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How do I stop caring what others think?

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This topic contains 171 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  anita 1 day, 17 hours ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 106 through 120 (of 172 total)
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  • #311359

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lily:

    I don’t remember you sharing that you self harm- how did you self harm recently?

    Clearly you need to spend time with people, we all do, being the social animals that we are born to be. And in addition to it you are a young woman and you need a romantic/ physical relationship with a man. But K was not a good candidate- so a relationship with him wouldn’t have worked no matter what.

    In a future relationship you will need a man who is inclined to talk and plan, to  express his expectations and needs clearly and openly and listen to yours. You definitely need, maybe more than most people, a man who will clearly and honestly communicate with you, so that you will not be wondering and guessing.

    It will be very easy for you, really, to figure out a good candidate for a relationship-  a man who likes to talk would  be a start, an extrovert, a verbal person, one who loves words.

    anita

    #311367

    Lily
    Participant

    Dear anita,

    welll, it’s not like I cut myself, but sometimes I hit myself, mainly against my head. Today I became upset and I had just bought a tiny plant and a terracotta pot and then I smashed the pot against my head and the pot broke. Last week it was worse… then I hit my hand with a metal chair and my little finger still hurts from that.

    I don’t know why I do that, but when I get very upset sometimes it happens. During the last months, I felt a lot of stress, but hopefully it will get better now.

    Maybe some day I will find someone. But I have to take it very slowly. The importance of that became more clear after what happened with K. An extrovert could be the right one. Usually I feel comfortable with people who talk more. Then I feel less stressed about having to say something. And that might lead to me also talking more.

    But I guess it will take some more time before I am ready to meet someone.

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by  Lily.
    #311375

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lily:

    It may take some time but you will be able to spot the right man because you  will hear him talk.. a lot (he will have to be quiet sometimes, of course, so to hear what you have to say!

    Yes, I remember you mentioned hitting yourself long ago. I suppose it fits with the unfortunate core belief you have (one that I had before as well) that you are wrong, or a bad person, and therefore it feels almost… right, to hurt yourself, to punish a bad person, or a person who does wrong. Am I understanding correctly?

    anita

    #311383

    Lily
    Participant

    Dear anita,

    yes, I think you are right. I know I feel a lot of self-hate during these moments and it is maybe like a punishment too. My therapist also noted that my father used to sometimes hit me on the head too.

    My hope is, that now that I am removed from the dormitory and starting over again, I will be able to calm down more and focus on my healing process.So that I will be less distressed and not hurt myself with bad thoughts or physically.

    But for now I will go offline. Have a good day anita! And thank you for your input!

    #311389

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lily:

    You are welcome. And no matter how you feel- don’t hit yourself. When you feel that urge, say to yourself: I do not hit myself, I need love, not hate! And then replace an act of hate with an act of love for yourself.

    anita

    #314291

    Lily
    Participant

    Dear anita,

    during the last weeks I did not hit myself again. But I still am feeling very anxious and am ashamed of my behaviour last year. I wish I would have confronted problems and talked to people, instead of hiding. And I also wish that I wouldn’t have taken such small things so personally.

    But it is a good thing I moved out, because every little thing there scared me and I didn’t know how to react to people anymore. I didn’t know anymore, if I should say hello or not and how to behave. I felt more and more problematic and every little thing seemed to be a sign that they thought that I am a thief or difficult…

    For example, the girl that ignored me attached the price tag of her new (expensive) shoes to her name plate, or she left her phone on the community corridor, but her door was open and it was plugged in at her own room. Such little things made me feel nervous, but there is probably a logical explanation to all of this. I think I went very crazy  and now I feel so ashamed. I want to learn to not take things personally!! And even if they thought badly of me, then it would be better for me to not think so much about it and do more productive things.

    But I think it is going better in my new living situation. I even started to prepare my own food in the kitchen (instead of in my room) and sometimes eat there too, which I both never did in the dormitory. Maybe the dormitory is not for me and it is better for me to live with only few people instead of fifteen and people moving in and out constantly, bringing friends and family and lots of different people to get used to.

