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Social anxiety, low self esteem and confidence

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  BenzRabbit 6 months, 4 weeks ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
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  • #193843

    KodenameKnd
    Participant

    Currently I'm struggling to be social and make friends. Although I am an introvert and I enjoy my alone time I still want to go out with friends and socialise. I have low confidence and self esteem and anxiety. Every time I'm in a social situation or I plan to go out I worry about peoples perception of me. I also worry about how I act and come across to people I find myself cringing by the way I behave as I can behave quite feminine. The worrying would lead me to cancel social plans at the last minute and stay home. I struggle to be myself and I would act differently with every person because I don't want them to dislike me. I can people please sometimes. Sometimes it's like I don't have an opinion and I agree with everyone. Sometimes I feel like people use me because they know I'll say yes. Tiny Buddha please help me to be true to myself and find friends. Also I lack social and conversation skills.

    #193903

    anita
    Participant

    Dear KodenameKnd:

    It is easier to be alone, isn't it? So much distress being with other people: “I worry about people's perception of me.. worry about how I act… cringing by the way I behave… worrying.. struggle to be myself… people please… people use me”-

    it is easier to be alone. But we are social beings, born that way, born to connect and to be connected.

    To feel more comfortable with other people it will take time and work, a gradual process of learning and practicing. In that gradual process, you will continue to need time alone. Everyone needs time alone. Be together with others for short periods of time, at first. Over time it will get easier.

    Quality psychotherapy will help you to become more aware of what distress you so much when in the company of others, gain that kind of insight, learn to endure your distress, to build confidence gradually, learn effective communication skills, etc.

    If you would like to share about the origin of your anxiety when around people, please do and I will give you more of my input.

    anita

    #193939

    Mark
    Participant

    Kodenamekid,

    What anita said… and you might want to try starting with one person to make friends with or at least to start talking to in person.  Also check out the Metta Meditation for that helps with anxiety and self-love.

    I learned in my 40s (I suspect you are a lot younger) that it took so much energy to try to be accepted by others and monitor my words and behavior constantly when I am around people.  I learned to let that go.  I have found that I started attracting people who liked me for me.

    I also worked on the notion of not caring what other people think of me.  What is the worse can happen?  In some ways my life won't be much worse or I would think less of myself.  Plus it was more important for me to actually live as myself rather than working on being small and hiding from the world.

    Mark

    #194019

    KodenameKnd
    Participant

    Anita,

    Thanks for your reply. I have tried CBT but I was dismissed as my therapist suggested counselling to help with understanding my emotions. She suggested I could return so I think I might give it another go.

    The origin of my anxiety around people was when I was slapped in the face by a bully in public. This made me feel shamed, embarrased and worthless. I was angry at myself for not being able to defend myself. In social situations I would feel these same feelings. On top of that I already had low self esteem and confidence due to constant criticism (I'm very sentitive to criticism) from people. This led me to hide from social situations to protect myself.

     

    Mark,

    Thanks for your reply and advice. I'll definitely check out Metta Meditation and try making one friend.

    #194023

    anita
    Participant

    Dear KodenameKnd:

    You are welcome.  You  wrote that you tried CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) but you were dismissed- why? You wrote that your therapist suggested counseling – but CBT is  counseling, I don't understand.

    You wrote that  you are “very sensitive to criticism”- every person is sensitive to criticism. As humans we need and want to be  liked, to be approved of. We are born with that need. And so, we are born sensitive to criticism.

    Your fear of  criticism, of  disapproval is  intense because you received such criticism as a  child, correct? If so, will you tell me about being  criticized at home, as a child?

    anita

    #194027

    KodenameKnd
    Participant

    Anita,

    I don't understand either but that was the advice I was given by my therapist. She then sent me a letter in the post confirming my dismissal and a list of counselling services.

    And I do fear criticism, also embarrassment. Yes I did receive such criticism as a child from my father and older sister. At home I remember my Dad was very serious and he used to beat me as discipline and call me names such as worthless. I can't remember why I used to get beaten but I believe it was over innocent little things I did as a child. This made me fearful of father and I was also confused emotionally as he would hug and show me love sometimes then criticise and beat me. Also my older sister would tease and criticise me as a child calling me a big head, skinny, anything to do with my appearance. This affected my confidence. She would also embarass me alot aswell. I remember at family event I was getting told off by an elder and she was making faces behind the elder's back making me feel shamed. I then attacked her out of anger.

