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azure drake ATM
12-20-2014, 12:09 AM
Greetings,
I have recently begun to actively work to better myself. I had depression in varying degrees for a few years and am currently "in remission" which has fortuitously allowed me to look more closely at related issues of mild social anxiety, poor self esteem, and self doubt.

I am almost 40 with a family (bless my wife for putting up with me). I have always been shy. I took a little college but quit because of lack of direction but have continued to grow and learn as an autodidact. I am employed and without chemical addictions.

I reacted poorly at a recent work/social event (my perception) and blew up at a coworker who was commenting on my actions the next day. This the event that has triggered this most recent and to date most vigorous attempt at self improvement. (I could post details about this if anyone thinks it will help.)

Much reading has led me to think that my social awkwardness has its roots in low self esteem and lack of strong sense of self. Further research suggests some methods for discovering self and building esteem through recognizing strengths and preferences.

This is where i have run into a stumbling block.

I have a very logical mind and a cautious demeanor. I can't consider an idea without large amounts of empirical or rational interrogation. To put it simply i question EVERYthing. For example :
Input: think of that thing you are good at.
Me: I am good at "x". Am i really good at it? How can i tell? What does it mean to be good at something? What did they mean when they asked? Is there a way to measure it? Should i compare with other people who do similar things or compare to other things i do? Am i over thinking this? How can i determine if i am over thinking?

And so on.

I also tend to do this (in my head mostly) when listening to a conversation.

As you might think, this type of interrogation is getting in the way. However, i have not been able to find any information on this "empiricism/logic roadblock".

Has anyone encountered this or seen it referred to? What methods were employed to address the situation?

Be warned, i will likely respond to replies with more questions.

Thanks for your time.

Ponder
12-20-2014, 05:24 AM
Welcome.

Stop thinking and start doing - less reading and more writing - tell yourself and not others - less talking and more listening - and above all ... carry a muzzle and be ready to use it.

Is how I try to get by ... although very poorly.

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Im-Suffering
12-20-2014, 07:50 AM
I am good at "x". Am i really good at it? How can i tell? What does it mean to be good at something? What did they mean when they asked? Is there a way to measure it? Should i compare with other people who do similar things or compare to other things i do? Am i over thinking this? How can i determine if i am over thinking? [/I]
.

Hang the following statement on your wall:


It is not the questions, that matter.... It is the answers. They will faithfully reflect your beliefs and create your life.

You are simply looking in the wrong place.

Allow the questions.

And as you begin to believe in your own powers more and more (healing the negative beliefs), questioning the self will be less and less.

The current beliefs conflict, period. Which is raising this self questioning into awareness. You are meant to examine the contents of your mind, for validity. When current experience conflicts with old beliefs you have this result. (A haphazard mind).

Since these are beliefs you are dealing with, they go unquestioned. (Your truths). And most have been around since childhood.

Unexamined.

And outgrown, if you understand.

azure drake ATM
12-21-2014, 10:48 PM
It is not the questions, that matter.... It is the answers. They will faithfully reflect your beliefs and create your life.

Of course the answers matter. That is why I am so keen on getting the most correct answer possible. But an answer must come in relation to a question or it has no real meaning. if i just tell you the answer is "2" it really doesn't mean anything until i reveal the question to be "what is 42?" (Just some simple math) or " How many humans are traditionally involved in creating a human embryo?"(a much more involved concept)

Therefore the questions MUST matter.

Is this logic not sound?



The current beliefs conflict, period. Which is raising this self questioning into awareness. You are meant to examine the contents of your mind, for validity. When current experience conflicts with old beliefs you have this result. (A haphazard mind).

Since these are beliefs you are dealing with, they go unquestioned. (Your truths). And most have been around since childhood.

Unexamined.

And outgrown, if you understand.

I'm afraid i don't understand. What beliefs? How do they conflict?

And other questions to be sure.

Ponder
12-22-2014, 12:43 AM
I can tell you guys are going to get along well - Good luck with that. ;)

Anxiety-Free
01-17-2015, 05:07 AM
What was the specific blow-up? And what are your specific social awkwardnesses that you want to change?

smartscrutiny
01-20-2015, 03:22 PM
Greetings,
I have recently begun to actively work to better myself. I had depression in varying degrees for a few years and am currently "in remission" which has fortuitously allowed me to look more closely at related issues of mild social anxiety, poor self esteem, and self doubt.

