Social phobia is an obsessive, irrational fear of performing actions in front of the public. The manifestations of social phobia are manifold. A psychotherapist spoke about the causes and methods of dealing with this disease in an interview with NUR.KZ Yagdar Turekhanov… The specialist described in detail four steps on the path to liberation from social anxiety.
Social phobia – anxiety or fear of a person before communicating with people. Fear, most often associated with the expectation of a negative assessment of his personality by other people.
For each person, recognition is important to one degree or another. Recognition of him as a person, as a person worthy of acceptance and love. A sense of their usefulness, importance and need, at least for their loved ones.
What is social phobia?
Let’s say a person comes to the company of other people. It could be a party, or a seminar, or a work meeting, or a date. A person is scared to go to this meeting.
He is afraid to seem wrong, unworthy, stupid, boring, strange, afraid to be devalued, ridiculed, humiliated and, as a result, rejected. That’s what “social phobia” is.
A person tries to avoid such situations and if he succeeds, he feels more or less well. But still lonely and dreary. Getting into such situations, a person becomes horrified: “Perhaps I look or move somehow wrong, something is wrong and I say wrong.”
Everything that happens is seen as proof that “I am some kind of flawed subhuman.” A person really wants to make a good impression on others, he tries to put on a mask and play the role of “ideal” in his understanding of a member of the crowd.
That is, to behave unnaturally, not to be yourself. Because of this, a person behaves tensely, constrained, seems loaded, emotionless, or, conversely, overly excited, gives out emotions inadequate for this situation: inappropriate giggling or theatrically pretentious grimaces of sympathy, affection or any other emotions. Himself without experiencing them.
We know that the person is actually gripped by the fear of appearing to be wrong. As a result, this fear is often justified.
Clumsy, strenuous attempts to make an impression may seem strange, funny, or intimidating to others. And a person actually gets what he was so afraid of – misunderstanding, ridicule and rejection.
Of course, it is much more difficult for such people to achieve social success, build friendships, personal life, and career. This is why social phobia is called the “missed opportunity disease.”
What causes social phobia?
The causes of social phobia are currently being studied. There are innate factors, and there is a share of the influence of parents and conditions of upbringing. The risk of the disease is higher if one of the parents was also a social phobia, if the child was brought up in an atmosphere of excessive criticism or overprotection.
If the child is constantly made to understand that he is loved and proud of him only for the fact that he behaves “correctly”, if you shame him for the manifestation of natural emotions and desires (by the way – all emotions and desires are natural, no matter what we fantasize ).
If we constantly compare the child with other children (the son of my mother’s friend / “zhurttyk balasy”) and stuff like that, we can get a whole spectrum of mental disorders – a maladapted unhappy person living with a constant feeling of hopelessness.
What if this person is you?
What steps to take to alleviate your condition or even completely free yourself from social anxiety? Psychotherapist Yagdar Turekhanov spoke in detail about this process.
Step 1: Recognize that “I have a social phobia.”
“Yes, I’m a social phobia and that’s okay.” This is normal, because on average more than 10% of people on Earth suffer from social anxiety.
This is normal, because in our culture, which is mixed with hypocrisy, bigotry, constant cultivation of feelings of guilt, mistrust, fear, manipulation, it is very difficult to remain mentally healthy.
The problem is that the social phobia, who already feels himself somehow inferior and unworthy, considers his very social phobia a sign of even greater inferiority. Because I used to interpret everything that happens around me as evidence of my abnormality and insignificance.
Although it is fashionable in certain circles to flaunt psychiatric diagnoses today, this is another story.
Step 2: Accept the fact that “my brain (seized by disease) is doing everything to validate my picture of the world.”
He does everything to confirm: “I am nothing of myself”; “I am to blame for the problems of my family and friends” (often by the fact of my birth and existence); “I owe everyone”; “everyone owes me”; “sincere love and friendship do not exist.”
“There is only selfish commodity-money relations, when people pretend that they love to use you and throw you out”; “Accordingly, you cannot trust anyone, everyone is just waiting to trip, troll, humiliate and trample” and so on and so forth.
Step 3: Study in detail and observe “exactly how I do it all”.
How exactly do I confirm all these beliefs? For example, in a magical way I find to communicate exactly those people who are prone to ridicule, manipulation, humiliation (let’s call them partners).
I find such notorious sadists and try to build relationships with them. And, naturally, I quickly become the object of their toxic manipulations. In fact, it seems to you that they themselves come across on your way.
