Picking up from our last post on shyness, today I wanted to point out how you can start with the three special tricks.
Acouple things will help you with these tricks to overcome social anxiety.
Many of us have been there and worry about that group dynamic.
Seeing people triggers the anxiety and releases the most severe feelings of wanting to get away fast.
Before we get too far ahead I wanted to show you the difference between somebody who is anxious and somebody who is cowardly.
A coward is someone who doesn’t go and help while others are in need of help, courage removes this inability.
The difference between cowardice and anxiety is anxiety gives us a past reason to avoid getting hurt.
Whether this is from physical pain, emotional pain or something else.
This shows us that cowards run from danger, and anxiety prevents action before it ever comes up.
Please don’t think that the two are similar because it’s clearly a separate set of principles.
I for one am no more likely to run away from someone who needs help than anybody else would.
Did you know there are lot’s of real life and practical stories that will assist you? You simply need to find one that you relate to and follow it.
Here is a story about interpreting strangers that even a child will understand. But don’t fear it’s a story that works for any ages.
Perhaps you remember the cowardly lion from somewhere, he was the one that accompanied Dorothy to find the wizard and get back home to her Kansas farm.
Do you remember what he lacked as the example in the first story? Courage and that was a wonderful gift for a little while before he started getting hurt.
After all, he is still a lion, and nobody else felt safe while that lion was around them. He tried and tried but the people would see him and shoot him and would cause him to flee.
Eventually, this turned the lion into the socially anxious and terrified lion. He began to worry that the little people would come after him and shoot at him for no reason.
This troubled our friend so much that he trembled and all the other animals began to make fun of him. This only caused the lion to become more fearful of the world that he once loved.
He no longer felt the desire to hunt, so he lost all his strength and became isolated. Then one day, while he was sleeping a small child, stumbled upon him.
At first, the child thought the lion was dead and just poked a stick at him. This woke up the lion and he let out a bone-chilling cry. Meow.
The child jumped back and ran outta the cave. This made the lion happy and he went back to sleep.
Curiosity would not keep the child from coming back, but this time the kid came with a present.
Instead of poking the lion with a stick it merely placed a steak a few feet away and sat down to watch what happened.
When the lion woke up, he sniffed and sniffed until the steaks smell got him to stand up.
Inch by inch the lion crawled over and started to nibble on that steak. Still weak from his inactivity, the lion’s stomach began to make noises.
Gurgle gurgle and then went silent.
Chomping down on the steak until it was gone, the lion’s strength was coming back in small amounts.
At the same time, this child was watching our lion friend eating, his parents had started looking for the kid.
Worried themselves that something had happened they gathered a mob to look around the area.
What problems do you forsee caused by social anxiety or fear?
The story could have a very tragic ending for the child, the lion or the mob. But what problems will social anxiety likely force to happen.
Could you handle being surrounded by other people when you are not expecting it to happen? What kind of thoughts would you be thinking and would they all be rational?
If you were the lion and started to think to yourself about a bunch of the little people coming to save the child what would be your plan of action?
There is only a split second once that mob finds the child with you, and having the experience that they wanted you dead wouldn’t make your decision any easier.
Would you see a chance to injure the child and try to flee the situation hoping that the child is the only factor in the mob finding you?
This is the problem of trying to guess what others will do before you even understand what is going on.
The lion could just be seen with the child and be killed because of it.
The child could tell the lion to stay put and go off to deal with the mob before anything goes wrong.
Or the lion could react and cause a major problem to get even more dramatic.
But, if you are always thinking about the worst case scenario whose side would you even take? The lion is the hero of the story, but the child is helpless.
A weakened lion is still a lion after all and would likely inspire fear into the crowd which would itself overreact to the sight of him.
Nevermind that the lion can talk or that the lion didn’t hurt anyone prior to our knowledge.
Sometimes we create too much need to panic in our own minds.
When in reality the crowd may be just as scared about the lion doing something to the child if they point their guns at him.
But the lion may fear that releasing the child would mean it’s immediate doom.
The Good News Is That It’s Just A Made Up Story
Here is an example of the different characters, the lion, the child, and the mob.
All three things act on their own and are unpredictable. But why do we think it’s our best interest to predict every outcome instead of just living in the present?
Perhaps the lion and the boy are never discovered by the mob or that the child has some type of magical power that would protect him, the lion or the mob from any harm.
Through the use of prediction, we simply will never know, because after all this isn’t our story now is it. And that is the very point in life that we cannot know all the answers or what will happen before it does happen.
You may also tell me that it’s a terrible story and it really doesn’t show a good example of social anxiety. But then you would be missing the point entirely.
The story is just a story and that is at best subjective to each person’s perception of it.
Which means you may think none of it matters or that it makes a perfect example of the worries that would go on in a person’s mind exactly the way it does in life.
At the end of the day, none of it even matters because tomorrow will be another day and another chance to make something happen once again in the favor of whomever.
There will also be many people who simply do nothing because they are worried that the worst possible outcome will always happen.
Social anxiety isn’t the same for anyone
This also means that there is no one cure-all that actually works. For some people, they simply feel anxious by looking foolish because they haven’t learned the right skills for each occasion.
For others, they see something wrong with themselves that can be corrected by practicing self-love and self-compassion.
And for others, they may simply lack the friends that will help them understand people better than they currently do.
This way they figure out that making friends is easy, talking to people is easy, and that we all can learn from each other so there is no point in worrying all the time about what you don’t currently know.
This even applies to romantic relationships, you simply don’t know enough about the person who you are attracted to. You keep guessing what they won’t like and that is what you end up showing them.
Rather than showcasing who you really are, you act like a fool and offer nothing to show him/her otherwise. Some people will simply pass on the chance because many of us have a certain type we are interested in.
It really doesn’t mean you are wrong for not being that type, it just means it’s not meant to be and that you will still have another chance as long as you keep seeing people who you are attracted to.
What did we learn about social anxiety today?
Guessing our way through life is always gonna make things a lot more difficult than letting things happen. Enjoy every opportunity to reach out and when possible learn something from somebody else.
You have choices in your life to either worry or not worry. Pick the way you want to live and then accept what happens or acknowledge you play a part that can change what happens but only if you try.
That a story doesn’t even have to have an ending, it’s really the same in our lives. Happily ever after is not something you nor I get to pick.
When it’s not even about you it’s even more pointless to waste energy worrying about.
That you will always get what you put into something. If you don’t try, you can’t change for the better.
Why guess what strangers will do, if you pay attention you will eventually learn what they are gonna do and how it will be useful.
There are easy ways to tell if someone is gonna be an ass or if they are gonna be nice even before you get close to them.
Practice all these fantastic tricks to overcome social anxiety, I have given out more then a few. And keep working on yourself and how you can improve on your life by not over reacting and worrying about pointless crap.
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