How do you overcome people phobia?

Lunus

Lunus

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#21
So one of the evil things about social anxiety is that even when you force yourself to attend social events and nothing detrimental to you actually happens, all your brain says to you is ‘phew, that was a lucky escape’, so the problem and fear still exists no matter how many times you go out. So, I found this a brilliant exercise to do. However, please note:
You need great courage. It’s like me telling you to put your head in the mouth of a lion, and believing me when I tell you it’s got no teeth.
If you do this exercise it HAS to re relentless. Certainly very repetitive because if you stop doing things, like exercise, you’ll end up back where you were and have to start again, so be committed before you start.
I’m order to recover you HAVE to face the very things that you fear, in order to realise there is nothing to fear. I promise you the fear IS irrational and you CAN make a full recovery! So if you’re ready, try this.
1. Write down a list of ten things you are going to do. For example, visit a friend, go to the shop, get a haircut etc.
2. For each activity you do write down the heading. Eg 1. Go to the shop
3. Underneath the heading write down what your anticipary anxiety level is before you go. (between 1-10).
4. Write down what the worst thing is that you fear could happen.
5. Go and do the activity!!
6. When you return write down what the ACTUAL anxiety level was (between 1-10)
7. Write down what your conclusions are

Repeat for the other activities.

Once you have completed all the activities add up all of the anticipary anxiety scores. Then add up all of all actual anxiety scores. Then look to see how many of the ‘worst things that you fear happening actually happened.
Then write down your conclusions. What you should notice is that perhaps you are upsetting yourself for no good reason? You may also notice as you move through your activities your anticipary anxiety reduces slightly, and also your actual anxiety. Repeat the exercise and see if this is true.
If you can do this and you keep confronting your fear, the levels will reduce to such an extent that you will no longer be socially anxious, the meaning of these interactions to you will have changed.
 
Lunus

Lunus

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Messages
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#23
So one of the evil things about social anxiety is that even when you force yourself to attend social events and nothing detrimental to you actually happens, all your brain says to you is ‘phew, that was a lucky escape’, so the problem and fear still exists no matter how many times you go out. So, I found this a brilliant exercise to do. However, please note:
You need great courage. It’s like me telling you to put your head in the mouth of a lion, and believing me when I tell you it’s got no teeth.
If you do this exercise it HAS to re relentless. Certainly very repetitive because if you stop doing things, like exercise, you’ll end up back where you were and have to start again, so be committed before you start.
I’m order to recover you HAVE to face the very things that you fear, in order to realise there is nothing to fear. I promise you the fear IS irrational and you CAN make a full recovery! So if you’re ready, try this.
1. Write down a list of ten things you are going to do. For example, visit a friend, go to the shop, get a haircut etc.
2. For each activity you do write down the heading. Eg 1. Go to the shop
3. Underneath the heading write down what your anticipary anxiety level is before you go. (between 1-10).
4. Write down what the worst thing is that you fear could happen.
5. Go and do the activity!!
6. When you return write down what the ACTUAL anxiety level was (between 1-10)
7. Write down what your conclusions are

Repeat for the other activities.

Once you have completed all the activities add up all of the anticipary anxiety scores. Then add up all of all actual anxiety scores. Then look to see how many of the ‘worst things that you fear happening actually happened.
Then write down your conclusions. What you should notice is that perhaps you are upsetting yourself for no good reason? You may also notice as you move through your activities your anticipary anxiety reduces slightly, and also your actual anxiety. Repeat the exercise and see if this is true.
If you can do this and you keep confronting your fear, the levels will reduce to such an extent that you will no longer be socially anxious, the meaning of these interactions to you will have changed.
Remember to use the distraction techniques when you first go out to help you feel more comfortable. As I say, there’s some great self help material about if you want the expert assistance. Good luck!!!
 
O

OCDguy

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Messages
689
#24
Brave, brave, brave. Well done you, and thank you for sharing that invaluable advice and experiences :) I totally get what you say about distraction and outward thinking, rather than inward thinking. A lot of mental health is all about perception. Two people could have identical life styles and social circles. One person's perception of themselves allows them to handle things with ease, while another one's perception of themselves leaves them struggling. It often comes down to being equipped with the right tools. If we don't currently have those tools, it's not a failing, it is something that needs to be gained, and for whatever reason as yet we don't have them. The how to equip then needs to be worked on, possibly with the help of others. Outward thinking (aware of your surroundings) is healthy, and anything that encourages us to do that has got to be a good thing. Inward thinking can be a ever decreasing circle, and probably needs snapping out off...
 
