Emotional triggers which restrict self-growth

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  anita 2 months ago.

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    It has been too long since I felt that I was truly happy. Even though there are moments of happiness but the constant anxiety continues in the background which makes such moments a fleeting memory. In my search for the triggers of my anxiety, I came across a few situations which trigger my anxiety. It would be a great help if someone could shed some light on my way forward to mitigate anxiety in such situations. Also, I understand that many of the thought patterns might be negative or inappropriate but I have sincerely been trying to fix those. A few of those situations are-

    1. I observe the reactions and behavior of people too closely. If I am hanging out in a group and others show less attention to me then I become anxious and it even leads me to question the affection of my friendship with the other person. One of the reasons for that might be that I am usually a silent person and have difficulty engaging people which in turn gets aggravated when I become anxious. I have tried telling myself that true friendships don’t need a constant display of affection but I have not been able to handle the situations till now.

    2. If I feel that someone is not happy with me or has some issues with me, then I become anxious and I spoil my other relations and moments as well due to anxiety. I have not been able to find a solution to this.

    3. I feel scared and fearful of confident people as it reminds me of my own deficiencies. In reality, I am not a failure. I have a successful life till now which many others just dream of. My only failure which I feel is prominent is the lack of really strong friendships. I do put in a lot of efforts in my friendships but somehow it is never reciprocated.

    4. During my negative spiral, I sink in very quickly with ruminating and overthinking.


    Thanks for taking out your valuable time to read my post. Being a person in his late 20’s, such disbalance scares me. Any inputs would be highly valuable to me.





    Dear Harsh:

    “I am usually a silent person”, now in your late twenties. To understand better, I ask:

    Do you remember a time when you expressed yourself freely, unafraid, and then, to your surprise, the  words you used and the feelings you expressed were used to hurt you?




    Dear Harsh,

    You see yourself as “something” to be fixed. You have anxiety so you’re trying to fix your thoughts. With your relationships, you’re trying to ascertain that everything is just peachy by watching your friends and, it seems, reacting inappropriately when you try to remedy the perception that they might just dislike you. You fear the judgment of having any faults so you cover that up by “being successful and having the dream life” that many could only dream of.

    You’re so focus on the imperfection, on the flaws, of yourself and what people might see in you, that you don’t let yourself be a flawed human. You search for any signs of scorn from your friends because you fear that should they see your flaws, they will leave you. You need constant attention from others to verify your position. You feel inferior even when your “reality” is successful. You don’t want to be a flawed human.

    But other people are flawed humans who only wish for flawed human relationships, not a relationships of seeking imaginary perfection and fixing the appearance of imperfection.

    If you truly hope for a meaningful relationship, then you will have to allow yourself to be a flawed human; a flawed human that will allow others to see your humanness, your imperfection, and to be okay with that, while also making space for other flawed humans to be their own human.



    Wow. These issues that you have, I experience too. Social anxiety, feeling not good enough, insecure of confident people, etc. You’re not alone. Overthinking, over analyzing. Check!

    I am religious and that helps me greatly. Also, my family members help me too. I’ve learned that our mind needs to be retrained. I need to discipline my mind NOT to overthink situations. To try not to please people. Not be callous but if someone is upset with me or doesn’t like me for some reason and I’ve tried my best to either apologize or figure out why, then I need to let go and turn my focus elsewhere.  I don’t get to be friends with everyone and not everyone gets to be friends with me.

    Mindfulness and prayer helps me. Knowing that I’ve been put on this earth, along with everyone else, for a purpose helps me.

    Volunteering to help out at a charity event, homeless shelter, hospital, whatever helps. I’ve tried a few. Service helps me.

    Hope you can find some peace soon with yourself. You deserve it.




    First of all, I would like to apologize for such a late response. Ever since posting the question, I have been spending time with my beloved family and needless to say that I am very happy and calm these days.

    @anita The environment I grew up in was sharply contrasted to the environment in which I spent my last couple of years. Due to the stark difference, there were times when my thinking involved envy, manipulation and many other negative emotions. Since then, I have tried to improve myself constantly and I am happy to say that I am a better person due to my experiences.