    My new roommates are friendly and sometimes I talked to them when n the kitchen and I feel o.K. More like a normal person. Maybe we will even cook something together and they offered me to help paint my room. I feel like I am o.K. and not like some crazy lunatic!

    Tomorrow I will also go to one of my friends cooking-get-togethers. Maybe it will be o.K., since there is an activity involved and then talking to people will be easier and less awkward. And this weekend I also am going to meet another friend to visit a festival.

    And I also want to focus on my studies and not get distracted anymore! Last year I behaved like a person that I don’t want to be, but from now on, I hope I can slowly make progress!

     

    #314293

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lily:

    “from now on, I hope I can slowly make progress!”- but you have been slowly making progress for a long time.

    Reads to me that it is better for you to live with a few people sharing a house than in a dormitory with fifteen people and many more coming in and out. Better feeling okay, where you are,  than feeling “like some crazy lunatic” when living in the dormitories. I hope that you never again live in a dormitories setting.

    I am glad you didn’t hit yourself for weeks and I hope you never hit yourself again.

    In the cooking get together tomorrow, keep in mind that everyone there is busy, and in their minds, they are not focused on you, thinking about you. Instead they are busy- observe them and you will see that they are otherwise occupied. You are not their focus. Try to relax knowing you are not being observed and judged for every move you make, every expression on your face, every word you say.

    Keep making the slow progress that you have been making for a long time so far.

    anita

    #316751

    Lily
    Participant

    Dear anita,

    since I moved out, I am feeling much better. The anxiety is mostly gone. It was not true that I was just more in touch with my feelings and therefore feeling worse. It was the circumstances that made me worry much more. But now, I feel better. No more almost crying at work or chest pains and heart racing…

    Sometimes I feel good and inspired. The festival for example inspired me to work harder and on the stuff that matters to me. I want to turn some of my ideas into reality, maybe find my own voice… express myself and what matters to me.

    At work I am also feeling better. Like the people there have accepted me more… and as if they generally seem to like me. I try my best to do a good job. At the moment it is very stressful. My colleague who takes charge of everything usually, is on holidays and now everyone comes to me with their questions. So far, I think I did o.K. Even though I cannot get everything done and of course I make mistakes and am awkward at times.

    Of course, I also have bad moments. Today I talked to my professor about my ideas and I probably overwhelmed him with the sum of it… And then he talked about which PC would be best to buy and I didn’t know what to say and just said “uh-huh” (“yes”) and nodded, multiple times. Then he went away to talk to other people and I realized that I probably made him feel uncomfortable. Then I felt crazy and in the break I said to myself “you are crazy, why were you even born? why do you exist?” and such things. I even said it out loud (hopefully I am not becoming one of these crazy people who talk to themselves and curse in public….) And I worried that all my ideas that I presented to my professor were embarrassing and weird. I was in a bad mood and when  returned to class, I was still feeling weird and it probably showed.

    But then I told myself, I can do better next time. I can make a better impression next time. And I should work on my project, even if my professor thinks it is weird. I have to do it for myself and no longer hide myself and be ashamed all the time.

    So yeah, my feelings and experiences are mixed, but I guess it is normal. I want to believe that I am making slow progress, like you said.

    I hope you are doing well! And thanks for the encouraging words.

    #316779

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lily:

    You are definitely making progress!

    It doesn’t read to me that you overwhelmed your professor, and if he did feel overwhelmed, if he did, it could have been a combination of stress from his whole day, his many students, his family situation and who knows, maybe he is constipated. The latter is not a joke I am making, really, constipation and bloating is a real stressor for a whole lot of people, especially older people. So you may see him distressed and you think it is you, that you are the cause, when most of his distress may be.. constipation.

    I figure you saw an expression on the professor’s face or heard something in his voice and jumped to the conclusion you often jump to, that you  did or said something wrong and that thought is always involved with that weird, uncomfortable and very distressing feeling that you experience.

