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Any tips in how to solve communication problems?

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  • #404687
    Eric
    Participant

    Dear anita,

     

    when she told you that she will be unhappy living with her aunt, maybe you felt that you and her will be having something in common, a commonality: the two of you being unhappy where you live: she with her aunt, you with your parents.

    Maybe you were hoping that because the two of you would be unhappy, she will be looking for happiness with you, as you will be looking for happiness with her?

    Yes that’s what i thought… like both of us could find our happiness by being together. I also thought that she’ll rely on me as her escape from her aunt to achieve happiness….

    according to her Instagram stories, she is happy even though she is living with her aunt, so you feel cheated out of the commonality you thought you had with her (both of you being unhappy about where you live and looking for happiness with each other)?

    Yes, from what i saw from her instagram stories… i sense no unhappiness there…. Like she’s enjoying her uni life now…. I know that people only post the happy moments on social media…. But from what i saw here is that she’s trying to show people how fun her uni life is…

     

    you feel regret for missing out on the opportunity to meet new people and have new life experiences during your uni years. You blame yourself and you are angry at yourself  for missing out and investing your time wrongly during uni. You alsoblame her and are angry at her for rejecting you and proceeding to enjoy her uni years without you. Did I understand correctly so far, here in this post?

    Yes you are absolutely correct…. Although it’s not solely due to her that i missed out on the opportunity to meet new people in uni… it’s also due to my lack of social skills, insecurities of my body and my social anxiety….

     

    I think that in your young life so far you suffered from a deep and lasting emotional deprivation: a Painful and Tormenting Lack of what you needed so much: a sense of worth, of being liked, of being okay- alone and with other people, particularly with people your age. I think that this sense of Lack produced an Emptiness that hurts and keeps hurting, making you angry because it is unfair to have this Emptiness be…  Your Life while others seem to have better lives.

    Yes i agree with the last sentence, i felt that other people seem to have better lives…

    I was born in a lonely family… lack of cousins and family members (not in good terms (i think i’ve explained about my family issue in the previous threads))… This resulting into my lack of social skills and with also in my young life i experience lots of insecurities (due to my childhood, physical appearance, achievements, etc) which adds up more problems for me.

    #404689
    Eric
    Participant

    Also the weird thing is that she keeps posting her instagram stories daily regarding her appearance, selfies…. It doesn’t makes sense to post something like that if she didn’t plan on having relationships till she’s ready…. What she did shows like she’s trying to attract boys…..

    The other thing that make me mad at myself is also in my uni days i posted about myself childishly on social media or anything to make her saw me as a funny guy… whereas if i think about it now, no girls want boys to act that way… it’s so weird….

    Every time i remember how she keeps posting her appearance, which is the complete opposite of what she said… makes me wanna hurry up and be in a relationship to show her that i’m happy….. I cant post regarding my appearance like that to rival her because im a guy and it’s not that i have an appealing appearance….

    #404697
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Eric:

    You thought that you and her “could find our happiness by being together…  that she’ll rely on me as her escape from her aunt to achieve happiness“, so you invested so much time during (and after) your uni days on trying to impress her and get her attention so that the two of you will be happy together, but all of that investment was a waste because from her Instagram stories, it looks like she found happiness without you and that she is having fun at uni while you missed the opportunity to have fun in your uni days, and now you are stuck at home with your boring, “lonely family”.

    You’ve been feeling lots of regret and anger at yourself for having missed out on the opportunity to have fun while at uni, and for wasting your time and energy on this girl. You blame her for misleading you but you understand that she was not the only reason for you missing out on the uni opportunity. Other reasons: “my lack of social skills, insecurities of my body and my social anxiety“.

    You feel lots of bitterness and envy regarding “other people seem to have better lives“, including her. You are quite focused on her Instagram stories and selfies, suspecting that she is trying to attract other boys (not you) even though she told you in the past that she was not interested in a relationship. You blame yourself for not having done a good job in the past when trying to positively impress her on social media, and you feel like posting about yourself being in a relationship just so to show her that you are happy. The last sentence in your recent 2nd post: “I can’t post regarding my appearance like that, to rival hers,  because I’m a guy and it’s not that I have an appealing appearance“.

    My thoughts and imaginings today- if I could, I would close my eyes and make these things happen: (1) I would make Eric as tall and as handsome as he wants to be, (2) I would roll back time so that Eric is 17 or so, just about to enter uni… no, I would roll back the time to when Eric as a baby: I would make sure that no one force-feeds him. I would make sure that Eric’s family is as big and as loving as he wants it to be, that little Eric has friends and is happy… no loneliness for Eric, no feeling less-than others for Eric, no pain for Eric.

