el m is doing 14 things including…

beat social anxiety

20 cheers

 

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el m has written 11 entries about this goal

not beaten, but accepted

i’ve accepted that i will mostly always have anxiety when it comes to socializing in unfamiliar territory and with unfamiliar people.

sometimes i will challenge myself and stay. sometimes i will decide it’s too much work and leave. either is ok. i’m not missing out on life because of social anxiety as i once was.



never going away

i’ll likely always feel uneasy before social events, or even running errands that involve talking to other people.

it’s important for me to keep this in mind, because like everyone i want to avoid pain/discomfort. but, i’m accepting that this discomfort will probably stick around [though can improve with practice] and feeling the feeling while still taking action is all i can do.



making a conscious effort

to feel the anxiety. without judgement of self. and going through with plans anyway.



party

i attended a party with my pal. prior to going i was waffling on whether or not i’d actually go through with it. wine helped me decide, but i was actually starting to come around prior to wine.

it felt ok being there. the people were nice. halloween’s a good time to go out and be social because no one takes themselves too seriously. some humans i don’t care for were at the party, so i minimized contact with them. sadly, in doing so i also minimized contact with my friends. i ducked out early without saying bye because i was trying to avoid certain people. argh. oh well, it was mostly a good time and i’m proud of me for going.



today

i’m currently debating with myself about whether or not to attend my pal’s party. this is the same pal who had a party before that i freaked out at [internal freakout only].

i’ve implemented a strategy that would make me more comfortable tonite – my other friend said he would go with me if i wanted- but i’m still not sure about attending.

my anxiety book reminds me that if you keep treating social events as actual threats [and avoid them], the belief system that says ‘social = danger’ is reinforced. you avoid events more because of fear of harm. if you want to weaken this belief system, you must experience social events and see they are not things to fear.

however, my book doesn’t tell me what to do if you are actually threatened!![someone says a rude thing, etc.]. that is where meditation techniques comes in, i guess. ugh, why is this is so so difficult? i never used to be like this.



uhm

i was super social during the month of august.

i felt the need for wine on many occasions.

sucks how i use it as a crutch only to have it make me more depressed/anxious the days after. giving it up for a while…



weekend

well, i was able to go to a party with 50+ people in attendance. when i felt awkward, i put myself in charge of a task [there was much to do] and met every single person. i note i’m pretty good at introductions. a little bit after that, though, things start to fizzle. but perhaps that’s in my head.

it was a good time. one person said i was clever, so that made me happy. almost everyone was nice and friendly. i feel i was, dare i say, charming! only a few poopers [whose comments stuck in my head unfortunately] were in attendance.

i regret that i felt compelled to drink and i had a few [:-o] glasses of wine. i don’t fault myself too much because everyone was drinking – it was a formal dinner. but i’ll try at least to drink less next time.



party

last nite i went to a party. i’ve been avoiding these for years. i used to host lots of fun parties, but i’ve completely given that up. it turned out super fun and there were ridiculous games going on which was entertaining.

i did drink to relax, but i’ll work on that issue later.

it was scary walking into the house, even though i knew people there. i didn’t go up to anyone [except the host] initially. i just said hi and darted to the couch to sit by myself and relax after a longish drive.

eventually someone came up to me and them more people gathered where i was. then i felt confident enough to talk to people in the other room.

i note i tend to hold information about myself back, but am pretty good at asking about others. i note i tend to resent people who appear self-absorbed. one girl i’ve known for years only talks about herself. she’s never asked me a thing about my life. she’s very pleasant, though. but i was happy that i’m how i am [interested in others]. i’ve been working on self-disclosure at work, and will continue this practice in social outings. it’s easy 1-on-1 but in groups more difficult just due to the number of conversations going on. also i tend to think before i speak, so it takes me a while to actually say things and by that time the conversation has often moved to another topic. i also speak quietly. would like to work on being a little more loud.

overall it was a fun time and reminded me that life isn’t all about stress and routine and dreading social gatherings. it can actually be fun sometimes.
:)



Untitled

i have been reading the book mentioned in my previous post and i find it insightful. just now getting to methods to manage the anxiety and breaking down the vicious cycles that occur.

i so hope i can bring the enthusiasm i have for 1-on-1’s to a group setting instead of always dreading these.



book

i ordered this book:
http://www.amazon.com/Overcoming-Social-Anxiety-Shyness-Behavioral/dp/0465005454/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1308976490&sr=8-2

[wish i knew how to post a photo of the book on my mac :)]

sounds like it will provide some insight as well as practical tips to overcome the anxiety.



el m has gotten 20 cheers on this goal.

 

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