This belief of ” I don’t belong,” ” I don’t belong here,” or “I don’t belong around these people,” I had this for a long time. This is one of the symptomatic ones that show up when we have social anxiety.
This feeling of not belonging, when you get to that socially anxious state, it felt like it was too overwhelming and intense I couldn’t handle all the stimulation of the people around me.
Particularly in a bar, that I didn’t belong and everybody could see that I was nervous or thought I was weird and it’s really an irrational belief.
And when you’re caught on an anxious state, then you can’t really get out of it. The more you try to get out of it by fighting it, the more that it gets worse.
You should probably experience something like that when you’re in a party, meeting, in school, etc.
What I’m trying to say is that your amygdala which is the emotional center of your brain is firing away and social anxiety is really triggering fears coming from amygdala. So it’s really fight or flight responses that is occurring. We just can’t stop it.
The main point that I wanna make about this is that you can’t trust what you’re feeling when you have social anxiety.
Your feelings are not representatives of what’s really going on and what reality is in social situations. You are creating this reality of the social situation or being socially comfortable because it is wired into your brain this way.
Why do you think you don’t belong and why does everyone else belong?
It is because clearly, you think that everybody else belongs there because they’re there and you don’t. And rationally, it doesn’t make sense. I’d have to do things from a rational view point. And also we have to do things from an experiential and emotional view point.
Rationality helps ground things very well especially doing stuff at home and thinking about it, thinking in new ways.
You have to realize that you have to be there as much as everybody else. So if you listen to your feelings, your emotions that are coming from your amygdala saying that you don’t belong there but you can’t trust that because you have social anxiety. So you have to know that you can’t trust yourself when you’re anxious.
It’s irrational and you deserve to be there so you have to start working on self-acceptance and knowing that you deserve to be there. That you have the right to be there just as everybody else.
Now that I’m out of it, a lot of times if I notice someone really quiet or rude, the first thing I think that maybe they have social anxiety and that maybe they’re nervous.
You deserve to be there rationally, and those are the kinds of statements and affirmations you want to practice at home around self-acceptance and deserving to be there. You deserve to be socially comfortable. You deserve to interact with people normally and have a social comfortability and social life that you desire.
Of course we need to work on doing it rationally. It is always gonna cut it. Building emotional experience, and that’s where we have to do some exposure using a combination of cognitive and behavioral really what I think is an effective way.
There’s also stuff we can do to look at and treat emotional fears. Meditation, learning how to lean into your fear when you’re experiencing it. There’s a lot of different ways to address it on the spot while you’re at home.
Coming to realize that I just don’t belong comes from the emotions and the feelings that are wired in for social anxiety so that’s what we need changing and shifting. That’s something that has to be done on a case to case basis to overcome it.
So that’s it about ” I don’t belong,” and as always, for questions and comments, put them below.