Lunus

Lunus

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Joined
May 20, 2019
Messages
362
Location
Norfolk
#25
Brave, brave, brave. Well done you, and thank you for sharing that invaluable advice and experiences :) I totally get what you say about distraction and outward thinking, rather than inward thinking. A lot of mental health is all about perception. Two people could have identical life styles and social circles. One person's perception of themselves allows them to handle things with ease, while another one's perception of themselves leaves them struggling. It often comes down to being equipped with the right tools. If we don't currently have those tools, it's not a failing, it is something that needs to be gained, and for whatever reason as yet we don't have them. The how to equip then needs to be worked on, possibly with the help of others. Outward thinking (aware of your surroundings) is healthy, and anything that encourages us to do that has got to be a good thing. Inward thinking can be a ever decreasing circle, and probably needs snapping out off...
:hug:(y)
 
L

Lockpon

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Joined
May 23, 2019
Messages
57
Location
UK
#26
So one of the evil things about social anxiety is that even when you force yourself to attend social events and nothing detrimental to you actually happens, all your brain says to you is ‘phew, that was a lucky escape’, so the problem and fear still exists no matter how many times you go out. So, I found this a brilliant exercise to do. However, please note:
You need great courage. It’s like me telling you to put your head in the mouth of a lion, and believing me when I tell you it’s got no teeth.
If you do this exercise it HAS to re relentless. Certainly very repetitive because if you stop doing things, like exercise, you’ll end up back where you were and have to start again, so be committed before you start.
I’m order to recover you HAVE to face the very things that you fear, in order to realise there is nothing to fear. I promise you the fear IS irrational and you CAN make a full recovery! So if you’re ready, try this.
1. Write down a list of ten things you are going to do. For example, visit a friend, go to the shop, get a haircut etc.
2. For each activity you do write down the heading. Eg 1. Go to the shop
3. Underneath the heading write down what your anticipary anxiety level is before you go. (between 1-10).
4. Write down what the worst thing is that you fear could happen.
5. Go and do the activity!!
6. When you return write down what the ACTUAL anxiety level was (between 1-10)
7. Write down what your conclusions are

Repeat for the other activities.

Once you have completed all the activities add up all of the anticipary anxiety scores. Then add up all of all actual anxiety scores. Then look to see how many of the ‘worst things that you fear happening actually happened.
Then write down your conclusions. What you should notice is that perhaps you are upsetting yourself for no good reason? You may also notice as you move through your activities your anticipary anxiety reduces slightly, and also your actual anxiety. Repeat the exercise and see if this is true.
If you can do this and you keep confronting your fear, the levels will reduce to such an extent that you will no longer be socially anxious, the meaning of these interactions to you will have changed.
Not OP but still wanted to say thank you for taking the time to type up this excellent advice.
 
D

dewey

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Joined
Jan 16, 2019
Messages
590
#28
So one of the evil things about social anxiety is that even when you force yourself to attend social events and nothing detrimental to you actually happens, all your brain says to you is ‘phew, that was a lucky escape’, so the problem and fear still exists no matter how many times you go out. So, I found this a brilliant exercise to do. However, please note:
You need great courage. It’s like me telling you to put your head in the mouth of a lion, and believing me when I tell you it’s got no teeth.
If you do this exercise it HAS to re relentless. Certainly very repetitive because if you stop doing things, like exercise, you’ll end up back where you were and have to start again, so be committed before you start.
I’m order to recover you HAVE to face the very things that you fear, in order to realise there is nothing to fear. I promise you the fear IS irrational and you CAN make a full recovery! So if you’re ready, try this.
1. Write down a list of ten things you are going to do. For example, visit a friend, go to the shop, get a haircut etc.
2. For each activity you do write down the heading. Eg 1. Go to the shop
3. Underneath the heading write down what your anticipary anxiety level is before you go. (between 1-10).
4. Write down what the worst thing is that you fear could happen.
5. Go and do the activity!!
6. When you return write down what the ACTUAL anxiety level was (between 1-10)
7. Write down what your conclusions are

Repeat for the other activities.

Once you have completed all the activities add up all of the anticipary anxiety scores. Then add up all of all actual anxiety scores. Then look to see how many of the ‘worst things that you fear happening actually happened.
Then write down your conclusions. What you should notice is that perhaps you are upsetting yourself for no good reason? You may also notice as you move through your activities your anticipary anxiety reduces slightly, and also your actual anxiety. Repeat the exercise and see if this is true.
If you can do this and you keep confronting your fear, the levels will reduce to such an extent that you will no longer be socially anxious, the meaning of these interactions to you will have changed.
Thank you I am practising this
 
Lunus

Lunus

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#30
Thank you I am practising this
Well done! Always remember just because you think something is true, it doesn’t mean that it is.
Let me know how things go. Good luck my friend..you can do this!
 
D

dewey

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Messages
590
#33
I have been doing more recently in terms of trying to strike up conversations with people out and about.

BUT
This problem with people is far more deep reaching. It is a so called quote unquote """"" borderline """"" thing but I am getting sick of relating everything back to some disorder. I am not borderline, I am not just some label of a disorder you can stick on me.

However, going back to the point, my friendships are awful. Like I'm 25 and don't have a single long lasting friend. Why is this? I struggled so much to keep a single friend in my teenage years, I was completely isolated for years and years. So I have no 'childhood' or 'teenage' friends like others. When I was old enough I would drink for confidence, but drinking + mental illness = no go zone right. All the friendships I have developed in early adulthood/university have fallen apart. I was happy to have made what seemed like a number of friendships in my last job, yet I can only presume these were FAKE friends since whenever I suggest meeting NONE of these people want to meet up. Is this because they think I'm 'crazy' and 'different' and don't want to be around me all along? I am maybe too negative or too intense for them so they don't want to be around someone like me. So here I am, once again, no friends. I prove myself right because despite me suggesting meeting they are all 'too busy'. I can only presume they never liked me in the first place.

