about perspective. Yours is wrong.
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#6
(03-18-2015, 10:52 PM)TheRealCallie Wrote: You can conquer your shyness, but it will take hard work and putting yourself out of your comfort zone. Try something harder than you usually do, say hi to people, that sort of thing, and it will get easier the more you do it.


What a hard thing to do.

You know, it's been a long time that someone has come up to me to say hi. I do notice that if I can get comfortable (it does happen) I can hold up a conversation as well as anyone but that first step is like trying to jump out of a plane for the very first time.

Last September I had to go to a fiftieth anniversary party. Got all dressed up, suit and tie, etc. I sat at a table with seven other people and even though I smiled and laughed at some of the things that they were saying (even if they weren't that funny) they never talked to me. As the evening wore on I smiled and laughed a lot less and when it was time for me to leave I was furious but I didn't show it. I was like everyone else there but they didn't include me and I don't know why.


(03-18-2015, 10:52 PM)TheRealCallie Wrote: These people that insult and/or embarrass you, do they KNOW you?

Some of them know me. They think they are just "joking around."

(03-18-2015, 10:52 PM)TheRealCallie Wrote: What people say about you can't harm you unless you allow it to. Instead of focusing on the insults and what see see wrong with yourself, look for the good, focus on that. Go a week or even a day without judging yourself and see what happens.

I can only try but right now I am already worried about something that is supposed to go down on Sunday.

I am trying to do steps to help me along with this serious problem of mine so I decided to join a anxiety group that is going to meet this Sunday. So far nine people will be in attendance. Seven women and two men. I know already that none of those seven women will pay any attention to me. I'll bet my house on it.

(03-19-2015, 01:30 AM)Despicable Me Wrote: The problem isn't that you're "shy" it is that you have incredibly low self esteem. The solution to it is very simple, you just need to stop worrying about what everyone else thinks and just be yourself. Learn to take chances. Learn to open up. Learn to worry less and act more.
What are really the consequences to being rejected? Rejection is a part of life and the sooner you realize and accept this the sooner you will learn to overcome it and be happy.

I think this is easier said than done.

And what are the consequences of being rejected? You get humiliated and laughed at.



(03-19-2015, 01:30 AM)Despicable Me Wrote: What you should realize is that a lot of the people you know probably feel exactly the same way as you, and that they are also waiting for someone to walk up and just talk to them. Waiting for someone to come and get to know them. If I had realized that back in middle school or even high school I'm sure things would have went completely different for me. All you need to do is realize this, too. Even the people who might look like they already have some friends might have really low self esteem and unable to really talk to anyone else. It's all about perspective. Yours is wrong.

I've heard this from other people too. My question always is why doesn't someone -anyone- come up and talk to me? Why do I always have to do it first?

I realize I want to be around people so much but at the same time I am trusting them less and less.
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#7
I'm only 5'1", but dear Dad called me 'Mighty Mouse'. I'm glad he did because he removed all notion I was lesser than those around me. He also taught never to compare myself with others. Except importantly - to learn how to adapt when feeling alone.

Dad knew he was dying and so did I. In the short time he had left he taught me how to adapt to the loneliness I would feel after he passed away. There began a steady working in me, though it depended on my perspective. I can be alone and be lonely, or I can be alone and enjoy the quiet time and the chance I have to reflect, meditate, be introspective - or go for a hike and become extrovert. Over the years of emptiness since Dad passed, all I had were his words of wisdom. They are written down, too, in a series of letters that arrived on my Birthday, one letter pre-dated by him and given to his lawyer to send out. Call it a Time Capsule.


Now I realise that loneliness is a very strong feeling that can be debilitating and difficult to live with. It affects a person to the depths of their soul, for in loneliness one sees oneself as being rejected by other people who would rather be with someone else - anyone else, we often tell ourselves. That somehow we're unacceptable, undesirable, unlovable. We have plenty of time to be alone to tell ourselves all these negative things about ourselves. Except we have a choice - to get out there and make an effort.

This is what I did: Make effort. Instead of wallowing in self pity staying at home, I joined outdoor clubs to do things I never thought were possible.

Like abseiling. Abseiling put the shits up me.

But it taught me that I was capable of dealing with FEAR. And that abseiling experienced snowballed all those negative feelings to improve myself. To be a better woman capable of anything - even sailing in rough seas and dealing with the fear of drowning when crewing an 88ft sloop in a Force 10 gale and swells 6 feet high or more.

It's all out there, you know. But you have get off your arse and do something about your loneliness.

