A lot of being shy is hiding that you are shy from the rest of the world. I remember what it was like as a young man at work. To admit that I was shy was just about one of the most humiliating and embarrassing things I could think of. Men who are shy are seen as weak, timid,maybe effeminate and of course losers. You dont go anywhere or do things because acting shy is just so incredibly embarrassing. You turn down the odd offer of going out as you know the ridicule that will follow when they see me act shy so just forcing yourself to go out and assuming you get better does not work. Its a complete lie.Confidence is not just important in getting a girl, it’s just as important for success in work so your career suffers also and you often struggle to find friends.
I know lots of women have their lives f**ked up by SA but I am still not sure that this shame and ridicule is heaped upon women for being shy as it is for men. It should be but our society is still very prejudiced. Lots of this historically has been in favour of men of course. However men that are long term unemployed are much more likely to commit suicide. Thats because according to research our western culture still sees men as the provider, the bread winner, the protector, the man of the house. This psychological aspect means that men who fail in work feel so much shame and guilt that they are far more likely to top themselves.
Shy men are also seen as cowards. Only yesterday on a primetime UK TV program I saw an adult man tell a school boy to just man up and go chat a girl up at a party. He was only about 12 but society heaps this shame on males all the time from a very early age. Chat up lines for instance are spoken to elusively from a man’s point of view as women dont usually need chat up lines as its the mans job to approach women and impress them and why its probably far more important for a man to tell jokes to put a woman more at ease and get her to like him. Women usually impress a man by looking good hence women usually wear makeup, jewellery, wear their hair long and wear far more revealing clothing. Loneliness may affect both male and females equally but only shy males are seen as cowardly and thus made to feel guilty for not being a proper man. This shame is so overpowering you often get males hide themselves away even more or if the worst comes to the worst end their lives.
I read a lot of self help type blogs and forums. Who wouldn’t if you were as mental and miserable as me. Some people with books or things to sell will scour the internet for people(victims?) with mental health problems probably because they see you as desperate or vulnerable and try to entice you with their books or whatever as if they can change your life. The trouble is most of them are shit, really shit. They appear to have more in common with religious indoctrination and if you question them in any way start to get aggressive, defensive or do the usual thing of trying to blame you for not just believing them unconditionally.
There are many quotes and sayings of the positive mindset people. Learn to love yourself is still one I can’t get over as you may of had years of people hating you including family members which reinforce negative feelings towards yourself. They dont tell you how to love yourself, just do it because I say so! Just be yourself is another meaningless cliche. Another one I came across the other day is Happiness is a choice! as if you just choose to be miserable for fun.Upon closer inspection they have more great information such as this:
Being happy is not a matter of what you are, or what you do or what you have. Being happy is a choice you have to make consciously. Happiness is not a consequence of external factors, happiness is the lenses through which you can choose to experience reality.
Really? So happiness has nothing to do with external factors? Are the starving of Africa just choosing to be miserable then? people dying of cancer and diseases, people with mental health problems, people with shitty family members, suffering physical abuse, getting sexially moslested, the grieving? Should people in the concentration camps been singing and dancing their way to the gas chambers? Alot of such advice appear to be trying to make you take personal responsibility but that surely only adds guilt to those who had bad things happen to them and have felt guilt for years. Many people would like to be happy but their mind won’t let them because of past events or they cant now because of current events. No its not a choice you dumb f**k.
if you can brainwash someone to be happy and change their life for the better then perhaps thats a good thing but its still brainwashing. Just like religion. Something they have in common is that they both use guilt and lies to manipulate people.
“A bad day’s when I lie in bed
And think of things that might have been”
Once upon a time, in a company far far away there was a pretty girl. I liked the look of her although I had never spoken to her before. She even appeared to like me as people told me so and the body language of her and her friends made it clear it might be true. It almost sounds normal up until now doesn’t it but the problem was that she had absolutely no idea that I suffered from crippling social anxiety and was in fact mental. Once it became clear that this girl expected me to talk to her, chat her up and ask her out I panicked and then avoided her like the plague. She realised I was mad and from then on her friends gave me looks like I was an evil serial killer. Yet all I had done was look at her as I was attracted to her during the odd break at work and someone told her I liked her. Welcome to the wonderful world of Social anxiety!
Because this caused me such despair and trauma I then would not even look at any other girl at work in case they thought I fancied them and expected me to make a move. This only lasted 20 years so dont worry and off course psychology today says that getting over shyness is easy. Yet the advice on the anxiety forums for any such incident like this would be to “Just go talk to her!” as if it’s just basic nerves and something easy to overcome if you try. Because of this I still think most of the members on social anxiety forums just suffer mild shyness as they obviously have no idea of the debilitating effects of chronic anxiety. I would blush, stutter and my mind black and dont forget the sweating like a pig. Just imagine me trying to chat a girl up looking like this even forgetting I had no words that made sense and nerves would mean I had no sense of humour.
