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    @RockBanana – That really rang some bells for me, especially this: “the new belief will be “I can be outgoing at times, reserved at other times”. I’m inclined to think I’m no good at making friends too, but when I read this, I had a sudden flash of “this week I’ve had a couple of good conversations, where I actually felt quite sociable – that was me too! – I can build on that”.

    I’ve used visualisation in the past to change my perspective of things, putting together a mental video of myself in different situations where I felt confident (even if only momentarily), then re-running it repeatedly, cutting all the good moments together to build a feeling of confidence. And it worked – I was able to do a training course that I’d thought I wouldn’t be able to cope with, and go on to get work that I’d previously thought would be impossible for me.

    But I hadn’t thought of doing the same thing for changing my view of myself as shy and introspective socially. I’ve also sat down and looked back at some of my past history, and made myself acknowledge the positive aspects of things that I’ve been remembering as totally negative. There were many good things in there that I’ve been totally overlooking. So helpful. (That might have been in response to another post of yours – whatever, it has helped me a lot.)

    I really hope your comments are as helpful to jennh. Thanks again.


    Does moving back necessarily have to mean ‘giving up’? Why not see it as making a positive decision to put difficult things behind you and have a fresh start?

    A couple of things you might not have realised you said though, which suggest you find it difficult to really take full responsibility for your own choices:

    “I moved out here with an ex not by choice” – did the ex forcibly make you move? – or did you in fact choose (however reluctantly) to go along with the ex? (I hope it wasn’t forcible, though as you mention domestic violence, maybe it was, in which case, I am very sorry for misunderstanding.)

    “because I am so smart and just need to get experience in the field” – Might you have given off this vibe in interviews? – it would immediately put most employers off. They will want people giving the impression that they will give the company their all, not that they’re out to get experience and then move on to something better. (You might not have meant that, but that’s how it came over here.)

    “because if my current boyfriend didn’t uproot me” – again, did the boyfriend forcibly ‘uproot’ you?

    The speeding ticket bit – I’ve had one too, and it is very tempting to blame the law enforcers for being mean enough to catch you out – but the bottom line is we were the ones that were breaking the law, so we need to accept responsibility for it, and for the consequences. Tough, but true. Sorry.

    Edit – I hope this doesn’t come over too negatively. I’ve been looking back over choices I’ve made in the past, where I have previously tended to blame others for things that I now realise I went along with, so maybe I’m a bit more aware of how easy it is to be blinkered. Don’t beat yourself up about it, but we can’t change how we view things if we haven’t seen them clearly first. I hope you can be kind to yourself, and, if going back home is the right thing for you to do, that you will be able to see it in a positive light, and move forward. Take care.

    • This reply was modified 9 years, 4 months ago by rosamundi.

    I’ve been working my way back out of a long depression too, and it still feels strange a lot of the time to me too. I’ve found so much of the material on this website to be very, very helpful, for moving away from depressive thinking, but I never really found very much anywhere when I tried searching for reassurance that being undepressed might feel downright weird.

    This is just a bit of odd thinking that has helped me – maybe it will give someone else a bit of encouragement too.

    Elsewhere, I’d come across the idea of ‘10,000 hours to mastery’, which is usually mentioned in the context of learning a musical instrument or language, or similar skill (and has been misrepresented anyway – article here explains it and how the phrase got taken up and reinterpreted – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-26384712 ). Anyway, it occurred to me that skills are thinking patterns, so maybe a similar timescale could also apply to developing mastery of a more positive outlook, after so many years of the opposite.

    If I think of all the hours I’ve spent mastering digging those negativity channels so deeply in my brain, it’s hardly surprising that changing them doesn’t happen instantaneously, or that it would feel ‘wrong’ to think differently.

    I idly worked out how long 10,000 hours is. At 8 hours a day (8 hours positive thinking a day? hmm), that’s 2,920 hours in a year. So over 3 years to reach ‘mastery’. For all that the 10,000 hours figure is plucked out of the air, it did really help to think in terms of needing to practise a new skill for a good long while before it became automatic and comfortable.

    It encouraged me to keep battling on, hoping that non-depression would start to feel more normal, and it helped me to remember to ‘let go’ when it felt strange, rather than focusing on the strangeness.

    It’s about six months since I made myself a little reminder: “10,000 hours – 8 hrs/day = 3.5 yrs. Patience.” I can see a lot of progress since then – a distinctly increasing proportion of days where I can honestly say that I feel ‘normal’ again. I do still fall back to feeling really bleak again sometimes, and that is a shock every time (it feels almost as if the ‘better’ bits hadn’t happened), but I’ve got much more skilled at seeing it as old habits trying to reassert themselves, and then being able to dig myself out again.

