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Do bad people exist?

People often tell me that I’m a good person. I have to wonder why are they saying that. It’s not like I don’t believe that I am a good person. I genuinely believe that I am. But the way other people usually say that is that I am a good person and the others aren’t. I disagree with such a statement. In my eyes all humans are the same.

In my life I have never met a human being that would be essentially “bad”. Yes, we have many criminals, many people, that cause harm to other people… But what people usually fail to see is that only suffering creates suffering. To me our justice system is completely ridiculous. So we have a person that is suffering, that is depressed, feels unloved and unhappy. This person then does something that is considered to be a criminal act. And what do we do with that person? We close this person in a room with people similar to him, deny him freedom and tell him what an awful human being he is and that he should be ashamed. Do we really think this is going to solve the problem? It will never work because our system of reward and punishment is not in alignment with universal truth.

People seem to enjoy revenge.  They call revenge justice so they can feel better about wanting it.  But the truth is, pain begets pain. There is no justice in this system.  Even if you locked away every abuser you could find on earth in a jail cell, you could not save people from their own creations. Victims are not exempt from this creation process. They too create their reality.  We live in a society that does not yet recognize the vibrational reality that directs and dictates and trumps everything that is physical in nature, so no one wants to hear this…  But locking up the perpetrators does nothing to improve the powerless state of those who sit in a vibration of victimhood.  It changes nothing about them at all.  And so they remain a match to what comes as a result of that vibration.  They will be victimized by something no matter how hard you try on a physical level to prevent it for them. You could not physically do enough to save them from their own point of attraction. The only answer is to empower the victim so their point of attraction changes, and empower the perpetrator, so their desire to hurt others wanes.  All pain on both sides (victim and perpetrator) is a result of the perception that they are powerless.

So In my opinions all humans are essentially good. We are beings of light and powerful creators. We have so much freedom and power over our reality that we can actually believe that we are powerless!

I often wonder what makes other people think that I’m a good person. So I’ve made a list of reasons that are usually considered as traits that a good person would have:

  • kindness
  • compassion
  • selflessness
  • honesty
  • love
  • personal warmth
  • openness, authenticity
  • wisdom

When I look in the eyes of a little baby, I see god in expression. Every child has all these good qualities I just listed above. Children are not born with fear, anger or hatred. They only learn these things while living in this society. So what it is that turns people into “bad” people? And what makes a human being “bad”?

  • cruelty
  • hate
  • criminality
  • rudeness
  • killing other beings

People with these threads are usually considered bad in our society. But what our society fails to see it that the only motivation why human being on the face of this earth ever does is because they believe it will make them feel better. This is the motivation behind every single action we take. When a person kills another person, it’s because they believe that it will make them feel better. Criminals are people who feel so powerless that they need to take a life of another being in order to feel like they have some power.

We fail to see this in our society. We somehow think that people are naturally devided into good and bad. Even when we are little kids, fairytales thought us that bad people need to be killed or punished. Somehow they were born flawed and we need to get rid of them in order to live in a peaceful society.

If the belief that I am not good enough is something that makes a human being bad, then I used to be a bad person as well. For many years I believed I was completely worthless.

Every person contains the “good” and the “bad”. We can choose to express our true side and shine our light, or we can choose to resist our true selfes and become dark. All of us have the potential to be criminals and to kill. Even I have it. I could be cruel, I could choose to be cold and rude. The reason why I’m not like this is because I don’t choose to. I know I can, but I don’t want to. My passion and excitement is to be kind, to help people and to reflect to them how beautiful they are. But this doesn’t make me any better than anyone else.

At the very core every human being is wonderful. What we all have in common is that we want to be loved. Sometimes we don’t know how to get this love so we hurt others. But that doesn’t make us bad from the perspective of the source. 

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How to gain Confidence

I’m passionate about the topic of confidence and there are so many different aspects to it and so many different levels.

