Social anxiety and experiences

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Koskela
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Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2021 3:31 pm
Goal: Curing social anxiety
Age: 30
Motto: Keep going

Fri Oct 08, 2021 2:01 pm

Is here anyone who has experience with SA? I would like to hear your takes.

I have had problems with moderate social anxiety for years, but I have been able to reduce it by lot. Basicly when I was 19 and moved to my own I got anxious to go even jogging or to supermarket to buy food during the first week. Starting conversation with strangers was something I just couldn't do (not even drunk), and I was constantly thinking what others think about me. There was general anxiety too, like perfectionism, catastrophy-thinking etc. Today, after years of infrequent but still purposeful training I can, for example, ask time from stranger in not that crowded place, can go to gym alone, hang on public places, I don't think constantly about others opinions, I'm not perfectionist anymore and can relax instead and I don't do catastrophe-thinking but remain quite positive. I was never a loner, I have always had friends but social situations with strangers were complete pain to me quite often. I still have some SA left but it doesn't affect my daily life, but I'm determined to get rid of even from that remaining part since I want complete social freedom.

I realized I have some form of SA during early 20's, and tried to get rid of it by simply being more social and trying not to care about others opinions. It was clumsy and took years before effects were real. Last few years I have felt pretty "normal" during social situations, but opening conversations with strangers remained still an issue for me. I found first time about PUA during 2016 or something, but couldn't do any cold approach because of remaining SA. During last february I decided that this has to change, so I put on paper a different sets of "stranger openers" - asking something from store clerk, saying "nice weather" to cashier, saying "hi" to someone during jogging, etc. and started to log them on a Word file, keeping a 100 interactions as a goal. I reached that goal eventually, which was great. I had to take breaks from these rehearsals because I got busy with other things, but now I'm continuing them, like asking directions or time on the street, and developing new ones and raising the bar whole time, until I'm finally free from the remaining SA.

I don't have official SA diagnosis and I have never seen councellor. My symptons match/used to match to moderate SA pretty well, especially when I was younger. In hingsight, councellor could have been good choice. But I really don't care about looking backwards, what matters is what you can do now.
I'm not native English speaker so sorry for typos and weird sentence structures!
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MakingAComeback
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Fri Oct 08, 2021 4:36 pm

Hey man,

Yes, I have a lot of experience in this domain. I have helped other members of the community with this issue, and I tend to refer them to this writeup I did on a community member's progress log some time ago:

viewtopic.php?p=16875#p16875

Neuralplasticity, brain engagement, and actually developing a very stimulating, enriching, rewarding life where you are using your brain to push out into the world and DO a whole lot, is what progressively switches off the risk assessments and constant overthinking at the core of anxiety disorders.

It's a process, but one that can be seamlessly integrated into your life.

But the truth is, when we've become anxious, we are not pushing our powerful brains to the maximum and living at our highest potential. At some level, stagnation and boredom has set in, thus creating the loop.

Furthermore, wellness practices that regenerate our organism are important when we're going through self improvement with underlying anxiety.

Final point, the more you go balls deep into self improvement and realising your highest potential, the more rich and stimulating your life becomes, the more you are socialising, dating, and just pushing into discomfort.

This is how many people actually beat their anxiety, without necessarily knowing it.

Anxiety isn't fun, but it also isn't something that should ever stop you living your life. Ignore it the best you can and focus on your mission, it will then progressively desensitise over time. It's exposure therapy, which is proven to work.

An interesting lady called Dr Claire Weekes called a lot about acceptance and 'floating' through anxiety. This can help you understand that anxiety is just bullshit, and the more you let go, the more you can normalise your psyche and push back into life. All Dr Weekes work is free on YouTube.

Edit: I must add, to have a really calm and well functioning brain, you will need excellent mitochondria. Exercise helps, sungazing helps, cold therapy helps, earthing helps. You'll find your way.

You'll get there mate,
MAC
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Spazdig
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Fri Oct 08, 2021 8:45 pm

Honestly nothing I can say can top the answer MAC gave you.

Just wanted to input that it's an issue very close to my heart as well. It held me back from a lot of potential in my teens and early twenties. It is still a heartache looking back at the time lost to paralysis and from time to time it rears its ugly head.

I agree with MAC, from my own experience and as counterintuitive as it may sound, you just have to go balls deep in self-improvement and exposure therapy. The AA programme was designed to help this.
I personally didn't have the balls to get past week 2, but just opted to do approaches instead. And those were extremely hard initially.

It used to take me 30 mins to hype myself up to go for a run outside, in case anybody would look at me. If I had planned to try go out at night and take actions, it would take hours of me pacing back and forth, sometimes with a heavy dose of pre-drinking, just to get out the door and go to a bar like everybody else on the weekend. Once, when I had to go sober but still needed to go out to bars to expose myself, I drove up to a different local pub than my usual to try something different. There was probably like 5-10 people inside. But was so paralysed by anxiety that I couldn't leave my car. Many similar instances during day and night where I had to retreat home and cry.

You just got to remember that, just like you, people are thinking of themselves and how they look 95% time.

The harder you go with your stranger openers, the sooner and greater the benefits will be. It's a muscle, you don't use it you lose it.
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Koskela
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Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2021 3:31 pm
Goal: Curing social anxiety
Age: 30
Motto: Keep going

Sat Oct 09, 2021 8:00 am

Thank you for good answers! Sorry for short post, English is not my first language and I'm in a bit rush.
MakingAComeback wrote:
Fri Oct 08, 2021 4:36 pm

Final point, the more you go balls deep into self improvement and realising your highest potential, the more rich and stimulating your life becomes, the more you are socialising, dating, and just pushing into discomfort.

This is how many people actually beat their anxiety, without necessarily knowing it.
I agree and this is how it tamed down with me during my 20's. Exposure is what works, and if it's done purposefully it works even better. Good that you have helped people on this forum.
Spazdig wrote:
Fri Oct 08, 2021 8:45 pm

I agree with MAC, from my own experience and as counterintuitive as it may sound, you just have to go balls deep in self-improvement and exposure therapy. The AA programme was designed to help this.
I personally didn't have the balls to get past week 2, but just opted to do approaches instead. And those were extremely hard initially.
I agree, exposure therapy is what works. That's why I started my personal log about how many interactions I have started and how many I should do. When I have time I will open one to these forums too. But I have few words about GLL:s AA-program - yes, it works, but NOT if your SA is too high. Chris actually talked about this in his website, I can post few links:

https://www.goodlookingloser.com/anxiet ... al-anxiety
https://www.goodlookingloser.com/anxiet ... ional-help

He basicly says, if your SA is too high then you should deal with it first before taking the AA-program. This was my experience too - when I read Roosh V:s "Game" and he started talking about cold approach with indirect opener ("hey sorry what time it is / hey sorry where did you buy that X") I realized that I'm not ready for this shit. I don't remember his exact words, but it was something like "Indirect openers aren't hard, you have asked time or directions from strangers before". That's when I realized "Damn, I have actually never done that before and it would be like parachute jump for me". Then I decided that I got to get rid of the remaining SA I still have.
I'm not native English speaker so sorry for typos and weird sentence structures!
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Chaos
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Sat Oct 09, 2021 9:43 am

Yo dude im kinda in the same situation!

I highly recommend this guys youtube-channel, he basicly teach you cbt and the tools to get over SA, for free. Has helped me a ton!

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