    @gl Thanks a lot for such wise words. I am truly in awe of your analysis which is very much to the point and as I introspect with a calm mind, I think that I have been too fixated on being a perfect person that I succumbed to the constant anxiety and depression when things didn’t go the way I wanted. In the cocoon of love and warmth of my family, I do not feel the need to fear any judgments or flaws. I can discuss anything and everything with them. During the last decade, as I moved forward in my life with college and job, my emotional bond with my family had deteriorated to a bare thread holding us. Today, my time with them has remedied this a lot.

    I have also started practicing mindfulness meditation which is yet another source of some calm time for me. On another note, I have reduced the amount of social networking which has reduced much of my anxiety. This, in turn, has lead me to partially cut-off those people who I feel were a source of my anxiety. Though my ship is still in turbulent waters yet I don’t fear the storm. For now. I hope that it remains the same as I move out back into the real world away from my family.


    @lispol Thanks a lot for such kind words. It helps a lot to understand people who have walked on the same path as me. As you mentioned, I am also trying to train my mind not to overthink the situations. I hope that mindfulness will help me in this aspect. Trying to please everyone has been part of my mindset but I am trying to change that now. I too have found volunteering to be very helpful for me. I have not been able to do any volunteering activity for now but I plan to reengage as soon as I can.


    Again, Thanks a lot for your kind words.



    Dear @newlife123 @gl @lispol ,

    It would be very kind of you to help me understand another situation which I think disturbs my mental peace.

    I am a silent person and humor is not my strongest trait. Usually, when I am hanging around in a group with my friends, I become anxious if I feel that others are closer to each other than with me. For example, I have three friends Ankur, Prerna and Rashi. I tried to put in efforts to stay in touch with each of them after we all moved to different cities. However, the effort was not reciprocated by Prerna and hence I reduced my one on one interaction with her. It is not that we have any acrimony between us. We are very happy for each other’s success and talk very cordially with each other but our communication is mostly restricted to group hangouts only. On the other hand, Ankur, Prerna, and Rashi were always close and hence during the calls, it feels that I am missing out something and that they are closer and I am an outsider. Since this troubles me, I have decreased my communication with them but it does bother me sometimes.

    In contrast, when I am with my brother and sisters, I never feel an outcast or feel the need to question their love for me.

    I have not been able to decipher the situation or any steps that I need to follow to remedy this. I understand that it is a negative emotion and I want to understand and correct this if possible.


    Thanks for listening to me 🙂



    Dear HR:

    You wrote that with your bother and sisters, you “never feel an outcast or fee the need to question their love”, but in other social settings, away from your family, you feel like an outcast and are envious of others forming a closer bond between themselves, while you are left  out.

    I would like to understand why this is so, therefore I ask: what kinds of interactions take place between your siblings and yourself in family settings, (what is said, asked, what topics are discussed..)

    – and what kinds of interactions took place between you, Ankur, Prerna and Rashi at the beginning of the association with them (what was said, asked, what topics were discussed)?




    Dear Anita,

    In my family, the kids of my brother keep all of us engaged. They are sort of binding glue for us. Apart from them, we discuss what we did in the day, challenges we are facing or any humdrum details of daily life. I usually crack jokes on them and play with the kids. They are also interested in other aspects of my life like where did I travel and what I did there. All interactions are similar.

    The foundations of my friendship with Ankur, Prerna, and Rashi was filled with ups and downs. We bonded in our office as we were part of the same team. There was turbulence due to office politics and other people initially. We knew each other for a long time but we became good friend towards the end before we departed to different cities. On the other hand, the other three had developed their friendship long back before me. As I write this, I see a partial answer to my question as I think that probably the foundation was not strong enough.

    If that is the case, then I fear that I might never have close friendships with people. Close bonds take a lot of time to form and I don’t think that I would have another chance at those now.



    Dear HR:

    Maybe it was the office politics (“There was turbulence due to office politics and other people initially”), that had a part in why the relationship between you and the three co workers were “filled with ups and downs”, and why the bonds didn’t last?

    -how did the office politics affect the relationships in the office?


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