The first point to look at is around your focus. If you feel that you are lacking in confidence, my guess would be that your focus is on what you can’t do, where you failed, and how you feel that you’ve got things wrong. What would happen if you changed your focus? What would happen if you shifted your perspective from where it was into a new one, which you maybe have to your imagination with, but what if you focused in on what you have achieved, things that you have been successful in, and things that you have done? So for example, what if you started to think about all that you’ve achieved in your life from learning to talk, learning to walk, learning to pass an exam, swim, ride a bike, drive a car? The list I am sure is endless of all the things that you really have done. What would happen and how do you think you would feel if that was your focus on a daily basis?

The second aspect to look at is around your language. How are you actually talking to yourself both internally and externally because that’s a real key indicator of how you feel about yourself? If you want to grow your confidence then if you make a mistake and then you’re telling yourself what an idiot you are or how stupid you are.., then really is that going to inspire confidence in you to have another go or even have an attempt at something new? Look at how you’re speaking to yourself, language is so important. Start to use kind language, give yourself a break, and actually be nice to yourself.

Would you really speak to a best friend or a family member or even a child the way you speak to yourself currently? Yet you would probably want them to have confidence in themselves so because you want them to have confidence, you speak kindly to them.

How about if you turn that around and started speaking kindly to yourself? I know the difference that it’s made in my life and I’m sure that if you started to put that into practice you’ll gain even more confidence in yourself, which again is what you want to do, is it not?

My final thing for you to think about is rather than thinking about what’s gone wrong and thinking about the mistakes that you’ve made, think about the lessons that you’ve learnt. Every single day we’ll trip up, fall over, say the incorrect thing, and get something wrong. All of those things are there to help us learn so instead of focusing on getting it wrong and being a bad person, why not stop and at the end of the day ask yourself what have I learnt today? What have I have learnt today, and not only that, how can I use that information in the future? I know that when you learnt to walk as a child you would have fallen over at some point yet you didn’t sit there and stop. What you did is you decided to learn and use the information from falling over to get back up again and have another go, and you use that information to inform your next step. So at the end of every day, take a moment to think about how you can use the information from that day, those lessons, to help you in the future.

