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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mochajava View Post
    Nolla - what was the deeper reason that you found for not feeling like you were as good as everyone else? Was it the introversion, or was it something else? What was that process like for you, if you're comfortable sharing? It seems like a unique take on this topic that hasn't been addressed yet -- solving the problem from the inside out, rather than the outside-in.
    I don't think it's that unique. I guess this is something that would come up in a support group or in therapy.

    I just had this revelation of some sort that it is absurd that I think of myself being worse than other people. I hadn't noticed it at all, because I had self-respect in other areas, I thought of myself as a smart guy and so on, I thought that it's enough and even despised some people for their popularity. I was better than the others because I didn't need anyone. But, I had a crush and didn't get the girl due to my poor social skills and overall cluelessness. That was when I had to face it, and I asked myself what is wrong with me. And it hit me that I really think of myself being inferior socially, that I think I am not someone you would like. I thought about this a long time. It takes a lot of time to think through it by yourself because you look at the problem throught the perception that's distorted by the problem. So, I wrote things down and thought about them. For maybe a year. I went through a phase I was blaming my broken family, then I thought about losing all of my childhood friends because of the divorce and the resulting move to another part of the region, then I thougth about my relationships with each of my parents individually, then about the overall dynamics I had with people. And at some point I had it figured out that there was nothing wrong with me, I just lost most of my contacts simultaneously while losing my trust in my parents, and my defensive reaction to that was to develop an idea of superiority, which kept me isolated from others. In others words, I didn't wait for the others to reject me. I did it first. Before we even met.

    It sounds quite simple now, but it really wasn't... The mind doesn't easily let itself see that it is distorted. And when it sees it, then nothing is certain anymore. You need to build up another view of the world. In fact, I'm sure this would have been a lot easier for me if I had seen a therapist or something like that, but I didn't really know where to ask for help, and I was in a state in which I didn't think that anyone would like to help me anyways. On the other hand I had no respect for therapists. I thought that psychology is a messy wanna-be-science.

    EDIT: I don't know if I am saying anyone should do it like this. It took me a long time, really. Just to get an idea of what was wrong was a year. And even then I had it only partly figured out. I corrected the picture as I went along. After attempting to re-create myself for the first time it took something like five years to become comfortable in most of the social situations. But, I don't know, I don't regret going about it this way, and I could not have done it the other way around. And it was almost ten years I was isolated so, it isn't surprising it took me some time to catch up.

    EDIT No2: Actually, the funny thing is that there still are some after effects of this. Just this year I realized that because I had been able to overcome my social anxiety I had developed an idea that I can overcome just about any mental problem. This was proven wrong, of course, as I succumbed under too much stress and responsibility I had piled up for myself.

    These ideas of superiority are really nasty business. They sneak up on you...

  2. #22
    Member Serenes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    Can't help but to notice a certain trend here. Most of these advices seem so utilitarian to me. Not to say they don't work, but it seems like they are changes that are first made on the outside and then have the desired effect on the inside. When I was battling with the same problem, I couldn't go that way because I felt like it is too superficial. I didn't want to feel like I am faking it.

    What I did, I concentrated on finding out why there is this voice in my head saying that I'm not good enough to be liked by the others. Because obviously it's ridiculous to think that I am worse than the majority of people, and that was exactly what I thought about myself. After I traced my problem back as far as I could get, the problem fixed itself. Almost.
    I don't really agree that that the changes were made on the outside first. I was able to change Because I had realized my problems from the inside, and by realizing my problems and what I actually wanted.. it motivated me to change because I knew it would be worth the effort to make me happier. I wouldn't really call it being fake & superficial.. more like practicing to become the person you want to be, and then using those learned social skills to pursue the real goal of being able to reach out and get closer to people you want to connect with with your real genuine self that you've been able to bring out by practicing.

    When I found out my problems, I retreated and introspected a lot.. trying to figure out why I was the way I was, why it bothered me that I couldn't be social, and why I wanted to improve and what would come out of it if I did, etc. It's when I accepted and acknowledged my problems did I gain the confidence to try and change.. So in a way, I had already changed on the inside, and from that new strength that's how I was able to change on the outside as well. I realized my fears, acknowledged it, and told myself I would overcome it, which helped me with my determination to do it. I guess it's like.. knowing who your enemy is, so you have a more clear picture of what you are trying to defeat with an end goal! ... yeahh I'm not sure if that makes sense... but it does to me >.>; That's my personal view though.

    Sooo to me, it was like (Change on the inside first -> change on the outside -> improvement -> change on the inside more -> change on the outside more -> more improvement.. repeat)
    "You may be one person to the world, but to one person you may be the world."

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serenes View Post
    I don't really agree that that the changes were made on the outside first. I was able to change Because I had realized my problems from the inside, and by realizing my problems and what I actually wanted.. it motivated me to change because I knew it would be worth the effort to make me happier. I wouldn't really call it being fake & superficial.. more like practicing to become the person you want to be, and then using those practiced social skills to pursue the real goal of being able to reach out and get closer to people you genuinely want to connect with.
    Ok, let me say it in another way.

    What I saw in this thread was focused on the external changes, but as you just pointed out there is the internal work, which I think is an important step. I don't think it is the most important step necessarily for everyone, but it is a step that was essential for myself, so I wanted to emphasize it, since it wasn't discussed.

    And about the fakeness. The person I was at that age was obsessed with being myself, being real and all that... and it was just not possible for that person to even consider starting a project of changing himself, because he would have seen himself as a fake. So, the process had to be done from the inside.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    Ok, let me say it in another way.

    What I saw in this thread was focused on the external changes, but as you just pointed out there is the internal work, which I think is an important step. I don't think it is the most important step necessarily for everyone, but it is a step that was essential for myself, so I wanted to emphasize it, since it wasn't discussed.

    And about the fakeness. The person I was at that age was obsessed with being myself, being real and all that... and it was just not possible for that person to even consider starting a project of changing himself, because he would have seen himself as a fake. So, the process had to be done from the inside.
    ahh I see. sorry, I thought you generalized that all the advices were external changes.. so I wanted to point it out.

    Interesting.. because being genuine and 'real' is also something I always tried to be. But I was okay with Changing.. I guess because I personally didn't view it as fake.. but instead just trying to bring more of my 'real' self to the surface... since I was always so quiet and shy, I held back who I actually was a lot and no one knew how I really felt. Kinda cool I guess.. our different views lead us to different paths of improving :p
    "You may be one person to the world, but to one person you may be the world."

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serenes View Post
    Interesting.. because being genuine and 'real' is also something I always tried to be. But I was okay with Changing.. I guess because I personally didn't view it as fake.. but instead just trying to bring more of my 'real' self to the surface... since I was always so quiet and shy, I held back who I actually was a lot and no one knew how I really felt. Kinda cool I guess.. our different views lead us to different paths of improving :p
    It's not really that different. I just felt like if I forced myself to act in a certain way, it would not be real, so instead I focused on my attitudes. When the attitudes and some beliefs changed, the external behavior also changed, almost automatically. It did take a lot of time for the automatic change to go through, but I didn't force myself to do anything like... I don't know, laugh to jokes I don't find funny, or something like that... Later on I did challenge myself to do all kinds of stuff, but by then I had already changed some, so it didn't feel like I was cheating. I'm not sure if my old me would have approved of these things...

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