    And when Eric is 19, or 20, I will see to it that he falls in love with a girl who falls in love with him… and they live happily ever after.

    All this happened in my imagination, but in reality, I can’t change my own appearance or roll the time back on my life, and I can’t do any of these things for you either.

    So, what’s next, what is it that can be done?

    You tell me, Eric: please tell me, what can be done to make your life better?

    anita

    #405037
    Eric
    Participant

    Dear anita,

     

    My thoughts and imaginings today- if I could, I would close my eyes and make these things happen: (1) I would make Eric as tall and as handsome as he wants to be, (2) I would roll back time so that Eric is 17 or so, just about to enter uni… no, I would roll back the time to when Eric as a baby: I would make sure that no one force-feeds him. I would make sure that Eric’s family is as big and as loving as he wants it to be, that little Eric has friends and is happy… no loneliness for Eric, no feeling less-than others for Eric, no pain for Eric.

    And when Eric is 19, or 20, I will see to it that he falls in love with a girl who falls in love with him… and they live happily ever after.

    You are right, this is really my dream scenario of life…. I really want to have this kind of life and appearance… i really do

    But there is nothing i can do to get that life…. I dont have that kind of appearance, i dont have a really big and loving family, and i dont have a girl of my dreams right now….

    The only thing that i can do now is live my life as best as i can…. But it’s such a struggle, i can distract myself about my height…. But then circumstances keeps giving me struggles….Like my friend could suddenly posted a pic of us together and i look short there (even when i tried my best to look as tall as i can), people would give me first impression that i’m short and a bit weird facial features (bushy eyebrows), even tall boys who has a filthy personality would underestimate me when we havent talk yet….

    Due to this cautiousness, its hard for me to enjoy, i keep protecting myself from going to certain events because i could look short there…

    I didnt chase girls in my uni days because of my insecurity, so i chose to pursue that girl but in the end it didnt work….

    I know that whatever im dwelling here wont change anything, but i always felt that this world hates me…. I never asked to be born with eating issues, this appearance, etc

    I tried to do what most people do when they broke up, show their ex that they are better…. Few days ago i posted a pic of me holding a coffee with all the enhanced appearance i can do…. I styled my hair, choose cool outfit… But when i look at it again, my legs look short. I didnt notice it until i posted that… It’s really hard to get people to impress my appearance, i go to the gym daily now… i hope it can enhance something….

    I know that most people would say that you should “love yourself, be grateful”… but most people who said that dont have any issues with their height…. Easy for them to say that…..

    Idk what mistakes that i do, but i feel like this world is giving me karma….

    Just like how that girl keeps posting her appearance now, it’s like im getting left behind… she has upgraded her appearance…

    There is nothing i can do to make this situation better, what i can do is hope that i can finally be free from that girl, fall in love with someone whom i really love and she accepts me who i am,

    It’s really hard to live a life calmly, like there is always something that i did wrong every day…

    Tbh i still can live and do my daily activities, it’s just that deep inside i experience internal pain everyday…. I can still force myself to live my life everyday, i just have to bear the pain inside me…. Nothing will came from dwelling my appearance, regrets, etc… i knew about that… it’s just that i like dwelling on how unfair my situation is right now….

    The only good thing is that from every overthinking, i always gain new life advices… like i got some awakening in me…. But the pain i felt inside is sometimes too unbearable, like on few years ago… one of my friend posted a pic and i look short there… i hit my head due to that and i avoid myself from social media…. I even feel so afraid when i open social media….. Like my weakness gets exposed on public…. I can life my life more happily, but i need to camouflage my weaknesses everyday, i guess it’s isnt possible…

    Cant believe im entering another gloomy period of my life, i need to calm myself again… its tiring to keep doing this.

    #405044
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Eric:

    There is nothing I can do to get that life… that kind of appearance…  a really big and loving family“- in his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl wrote about his life as a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps during World War 2. The conditions there were terrible: people dying every day from hunger, hard labor, and from violence.

    He wrote: “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves“. What he meant by it, is that he wasn’t able to change any of the conditions of his life: nothing he could do to escape the concentration camps, nothing he could do to be able to eat when he was hungry, or rest when he was tired… the only thing he could do was to change his ATTITUDE: the way he thinks about himself, about others and about his life.