You can say go out and make more friends, go and do a hobby but how on earth can I??
1. I feel like I don't know how. All the evidence points to the fact people don't want to maintain a friendship with me, don't want to meet up with me. I have no long term friends or experience with having friends.
2. What is the point of just being 'friends' for a short period of time? Everyone seems to be fickle and fake and drop out of my life. Even the ones who stick around for a long time, eventually they don't and drop like flies, eventually.
3. I am scared people are just using me for something. So I also fear getting too close to them, despite wanting to be friends.
 
D

dewey

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#34
I know this isn't normal. I'm 25 and I should be at the prime of life, surrounded by friends, enjoying life. What is happening to me? Why am I always so socially unable?
This feeling sucks. I feel a well of loneliness within me, and I feel afraid.
I feel let down by all the past failed friendships.
 
D

dewey

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#35
I also hate this generation. I hate the new modern methods of keeping in touch with people - like facebook, instagram etc. People will completely forget about me, but sometimes, just because i post something they suddenly remember I exist and to check in with me but other than that, they won't send a message. What is that about? Again, more fakeness.
 
Lunus

Lunus

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#37
I also hate this generation. I hate the new modern methods of keeping in touch with people - like facebook, instagram etc. People will completely forget about me, but sometimes, just because i post something they suddenly remember I exist and to check in with me but other than that, they won't send a message. What is that about? Again, more fakeness.
Please take some long deep breaths. Try to relax for a minute. I’ve been in your shoes, and to a degree I still am. I’m sure if I died there would only be about six people attending, and five of them are family. For me, I thought I was really good company but when I look back I was constantly drunk due to my coping mechanisms. You have to realise with ‘friends’ you are lucky to find one true friend in your life, and if that’s the partner you find even better. Most if not all other people will go in and out of your life. You have plenty of time to build up whatever social circle you desire.
For now, focus on your exercises. Try to reduce your fear of social engagements. Keep going places, get a haircut, go to the shops, the library, the gym. Try to conquer your fears and change the meaning these have for you. The more you get out, the easier it will become, the less fear you have and it’s a perpetual cycle that once you’re on it eventually you won’t have any fear left. Who knows, doing one of these exercises, you might even meet someone. I know it’s frightening but if you have the courage to face your fear I promise you nothing will happen to you and you will realise there is actually nothing to fear.
Finally, rather than speculate on why everyone is always too ‘busy’ to go out with you, why not just ask one of them? There might be a perfectly rational explanation, they might have actually been busy.
 
D

dewey

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#39
Please take some long deep breaths. Try to relax for a minute. I’ve been in your shoes, and to a degree I still am. I’m sure if I died there would only be about six people attending, and five of them are family. For me, I thought I was really good company but when I look back I was constantly drunk due to my coping mechanisms. You have to realise with ‘friends’ you are lucky to find one true friend in your life, and if that’s the partner you find even better. Most if not all other people will go in and out of your life. You have plenty of time to build up whatever social circle you desire.
For now, focus on your exercises. Try to reduce your fear of social engagements. Keep going places, get a haircut, go to the shops, the library, the gym. Try to conquer your fears and change the meaning these have for you. The more you get out, the easier it will become, the less fear you have and it’s a perpetual cycle that once you’re on it eventually you won’t have any fear left. Who knows, doing one of these exercises, you might even meet someone. I know it’s frightening but if you have the courage to face your fear I promise you nothing will happen to you and you will realise there is actually nothing to fear.
Finally, rather than speculate on why everyone is always too ‘busy’ to go out with you, why not just ask one of them? There might be a perfectly rational explanation, they might have actually been busy.
Thanks for your reply, you share some wise words and it means a lot, what you wrote.

But why should it be the case that we can only hope to make just one true friend in our lives? That's a terrible fate. I think the root of a lot of my emptiness is lack of connection with human beings.

With me the problem is that most of the most amazing friends I made were for the period i lived abroad, and I can't go back there easily, and in any case, those friends are often on the move around the world. So it's a hope for a lost time, in a way. I wouldn't want to go back to live in that place, I just miss some friendships

As for the friends that do live here, I know they are making excuses that they are too busy to see me, because for example I hear they have met up with others and I wasn't invited. Also every time I ask to meet up it's the same thing, they're too busy. I've probably asked 4 times and they never take a rain check. After a certain point it's clear they don't want to hang out with me.
 
D

dewey

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#40
you might even meet someone. I know it’s frightening but if you have the courage to face your fear I promise you nothing will happen to you and you will realise there is actually nothing to fear.
I appreciate your kind words - but there are things to fear.
For example, I have had friends drop out of my life without explanation, or because of a knee-jerk reaction to one thing. I've had really close friends that I've spent lots of quality time with, friends that I truly, deeply trusted, and had a strong bond with, go crazy on me and just block contact with me.
Fearing abandonment.
Also fearing being used and the amount I give to others not being reciprocated.
 
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