Social anxiety

An attention-grabbing post

It’s funny how a blog post can grab your attention, even though it apparently has nothing to do with you.

I was immediately grabbed by this one, even though I don’t have schizophrenia. It discusses delusional thoughts and suggests that a better policy, rather than trying to get rid of them, would be to make friends with them and find value in them.

I don’t have delusional thoughts. I have negative thoughts. (Doesn’t everyone?) I’m told that they’re irrational thoughts. CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) says, “Get rid of those irrational thoughts. Swap them for rational thoughts.

So, while I’m talking to someone, I’m thinking, “She doesn’t really want to talk to me. She thinks I’m boring.” CBT tells me to think, “No, that’s irrational. I can’t possibly know what she’s thinking.” But I find it hard to believe the new thought, so I go on believing the old thought. It seems quite rational to me, especially as she’s rolling her eyes / looking at her watch / saying, “Excuse me, I have to….”

Maybe (just maybe, because I know CBT has helped many people), that’s the wrong approach. Maybe I should make friends with my thoughts. Maybe I do seem boring. Maybe if I talked about the things I’m afraid of mentioning, because I’m afraid of being seen as “different,” I wouldn’t seem boring. Maybe if I just came out with it, instead of worrying whether what I want to say is worth saying, I wouldn’t seem boring. Just a thought….

Social anxiety

It doesn’t go away

I think this video, which I discovered via the Mind site, describes social anxiety very well. It’s not all that similar to my experience, but it’s typical:

Having met people who claim to have rid themselves of anxiety but don’t appear to have done, I think this sentence makes a lot of sense:

You never get rid of anxiety completely, but you learn to manage it.