How to give up victim mentality

At some point in life, everyone has had to do something against their will. Everyone has experienced a difficult time when he felt humiliated or betrayed in some way. Many of us have experienced the loss of a loved one, or even of our own health. Some of us have been victims of violence – at home, in school, or in life…
But while some manage to cope with pain, self-pity, anger and guilt, others come to see themselves as a victim. The victim mentality is formed not only as a result of sustained violence or humiliation, but also by the environment. Often people do not recognize and do not even realize that they are acting the victim.
What is the victim mentality?
Seeing yourself as a victim does not necessarily mean that you have been subjected to physical or psychological abuse. A victim is a person, who believes that something or someone is externally controlling his life. Victims see themselves as impotent, believe that external factors control their life, and see life as a wall of insurmountable circumstances.
They feel compelled to do things against their will. They might complain, but they will still do what they do not want to do, thinking that there is no alternative. It seems like that the whole world is against them. Victims always feel dependent on the mercy of external forces and blame them for everything that happens in their world.
The victim mentality can be seen in all areas of our lives:
Relationships: When victims are led to give up their priorities, aspirations, dreams and desires, they lose self-esteem and self-confidence and give up power. Imagine, for example, a man, who gave up the job of his dreams to please his loved ones. He will feel internal resentment that this happened, and anger at a perceived lack of appreciation and gratitude. Even if he feels offended, humiliated or unappreciated in the relationship, rather than take control of his own life, he will instead complain about how he has been treated. In this way, he assumes the role of a victim.
Everyday life: Even in the most minor situations, some people manage to make themselves a victim of circumstance. For example, you might ask a colleague for a small favor – say, getting you a cup of coffee. He might complain terribly, saying that people are freeloaders and lazy and live off of others and so on… In the end he will do you the favor but continue to complain internally about the “injustice.”
But the reality of the situation is this – he has been asked for a favor, and he has to make a choice. He could say – “I’m sorry, I’m not passing by the coffee machine;” he could say he is too busy or he could even say that he forgot. There are many ways to respond. In this case, however, he chooses to feed the feelings of self-sacrifice – “I’m so pitiful, people are always taking advantage of me… ” – This is a victim mentality.
The person with a victim mentality has a habit of complaining about everything – for example, he/she always has to cook, he/she is forced to work for that terrible boss, traffic is always awful… These complaints are hiding something – that he/she waits and hopes for someone else to fix things. The person doesn’t realize that it was all the result of their own choices.
Often, people with a victim mentality will not say anything directly to the friend, who manipulates them or to the boss, who insults and humiliates them. Instead, they go to someone else to complain and to vent their anger with dramatic tales about their rude and arrogant boss, or their selfish and ungrateful friend. People, who see themselves as a victim of circumstance are always complaining and whining. Rather than taking political action, they vilify political leaders and blame them for the problems in society.
Victims are constantly asking WHY: “Why me? Why are people are so evil? Why won’t the boss give me a raise? Why did he/she leave me?” As they look for answers to these questions, they torment themselves and their resulting self-pity only reinforces their identity as a victim. The question they should ask themselves is: ” Why did this happen now? What can I learn from this situation? How can I avoid this in the future?”
How can you give the victim mentality?
First, it is important to understand why we take on this mindset – what benefits does it bring?
The victim mentality brings :
Attention – when we are in the victim position, we get attention, sympathy and support from people.
When we are a victim, there is no need to take risks or responsibility.
Being a victim gives us an excuse to explain our life circumstances. It is an excuse for the fact that we have not achieved anything. We continue thinking that other people have held us back, they haven’t seen our potential, etc.!
Sometimes being a victim makes you feel part of a community. This community grows out of the very sense that they – the others – are ” bad” and you’re on the “good ” side. Your anger about the injustice of their speeches gives a dramatic and even heroic sense to your suffering.
“Poor Me” gives you a sense identity (albeit false). It makes you feel special. This gives you a passive power that calls people to give you attention and pity.
To be able to part with your victim mentality, you must give up the benefits that it brings.
You should also know that creating a new pattern of thinking and behavior takes time, effort and discomfort. Furthermore, when you first begin to change, you may feel unstable, insecure and vulnerable…
But you have to go through this period if you are to regain power and change your life!
Are you ready to give up the victim mentality and live with confidence?
If the answer is “yes,” you can start taking the first steps now:
1. Release the pain of the past.
To overcome your victim mentality, you must release the pain of all those past experiences, buried deep inside. You need to release negative feelings – fear, guilt, hate, anger, self-pity – because they keep you in captivity and reassert your identity as a victim. Forgive those who have hurt you. As I have written elsewhere, forgiveness does not mean justifying the actions of others. It is a purely internal act of letting go of painful feelings. Only when you forgive will you be free.
2. Take responsibility for your life.
The main thing you need to do to regain power is to take responsibility for your life – for the feelings, thoughts, and reactions you choose to experience. Realize that the complaining, unhappiness, and blaming does not solve your problems. Think about what you personally can do and take action.
3. Remember that you always have a choice – we can always, in every situation, choose how to react. At any moment we can regain power by making the right choice.
4. Change your vocabulary.
Change the words in your vocabulary that make you feel like a victim. For example, instead of ” should,” think ” choose to;” instead of “I hope,” say “I will;” instead of “There’s no way out,” think “I know there’s a way and I will find it;” instead of ” I can’t” say “I will try.”
5. Learn to say “no.”
People who have a victim mentality, often have difficulty saying “no.”
6. Change your attitude.
Change the focus – from what you don’t have or what makes you feel wronged – to what you do have and your strengths. Keep a notebook, listing everything good in your life and practice being grateful about it.
7. Taking small steps outside of your comfort zone.
Begin with just one small step outside your comfort zone, and you will begin to change from a victim into a confident and self-respecting person.
The floor is yours – are you ready to gain more awareness as to when you are slipping into the ‘victim mentality’? What do you usually do when you catch yourself doing it? How do you take responsibility for your own creation? You can share your insights by joining the conversation in the comment section below :)

