I was driving home today and thinking, reflecting, on social anxiety. I used to think that I could "outrun" my social anxiety by being really active and engaging, but that just leaves me feeling exhausted. Likewise, I used to think I could suppress my anxiety if I avoided certain thoughts and maintained certain positive perceptions of myself, not letting myself slip up. This too leaves me feeling detached from myself.
It occurred to me a couple weeks ago that I have been engaged in war with myself, trying to conquer a part of my personality rather than embrace it. On a deep intuitive level, I can see the end of social anxiety, but it doesn't have to do with making the thoughts go away, but rather with changing the way I interface with those thoughts and feelings, not getting too wrapped up in the experience and instead letting it come and go.
But this is hard to do, and I think this has to do with shame. Shame makes the experience hurt a lot, and that makes it difficult to STOP trying to resist it. So, we get to shame.
I'm interested in what people think about shame, how to overcome it, what has practically worked, and what they think would work in theory, but feel free to post whatever ideas you have on it too.