Hey there! I hope you’ve been fighting that anxiety!
Before I want to jump in to a coping strategy for this blog post, check out this familiar scene in Mean Girls:
That sort of crushing loneliness during lunchtime is familiar for a lot of people with Social Anxiety. For a solid year and a half in high school, life was like that for me too. I had thoughts running through my head, that I was worthless, that I’d never properly make friends, that I was ugly, and so forth.
Just like Cady in the end of that video, I’d hide somewhere out of sight because I believed people would think I was a loser.
Even though that’s a tough predicament I found myself in, those sorts of thoughts and beliefs were unhelpful. All that negativity in my head was preventing my situation from becoming better.
Pinpoint Unhelpful Beliefs
First recognise that unhelpful beliefs are those that aren’t realistic. Maybe you believe that you’re unlikable.
Such beliefs are driven by unhelpful thoughts (for example, that you think others are uncomfortable around you).
Challenge the belief
Ask yourself: is it rational? And above all – is it helpful?
In my case, I’d question the thought that I’d never properly make friends. Here are some things I rationalised:
- Socialising is a skill like any other. I will fail and I will get rejected a lot. But I’ll eventually get better.
- Opportunities never run out. If I didn’t try, I’d be friendless in the first place!
Then I’d think about if it was helpful (it wasn’t). Why do I need to let a thought like that give me crap then?
Give that stuff a go for a week. I know it’s going to be hard. But be kind to yourself.
Let me know how you go.
Until next time,