Or it even seems that other people simply do not exist. Or other people do not seem interesting to you. Or you think that you are not interesting to other people.
The truth is that the brain, seized by the disease, or rather, the disease itself, deceives the brain, forcing it to see only what confirms the painful picture of the world – all those sad beliefs listed above. And what does not confirm this picture of the world, the brain does not seem to see, or even does not believe that this is possible.
Or, for example, you got in touch not with a ready-made professional supertoxic sadist, but with a person who, in general, is kind and in some sense even capable of compassion, but at the same time has a mocking potential. More or less hidden.
In this case, the task of the disease is to unleash this potential. For this, a subtle, barely noticeable (in fact, invisible to you and your partner) pushing a person to realize his hidden toxic traits is used.
For example, you can be in constant, as it were, melancholy and dissatisfaction with this person: “this is a good trait you have, but not good enough”; “I liked the gift, but actually I wanted a little different”; “but they are a little better at it”, etc., etc. In general, do about what your parents did to each other or to you.
As a result of these unconscious efforts, we imperceptibly raise monsters, provoke the disclosure of their sleeping “nasty” features. And from the outside it seems that “I have nothing to do with it, I tried to be good, but the scoundrel turned out to be a werewolf and took advantage of my defenselessness.”
This is actually the case. You have nothing to do with it. It is not your fault. All this happens unconsciously (that is, not on purpose) as a result of painful processes in the psyche.
When it is impossible to make a monster out of a potential monster – he does not want to reveal his toxicity (maybe he does not have it), there is a third win-win option – to interpret any words and actions of the partner as a manifestation of callousness, misunderstanding, bullying, ridicule, humiliation and devaluation …
“You said it in a tone like you don’t care”; “You act as if they are more important to you than me”; “You looked at those photos – everything is clear” and stuff like that. In general, you yourself know how it happens. Your task is to study in detail how your brain does this. It would even be nice to write down and sketch all these diagrams for clarity.
Step 4: Imagine how you would behave with people if you were sure that you are a complete and full-fledged person.
Imagine yourself as an interesting person (interesting, first of all, to yourself), with your own unique characteristics.
Imagine if you believed that love and friendship actually exist, that some people are interested in and need me simply because they are pleased to be near me, and they are not trying to somehow use and exploit me. On the contrary, they sincerely want to help and support.
Some people don’t like me and are not interested in me. But not because I am bad or behave incorrectly, but simply because all people are different and everyone has their own preferences and inclinations.
I don’t like all people and I don’t have to like everyone – that’s okay. Most people do not wish me harm and do not seek to harm me. There are, of course, some, but this is most likely the result of their psychological problems and internal conflicts, low self-esteem and self-doubt.
And not because I am “not like that”. In any case, the overwhelming majority of people want to love and be loved, not everyone succeeds, but basically all people in their hearts want peace and goodness, even if they do not always realize it.
Imagine if you had exactly these beliefs in your head, this picture of the world, how would this affect your behavior? How would you look, move and talk? How would you communicate with people?
It is unpleasant for everyone to hear a refusal. But if you thought something like this: “I was denied reciprocity. Probably because the person didn’t like something in me, something didn’t like it, perhaps it seems to him that I don’t suit him.
And if I, as I am, do not suit him, perhaps he does not suit me either. In general, it is good that it became clear right now. Sad, of course, but what can you do. He did not like such an interesting person as me. It is sad.
Perhaps he has problems and can only sympathize with him. Well, I will communicate with those who are interesting to me and who are interested in me. Fortunately, there are such people: it is me, my friends, whom I chose precisely on this principle – these are people who like me, my feelings, thoughts, my behavior. I like me – the real one. ”
How would your life change if you thought like that? Think slowly and try to imagine all this. In the smallest detail.
These four steps are the first step towards breaking free from social anxiety.
“Perhaps these steps, just when reading, cause some changes in your soul. Perhaps some lines offend, outrage or disappoint you. This is normal.
Try these instructions no matter what. Do not hurry. It is normal if you do not succeed right away and everything will not work out. In parallel, you can use special literature, for example, workbook self-medicating anxiety.
In the end, you can always turn to a psychologist or psychotherapist. You are not alone in your problem. Everything will work out for you, “Yagdar Turekhanov summed up.
Original article: https://www.nur.kz/family/beauty/1900045-sociofobia-posagovaa-instrukcia-po-samoisceleniu-ot-psihoterapevta/