Stuck in the middle

Slowly Build Confidence

Instead of throwing yourself into situations that cause you dread and fear, the idea behind exposures is to slowly build up your confidence and ability to cope by gradually facing more difficult situations.For example, you might start out making small talk with a cashier and work your way up to eventually hosting a party at your home.

Actually I think speaking to a cashier is just about as hard as anything I could think of doing right now. If its an attractive female I will fear making an idiot of myself as I have done so often in the past, if its a younger attractive female(remember I am over 40) I will feel like a dirty old man and still make an idiot of myself. I have no subject matter to talk about as I never go anywhere or do anything,the weather? again and again and again? Oh look its cloudy! Its still cloudy. its cloudy again tomorrow! Making small talk with a stranger anywhere about anything is one of the hardest things I  can think of doing. When it goes wrong as it often has I go over it in my head sometimes for years later and it makes me far more avoidant. I often stammer and my voice goes weak and I cant think of relevant answer or starting subjects.In the past I used to blush crimson red if an attractive girl even looked at me and I am afraid of this coming back as most of my past anxieties including chronic insomnia have in the last year. My jaw also stops stops working and I have difficulty even speaking coherently.. I only took something faulty back to Argos last week and I still felt awkward.

When I fail I feel an absolute fool and it makes me feel much worse and then I would have to avoid the same cashier and even supermarket again and the nearest big one is miles away.I have not even talked about my general anxiety getting progressively worse over the last 3 years which has made me feel much angrier and irritated and of course I am very miserable and feel I have no hope, no optimism and contemplate death. Even going to the shops and speaking to  no one makes me feel anxious. Reading all these so called self help sites they all seem to assume everyone is about 21-25 and have the rest of their lives left and must have some friends and family for support. Even the shyest people still have relationships and sex,well not me. Hosting a party at my own home? I might as well run to be Prime Minister.  I have not found any online advice yet which seems doable or even offers the slightest glimmer of hope.

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2 thoughts on “Stuck in the middle

  1. That advice is crazy! A party? Chatting to a cashier who just wants to get on with her million non-customer jobs?

    You are totally right. These suggestions seem to be from someone who is bored of the whole shyness affair and just wants to pacify the fearful so they can move onto something else.

    A better idea would be to get a dog. Go to the park and start asking others about their dogs, their personalities, their history – do they have other pets…Then you have the option of sharing what your dog is like, the mischief he’s got up to, his favourite foods, toys, sleep areas. Did they watch Crufts, who did they want to win, if they could have any dog, what else would they buy?

    Animals are a great way of learning to chat to strangers because it takes the attention of yourself both emotionally and visually.

    On top of that, your dog can become your best friend which will make you feel better about yourself. You’ll never want to kill yourself knowing that a cute little pooch who loves you to bits is going to lose you and not know why. They never judge you, they don’t care what you look like or how inadequate you feel. You can be totally yourself with them.

    I hope this helps a little bit. Maybe you’ve already got a pet. But if you haven’t, have a read up on what might be best for you and what you can afford, and go for it. You’ll make a canine very happy because you are very understanding.

  2. Thanks but my family kept dogs for years since I was still a boy at school. I took them out for hundreds if not thousands of walks and never spoke to anyone for very long ever and certainly never made any friends.Now I have no motivation and am depressed so would certainly never be able to force myself to talk to strangers with enthusiasm especially women. Shyness and anxiety repels all other people and makes people avoid me. Also as I will run out of money in a few years and not be able to look after a pet it would be cruel and unfair to get one now.

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