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Social anxiety group


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I attended my first session at the group last night. I was surprised at how high my anxiety got - I was hoping that my one to one sessions would have made the transition easier for me.

The level of anxiety I experienced proved to me that I was certainly in the right place. Talking in front of the group was difficult, but it was comforting to hear others talk about thoughts and feeling that were so familiar to me.

I am going to set some realistic goals that I want to achieve and hopefully work towards that.

Goose

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Great to hear you had a positive experience from going to your group. Hopefully now you will have a positive visual image in your head and that will make it easier to attend this group in the future.

It is groups like this that can help forge a new realtionship with others who are expereincing the same issues.

Good for you Goose :)

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  • 4 weeks later...

This weeks session #4 was the first one where I did not have high anxiety. I contributed well enough but my eye contact was brutal. However the therapist did explain to us the rules of eye contact etc. and I will try to implement them next week.

We are encouraged to meet up as a group either before or after the session socially to help the bond in the group. This week was the first time we did this and it went ok (this was a major challenge for me). For some reason the following day I was shakey and tearful. I had this reaction also today after I stood up for myself in work - it makes me not want to take on these challenges if this is how I feel afterwards. Does it to away, does anyone else

experience this?

Goose

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I do. I have become quite a bit more assertive in the last while. Some because of menopause I think, some because I am working on my self-esteem this year, some because I'm tired and not so patient. Anyway, I also find that when I stand up for myself, or make a stand on something, I get very nervous, and then for days afterwards I feel insecure and anxious.

I think it's because I have this feeling deep down than when people really get to know me they won't like me - family of origin issues. So most of my life I have projected this <nice> person who accommodates everyone, even gets taken advantage of, but still keeps smiling and being kind. Which is not a bad thing and it does reflect my values, but it has stopped me also developing the virtue of assertiveness, a virtue that encourages me to value myself as much as I value others. But I have found assertiveness difficult because it makes me feel nervous and therfore often comes out a little off key, perhaps too agressive, defensive sometimes, like I am expecting a fight, which is really a defense mechanism for avoiding hurt. Anyway, that's how I perceive it and then I get all nervous that I have offended someone, or that I will be hated, and that makes me all emotional and insecure. I have also noticed that it makes me retreat into solitude and I stay away from people as much as possible. I was better at it a while back, now I'm insecure and it's making it worse.

I personally have found it challenging to be myself :) I know that sounds weird, but most of my life I have played at being what I thought I should be, disregarding my own needs and value to a great degree. Now that I see how much of an error that is, I am trying to be more congruent, but I don't trust myself yet and I am afraid of being <naked> in front of people. If they don't like me, then that's the real me :eek: Before if they did not like me it was only my <face> so it was not so threathening I think....

I was doing a little thinking out loud there ... thanks for the food for thought. I had noticed some anxiety lately in social situations and I was wondering why....

Edited by Symora
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... For some reason the following day I was shakey and tearful. I had this reaction also today after I stood up for myself in work - it makes me not want to take on these challenges if this is how I feel afterwards. Does it to away, does anyone else experience this?
I do. ... I also find that when I stand up for myself, or make a stand on something, I get very nervous, and then for days afterwards I feel insecure and anxious.

I do too. Although less so now, that I used to. Standing up for myself at work is a situation that makes me feel particularly shakey and anxious afterwards. But I found it does get easier with practice, feeling more comfortable with people that you know and then extending that. Something I often remind myself of, in social situations that I don't enjoy, is: All things are difficult before they are easy.

I personally have found it challenging to be myself :) I know that sounds weird, but most of my life I have played at being what I thought I should be, disregarding my own needs and value to a great degree.

Me too! People will happily preach "To thine own self be true" until "thine own self" turns out to be something they don't like. I can honestly say that some of what I am, I did NOT set out to be. For too long I tried so hard to "do the right thing" and when I looked inside I wasn't sure I wanted some of the things I found. But not being who you are makes you sick, be it physically or mentally. It made me very sick and unhappy. Being all of me feels far, far better.

It does sting when people say that something that I am is "wrong" or "bad" or even "sinful" ; I'm not an "in-your-face" person and I'm quite OK with being 'me' quietly. As I get older, I can better keep the attitude of "if what I am offends you, then I'm sorry but there's not much I can do about it."

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