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HotthenCold

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Sep 12, 2007
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I'm really reaching a dark point in my life due to social problems. I don't know exactly how to articulate everything that causes me anxiety and depression in terms of social interaction, but I am reaching a point where I'm very bitter and very distrustful of people, and I can't find it in me to like myself or most people. I wish I could just say there was one particular aspect of social interaction that stresses me, but there's way too much about myself and people that brings me down. Here's a list of things that I can think of right now that cause me to be sad:

1) I always feel like people are judging me or making fun of me. I then get sad because I can't tell anyone I'm sad about it because I HATE to be told by someone who is not in my shoes that "It's all in my head" and that seems to be the standard response to this problem. My belief that I'm awkward and being made fun of is reinforced by countless situations where I am the outcast or loser or "that guy" even if I don't feel I did anything harmful or insulting or rude.

2) I think most people are taking way too many behavior cues from a lot of poisonous sources, causing them to think that being selfish, cruel, rude, and arrogant is a sign of a confident and powerful go getter. I know it's seems obvious that these traits are bad, but I really feel like a vast number of people feel it's necessary to act this way. The narcissism and idiotic tendencies that are rewarded make me want to abandon society. Sounds dramatic, but I truly mean it.

3) Even if I'm feeling good in a social situation, I know it's just a matter of time until someone knocks me off course by doing or saying something mean or rude even if it's unprovoked. It seems to be a constant, every day, provoked or not, that someone will act completely mean for no good reason. It's easy to "say" that's life, but to really remain unaffected by these episodes would require a strength of character and self esteem that I do not have.

4) Relating to the last point, I have so many people in my life that I avoid because I do not like who I was around them in the past, and even though I feel I've grown, I still revert back to my old self and I'm still "less than them" when I see them. I despise this, it's like old triggers that come into my life that I can't control, and that recurrence of the past feels like a cruel trick of fate, setting me back to the start. I really dread seeing so many people, because I hate to feel that uncomfortable emotional and physical state, where I'm a bumbling idiot trying to impress others or be accepted. I'm worried, because my only defense of this situation is to be always on guard and that usually means a constant state of distrust and the expectation that I will be insulted or humiliated. This causes me to sever contacts with certain people and places, and also causes me to be in a foul mood very often, and probably scares others too. I know I scare other people sometimes because I can be unreceptive and indifferent and also spiteful, but I just can't take anymore of peoples crap, I can't be made to feel bad from others, I cause enough of that myself. I don't want to be a jerk, I don't want to be unhappy, but I keep meeting the same jerks in different skin, and I'm becoming more and more isolated and depressed. How can I start to like myself and others? how can I make myself truly resilient to peoples cruelty and stupidity? how can I feel accepted and sane?

Those are the biggest ones that come to mind right now, though I'm sure I missed some stressors in there.
 

David Baxter

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Reading over your post, HotthenCold, what comes to mind immediately is cognitive restructuring (cognitive behavior therapy or CBT).

See:

The Ten Forms of Twisted Thinking - Psychlinks Psychology and Self-Help Forum

Feelings and the Thoughts That Control Them - Psychlinks Psychology and Self-Help Forum

These are excerpts from David Burns, The Feeling Good Handbook. which has a chapter on social anxiety and how to use CBT to manage it.

You might also find this of interest:

The Highly Sensitive Person - Psychlinks Psychology and Self-Help Forum
 

Daniel

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How can I start to like myself and others?

Regarding liking yourself, there are some readings in the forum on self-esteem. The ideas I like most regarding liking oneself are by Carl Rogers and Albert Ellis. (Ellis was a founder of CBT.) Some of Carl Rogers ideas are explained below by Dr. Baxter:

David Baxter said:
Rogers' notion of the Organismic Valuing System refers to being able to judge yourself and your movement toward your goals from within, instead of depending on other people for feedback as to who you are and how well you are doing.

The ability to do this is one of the characteristics of the Fully Functioning Person. Another is the development of Unconditional Positive Self-Regard (Rogers uses awkward terminology), which is basically the ability to accept yourself for who you are, warts and all, and love that person.

The opposite of Unconditional Positive Regard (or Self-Regard) is a result of Conditions of Worth, where other people basically demand that you be a certain type of person, behave in certain ways, and work toward and achieve certain goals, all defined by the other person(s). If you conform to those expectations, they reward you with love, praise, affection, and acceptance; if you do not, they punish you by withholding love, praise, affection, and acceptance. Thus, Conditions of Worth function to make you act as if you were someone else, based on the message that if you are yourself you are not worthy of love or acceptance.

Carl Rogers and Client-Centered Therapy - Psychlinks Psychology and Self-Help Forum

Regarding liking other people, a tip that is mentioned often in this forum is finding people with similar interests. Similarly, it may help to expand one's interests so that one has more in common with others.

how can I make myself truly resilient to peoples cruelty and stupidity?

I would think that's partly related to self-esteem. Another possible issue is not taking things personally by understanding where people are coming from (they are stressed out, overworked, feeling insecure and needing to compensate, etc.) Also, one's expectations of others may be too high, or one may be focusing too much on the negative. All of these factors can be addressed by the cognitive restructuring that Dr. Baxter mentioned.
 
Last edited:

HotthenCold

Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2007
Messages
206
Points
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thanks for taking the time to read and respond to my post, I really think it's kind that you people at psychlinks help strangers out. That highly sensitive people article is very interesting AND scarily accurate, I'm definitely going to check out that web community.
 