Anna Mouse
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#8
(03-19-2015, 04:47 AM)Mouse Wrote: It's all out there, you know. But you have get off your arse and do something about your loneliness.

Anna Mouse

Honestly, who can argue with advice like this? It is just so hard making that first step.
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#9
(03-19-2015, 03:02 AM)BeyondShy Wrote: I know already that none of those seven women will pay any attention to me. I'll bet my house on it.
You do NOT know that. Stop thinking that way, it's what gets you in trouble with yourself.

(03-19-2015, 03:02 AM)BeyondShy Wrote:
(03-19-2015, 01:30 AM)Despicable Me Wrote: The problem isn't that you're "shy" it is that you have incredibly low self esteem. The solution to it is very simple, you just need to stop worrying about what everyone else thinks and just be yourself. Learn to take chances. Learn to open up. Learn to worry less and act more.
What are really the consequences to being rejected? Rejection is a part of life and the sooner you realize and accept this the sooner you will learn to overcome it and be happy.

I think this is easier said than done.

And what are the consequences of being rejected? You get humiliated and laughed at.

Most things worthwhile are easier said than done. That doesn't mean you shouldn't still do them.
If you never try, you will never succeed. Rejection is a part of life, like was already stated, you just need to learn how to deal with it in a better way.

(03-19-2015, 03:02 AM)BeyondShy Wrote: I've heard this from other people too. My question always is why doesn't someone -anyone- come up and talk to me? Why do I always have to do it first?

It could be because you subconsciously put out an unapproachable aura. You don't like yourself and already "know" people won't talk to you, so why should they? They likely see what you try to hide.
Be more confident, put out a little effort, definitely be more positive and you may find it changes.
DISCLAIMER:
The views I express are my own opinion. More often than not, if I say "you," it is generalized and not to a person specifically.

My advice is based on my own experiences and those of my friends and family. I may not have a degree saying I read a bunch of books/passed tests, but I have been through a lot and helped others through a lot. Experience is often a better qualification than having read books/passed tests.

I speak in a blunt manner. I mean no disrespect and I'm not being rude. This is just the way I am, please do not take offense.

Take what you like and leave the rest.


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#10
BeyondShy, thanks for sharing your problems with us this way. This is what this forum all about and I know how it is to open up in the first place. So you did the right thing in that for sure.

TheRealCallie said a lot of right things, in my opinion.
But yes, you are right, many things are easier said than done and this is the point, because in some ways we must change our own perception of the world around us, of the people around us and, in the end, of ourselves as well.

This is really hard as it's a fundamental thing to do but it can pay off. It's not about to do a "brainwashing" to yourself, not even remotely. It's more about how to slightly change the angle of how to look at things.
You know we can look at the same situation from many different ways and each way can make perfect sense.

If you continue to only look at things the very same way over and over again, nothing will really change. You won't grow any taller anymore, for example. But what can grow is your self-esteem when you finally start to look at yourself from a different angle. :-)

Please do not think this is an abstract situation for me (what you described). I do know very well these sort of feelings, these sort of rejection and also to look at yourself like this. Been there, done that .... kinda.

The most basic rule to change something is: You have to learn to love yourself. You can start thinking about loving others as soon as you have started to finally love yourself as well.
One thing requires the other. It's as simple as that.

And in order to love yourself you will have to finally accept yourself the way you are. Not the way you would like to be. But the way you are. These things I just said sound so simple but I know they are in fact not. It is very hard to truly get into a fundamental change regarding this.

The second thing is that you should not give other people this huge power over you. Because this is what you do. As soon as anyone can make you feel that bad, it shows that you're giving these people more power over you as you should. It's another thing we often don't realize.

As soon as you start learning to accept yourself (and eventually to even "love" yourself) you will see that your fear of rejection will gradually become less. Because as long as you almost hate yourself like that and as long as you are so afraid of rejection, you will get rejection.

It's because people can notice it. You radiate this fear and others can sense it easily. I was told the very same thing many years ago already too. So I learned about this the hard way too.

The moment you start to gain a bit self-confidence again, you will not radiate this fear anymore and the "results" will be different from then on. You will see. Smile

This is not an A-Z remedy about what to do but just a kind of reminder of a few fundamental things which I had to learn as well. Just think about it a bit what I wrote. Maybe it can already give you an inspiration, my friend. Smile

You can definitely make a difference and you can definitely change this whole thing and turn it around. It's all within your own powers.

You will see. Good luck! Smile
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