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Painfully insecure to the point of avoiding people and places
#21
Restless, I thought of an exercise that I would like you to try, if you're interested and/or think it might be helpful ... to see if you can get more in touch with your feelings and perhaps get a slight hold on them, instead of getting lost in them. It's a mindfulness exercise, but tailored to your issues with self-esteem. The goal is to observe your feelings, sort of in a detached way ... as if you're stepping back from them, like watching those proverbial leaves flowing downstream.

You mentioned, once before, that you went around asking people, "Do I look like the owner of this place ?"

What I would like you to try, is, to walk up to strangers, just the way you did so before, but this time, I want you to go in mentally prepared for the fact that you may get an answer you don't like. Remind yourself that it's not the answer that matters (because this is just an exercise), but how you find yourself responding (thoughts/feelings) to those answers.

As for the specific question to ask, you're the best judge of that. If you're really brave, you could walk up to a girl you find attractive and ask her, "Do you think I look like XYZ ?" You know that this subject has triggered you in the past, so this would be an advanced question ! You could try something easier, that you know won't trigger you as much (based on past experience). Find something you're comfortable with.

Then, of course, be prepared to get answers that you don't like. When you hear the answer, feel the feelings, take a deep breath, and thank the person for their time. Don't talk back or argue ... this will require your full attention/consciousness. As you walk away from the interaction, watch what thoughts flow through your mind. You don't have to block out the feelings; feel them, but as an observer, without any automatic reactions.

Then, sit on a park bench or at a cafe, by yourself, and observe. This is, in fact, one form of meditation. But, what most people don't realize is that meditation has nothing to do with sitting cross-legged on the floor or incense or closing eyes, or with a rigorous routine (I'd say that routine is counter-conducive to meditation). Meditation simply means being present and observing thoughts/feelings ... this, in turn, calms the mind, and is intended to make one feel more alive, more vital. The point is to get out of your mind and watch the mind. You then control it.

If you're able to observe anger and other negative feelings, without acting on them ... if you're able to step back, observe them, and watch them flow downstream, that's progress. Drop the interaction, move on with your day.

If nothing else, this will get you more comfortable just talking to people Toungue

Over time, it may not need to be an exercise anymore; you may be able to apply it in real interactions, when someone insults you. Of course, that is the ultimate goal here.

Just an idea.
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#22
(11-27-2016, 01:40 PM)Somnambulist Wrote: Restless, I thought of an exercise that I would like you to try, if you're interested and/or think it might be helpful ... to see if you can get more in touch with your feelings and perhaps get a slight hold on them, instead of getting lost in them. It's a mindfulness exercise, but tailored to your issues with self-esteem. The goal is to observe your feelings, sort of in a detached way ... as if you're stepping back from them, like watching those proverbial leaves flowing downstream.

You mentioned, once before, that you went around asking people, "Do I look like the owner of this place ?"

What I would like you to try, is, to walk up to strangers, just the way you did so before, but this time, I want you to go in mentally prepared for the fact that you may get an answer you don't like. Remind yourself that it's not the answer that matters (because this is just an exercise), but how you find yourself responding (thoughts/feelings) to those answers.

As for the specific question to ask, you're the best judge of that. If you're really brave, you could walk up to a girl you find attractive and ask her, "Do you think I look like XYZ ?" You know that this subject has triggered you in the past, so this would be an advanced question ! You could try something easier, that you know won't trigger you as much (based on past experience). Find something you're comfortable with.

Then, of course, be prepared to get answers that you don't like. When you hear the answer, feel the feelings, take a deep breath, and thank the person for their time. Don't talk back or argue ... this will require your full attention/consciousness. As you walk away from the interaction, watch what thoughts flow through your mind. You don't have to block out the feelings; feel them, but as an observer, without any automatic reactions.

If you're able to observe anger and other negative feelings, without acting on them ... if you're able to step back, observe them, and watch them flow downstream, that's progress. Drop the interaction, move on with your day.

If nothing else, this will get you more comfortable just talking to people Toungue

Over time, it may not need to be an exercise anymore; you may be able to apply it in real interactions, when someone insults you. Of course, that is the ultimate goal here.

Just an idea.

Sounds scary. I might have to think about it.
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#23
The thing is I can talk to people pretty well. Just like I do here. The problem is, that fear is always under the surface. The trigger. The things people say we cannot control. The things people have said that are always resurfacing.
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#24
Let me reread what you wrote
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#25
(11-26-2016, 10:24 AM)Restless soul Wrote:
(11-26-2016, 09:06 AM)Somnambulist Wrote: There are no pills, home remedies, or snap-out-of-it solutions for this, pal.

Your insecurities run deep. Therapy works for some people ... have you tried it ? Others have to figure it out on their own.

I doubt you're going to find any solutions here. Pep talk and support, perhaps.
Support,  and pep talk can do wonders. Important to have an outlet like this. You seem pretty knowledgeable as well as others

Of course, this forum has its place and purpose. I just mean that it will not save you.

About my knowledge, a lot of it is theoretical. You should know, as someone who reads my posts, that I don't always practice what I preach. I think, in fact, that I am a miserable failure in that regard. I try, but I have been largely unsuccessful to date. Of course, I strongly believe in any advice I give anyone (otherwise, I wouldn't waste my time), but it might help you to know or merely consider that I don't always succeed in taking it. It might give you perspective.

It can be insightful, when taking in advice, to consider the context from within which it is given ... what are that person's intentions, motivations, convictions ... does he believe in what he is telling you ? This goes back to the taking advice with a grain of salt discussion.

A bodybuilding buddy once said to me ... "When you look for a personal trainer, who are you going to choose ? The guy whose body you want !"

Wink
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#26
Hi Restless Soul, does your anxiety come from a fear of being found out as a fraud or similar? My job means I have to chair meetings and represent patients, I can also run pub quizzes and talk to people on a microphone. However once it is me talking to people socially I feel such a fraud and so inferior. So for me talking isn't the problem, it is who I talk too, and how I perceive their perceptions. Just curious if this is how you feel?
Pick the stars out one by one,
and place them in a drawer.
Leave them there for a thousand years,
and forget what they were for.
Reply
#27
(11-29-2016, 04:10 AM)Zevon Wrote: Hi Restless Soul, does your anxiety come from a fear of being found out as a fraud or similar? My job means I have to chair meetings and represent patients, I can also run pub quizzes and talk to people on a microphone. However once it is me talking to people socially I feel such a fraud and so inferior. So for me talking isn't the problem, it is who I talk too, and how I perceive their perceptions. Just curious if this is how you feel?

Thanks for the reply, zevon. No nothing like that.  A lot of it stems from physical outward aoperance. In other words body image, self-image. Looks. Call it. Superficial. Vain. But its all
Things that affect my. Confidence and self-esteem. That is what it boils down to.
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#28
And why do you feel like a fraud?
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#29
That can be very difficult, my wife suffered from anorexia so I have some experience. I do not think you are superficial or vain at all. May I ask, did you decide how you perceive your body image or did someone else?

Not meaning to pry, just trying to work myself out.
Pick the stars out one by one,
and place them in a drawer.
Leave them there for a thousand years,
and forget what they were for.
Reply
#30
Sorry missed the second part.

I feel like a fraud probably due to my upbringing. I have been reasonably successful in my life (relationships not withstanding). I would even concede to being reasonably popular, however as I feel so negative about myself, it feels that the bits of me that people like/know is false erg a fraud. Hope that answers your question.

Anonymity has it's benefits I suppose.
Pick the stars out one by one,
and place them in a drawer.
Leave them there for a thousand years,
and forget what they were for.
Reply


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