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    "Behind the cloud the sun is still shining."
    Abraham Lincoln, posted by desiderata

Thelostchild

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Im the worst for social anxiety. I'm always avoiding converstation. Im scared that I might say the wrong thing or it might come out wrong. Im scared of judgment. Im scared of? what people might think.? like when I go to the gym I think that maybe someone is thinking im not working hard enough or that my butt looks big. I guess you could say that I'm insecure with myself. but I don't know? how to change that. Now if someone askes about my tattoo's I don't care.? Crazy I know.? I don't want to be like well if you don't like the way that I look then don't look at me. as in rude.? Alot of people judge me by the front of the cover.
 

David Baxter

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I've just finished reading another post by you, Em, and what occurs to me reading this one is that maybe it's not so much a problem of people "judging you by the cover" per se but more you wanting to be the one who decides what "cover" they see. Perhaps that's why being judged for your tattoos is OK - being judged for other reasons is not.
 

Thelostchild

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When people first see me they think that im mean and a b___? I was treated bad be kids in high school and now I just think everyone is that way. Maybe it has somethig to do with confidence in ones self. I know that i lack in that area. how do you gain more confidence?
 

Diana

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I think that everybody judges by outside appearance at a first glance. But, if they don't get to know the person who you are on the inside then I don't think it's worth it to worry about them. I know - easier said than done. I am really scared to look fat. But, many people will never get to know you either because they choose to be ignorant, or because they are just people on the street who only see you momentarily. However, that shouldn't really matter to you. In situations when people get bullied because of how they look, it makes it impossible to ignore. I'm sorry that people were so mean to you in highschool. But, I guess you know how high school is. People get into little groups and cliques and are sometimes so mean to others. However, if you're out of highschool now, you can see that there is a whole world out there to discover with mean people, nice people, etc. And, you're not trapped in a situation where you must go to this institute all day everyday where people will be mean to you. Hopefully you can discover that it doesn't really matter what other people think if they're not going to take the time to get to know you or vice versa. There are people out there who do appreciate all the wonderful qualities that other's have on the inside.
Are you getting any help right now ei) therapist, phychologist? Therapy could be a step in the right direction to work through your fears an anxieties and increase your self confidence.
 

stargazer

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Em, you mentioned feeling self-conscious at the gym. I think a lot of us are self-conscious in that particular environment. The good thing is that you're not allowing that feeling to prevent you from going there and working out. I have felt "fat" myself lately, and I will confess I have allowed it to keep me from my regular routine of long-distance running. And of course, if I don't run, I'm probably not going to get any thinner (unless I do something radical, like eat less food or something.)

But people can be mean, especially in high school, and it's helpful to "consider the source. " I am saying this to myself, too, because when I go out running, the local high school kids make mean cracks at me as they drive by in their cars. It's better if I pay them no mind, but pay more attention to the people who give me hi signs and thumbs up, because they see that I'm trying to do something good for myself. Then it doesn't matter so much if some people only make fun of me.

The kids in that age group who know me as a teacher and who have taken my classes have a different view of me than those who only see a fat guy trying to get in shape again. It's best to focus on our strengths, and remind ourselves of our good qualities, which I am sure you have. Your honesty with yourself is one of them, as I'm sure everyone on this forum will agree. Also, something tells me that you have a lot of determination. Nobody can be perfect. In my case, if I gain a few pounds before I lose some, it's probably not going to kill me. The ones who aren't judging me by the cover are the ones who count.
 

David Baxter

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Excellent post, stargazer!

I often use that phrase, "consider the source", myself when discussing issues like this.
 

just mary

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Hi,

I'm very good at avoiding people but I think I'm trying to overcome it.? Like you (TheLostChild) I'm always worried that people are going to judge me by what I say and what I look like.? It's been a particularly bad weekend, I've felt extremely ugly and stupid.? I had a hard time looking at myself in the mirror, I just hated the way I looked, all I saw was bad skin and a fat, fat face and an old one.?

Anyway, this is my story and the reason for my reply, my husband and myself babysat my sister-in-law's children last night while she and her husband went to a big, fancy dinner.? They're beautiful people, she always wears the right clothes and has perfect skin and is slim even after two children.? And they're well off.? I feel incredibly inferior around these people.? However, when we arrived at the house there was a broken plate of food on the floor.? Apparently their oldest child had slid it across their new granite countertops and it had it the wall and broken.? He must have slid it pretty hard for it to hit the wall.? Anyway, something just seemed wrong.? And I looked around their new and perfect home and it wasn't perfect.? And I got the feeling that they have problems too.? We took the kids for a walk to let my sister-in-law and husband get ready in peace (the kids are three and five) and as I was leaving the house I spoke briefly with my sister-in-law.? Something just seemed wrong, she sounded like she was about to cry and as I left the house a door slammed upstairs.? I just got a bad feeling.? I had a very strong feeling that they're not perfect, they're very good at projecting perfection but when you get close you can see all the cracks and chinks.? And I got the feeling that they were very caught up in their own lives and probably didn't have a lot of time to think about me.? I still felt inferior but I didn't let it bother me as much.?

Anyway, my point is, people may judge but I think it's only briefly and then they get caught up in their own lives and troubles and probably don't think about you too much.? But I also think that many people don't judge or at least try not, they hate that behaviour as much as others do.

But I still find it hard to talk to people, to express my own oppinion.? How do you get over that feeling?? Any books or strategies?
 

David Baxter

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Excellent post, excellent observations, Mary. No one ever knows what lies behind the facade, the suprficial face that people choose to present to the rest of the world. When we compare ourselves to others, we need to remind ourselves that most of the time we are comparing ourselves to something that does not exist - and probably never did.
 

Diana

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Honestly, I think there are a million stories like Mary's. That's because no person is "perfect", if you even want to go ahead and try to define perfect. When I was in high school I became very jealous of one of my friends. I didn't get angry at her and we remained friends and everything. But, this was why. She got very good marks in every subject in school. She was tiny and cute. She was very shy, but the guys had now begun to notice her and many thought she was pretty. She never did anything too stupid or rebellious or take many chances. Therefore, she had nothing to feel guilty about and she was never in trouble. She just seemed PERFECT.
Well, now I'm 29 and I realize that she wasn't/is perfect. Neither am I and that's OK. She's been living a good life and I'm happy for her. But, she could have never done something like leave Canada by herself and go and work in a foreign country. In fact, she now admits that she had problems with travelling or being anywhere too far from home. She actually had a couple of anxiety attacks when she went on some trips with friends. Looking back to high school, and can see some signs of this. It wasn't until grade 11 or so when we were finally able to drag her out with us.
The great thing about all of this is that she did end up going on a couple of trips (at least one to Europe) and she was able to stand tough through her fears and enjoy herself.
i wouldn't want the kind of life she has now. It's just me. I couldn't live and work in that small city where I grew up. However, for her it's been good. We both have different life styles, different problems and we shine in different ways. So actually maybe we should feel sorry for people who are too quick to judge, because they're blinding themselves to so much.
 

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