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Advice on how to re-program myself



Active member
Feb 26, 2009
England, Midlands
Hi all,

I introduced myself here:

And was directed here. I'm not sure how to put it in words so i'm just gunna type and see where I get lol.

I think, people who know me, work with me, associated with me in some form or another see me as a guy (sorry to blow my own trumpet) who has his head screwed on and is self sufficient, good at what he does, clever, hard working etc etc. The truth is though, I very self conscious, I'm constantly worrying what people think of me, sometimes it varies. At times I don't want to let the boss down at work, which I think is normal.

But the other direction is more extreme, the fear of being seen as weak, insecure, seen for what I really am, as if what people see of me is just a mask that I put on to show the world. My biggest phobia is the fear of being discovered as somebody who struggles to stand up for himself in situations.

It probably stems from a bit of abuse I got at school. Though once you leave school and you enter a new environment with new people, you try your best not to make the same social mistakes you did at school, not exposing your weaknesses.

I thought, 'you have a fresh start, make some new friends and have fun, but don't show people you're an easy target or your new friends will turn on you and become your enemys!'

That concept kinda still stays with me. Kinda like a defensive barrier.

Also I must note, that me describing the 'abuse at school bit', I must have read that over and over about 20 times because I think that is one of the roots as to why I'm 'obsessed' with what people think of me or what their opinion is of me.

This obsession can make me 'jump' when I hear a distant conversation about 20 meters away, can't quiet make out what their saying, "are they talking about me?" Nah, their probably talking about yesterdays game, but a part of me suspects they might be talking about me, "look at him, he never bothers to interact with us, he always keeps himself to himself, what an ignorant so and so.."

I'm struggling to cope with all this noise going on in my head, I want out :-(

No i'm not suicidal, i'm not that far yet, sorry for the long post, it took me so much time to write it out that it made things clearer to me as i'm hoping it will to you.

Peace :)


Well-known member
Feb 18, 2009
Up North
I can strongly relate to what your experiencing, it’s almost like the thing you do to keep yourself strong in front of others also stops you from letting anybody get close to you.
I haven’t got my issues that sound very similar sorted, so I can’t offer much in the way of answers I’m sorry to say, but you have noticed this as a issue a lot sooner than I managed too which I think is a very good thing :)

I really think you need to talk to somebody professional about it.


Active member
Feb 26, 2009
England, Midlands
Thanks for the advice. I have thought of seeking professional help, but i'm not sure if its that bad yet.

I was feeling really down yesterday. Today, i feel better, because when i'm working, doing what I do, I push negative thoughts aside.

However, to bring it all down to earth, the mask I described earlier, its actually called an 'ego', everyone has one in some form i think, big or small. People can ride through their entire lives on an ego, then when they realize what they are its a shock!

I shed most of my ego at the age of 18, before that, I was some kid who was always getting into fights (fighting back against those giving me abuse), the thing is, when you hurt someone you hate, it felt good! Then you do it again, and you keep doing it till you go to prison, luckily it never went that far, just a 6 week suspension from school.

But as I said, I shed that side of me when I was 18 (one of those life experiences I remember to this day). As a result, I became a university graduate doing a professional engineering job in IT. Its something that makes me pleased with my self and I often reflect on it as a way to bring me out of misery, positive thinking, i think they call it. I've been doing a lot of that today.

Despite all that, the problem described in my first post is still there, it just needs a trigger, then it becomes a downwards spiral and I get depressed for a few days. The trigger often includes being in an awkward social environment, then come the regrets, 'why didn't you handle that differently? I wonder what they think of you now?'

Other triggers include thinking about my lack of family, only my mother and a younger brother. Funnily, I could never talk about this to them, because I would make them worry, I have to be strong for them......
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