Category Archives: Social Anxiety

Dealing with Peer Pressure

Be true to yourself: If you don’t want to do it, don’t do it.

They may judge you for it, let them.  What does it matter if they judge you?  If they are your friends, they’ll accept you anyway.  If they are rational people, they’ll accept you anyway.  If someone likes oranges but not apples, are you going to peer pressure them into eating apples?  Why?  They are entitled to their own preferences.  Whatever you’re being pressured to do is the same thing: if you don’t want to, don’t do it.

However, if everyone there is doing it, and they aren’t welcoming to you, then perhaps you don’t belong there.  Don’t mistake this for a lack of self worth (see Common Misconceptions about Self Worth).  If you’re on a basketball court with people playing basketball, don’t read a book: get off the court.  The time and place sets the activity: come back in an hour when there’s no-one playing basketball, and you are free to read a book on the court.

At the same time, don’t invent rejection: if there is no reason to believe that you aren’t wanted there, then it’s fine for you to stay! The only question is if you want to.  Here’s an article on how to avoid Fears Due to Imagination

Conquering Social Event Anxiety

Don’t know what to expect? Google for stories.

Don’t know what to do or how to act?  Google for what to expect, do what you want to.

Afraid? It won’t be as bad as you think: your catastrophic theories rarely come true, and when they do, they aren’t as bad as you think as long as you know what’s important and what’s not: life and safety, values and principles.

Why do you feel this way?  If you’ve never been in a pool, swimming for the first time can feel strange and uncomfortable.  It might take some getting used to.  So practice, expose yourself to it more, and it will grow on you.

Afraid you’ll be seen as awkward? Here’s something I learned over the years: everyone is focused on themselves too much to notice other people. Try to remember someone you know being awkward or weird. Can you? Chances are, you either can’t think of any, or only know of a few, but in all cases, if I didn’t ask you to try and remember, you’d never think about a time when someone ELSE was awkward or weird, you only remember and think about when you YOURSELF were. And this is true for everyone else, so don’t be afraid to be awkward or weird: 1. they won’t remember, 2. MOST of the time, they won’t even know. I think it will surprise you to find out that most people feel awkward or weird, but others don’t find them awkward or weird. It’s only real if people start pointing it out. Even then you don’t have to worry, see 4 Ways to Beat Social Anxiety

Read this if you want me to persuade you to do it: Defeating Laziness with Logic and a Desire for Happiness

Common Misconceptions About Self Worth

If someone doesn’t like you, it doesn’t mean they dislike you.  There are many other emotional responses they could have, or they might have none at the moment: everything isn’t always about you.

If people don’t invite you, it doesn’t mean you’re banned–ask to go if you want to and it’s appropriate.

If something goes wrong, or someone is mean, it might not be your fault. They might be having a bad day, or someone else caused the problem.

Is liking a color an objective truth? Some people like orange, some people don’t, the same is true about you.  If some people dislike you, it’s OK and normal, you will find others who do like you.  (Watch the movie Wreck-It Ralph)

Your self worth is what you decide it to be.  If you want other people to decide it for you, it is your choice to let them. There is a difference between self-worth, which is the worth you perceive yourself to have, and worth to others, which can include cultural standards for social status, or peer standards, parental standards, material, etc. (see Judgments) If you want it to be based on how many people validate you, then it will be; but if you decide you have worth because you say so, then in your eyes you do.

You don’t have to be perfect to have self worth, unless you choose to make it a requirement, in which case you should realize you’re choosing to make it impossible to have self worth.  Remember, you are your worst critic, and no-one sees as many flaws as you do, so realize you have a skewed view of your imperfections.

Believe you can have what you want.  This idea of “deserve” only exists within certain contexts: In one community, you only deserve an xBox if you have straight As; in another, you deserve one because you can afford it; in another, because you have connections; etc. etc..  Getting something has two components: believing you have the self worth to have it, and an opportunity to have it.  Opportunity is partly in your control, but the belief in your self worth is definitely in your control.  You are worthy of happiness, love, friends, success, if you say so.  Whether you get it is separate.

Read What is Self Worth? next!

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