Reasons You Have Nothing to Prove to Anybody

“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.” ~ Maya Angelou

Most of us walk through the world with the sole agenda of proving our self worth and purpose for being on this earth. While I know we all want to make a difference, and it’s becoming harder and harder to stand out in today’s crazy world of social media, I feel it’s my duty to remind you of why you have nothing to prove to anybody.

I’ll start by saying it simply.
YOU ARE ENOUGH.

A hard concept to grasp I’m sure, but it’s very true and only you can deny it. No one can tell you how much value you have to offer, and there are certainly to “guidelines” by which we can measure a person’s worth.

Where we all run into problems with issues around self worth and value is when we attach our sense of self to what we do and how well we do it. We incessantly compare ourselves to everyone else, which leads to feeling less than, and insufficient.
We learn that if we are attractive enough, smart enough, funny enough, nice enough, giving enough or talented enough that we will be accepted and belong.

The idea of being accepted and loved for who we are without including what we “do” is a novel concept for all of us.

I’ll say it again in case it didn’t go in the first time.

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

I can say this without even knowing you because I truly believe that each and every person walking along side of me is worthy, valuable, perfect and enough.
Here are 5 more reasons you have nothing to prove to anybody.

1. Your standards are all that matter
Stop using others as a yardstick for what and who you need to be. Set your own standards for yourself, and if those are too high then check in with yourself about how you developed these unreachable ideas about yourself in the first place. Having realistic and attainable standards for who you are and how you want to walk through this world will keep you grounded in your own authentic worthiness.

2. External validation is fleeting
It feels good to get the gold star or affirmation from someone you respect or admire. No doubt that this is a good thing for anyone. However, this kind of validation is fleeting simply because it’s not yours to own. It’s on borrowed time, and if you don’t do your own work on owning your own value this goodness will slip away. You want to hold this part of yourself sacred so it’s always available when you need it.

3. You’ll never please everyone
There is a hamster wheel for everything in life, and that includes your desire to please others by proving yourself. There will inevitably be that one person who never really sees how great you are (usually a parent) leaving you going back to the empty well over and over. Know that your honorable acts of seeking approval will be futile with a few if not many.

4. You are good enough
You don’t have to be perfect or more than, you just need to be good enough. Good enough has to be determined by you, and you alone. Striving to be perfect or more than you need to be will exhaust you and ultimately leave you feeling defeated because it’s unsustainable.

5. Inadequacy is an internal experience
Recognize that your feelings of not being enough or needing to prove your worth are inside of you. You may experience the feelings when you are around other people, but it’s most likely a projection of your own internal struggle. Work on this in therapy or with a trusted mentor because feeling valued and worthy completely starts within.

What constitutes approval seeking behavior and why do you think so many people are after it?

I really want to know what are your thought on this. You can share your insights by joining the conversation in the comment section below 🙂

How to give up your inner critic

If you constantly tell yourself you how much you suck, how not pretty you are, how much smarter you should be, and how much more you should be doing, you are not alone. Every one of us has an inner critic, and success depends on breaking up with her and getting into bed with your true inner voice.
My inner critic shows up often and uninvited. Already, this morning, it told me I haven’t gotten enough work done yet (as I write this article), and that I should have had a healthier breakfast (when it was already healthy enough).
For most of my life, I believed that I was not good enough, that other people were smarter, prettier, more intelligent, more talented… I never acknowledged my successes because in my mind I could have done better. None of those accomplishments mattered because all I could hear was the negative chatter of not having done as much as everybody else.
The truth is, unless you learn to master this voice, you are never going to be satisfied with your life. This can lead to downright emotional exhaustion. You can become a doctor, earn millions of dollars, but if the voice inside tells you it’s not enough, you’re going to want to get another shiny degree, or become a billionaire and you still won’t be any happier once you get there.
Here are 5 ways to drown your inner critic and let the real you shine through.