    Tips and encouragement from other tinybuddha people like Julianne are invaluable. Knowing that others have been along this road before is really helpful. Thank you. One day at a time and SMILE. 🙂


    The harder I tried to escape depression, the deeper I fell. I experienced depression and anhedonia for years, but more recently have found more and more pleasure in life – the more I let go of the expectations and beliefs I’d had before about what my life should be like. Meditation has helped more than anything else, because almost all of the depression was actually *caused* by the mental turmoil I was putting myself into. I do understand about trying to think things straight, but it just doesn’t work.

    I gained pleasure only when I stopped pushing so hard for it. That does not mean the same thing as not valuing pleasure – but I do accept that pleasure is only ever fleeting, not continuous.

    Who are “these people” – “In other words, I would have become these very people I hate by living my life through acceptance, being at peace, and being content with a lifelong loss of pleasure that never gets better or fully recovers.” How are you so all-knowing that you know that they have a lifelong loss of pleasure? What if you were wrong, and they recognised that nobody can be constantly happy? (Maybe pleasure exists only in relation to displeasure, so it can’t exist continuously? Or maybe by ‘pleasure’ you really mean hypermania, which isn’t something that is sustainable – or comfortable.)

    I’m confused by this: “This is unlike the personality of normal human beings since the personality of normal human beings are more “settled” and “down to Earth.” So it would seem as though the creators of anime make the personality of characters more life-like as well as superior and god-like to match their superior god-like world (environments) as well as their superior god-like forms.”

    You seem to be saying that you need to be like an anime character – I rather doubt that any of the anime creators expect anyone to see them other than as metaphor – nobody could live like that. You sound extremely cut off from real life, living exclusively in a world of ideas, rather than of realities.

    I genuinely hope that someone can help you to find a tiny chink in the armour you have built around yourself. You sound as though you are trying desperately hard to work things out, but you’ve got yourself very tangled up. People do care, but it is very hard to reach someone who pushes everyone away so very very vigorously and insists that they know the only truth. I wish you well.

    • This reply was modified 9 years, 4 months ago by rosamundi.

    Thank you so much for asking this question, Todzilla – I recognise a lot of it in myself. Too much. Hmm.

    And thank you, ever-amazing Matt for this: “It sounds more like she doesn’t like you randomly pooping in her face. That’s not good or bad, it just is how she is.” It made me laugh out loud, and at the same time, made me see what I do, way too often… Eeerrrkkk!

    In future, I shall aim for “But, inside the castle, let it be warm and juicy” instead. 🙂

    Metaphors are so powerful.


    “When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time” – that sounds like good advice.

    But – from what you have said, it seems that you have known him a long time and believed him to be basically a decent person. His childhood background was likely to make it very hard (perhaps unimaginable for him?) to risk trusting someone to really love him – could the rejections in fact have been reflecting just how much he cared about you, but with deep underlying fears that you wouldn’t continue to care back, because of his early experience with his mother?

    (For work, I was reading about attachment disorder in children, earlier this week – on/off attachment/rejection of others because it was what they grew up with and they don’t trust themselves to be loveable. Changing those patterns is slow, and hard work – it is possible, but not lightly taken on.)

    I can’t begin to imagine how much you are hurting now. Take care of yourself – that sounds trite, but it is heartfelt. I hope there are things that you can do to nurture yourself.


    You said, “but I think I still need more time to change myself first so I can be worthy enough for her”.

    Maybe being honest about your feelings for her would be a huge step in the right direction of change, and would set off other good changes? Is it “worthy” to continue pretending that you don’t care about her, when she clearly cares about you, and is unhappy because she thinks you don’t care about her? Maybe being “worthy” includes risking honesty?

    Yes, it’s scary. Most exciting things are scary! Going and speaking to her, and telling her how you really feel, would be beginning to change yourself. Waiting for a magical change to happen, without actually doing anything, is likely to leave you in the same place you’re in now. And her, too. All sad. You know she likes you. As Jessica said, nobody is ever fully in the right spot.

    I completely get what you mean about being awkward socially etc, as I was excruciatingly shy when I was younger, but maybe you underestimate how most people feel – lots of outwardly confident people are inwardly very uncomfortable too – it has taken me many years to figure that out, but it’s true.

    The meditation suggestion is a good one too – really good for anxiety of any description – I wish I’d learnt how to meditate years ago.

    Be kind to yourself, and kind to her, and go for it! Don’t beat yourself up about it – just do it.

    PS If ‘an awkward boy with social problems’ means more than average awkwardness, don’t be too fast to write yourself off. People who want to change really can – it takes time, hard work and good support, but it’s definitely possible. Knowing that you want to change – and being willing to step outside the comfort zone – are the biggest steps. So get out of that comfort zone (which isn’t so comfortable anyway) and talk to her!


    I’m so glad you read my comments constructively. 🙂


    Some good ideas above, and I’d definitely go along with investigating meditation.

    There are also a lot of useful pointers on this site – http://www.succeedsocially.com/articlesmakingfriends which I wish had been around for me to read when I was at uni. It would have helped a lot! Most people find it a lot harder to talk to others and to make friends than it might appear. The bottom line really is that carrying on doing things the same way is unlikely to result in different results.