    You are being very mindful about all of this, I can tell by your writing. keep being mindful, more mindful by saying to yourself next time, when again you see a person’s facial expression or a tone in one’s voice, or the person turning away from you, or pausing or whatnot, some trigger that causes you to think that the person is distressed, overwhelmed, uncomfortable and it is all your fault..

    – stop that train of thought and say to yourself instead: maybe that person is constipated.

    And you know that this very possible explanation to a person’s distress is none of your fault, nothing that you caused!

    anita

    #317897

    Lily
    Participant

    Dear anita,

    thank you for your reply!

    It is definitely the healthiest way of thinking. That others are just dealing with their own issues, that I am not important. It would have helped me in the dormitory, if I hadn’t paid that much attention to people’s reactions. I could have saved myself a lot of worry and anxiety. The situation wouldn’t have escalated this far.

    But at the same time, I know that I am socially awkward and can make others feel uncomfortable. And I know that people are not able to understand my behaviour and then seem to think badly of me… It happened at my work. But now it has gotten better, since I work more and people know me better.

    My therapist said to me, that I seem very controlled and that she “can’t feel me” most of the time. Only recently, I have realized, that I am not in touch with my feelings.

    For example, K. said to me that he was not feeling good or that everything is so easy for me. And I always said to him, that I am fine, so he could get this impression. And I felt guilty, that he was feeling so bad, while I was o.K. But I was not o.K., my anxiety grew bigger and bigger. I couldn’t sleep, I felt like I am crazy and I had heart palpitations (which hadn’t happened to me before). Somehow I focused so much on him and how I have hurt him, that I didn’t even realize that I was not feeling good. Or it didn’t seem important to me. What seemed important was, that I might have hurt him.

    Well, I still worry that I might have hurt him. But I know that it has also hurt me very much, our interactions… But I am only angry at myself, not at him, still. I still feel guilty and confused about what happened with him.

    The sad thing is, I tried to please him and was too afraid to do what I really wanted. I would have wanted to hold his hand or hug him for very long. I would have wanted to spend time with him, be there for him. But my thoughts were very warped. I tried to fulfill his expectations, but I didn’t even know what he wanted. In the end, I think we did things we both didn’t really want. And that is just so depressing.

    Well, I know we were not a good match. It seems that we wanted different things. I just wish that we could have handled things better.

    But I guess the only thing I can do now is to hope for him that he is doing well. And learn from the experience. To get to know a man very slowly is the most important lesson for me. And to also consider what I want, or a terrible mess will happen. And sex is also very difficult for me, so best take this very slowly as well.

    I am sorry that I am still talking about this. But he is still very much on my mind. I was not the person I wanted to be with him. I was not the person I wanted to be last year in the dormitory.

    Hopefully, I can start fresh now and learn from the experience.

     

    #318037

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lily:

    Maybe you are socially awkward and “seem very controlled” to your therapist, and your anxiety is very high at times and when that happens, your thoughts “were very warped”. But you are an honest woman. You never tried deceive anyone, nor to hurt anyone.

    Give yourself the credit you deserve for being honest with people, for caring to not hurt others. The world would be a better place with more of you in it.

    The fact that you are more anxious than some people, that you are socially awkward- that does not make you deserving of dishonest people like K. You are too good for a person like K.

    In your choice of people you interact with, see to it that you receive in return the  honesty and care that you give others.

    anita

    #318241

    Lily
    Participant

    Dear anita,

    thank you, it made me feel better when you wrote that the world would be better with a bit of me in it. Because often I feel the opposite.

    And yesterday I was feeling bad. My professor went to discuss people’s project with everyone, but when he came to my place, he just went on to the next person. It made me feel bad, asking myself if I had done something wrong. But today I feel much better. So I can wait until next week and see what will happen then.

    Today was a good day at work. I feel more confident now and am better when interacting with clients or talking on the phone. Well, of course I still get nervous, but much less than in the beginning. Much less than when my colleague was on vacation the first time. Next week my other colleague spontaneously also can’t come to work. Initially they asked another person to help out, but today they asked if I could possibly handle it alone (the other person hadn’t even asked or complained). It means that they trust in me more now and that makes me proud.