    He also wrote: “It is not freedom from conditions, but it is freedom to take a stand toward the conditions“- again, it is about ATTITUDE:  a freedom that a person has to think differently than before.

    Back to you: “The only thing that I can do now is live my life as best as I can“- to live your life best you can is to have a different, better ATTITUDE; a different, better STAND TOWARD THE CONDITIONS of your life.

    But it’s such a struggle… circumstances keep giving me struggles, like my friend could suddenly posted a pic of us together and I look short there… I always felt that this world hates me…. I never asked to be born with eating issues, this appearance, <b>etc.</b>”- when seeing pics where you look short, your attitude has been to think that the world hates you, etc. And as a result of these thoughts, you felt very badly. Can you think of a different, better attitude; a better stand toward the condition of your short height?

    “Even tall boys who have filthy personalities would underestimate me when we haven’t talk yet“- what is your attitude about it, what is your stand toward this condition of being underestimated because of your looks?

    “I keep protecting myself from going to certain events because I could look short there. I didn’t chase girls in my uni days because of my insecurity“- again, can you think of a different attitude, a different behavioral stand toward the condition of your looks in the context of chasing girls?

    I tried to do what most people do when they broke up, show their ex that they are better….“- how about an attitude that is different from most people’s?

    It’s really hard to live a life calmly, like there is always something that I did wrong every day“- the other day I did something wrong: I placed extra weight on a drawer in the refrigerator and as a result, the drawer broke. I felt badly!

    When such things happened in the far past, I felt badly for a long, long time, thinking and overthinking.. . basically my ATTITUDE was that I was a bad or neglectful person for having made this or that mistake. But the other day, I asked myself:  did I break the drawer on purpose? Answer: No. I felt better because it meant that I didn’t break the drawer because I was a bad person.

    Next I asked myself: did I know that placing too much weight on a drawer can break it? Answer: No, I never thought about it, it never occurred to me. I felt better because it  meant that I didn’t break the drawer because I was negligent. Next, I made a mental note for myself: now that I know that extra weight can break a drawer, I will remember it and be careful in the future when I handle drawers in the refrigerator. After all of that, I felt fine! My NEW ATTITUDE (asking myself these two questions and making that mental note for myself) stopped my overthinking and bad feelings and felt as good as I felt before I broke the drawer.

    How can you change your ATTITUDE about MAKING MISTAKES?

    Deep inside I experience internal pain every day. I can still force myself to live my life every day, I just have to bear the pain inside me“- with a different, better ATTITUDE, you will have way LESS OR NO PAIN!

    I always felt that this world hates me…. I never asked to be born with eating issues, this appearance, <b>etc… </b>Nothing will come from dwelling my appearance, regrets, etc. I knew about that. It’s just that I like dwelling on how unfair my situation is right now“- your attitude of thinking and overthinking about how unfair the world is to you is keeping you stuck in pain and nothing good comes of it.

    The only good thing is that from every overthinking, I always gain new life advices,  like I got some awakening in me. But the pain I felt inside is sometimes too unbearable“- no, nothing good comes from overthinking and the pain that you are describing. I know the pain that you shared about for so long in your various threads, I felt it too and I assure you, there is nothing good about this kind of pain. Life wisdom and awakening happen when there is hope that pain will lessen and be no more, and… a different, better attitude will make it happen!

    I need to camouflage my weaknesses every day, I guess it’s isn’t possible“- a different, better attitude will be your strength. It will be difficult to form but it is possible.

    anita

    #405063
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Eric:

    It seems like I did not include the best of Viktor Frankl’s quotes in regard to attitude: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way“.

    anita

    #405067
    anita
    Participant

    One more thing, Eric: I am still proud of you!

    anita

    #405101
    Eric
    Participant

    Dear anita,

    Setting aside what we are discussing above (i’ll reply it soon)..

     

    Few days ago i met an acquaintance of mine (she’s a girl) in a shopping mall, and long story short she wave at me and i wave back… then she asked me “u here hanging out?” then i said yes and immediately walk away….. i cant believe i did this…. i was too afraid to talk to her because i dont know what to say…. because we’re just acquaintance…. i bet she must’ve assumed im so arrogant not talk more with her, when she’s the one initiating a convo with me…..

    I cant believe i keep repeating the same mistakes again….. why do i keep having this communication issues……

    The night on that day i was so angry at myself, and i hit my head with my hand and punch my hands to the wall….. i was so enraged….. like why do i keep making the same mistakes…. not being able to talk but keep insisting on wanting to have a girlfriend….. i deserve a beat up on myself……. i’m no longer a teenager, i should be able to talk in that kind of situation……

    I keep being a cautious guy who’s afraid of other people judgements……. idk why i’m like this…. is it because my house situation is very lonely? is it because i have a serious and anti social dad? is it because im too insecure with people im not familiar with?