ShyLady

Member
Joined
May 30, 2007
Messages
13
Points
1
I'm really reaching a dark point in my life due to social problems. I don't know exactly how to articulate everything that causes me anxiety and depression in terms of social interaction, but I am reaching a point where I'm very bitter and very distrustful of people, and I can't find it in me to like myself or most people. I wish I could just say there was one particular aspect of social interaction that stresses me, but there's way too much about myself and people that brings me down. Here's a list of things that I can think of right now that cause me to be sad:

1) I always feel like people are judging me or making fun of me. I then get sad because I can't tell anyone I'm sad about it because I HATE to be told by someone who is not in my shoes that "It's all in my head" and that seems to be the standard response to this problem. My belief that I'm awkward and being made fun of is reinforced by countless situations where I am the outcast or loser or "that guy" even if I don't feel I did anything harmful or insulting or rude.

2) I think most people are taking way too many behavior cues from a lot of poisonous sources, causing them to think that being selfish, cruel, rude, and arrogant is a sign of a confident and powerful go getter. I know it's seems obvious that these traits are bad, but I really feel like a vast number of people feel it's necessary to act this way. The narcissism and idiotic tendencies that are rewarded make me want to abandon society. Sounds dramatic, but I truly mean it.

3) Even if I'm feeling good in a social situation, I know it's just a matter of time until someone knocks me off course by doing or saying something mean or rude even if it's unprovoked. It seems to be a constant, every day, provoked or not, that someone will act completely mean for no good reason. It's easy to "say" that's life, but to really remain unaffected by these episodes would require a strength of character and self esteem that I do not have.

4) Relating to the last point, I have so many people in my life that I avoid because I do not like who I was around them in the past, and even though I feel I've grown, I still revert back to my old self and I'm still "less than them" when I see them. I despise this, it's like old triggers that come into my life that I can't control, and that recurrence of the past feels like a cruel trick of fate, setting me back to the start. I really dread seeing so many people, because I hate to feel that uncomfortable emotional and physical state, where I'm a bumbling idiot trying to impress others or be accepted. I'm worried, because my only defense of this situation is to be always on guard and that usually means a constant state of distrust and the expectation that I will be insulted or humiliated. This causes me to sever contacts with certain people and places, and also causes me to be in a foul mood very often, and probably scares others too. I know I scare other people sometimes because I can be unreceptive and indifferent and also spiteful, but I just can't take anymore of peoples crap, I can't be made to feel bad from others, I cause enough of that myself. I don't want to be a jerk, I don't want to be unhappy, but I keep meeting the same jerks in different skin, and I'm becoming more and more isolated and depressed. How can I start to like myself and others? how can I make myself truly resilient to peoples cruelty and stupidity? how can I feel accepted and sane?

Those are the biggest ones that come to mind right now, though I'm sure I missed some stressors in there.



I am a lot like this, only I am more inferior to others and feel like they are better than me. I don't like being around other people because they don't act the ways I like either though, and they have nothing in common with me and seem to want to have fun and party their whole lives and thats the way they want to spend the reat of their lives it seems. But I think that others are somehow better than me because they at least can make friends and keep them. I have been betrayed by the few freinds in my life that I ever had, so I don't trust friends so easily, and always get some kinda bad attitude why I shouldn't even bother to try and talk to anyone, because they will only hurt me in the end anyway. Online is where I feel more conmfortable meeting friends and I can get very settled into just being content with that.

I met my husband at a neighbors home when I was 22, whom I used to go around and use their phone. My oldest daughter was 2 years old at the time and they used to love playing with her and talking to her little chatter box self. They were also very worried about me, because at the time I was living with a boyfriend who was very abusive to me, and thye heard our fussing and my screeming. My husband was very talkative and very assertive with me and soon I found myself becoming comfortable with him enough to began to trust him and go out on dates with him alone.

The reason I was with the abusive boyfriend was because he was a best friend to a cousin of mine I had been dating when I was 17. I got to know him, because he came over to my cousins home a lot, when he was very nice and talked a lot for both of us. I moved in with him when I turned 18. The reason I moved in with him was because he had a joba nd his own car and I thought he was a good man. My cousin had been a mommas boy. I was in too much of a rush to find love in my life and have the family with children.

I had began dating my cousin when I was 15, because I was afraid I never would get a boyfriend ever, and my cousin was always flirting with me. He was a 3rd cousin, his grandma was my dads aunt. I was the only girl in my high school who didn't have a boyfriend and I didn't want to be alone and not be loved by a boy. My cousin wasn't a boy though and was in his 20s but he acted a lot like a teenager.
 

rosedragon

Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2008
Messages
89
Points
6
I think most people are taking way too many behavior cues from a lot of poisonous sources, causing them to think that being selfish, cruel, rude, and arrogant is a sign of a confident and powerful go getter. I know it's seems obvious that these traits are bad, but I really feel like a vast number of people feel it's necessary to act this way. The narcissism and idiotic tendencies that are rewarded make me want to abandon society. Sounds dramatic, but I truly mean it.
I don't agree, they don't know those are poison. They just too afraid and they 'yell' to feel exist inside their dark heart. It is the way they fight their loneliness, wrong way but the only way they believe.

I am a lot like this, only I am more inferior to others and feel like they are better than me. I don't like being around other people because they don't act the ways I like either though, and they have nothing in common with me and seem to want to have fun and party their whole lives and thats the way they want to spend the reat of their lives it seems. But I think that others are somehow better than me because they at least can make friends and keep them. I have been betrayed by the few freinds in my life that I ever had, so I don't trust friends so easily, and always get some kinda bad attitude why I shouldn't even bother to try and talk to anyone, because they will only hurt me in the end anyway. Online is where I feel more conmfortable meeting friends and I can get very settled into just being content with that.
You have same perception and fear with me except that I only feel I'm lower than other people in my depressive moments. And see low on people in my peak before leaving depressive state or when they start laughing on my high life goal.
 

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