    About K., I just don’t understand him.I noticed that some of the things he said didn’t add up. He also said some selfish things. And I think that he wants to be the decision maker in a relationship. He said the woman should “sit back and relax  in a relationship”, or something like that (and if I understood correctly). It is not what I want. I want to make decisions together, find solutions, compromise and share responsibilities. That is the kind of relationship I want, the kind of woman I want to become.

    In any case, if we were meant to be together, I wouldn’t have felt so badly about myself. But I am starting to feel better again. And today is a good day, so it’s much easier to think like that.

    I want to be an honest woman, like you said. I don’t want to deceive or hurt anyone. Sometimes I still make mistakes and hurt someone. But I guess that’s a part of life? The woman I want to be would be more strong and able to stand up for herself. But I also want to be caring and friendly to people, become better at communicating. I would want to be creative and work towards my goals.

    In my dream life, I would like to live close to nature, go to the forest often. Have some friends to spend time with, but also have enough time for myself. I would like to appreciate the little things, like watching the seasons change, collecting herbs and mushrooms or gardening. I want to be financially independent ( I am almost there now), able to support myself, but also find some time to stay creative… I can work towards making at least parts of it true…

    Today I feel more hopeful. But I am also tired and will go to sleep soon. How are you doing? I hope all is well on your end!

     

    #318251

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lily:

    But the world is better because of people like you who care so much about not hurting others. I only wish you care as much about not hurting yourself!

    I didn’t read your whole post because I am so tired this early afternoon (thank you for asking), but after my walk outside I hope to feel better. I will be back to you later today, read and reply.

    anita

    #318283

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lily:

    I will be back to read and reply later than I thought, in about 12 hours from now.

    anita

    #318413

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lily:

    “it made me feel better when you wrote that the world would be better with a bit of me in it. Because often I feel the opposite”- what we often feel as adults is what we often felt as children. As children our home was the world. When the parents communicate to the child that they are unhappy with the child, the child believes that home would be better without her. Fast forward-> the world will be better.

    The professor ignoring you- I know how it feels to be ignored, very unpleasant. I don’t know why he did. But your assumption that you “had done something wrong” is your automatic assumption whenever something undesirable happens.

    “Today was a good day at work. I feel more confident now and am better when interacting with clients or talking on the phone.. I still get nervous, but much less… they asked if I could possibly handle it alone.. It means that they trust in me more now and that makes me proud”- excellent, so glad to read this! And I am proud of you too, if I may say so.

    “About K”- he wasn’t honest with you, and he was selfish. He said that the woman should “sit back and relax in a relationship”- meaning, relax and let the man lie to her and use her for his selfish reasons???

    “It is  not what I want”- no, it is not. (And I don’t want that for you!)

    You do know what kind of a relationship you do want: “to make decisions together, find solutions, compromise and share responsibilities”- a reasonable and healthy view of relationships.

    Notice this: you didn’t cause K to be dishonest and selfish. He was like this way before he met you. This is the reason why you have to be careful about who you choose to be in a relationship with, and if the man is not right, no use trying to change him: you didn’t cause his dishonestly and selfishness and you can’t change it.

    “if we were meant to be together, I wouldn’t have felt so badly about myself”- you are not meant to be together with a dishonest and selfish man. You are meant to be together with an honest man who cares about your well being and values you.

    “Sometimes I still make mistakes and hurt someone”- when a person around you looks or sounds unhappy, you assume- inaccurately, that you made a mistake and hurt that person.

    You can be “strong and able to stand up for” yourself, and be “caring and friendly to people”, both, but always stand up for yourself first. Don’t compromise yourself so to be friendly to people who are okay with using you.

    What you described as your dream life fits my understanding of you and I am glad you are almost financially independent. It is very important. In that scenery of nature, the forest, you can have a partner in life, one who respects your need for alone time and who also needs his alone time.

    anita

     

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