Trying to Overcome my Social Phobia

In this post I’m gonna tell you how I could realize my habit of overthinking and what I did about it. These things (realizing the problem and trying to overcome) happened from late June 2016. I’m not quite there yet but still I’m getting better.

I don’t know why I can’t stop thinking about certain subjects. What I usually think about are some social situations that I re-imagine them over and over again. Let’s say my friends has invited me to dinner for tomorrow. I try to predict all possible situations, what they’re gonna say, what I’m gonna answer, what if they humiliate me, what if my voice shakes, what if I won’t have enough courage to speak at the moment and this goes on and on and on… I think about them and lots of similar things for hours and days. But it doesn’t stop there! I go to a party or reunion or whatever social event it is and mostly ruin everything and after we are done there, in the way back home, I think again! I think about stuff we did, mistakes I made and foolish stuff I did. This goes for days and sometimes months of thinking about just one day out that I had with my friends at say July 14!

I don’t enjoy thinking. At first, when I decided to be more sociable, I thought this was helping. Thought if I think about different situations and try to predict everything, I’d act better. Maybe it was. Maybe some parts of my improvement in social life was because of overthinking. But now I don’t believe it anymore. Now I believe that I can’t predict everything. Predicting only makes me feel anxious. Maybe that’s only because I usually predicted everything in a negative way. I used to fail in my predictions. Maybe my predictions was only acceptance of my failure before actual failure.

Oh god! Maybe I should stop writing because as I write, my head hurts. But I’m gonna finish this. Maybe writing these stuff itself is overthinking! Anyways, I was saying I usually didn’t predict positively. I didn’t even have the courage to predict wining in a simple social situation. So maybe that’s why I usually failed in real life.

These were all my past life. I was all like this until first days of summer (late June). As I explained in the last post, there was a life changing point for me. I visited psychiatrist and he did the math for me! He said I have social anxiety disorder and I thought, well, this makes sense. I finally found what’s wrong with me. Why I am thinking so much. The reason I’m usually anxious. The reason I can’t express my thoughts. The reason I can’t look at people’s eyes on street. The reason I’m so anxious about a simple party. Maybe the reason I’m still single!! (Actually this one has many other reasons, I might get to that in other post.)

This makes a sense. I was happy. I was hopeful. I was not alone anymore because if there is a disorder called SAD (Social Anxiety Disorder) for my situation, then probably there are other people who suffer from that and hopefully in this modern world there are websites and communities waiting for me to share my thoughts and get help. I was never more hopeful than this before.

I’m also visiting psychologist. She tells me don’t overthink. Think positive. Don’t predict situations before they happen. These three sentences were life changing for me.

OK! Why not predict situations before they happen? Because first, you can’t predict %100. But maybe you’ll say “even %50 is enough for me!” So let’s go to second reason. To explain second reason I’ll share my third week of therapy with you. My psychologist said don’t predict situations. I couldn’t leave it. I was predicting but then I somehow trusted her and I wanted to give it a try. So I tried to stop predicting. I realized something. Predicting doesn’t make me feel better. It’s not healthy. Because actually I don’t usually predict positively. It makes me feel anxious. As I predict, my mind thinks that there is a danger and I feel anxious. With predictions I’m not getting better. Instead I’m getting anxious every time that I picture myself in those horrible situations so I tried not to think about event before they happen.

Let’s get back to first reason. As we can’t predict %100 percent and it’s not that much accurate, so it’s better to stop making decisions about things that didn’t actually happen and leave the answers and decisions to the actual moments. And believe me, now that I don’t predict that much, when I happen to be in a situation that I didn’t predict before, I’m not anxious and because I’m not anxious, I make the best decision at the moment and express myself without fear.

That week that I tried what she said I was a little bit shocked of the results! I never imagined like this. When I made decisions at the moment, I had more courage to say what I really feel. But when I was predicting, well, I couldn’t imagine myself having that much of confidence to say what I really feel so I used to predict a failure.

Now if you are unable to stop overthinking, there is something I’d like to recommend you. There is an app that you can post stuff anonymously. Its name is Candid. Available for both Android and iOS. There is a group about anxiety and depression. I’ve asked many questions there. This screenshot below helped me a lot. I’ve now understood that I shouldn’t plan my future acts and behavior on those thoughts. Read the screenshot please.

IMG_3701
Screenshot from Candid app.

These are my whole developments about my social phobia in last three months. I’m so happy that I’m getting better, so happy that I finally found a master key to most of my problems, so hopeful that maybe there is a possibility of beating my depression forever. Thanks for your time 🙂

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5 thoughts on “Trying to Overcome my Social Phobia

  1. I am very guilty always trying to be a fortune teller of upcoming events in my life. Just this week, I was supposed to meet with someone to discuss a job opportunity and when I realized I was getting delayed on the train and would arrive late, I absolutely freaked out. I started imagining all the possible and impossible scenarios that might happen if I showed up late. I was also extra panicky because of how I feel personally about being late, in that I perceive I will look unprofessional or rude for keeping the other person waiting.

    Trying to predict what will happen or how I will react is exhausting for me. It also gives me unnecessary anticipatory anxiety. So I’m basically worrying about something that’s not even real and it’s mindless worrying because that’s how my mind is used to dealing with a situation. Your post has given me more insight on why predicting things doesn’t work. I probably will still be a little nervous about showing up for something, like a mock interview that I have next week, but I will try your advice about not trying to predict how I will react in the situation and save my energy for how I react when I’m already in the situation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so happy that I could help in some way. Thanks for sharing your feelings with me, this means a lot. I myself still predict(though not that much that I used to). But I think it’s gonna get better over time. We can beat predicting over time! Not predicting stuff plays a huge role on getting away from social phobia. (at least for me!) thanks for reading:)

      Liked by 1 person

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