    If the person’s appearance looks like a person who wont judge, i can talk to that person easily…. if that person has a good appearance who might be able to judge… i’ll be very cautious and try my best so that they wont judge me…..

    Every thing is getting tiring, my mistakes keeps increasing and increasing….. I’m so fed up…. I’m trying to improve myself, but the issues keeps happening…..

    #405102
    Eric
    Participant

    Or maybe it’s because i never communicate with people, i mostly spend my free time either going to the gym, or relaxing in my room….. On sundays, if i dont go out….. i can totally not communicate with anyone, just do my activities alone in my room……

    #405104
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Eric

    If you think about it this way, communication takes practice. In an important situation, say speaking to a girl you like or someone that you want to be friends with it is going to be stressful for you without practice. This is why starting out small and frequently practicing is important. It prepares you for when you do get around to an important conversation and because of practice you would feel more confident in your ability to handle the situation and less stressed. Stress does cause mistakes in communication. So lowering the stress with practice is very important.

    In my experience, social anxiety is not really about other people (aside from ptsd triggers with bullying). A large component is how you feel about yourself because really it is not others judging you, it is about you judging yourself. I bet that girl really didn’t think too much about that encounter, yet you spent the evening berating yourself. You really do need to be kinder to yourself.

    #405152
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Eric:

    I understand your frustration. I didn’t share with you about my past experience with this kind of frustration, but there was plenty of it. I know how it feels to want something very much… and at the same time, to walk away from it.  In your case, you want a relationship with a girl, but on the other hand, like it happened in the mall, you are too afraid to be negatively judged by a good looking girl… so, you walked away.

    You didn’t walk away because you are stupid; you walked away because you are afraid. Then you got angry with yourself, as if walking away from the girl was a stupid mistake that you should be punished for. But NO, it was not a stupid mistake: it was fear. Fear does not respond well to punishment. It responds well to empathy and understanding.

    The more you punish yourself for being afraid, the more afraid you will be. Oh how I wish you will be empathetic and understanding with yourself, particularly when you are afraid!

    anita

    #405155
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Eric:

    I thought I’ll put together a few quotes about fear for you.

    This quote made me think of you  because of your anger at yourself after the mall incident, and how I wish you’d react empathetically toward yourself, instead of angrily: “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Yoda in -Star Wars.

    This quote made me think of you because of how your fear stopped you from talking to the girl at the mall: “What is the biggest thing that stops people from living their lives in the present moment? Fear – and we must learn how to overcome fear.” Brian Weiss.

    This quote made me think of how nice it would be if you loved yourself, meaning, if you felt empathy for yourself: “There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance.” John Lennon.

    Here is a very interesting one: “Fear is not real. It is a product of thoughts you create. Do not misunderstand me. Danger is very real. But fear is a choice.” -After Earth.

    Think of it: fear being a choice? Can it be a choice, Eric?

    anita

    #405165
    Eric
    Participant

    Dear helcat,

    Thank you for ur reply, and i apologize for not replying to ur previous replies…

     

    You really do need to be kinder to yourself.

    It’s not that i dont want to be kind to myself, but i keep making mistakes that i feel shouldn’t be made anymore in my age….

    Also i have lots of weaknesses, and i really like getting impressed by people…. But i always ended up failing to hide my weaknesses…..

    I feel like i deserve a beating because i havent improved on that issue, and keep making the same mistake again and again… it’s tiring….

     

    But i agree with you when u said communication takes practice, and i seldom talk to people due to my daily activities….. Right now i’m trying to find a way to be able to talk more with people regardless of the situation in my house and workplace….

    #405167
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Eric

    Do you honestly believe that anyone deserves to be hit?

    This is a form of self-abuse for you. Even in the previous message you are verbally abusing yourself by claiming that you deserve to be hit.

    This is what domestic violence perpetrators sometimes say to their victims.

    I would encourage you to wait until you are feeling calmer to reply. When you are able to think clearly and refrain from self-abuse. This is when you are going to be able to make progress.

    I am not saying this because I wish to cease communication. On the contrary! I would love to continue this conversation. I just know from my own experience that it is near impossible to be kind to yourself while these feelings are still raw.