I am almost 40 with a family (bless my wife for putting up with me). I have always been shy. I took a little college but quit because of lack of direction but have continued to grow and learn as an autodidact. I am employed and without chemical addictions.

I reacted poorly at a recent work/social event (my perception) and blew up at a coworker who was commenting on my actions the next day. This the event that has triggered this most recent and to date most vigorous attempt at self improvement. (I could post details about this if anyone thinks it will help.)

Much reading has led me to think that my social awkwardness has its roots in low self esteem and lack of strong sense of self. Further research suggests some methods for discovering self and building esteem through recognizing strengths and preferences.

This is where i have run into a stumbling block.

I have a very logical mind and a cautious demeanor. I can't consider an idea without large amounts of empirical or rational interrogation. To put it simply i question EVERYthing. For example :
Input: think of that thing you are good at.
Me: I am good at "x". Am i really good at it? How can i tell? What does it mean to be good at something? What did they mean when they asked? Is there a way to measure it? Should i compare with other people who do similar things or compare to other things i do? Am i over thinking this? How can i determine if i am over thinking?

And so on.

I also tend to do this (in my head mostly) when listening to a conversation.

As you might think, this type of interrogation is getting in the way. However, i have not been able to find any information on this "empiricism/logic roadblock".

Has anyone encountered this or seen it referred to? What methods were employed to address the situation?

Be warned, i will likely respond to replies with more questions.

Thanks for your time.

Hey there! I wonder if mindfulness meditation might help you? (I've come to understand mindfulness as a tool that lets me be aware of the constant monologue in my head in a way that helps me prevent it from running my life.) I know it may sound like a strange thing to suggest, but the logical side of you might appreciate that there's some really solid research out there supporting the benefits - google "mindfulness meditation scientific research", or check out some of the stuff written by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Or if you're looking for a really funny read that looks at mindfulness meditation with a healthy does of skepticism, check out a recent book by Dan Harris called "10% Happier". Hope some of this helps!

azure drake ATM
01-21-2015, 09:53 PM
For those who want a few more details : the event was a group cooking event put on by my boss as our Christmas party. We broke into groups to each cook a portion of our meal. We were provided with a recipe and the chefs stood close to help. Almost immediately the chef started telling us to go off recipe. (Why did they provide us with a recipe if we weren't going to use it??!) I mentioned this concern to our group and was promptly ignored. I mentioned this to the chef and was told to go by taste. Having not ever made the item we were preparing I had no idea how to know if the taste was correct for the food we were preparing. Having mentioned this fact i was again ignored. I noted that the others didn't seem to have any trouble. And the fact that i was not at ease made me more than a little self conscious. The next morning at work one of my coworkers was talking to another about how i struggled at the event in close proximity to myself. When i asked him to stop, he persisted. I eventually yelled at him and threw a pair of tweezers at him.
____________
On a more general note the nature of my anxiety is most prominent in party or social gatherings. I am not comfortable in casual conversation and frivolity. I don't understand how others can be so eager to speak about themselves and others when they have no idea if people want to hear about themselves or if the others are ok being talked about.
_______
Regarding mindfulness, i have an affinity for being thoughtful and aware of what's going on but i have found being happy and at ease is not necessarily compatable with these states. Please note my related post.


I have been working hard at improving my mood, and trying to be less anxious socially. Today, I was presented with a stressful event at work. I was immediately snapped to alertness. I felt my mind turning and worrying and problem-solving and questioning.

It is a state of mind that is familiar to me for all the bad feelings it has caused as much as it helped me be alert to what's happening around me.

And then i remembered, the last few days were not stressful, I wasn't anxious, I managed social interactions well. I was at ease.

And I wasn't aware of it while it was happening. I missed it.
Thinking back i wasn't upset, but I wasn't especially happy either. Considering how well it was going, i would've thought it would have been a time to relish, cherish, and to revel in. But i wasn't aware of it until it was gone.

Have others experienced this? Does it have a name? Are the conditions of being alert and aware and being at ease and happy exclusive to each other? If no, how do i learn to be alert and aware but not anxious and stressed?