• Quote of the Day
    "There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered."
    Nelson Mandela, posted by Daniel

BluMac81

Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2007
Messages
283
Points
16
I feel that I'm ashamed, that now as a 26 year old man, I still have yet to accept myself.
I recently moved to the same state as my sisters, and have been spending alot of time with them (as opposed to what I have been doing for the past 8 years, keeping myself locked away in a one-bedroom apartment). And last night, after Thanksgiving dinner, we sat around the table and talked about our past, our feelings, and our opinions about life in general. But every time the attention turned to me, and I was to say something about myself and my experience, I felt very uncomfortable. I'm constantly thinking about if something I say might hurt them, or if something I say might ruin my image. After I say what I say, immediately comes remourse, with a thousand of the most cruel voices going on in my head telling me why I am a fool for what I said, for who I am.

I'm unable to accept that i'm an introvert, and feel jealous towards people who find socializing so easy. I see all the flaws in myself, and I wish I could change. I've come to hate myself for who I am. That's always been that way. At one point in my life, my self-hatred was so bad that I would repeatedly slash myself with a knife... more or less as 'punishment' for being the way that I am. I want to be normal, be rid of this constant anxiety that affects every single bit of my life. I want to be rid of the constant nagging thorughts, every time I do or say something, that tell me i'm a bad person, that i'm pathetic, that i'm lesser than everyone else. But it's always there, and so that's why I tend to resign myself to solitude, or just being quiet, as then, there is little I can say or do that would bring about those thoughts.

I've come to hate myself for who I am.

So... how do I stop? How do gain the confidence that everyone else displays seemingly so easily? Why is it so hard for me? What's wrong with me? I've been through a few therapists, a load of SSRI drugs (they do nothing for me), and constant 'working on myself' to make me a better person, but nothing works! I'm losing hope and starting to give into the concept of 'i am a bad, flawed person', with the inevitable future of locking myself away and never truly experiencing life to it's fullest. All because of this?!

I need help.... any advice?
 

David Baxter

Administrator
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
37,859
Points
113
First, I think it's important to understand that the confidence you see in others is often illusory - we all have areas where we lack self-confidence - some are better at hiding this than others. And that leads to the second point - that you are almost certainly more critical than other people when it comes to yourself. It sounds like you tend to second-guess yourself a lot and overanalyze social interactions to your detriment.

You mention having been in therapy in the past. Can you tell us a bit more about who the therapists were, what approaches they took to therapy, and what targets were identified in therapy? For example, it sounds, based on the use of SSRIs, as if the identified issues may have been social anxiety or some other anxiety disorder or depression.
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2006
Messages
5,390
Points
36
my first thought too is that what we see around us in other people is really a front of some sorts. people may come across as happy and confident and to be leading problem-free lives. but i think oftentimes it's just the way they present themselves to the world. i certainly present myself a certain way (which changes based on the situation as well) and i think it makes sense. we just want to show our best side to others, and if we have to fake it, we'll do that too.

there is nothing wrong with being an introvert. if the whole world were filled with only extroverts, i think it would make things rather uninteresting and maybe also a bit chaotic and loud ;)

people are really interesting simply because we're all different. it takes all sorts to make the world go round, and each personality type has its advantages and its disadvantages. one is not better than the other. they're just different from each other.

there really isn't anything wrong with you as a human being.

anyway these are just my thoughts and hopefully they'll help a little bit.
 

Daniel

Forum Supporter
MVP
Joined
Aug 5, 2004
Messages
18,925
Points
113
After I say what I say, immediately comes remourse, with a thousand of the most cruel voices going on in my head telling me why I am a fool for what I said, for who I am.

My favorite type of quote in regards to excessive self-monitoring is from Albert Ellis:

You can't spy on yourself and be yourself at the same time.

...instead, think: There must be some human beings who like me as I am. Let's see if this is one of those human beings.

Google Video: Approaches to Psychotherapy: Albert Ellis
 

HotthenCold

Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2007
Messages
206
Points
16
Wow man, I can tell you that your not the only one. I too often criticized my self harshly for being an introvert. Society seems so ready to criticize the introverts as being weak and stupid. I used to believe them too and would try and appear more outgoing than I was, and I appeared (and I was) uncomfortable. THen I realized how stupid I found most of what extroverts were saying. I came to despise the constant babble for the sake of babble, and as a tool to make myself feel at least as good as them, I allowed my self to laugh, usually in my head, about how inane and petty so many of their conversations seem. I can't say I'm fully confident, but now when some extroverts are making me feel weird for not contributing to their "noise sessions" I just stand my ground as a quiet guy, since I am not obligated to contribute to their pile of useless words since I simply don't want to degrade myself for contirbuting words that amount to nothing to a conversation that annoys me. Plain and simple, you are as important and interesting as any extrovert. Hell, I bet at a party there's always someone who's more interested in the quiet one in the corner than the loudmouth who has nothing secret and nothing about them that isn't known.
 

newla

Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2005
Messages
8
Points
1
You can't spy on yourself and be yourself at the same time.

...instead, think: There must be some human beings who like me as I am. Let's see if this is one of those human beings.

I really like this quote. That is so true about not being able to be yourself. How to get rid of that level of self-consciousness is the question. Having that thought as an alternative way of being with others is a good starting point.

Thanks Daniel.

BuMac, i am 44 years old and still on the journey that you beat yourself up about at 26! Be kind to yourself please. As your elder I will set a good example and be kind to myself too. You are doing well to have made the decision to be getting out and spending time with others.
 

Top Bottom