    I have an idea for you regarding conversation practice. You write beautifully and visualisation is great technique that has a similar impact to performing the activity itself. Could you write about how you would have liked the conversation to go with this girl? Please only  do this when you are feeling calmer.

    Have you tried yoga before? It is an excellent way to develop relaxation skills. Learning to properly relax could help you learn to better manage your anxiety.

    I hope you take care of yourself in this vulnerable state. You deserve to take especially good care of yourself right now. What are your favourite treats or some comforting / distracting activities that you enjoy?

    #405402
    Eric
    Participant

    Dear anita,

     

    I apologize for replying late,

    to live your life best you can is to have a different, better ATTITUDE; a different, better STAND TOWARD THE CONDITIONS of your life.

    Yes i’m trying to accept the conditions of my life…. i’m really trying my best.

     

    what is your attitude about it, what is your stand toward this condition of being underestimated because of your looks?

    I know i shouldn’t care too much about that kind of person who underestimated my short appearance and looks…. but still i’ll never able to achieve their bodies which is more attractive and taller….. and i need to eradicate that kind of dream…. i used to dream to have an ideal body when i was still a kid…. but i was never given, not even an average height……

    Even if their personality is filthy, sometimes i envy them….. like they can at least experience going to the clubs as someone attractive…. while me, it’s really hard for me to enjoy that kind of thing….. i need to wear tall shoes, etc…. and it’s still not enough….. I’m not saying that i want to enjoy going to clubs, it’s just that i need to accept that i wont be able to experience the feeling of being an attractive person…..

    But day by day i’m trying to accept this, i’m trying to accept this body even though i dont like it…. (like a harsh reality)…

     

     

    You didn’t walk away because you are stupid; you walked away because you are afraid. Then you got angry with yourself, as if walking away from the girl was a stupid mistake that you should be punished for. But NO, it was not a stupid mistake: it was fear. Fear does not respond well to punishment. It responds well to empathy and understanding.

    The more you punish yourself for being afraid, the more afraid you will be. Oh how I wish you will be empathetic and understanding with yourself, particularly when you are afraid!

    All this kind of fear starts from my insecurity of my height….. i’m afraid that girls might look at me as an unattractive guy or she might judge my height…. this causes me to be afraid to initiate a conversation…. and this habit keeps on going year after year….. till right now…..

    I really need to find a solution for my brain, like i prefer a solution rather than accepting….

    Like i used to be afraid going to the mall wearing sandals, but now i found a solution which is wearing tall shoes…. but i still need to find a solution if i’m in someone else’s house, in which i’ll be barefoot, i’m really insecure there……

     

     

    Here is a very interesting one: “Fear is not real. It is a product of thoughts you create. Do not misunderstand me. Danger is very real. But fear is a choice.” -After Earth.

    Think of it: fear being a choice? Can it be a choice, Eric?

    I think to overcome fear, i need to experience it first…. like the first time will be the hardest…. but then the follow up will be easy….

    Just like how i start learning how to drive a car, at first i fear driving outside the complex….. but i force myself and in the end i dont feel afraid now…..

    I also used to be afraid of cutting my nails with the nail cutter when i was a kid…. i let my parents cut it for me….. But then when i go outside my city to enter uni, i need to learn that….. and eventually i did learn how to cut my own nails….. i use my own method because i still have fear of cutting my nails…. so i cut it really slow and safely….

    But to overcome the fear on conversing with an attractive girl, or a person i feel pressure is not easy…..  because i cant trial and error…. and they could come randomly without me planning how to talk to them…..

     

     

    no, nothing good comes from overthinking and the pain that you are describing. I know the pain that you shared about for so long in your various threads, I felt it too and I assure you, there is nothing good about this kind of pain. Life wisdom and awakening happen when there is hope that pain will lessen and be no more, and… a different, better attitude will make it happen!

    I usually have my awakening when i got a solution to convince my brain….. one of them was me constantly going to the gym every day after working….. even if i dont talk much with anyone there…. i overthink less than me immediately going home from my office……

    I think it’s due to the surroundings at my home is very lonely, while at the gym there are lots of people (even if the people who went to the gym every day are the same ones mostly)….. and people there talk to each other while working out, i love seeing people in my surroundings talk to each other even if i dont talk…. it creates a happy atmosphere in me, this kind of feeling also appears in other occasion, not only in the gym….. Do u think this might be because i felt too lonely at my house? Sometimes i also feel less lonely when im talking here, like i feel there are people who appreciates my existence, and im thankful for that…..

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