Acacie - I am so with you. I was out for dinner on Friday night with my boyfriend, who is marvelous, and we went for sushi. I don't know how to use chopsticks, and he was trying to show me - totally sweetly, everything was good - and then I started to realize I couldn't eat with chopsticks and suddenly felt like everyone was staring at me, and freaked out. So, I understand. The whole embarrasment factor is huge. Hugs and Love.
Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
I too have the same kind of issues. I go about my day, doing what I think needs to be done, handling issues as they come and do my best. It is when, someone points out that my best has mistakes, or wasn't thought out. Then, I become overly insecure and feel like a total idiot. Which happened to me yesterday and I have been overly self conscience, fortunatly for me I had a therapist appt. so I am much better today. I social things, I guess I put on a face, like all is good, and I usually try to go with someone I trust. You know, like the best friend that will tell you if you have your skirt tucked in your pantyhose or have spinach in your teeth. That way I feel safe. If I am unable to do that, I generally stay quiet and observe. Some books that helped me were Anxiety Attacked by John McArthur and Power of Prayer and the Bible. Prayers your way.
Acacie--I can sooooo relate. For awhile I stayed at home to avoid social situations. Then I got depressed. Now I try to say yes to all invites, but then get anxious as the time draws near to going. All of our situations are different. You may be suffering from sort anxiety and not lacking in social skills. Anxiety and depression get all tangled up with each other.
I would suggest seeing a psychiatrist for medication, however keep doing the talk therapy. My psychiatrist is so good about finding the right combination of medications that help my depression and panic attacks, social anxiety, general anxiety and the lack of being interested in any of my hobbies and life in general. I have tried several combos before finding one that works. Maybe you can find a medication to take while your in talk therapy trying to get to the heart of the matter.
Two books that help me are Be Anxious for Nothing by Joyce Meyer. And the Bible.
I have some social anxieties, but it manifests itself a bit differently. I think working on social interactions is helpful. I think once we get self conscious it's hard to pull out of it. Like a dripping faucet, once you hear it, it's hard to stop hearing it. There's a few things that I tell myself to try and balance. I think we all have a tendency to overestimate how much attention people pay to our own actions. You may key into the social dynamics around you, as it's something you're concerned about therefore more sensitive to, but for the majority of people I think most are fairly oblivious.
I've found that most people are so concerned about themselves and if they said or did anything stupid foremost, that they aren't really paying attention so much to what others are doing.
And I've noticed, as I have a good memory, and I remember the people I meet well, about 80-90% will meet me and forget completely that it ever happened, more then once. And I'm not shy, I speak up, I'm extroverted, I make an impression, but it's just that people by and large forget, they don't pay attention. Really and truly.
And lastly, I realize that I have no final control over how anyone perceives me. Everyone has their own preconceptions, and I can't manipulate that, and have given up thinking that I can. They'll simply think what they want regardless.
I find that these observations offer me some freedom from putting my own harsh self-evaluation and judgements about myself into others heads and thinking that's how they feel about me too.
I do make social blunders - I have a chemical imbalance, I'm a bundle of nervous ticks waiting to happen sometimes - and that's where being able to laugh at yourself can be a way to cope, or just to lighten up the microscopically intense self focus that we can get, and find some of this stuff as comical, rather debilitatingly embarassing.
I don't know if that helps at all. I wish you the best with your meeting with your therapist.
I have similar problems, and the fact that I do not trust anybody (besides my therapist) doesn't really help. I have just recently tried to connect socially with other people. It's a very slow process for me. Baby steps, really. I find that I am not anxious around children, therefore, I am trying to find out how to become involved with helping out at my church's nursery. I figure I could interact with a few grown-ups at a time there, and slowly make friends (hopefully). I do not know of any books, however, have you tried role playing social situations out with your therapist? Take care and keep us updated on how you are doing.
I don't have any suggestions. However, I suffer from many of the same problems. I have embarrassed myself so many times with stupid things that come out of my mouth especially in business situations. My therapist seems to think I am just SHY but I have always thought it was more...
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I'm having a hard time after social interactions where I feel like I've embarrassed myself. I'm very bad about replaying the situation and beating myself up about how stupid I acted and worrying about the consequences. And since some of my acquaintances are also colleagues, this is a real concern.
I have a family history of autism spectrum disorders, and although my therapist has told me that I am not autistic, I share some of the same traits -- and I feel like I'm lacking social skills.
Anyone have any experience with improving social skills and interpersonal relations with talk-therapy, activities, or self-help books?
I see my therapist again this week and this is something I am going to bring up.
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