1. Make a list of all your positive traits and successes

List 30 things that are positive about you. Then, list another 30 of your major successes. Keep this list close to you. Refer to it when your inner critic rears itself. Focusing on the positive qualities and successes helps you feel better about yourself, and feeling better about yourself makes you more productive, happier, and healthier.

2. Keep an inner critic page in your journal

Awareness is the key to beginning to curb your negative thoughts. Pay close attention to when your mind starts to trail off. Write down the thought in your journal so that you can begin to decipher thinking patterns and begin to shift them. A negative thought pattern may sound like “Gosh, I’m stupid. I’ll never do anything right. I can’t get it together. I’m a mess. I’m scattered. I’m not as good as she is. I’m a bad hostess.” Once you’ve got a list going, proceed to the next step.

3. Use thought rebuttals

We’re prone to making blanket statements about ourselves that aren’t true, hearing only what we want to hear when others compliment us, taking things personally, blaming ourselves for not being enough. We use ‘should’ and and ‘never’ without thinking of whether these things are true. Next time you write a negative thought in your inner critic page, ask yourself if it’s true? It most likely isn’t, so write down what is true. Learning to get in touch with reality will help your true voice come out.

4. Create 3 positive mantras from your list of positive qualities

Choose 3 positive qualities from your list. Create 3 positive affirmations you can recite to yourself. Or write them down on post-it notes and leave them on your bathroom mirror, in your car, or in your purse. Having a visual aid will help remind you there are some wonderful things about you even when you’re not feeling it.

5. Visualize a time when you felt successful

Think of a time when you felt successful. Recall the smells, colors, and feelings you felt that day. Visualization is a surprisingly powerful tool that helps reconnect you to a specific feeling, and the more you can connect to that feeling, the more you begin to see yourself as perfect the way you are.
It’s easy to disregard the good parts of you and minimize your accomplishments. But the more you can make space to find the positive, the more you grow, thrive, and become the human you were meant to become. Breaking up with your inner critic and learning to listen to your inner voice isn’t easy, and takes real effort and work, but doing the work and breaking free is the most powerful thing you can do to become your best self.

Fun side of spirituality

One of the common misunderstandings in the spiritual community is that spiritual people have to be serious. We have an image in our minds that a spiritual person is a bearded wise looking old man that has gone through lot in life.

We think that to be a true spiritual person we have to be vegetarian, we have to dress in a certain way, we have to talk in a certain way…

I’m going to tell you something. I consider myself to be a spiritual person. I’m now 19 years old and I have been interested in spirituality since I can remember. I always wanted to know the answers to the deep lives questions like “What is the meaning of life and existence itself? Is there a God? Are we alone in the universe?”… I have studied many philosophies and religions, but I have found the answers in the new age movement. I love the new age movement because it connects the ideas from many ancient practices, religions, science and new theories. Together it makes a wonderful mixture.

If I have learned something throughout the years of following many spiritual teachers, I’ve learned that the most important thing is to follow your excitement. If you are living your highest joy or excitement, you are being your natural self.  In that state you can effortlessly attract the things you need. So to put this spiritual truth even in even more simple words – the purpose of life is to have fun!

So who said that spiritual people have to be serious? I think its the contrary! In fact, the most spiritual people I know are also the funniest people I know. With great spiritual wisdom comes childlike innocence and playfulness. Wise people don’t take life too seriously. They don’t forget to have fun.

Spirituality is best practiced with humility and playfulness, like kids in a sandbox exploring the boundaries of imagination and possibility. Fun is a pathway to enlightenment, by lightening your anxiety, loosening your attachments and letting go of the need to be right.