    It’s worth the risk of trying something different.

    • This reply was modified 9 years, 7 months ago by rosamundi. Reason: To link to a more relevant page of the site

    Maybe think again about the temporary one. I’m not saying definitely don’t do it, but maybe look at it like this.

    If one of my daughters did that, I wouldn’t be self-controlled enough to lie and say “I thought I’d never say this, but that doesn’t look half bad,” but many (maybe most) mothers would. And their sons/daughters would never know just how upset they felt inside.

    As I can be rather volatile, I’d probably come out with something mean that I’d deeply regret later, about how upset I was, and how selfish to think that I’d appreciate it etc etc which would be impossible to really take back even if the temporary tattoo was washed off. I also hate being misled, so I’d be very upset that I’d been tricked into thinking it was real. Maybe more my problem, but relationship-damaging all the same. (And I’d probably see the gift as trying to buy my approval, which is what it’s for really, isn’t it?) Yes, I need to chill a bit more.

    As you said, it’s the thought that counts. Is the thought about how much you love tattoos, or how much you love your mum? Talking to her about why she feels upset by them, and maybe giving her time to reconsider and see why they mean so much to you and that you would like to dedicate one to her, might be a much gentler way to show her what she means to you, and she might well change her mind given time. (I’m not keen on tattoos and luckily neither of my daughters are either, but if they changed their minds, and I knew it meant a lot to them, I’m sure I’d come round eventually.)

    Hope things work out happily for you and your mum.


    It’s all very normal. What isn’t normal or healthy is worrying about it so much.

    Worrying about thinking about ‘bad’ things is a very common source of anxiety problems, but people who are going to do bad things don’t generally worry about doing them – the fact that you are worrying shows that it goes against your nature. It’s just how minds work – minds can’t help but look into the dark corners. That’s all it is. Honest! The more you can let it go, the less it will bother you. The more you hang on to worrying about it, the bigger an issue it will seem, and the more likely it is to spoil things between you and your boyfriend, which really would be a pity.

    Finding out about meditation might help you to calm your mind and be kinder to yourself, and it is a really good skill to have for anyone who gets anxious.

    No need for ANY of the washing either.

    You are normal and not bad!! Believe us all. 🙂


    That’s great advice from passionate self.

    Something else that might be worth thinking about: When I was at school, I never had anything to do with kids in the year above or below – other year groups were like foreign countries! But really, year-groups generally overlap a lot in terms of maturity – some of the 9th graders will seem more mature than many of 10th graders. Once you know them, they’ll just be people! My friends now range in age much more than a year older or younger – it really isn’t very much at all, especially if you don’t make out that it is. Forget about ages, and just make the most of the opportunity you’ve been given to really shine! (Though don’t overdo it and feel you have to be perfect and best at everything – that really is a recipe for stress!)

    On other threads, you’ve mentioned anxiety – coming on here and finding out about ways to cope with that is really constructive – give yourself a big pat on the back for being proactive there! If you haven’t already, I’d strongly suggest investigating meditation – lots of information on tiny buddha about that, but again, don’t feel you have to be perfect (the source of many of my anxieties), just try it and see if it helps. I’ll be surprised if it doesn’t.

    Also, if it were me, I’d use an avatar without my photo on. 🙂
    Enjoy your new adventure, and make the most of it. It really is an opportunity for you, nothing to do with failure at all. Take care.

    • This reply was modified 9 years, 8 months ago by rosamundi.

    Just a thought. I felt like that for years. Then I got a job that was well-paid and used my talents etc etc – and I still managed to be depressed and anxious (I felt guilty and undeserving, amongst other things).

    It wasn’t the job that was the answer, it was my attitude that needed changing. Try reading round around on here and you might just save yourself a great deal of unnecessary misery. That job just might turn up when you are least looking for it – or it might not – but either way, you’ll be a much happier person. Best for you, and everyone around you too. Making the world a better place includes being cheerful with the people you bump into every day (how I wish I’d worked that out years ago…) 🙂

    I wish you well.


    Ahhhh! That’s so lovely! ‘Showering love’ is just wonderful. Nice work, both Jasmine and ‘Anyone’. 🙂


    Matt really does come up with some wonderful replies. 🙂 They help me so much too.

    Alyce, you said “I believe that I am a bad daughter, a bad mother, and now a bad grandmother too.” and that rang bells for me as well – and yet, I can see from what you’ve written that you are deluding yourself that you have been ‘bad’. You sound quite the opposite! I too keep telling myself how bad I was at mothering my very challenging teenager, and blaming myself – but I just did the best that I could too. It certainly wasn’t for lack of trying! Most decidedly not, when I think back.

    It was lovely to read that last post where you said such lovely things about yourself, and you clearly meant them too. May you continue to make space for yourself, and to feel LARGE! I’m feeling larger too, so thank you for sharing. 🙂

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