    My mother was the only one who showed me love and appreciation so when she passed away it was really hard for me. I found it difficult to express my emotions as I didn't trust anyone. My mom was the only one who didn't criticise me. I remember as a child askin her to split up with my Dad.

    #194033

    anita
    Participant

    Dear KodenameKnd:

    Your anxiety is very  understandable. It  scares a child very much to be beaten by a parent and to be called names. It hurts a whole lot  to be called  “worthless” by the person you look up to. A boy does  look up to his father as a god of sorts, an all powerful being, wanting nothing but to be approved and liked by this all powerful being.

    After  a few times of  such aggressive attacks, physical, verbal, by your father,  his hugs didn't  feel t he  same, did they?

    When an aggressive person shows love and then aggression, then love again, the “loved one” no longer feels loved by that  person. The “loved one” feels scared,  hurt, confused, sometimes  angry.

    It  is very common in a family  where a parent is  aggressive toward his children, that one child turns  against the  other, passing on that  aggression, as  your sister has done.

    Are you still in contact with your father  and  how is  that relationship like…?

    anita

    #194041

    KodenameKnd
    Participant

    Anita,

    Wow definitely I do remember refusing his hugs a lot. I also remember me and my younger sister used to fight a lot – very badly. Like you said a parent passes on that aggression.

    By the way I'm still in contact with my father and after everything I forgave him. I think I feel sorry for him in a way. Sometimes I wonder about his childhood and if he went through some form of abuse. Another thing I remember was my father calling me weak for being emotional. This led me to hold in my emotions til this very day. Our relationship is not strong. He'll occasionally meet me to give me money and he will ask me if I'm eating healthily and looking after myself well. He only calls me to arrange a time to meet up to give me money. Sometimes I feel guilty he gives me money all the time but deep down I know I shouldn't feel guilty.

    #194045

    anita
    Participant

    Dear KodenameKnd:

    Yes, it  is very common for a beaten abused child (throughout life) to feel sorry for the abuser. The parent when beating the child lacks empathy  for the child. The child responds by filling in that lack of empathy  with his own. Meaning, when  your parent beat you up and called you worthless and such time and time again, his empathy for you was low. In response, your empathy for him was high, making  up for the difference.

    Regarding your father giving you money, I think it will be right for him to pay for quality psychotherapy for you, so that you can heal from what  he has  done  to you.

    anita

     

    #194069

    KodenameKnd
    Participant

    Anita,

    I agree and I want to thank you for your replies and advice. You have helped me to understand my emotions more.

    #194081

    Mark
    Participant

    KodenameKnd,

    I suggest when you approach someone to hang out with don't think of it as a goal to accomplish to make a friend.  Just see if they like to share an activity with you.  Start with that.  Don't make it as if they are going to be your friend.  Make it just sharing that one activity for that one day and see where it goes.  This way there will be little pressure on having to make this Particular person your friend  Right Now.

    If you two have a good time then you can do another activity another time and build on that.

     

    Mark

    #194085

    anita
    Participant

    You are welcome, KodenameKnd. Post again anytime you would like and when I am at the computer (daily), I will reply.

    anita

    #194325

    Jake
    Participant

    You might want to look into Enneagrams, which is a theory on personality types.  I'm not condoning it as science or anything like that, but I remember reading about them and how I fit one of the types so closely.  It was like an awakening for me, and the way I viewed myself and how I wanted to change in the future was totally different.  A weight came off my shoulders, and realized there's nothing wrong with me, and in fact 1/9 of people in the world have similar traits as me.

    You seem to have elements of Type 4 and Type 1, which go hand in hand.

    https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/type-4

    https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/type-1

    At the minimum, it's a fun read.

     

    #194671

    BenzRabbit
    Participant

    Hi KnK,

    You are a kind soul that has gone thru the pain of being hurt by your own father….in my opinion, there is no excuse for a father beating up his own child multiple times….NONE…..end of story!

    It causes pain that lasts into adulthood but know you can be healed…..there is no immediate cure but slowly everything will work out.

    Please know you are a valuable person that deserves love and happiness.

    GOD bless you my friend!

     

    #194673

    BenzRabbit
    Participant

    For KnK….by George Michael – who was also physically and verbally abused by his father!

     

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