Even making basic conversation would be very hard and very awkward with long silences and awkwardness. Not much of a chat up technique then. Exposure to such events made me worse, not better as you dont learn from continuous failure and humiliation, you actually get even more avoidant.This caused such extreme shame and embarrassment that I would not go anywhere or do anything for years as people ridicule men ferociously if they can’t chat girls up. Even on TV there are nerdy, geeky, weirdo, loners every week acting socially inept and getting the piss taken out of them for their weirdness. Funny that they are almost always male isn’t it?
Then one day several years later when walking my dog I saw this very same girl. She was pushing a baby in a buggy near the park. I think she recognised me and even smiled nicely, yes nicely. I was taken aback by this as she didn’t appear to hate me like her friends did even after all my madness. Perhaps she realised I was just mad and not evil or cruel. I still walked on quickly in case she spoke though. I had never even heard of social anxiety at this time as it was before the internet and how they hell does a fully grown man explain being too shy to talk? I was 48 last Saturday. I am still alone, still a virgin. Its almost certainly too late now.
Shyness is an overgeneralized response to fear; and it’s easy to beat once you understand this.
Really? Social anxiety must be much worse than shyness then because it’s not been easy to beat at all.
Unfortunately the overwhelming anxiety has not relented. I tried going out for three long walks this week but nothing has helped. Even worse it was my birthday today and despite my sister coming for a short time this morning it just makes me feel worse. This was the first time in 6 weeks I have spoken more than a sentence to a real human being. My birthday was never particularly celebrated that much even when I was a child.My parents never even got me a cake and I never did have a party of any kind. Mad parents, mad children.Now it’s just a reminder of my failure and years of unhappiness.
I even started drinking in the afternoon today, well if you can’t drink more on your birthday then when can you? However it just made me more upset and I started to get frustrated and ended up punching myself in the head again. I fear a summer of feeling this unrelentingly bad and with no way out and I will be desperate to do anything to leave. Maybe I should learn to love myself because some stranger on a self help forum advises it and this will cure me of everything! It becomes clear advice such as this and the think of three positives each day does not come from someone with real depression.
My anxiety appears to go in cycles at the moment. I may have a few weeks of relative normality but then I get quite uncontrollable and also unstoppable periods of anxiety lasting weeks where it totally overwhelms me. I don’t think its depression in the same was as any clinical depression as I can still and operate daily tasks. However any small modicum of enjoyment gets sucked right out of me so I feel deeply miserable and unhappy.I cant concentrate on any TV program, hate using the internet, hate walking or doing anything. Its definitely the worst anxiety I have experienced in my lifetime. I feel completely hopeless and negative, miserable, sad and like crying much of the time. I know its much worse as even going to the shops creates intense stress and I hate people getting close to me and feel like I want to push them out of the way all the time.
Physical manifestations of this anxiety includes twitching on my forehead and legs, I have started to get a tight chest pain when out and normal conversation is hard(not as though I speak to many people per month anyway!) as by brain just cant think of a relevant answer. Its almost like my subconscious is thinking “F**k Off, I don’t care!” to everyone as it wants to run back home and hide. My sister who used to visit weekly at one time only comes about once a month and although I was quite civil and tried to be nice to her before, now that I know the true lack of concern or care she really has for me I would like to cut her out of my life and never see her again. I am very thankful I never had any children as they would add enormous guilt to me. Apart from one friend I see occasionally and I met online not one person would notice my going.
Almost all success includes getting motivated when I feel the opposite. It also includes becoming confident in order to get a job and get the other things I want and need. The trouble is no one has ever said how to do this apart from keep going out and keep trying things. They don’t tell you how to stop feeling like a mental freak. Some will probably even read something like this and think stop wallowing in self pity which shows how they have absolutely no idea how the mind or brain works when it starts to close down. They just think they can bully or guilt trip people out of depression when compassion and concern are often far more important. Human beings are an incredibly selfish animal though, sometimes.
So another 5 years of the Conservatives and this time alone. It could be bad news for mental illness funding in the UK as the cuts the Tories have in stall are set to be even worse this time around. They already have the bedroom tax and treat the mentally ill as nothing more than a nuisance who are just being lazy. After all it’s so easy to get a job if you went to Eton or Harrow so it must be easy for everyone else too! It depends how far his arrogance and the right wing Tories take him but I predict rioting and chaos by 2020. Scotland may go to war!