Those of us with social anxiety tend to be quite self-absorbed.
It’s all about us and how we feel.
We seem to easily get locked up in a story of “why me” and think incessantly about how we can’t get over our social phobia.
Me, me, me, me, me!
I was just completing a lesson yesterday around beliefs in my upcoming Dissolve Social Anxiety program – and this was part of the explanation.
It seems counterintuitive, but we’re actually being quite selfish, by making it all about us.
No, it’s not a comfortable thing to face, but I think you’ll find some truth to it if you take a look.
The blog at PsychCentral just posted an article yesterday on this called “Move On from Self Absorption and Social Anxiety“.
Funny timing, as I already has recorded and talked about that in my lesson on beliefs and social anxiety.
Again, I have to agree with them, hard as it is to admit.
Even though we may use the excuse that “we are trying just to be considerate of other people”, what’s more likely to be going on is that we don’t want to make others upset, because we say we can’t handle potential judgment, or upset reactions from others, and we’re concerned about how that REFLECTS UPON US.
Back to us again. And how much happiness does that bring you by not sharing yourself, staying small and hiding inside.
It may sound harsh, but maybe it’s a wake up call?
That’s why my DSA program and coaching is about shifting, all that time and energy we spend trying to get a cure for social anxiety, making it about us, instead of putting attention out into the world, to connecting with and really serving others.
Would it be nice to redirect all the time you spend working on your social anxiety, and put that attention into your life, for which a big chunk of it is cultivating and maintaining relationships with other people?
Now, don’t go beating up on yourself because you‘re realizing how self-absorbed you are in your social anxiety story!
The point is to check and see, really BE HONEST about this, and to NOT judge yourself. We’re not very well-versed in the skillset of non-judgment, but it definitely is a skill that can be learned.
And well worth it, IMHO.
I know, because I’ve done this time and time again. And I still fall into it, even yesterday out at a local coffee house working (I’ll talk about what happened in more detail in the next post).
Then I quickly came to my senses and said “WTF David?!?! This has nothing to do with you, knock it off!” Whew, a close one!
Yes, I still have episodes like this, but they no longer dominate my life. I get to choose what I want to do, whether or not ANTs come up or not, because I know how to relate to them, and choose the story I want to live, everyday.
One thing I’ve learned recently about neuroplasticity (aka science of how the brain works, changing the brain) is that while we are reprogramming our brain, the old pathways may not actually disappear completely.
Your new pathways of social confidence are dominant, but the old ones are still there as remnants.
It’s possible this could be by evolutionary design, so you still have access to your old experience for survival purposes, that would be my guess, though I’m not sure.
What do you think? Let’s hear it!
I’m also now offering coaching for those of you who are interested in someone who’s been through the process of overcoming social anxiety.
I’m also trained professionally as a personal coach, and you can read about coaching right here.