I think that the main reason why not so many young people in my age are attracted to spirituality is that it seems boring to them. Young people just want to have fun. And since the stereotype is that spirituality is serous and deep, it doesn’t seem to be attractive to them. I agree that religious people tent to be serious, but in this article I’m talking about the new age type of spirituality.

I am young, I am interested in spirituality and I also enjoy having fun. I don’t think these two things contradict each other. I like parties, I like listening and dancing to modern music, I like doing random weird stuff and be crazy. And I don’t think it makes me a less spiritual person. When I enjoy it, it cant be wrong.

So I encourage you to have fun! Do whatever feels good to you at any given moment and stop caring what other people may say about you. This is your life, so make it amazing!

How to overcome Social Anxiety

I have suffered from social anxiety for many years and I know how limiting and horrible it feels. So I have spent a lot of time thinking about how I overcame my social anxiety and how I can help other people that are suffering from it.

I have developed a few strategies that you can use to reduce your social anxiety. These are:

  1. Learning how to challenge your unhelpful thoughts and see things in a more realistic light.
  2. Reducing your tendency of focusing on yourself during social interactions.
  3. Removing the use o safety behaviors and gradually confronting your fears.

 Challenging unhelpful thoughts

The way that we think about things has an impact on our entire life. The root of a social anxiety are unhealthy beliefs which are just thoughts we have been thinking for too long. Many of these beliefs occur outside of our control, and can be negative and unhelpful. It is therefore important to remember that they are just thoughts, without any real basis, and are not necessarily facts. Even though we may believe a lot of our unhelpful thoughts when we are nervous, it is good to remember that they should be questioned as they are often based on wrong assumptions.

You might have unhelpful thoughts about all kinds of things. Here are some examples:

Before Social Situations

  • I’ll make a fool of myself
  • I’ll have nothing to say
  • I’ll go bright red / I’ll stammer

During Social Situations:

  • Everyone’s staring at me
  • I’m useless

After Social Situations

  • Everyone thought I was an idiot
  • I’d be better off not even bothering
  • I sounded like an idiot

About Yourself:

  • I’m weird
  • No-one likes me
  • I’m not very funny

First you need to be able to recognise an unhelpful thought. Then you can challenge it. Being aware of the common patterns that unhelpful thoughts follow can help you to recognise when you have them. Here are some of the common patterns that our unhelpful thoughts follow:

Predicting the Future:
When we are shy or socially anxious it is common for us to spend a lot of time thinking about the future and predicting what could go wrong, rather than just letting things be. In the end most of our predictions don’t happen and we have wasted time and energy being worried and upset about them. For example:

  • You worry that you will go red, stammer, and that everyone will dislike you.
  • You assume that you will be the centre of attention and everyone will stare at you.

These thoughts naturally make you anxious before you even arrive in a social situation.

Mind Reading:
This means that you make assumptions about others’ beliefs without having any real evidence to support them. For example:

  • He thinks I’m an idiot.
  • They think I look ugly.

Such ways of thinking can soon lower our mood and self-esteem.

Taking Things Personally:
When people are socially anxious or shy, they often take things to heart. For example:

  • You walk past a group who are laughing and assume the joke is at your expense.
Over Generalising:
Based on one isolated incident you assume that all others will follow a similar pattern in the future. For example:

  • Because you believe that one presentation went badly, you assume all others will follow the same pattern.
What If Statements:
Have you ever wondered “what if” something bad happens? For example:

  • What if nobody likes me?
  • What if I run out of things to say?

These thoughts also make you dread situations beforehand.

Focusing on the Negatives:
After a social gathering, you tend to focus on the parts of the evening that you believe didn’t go well. At the same time, you gloss over positive parts of the evening. For example:

  • You dwell on the one conversation which ran out of steam quickly, whilst forgetting the fact that you mingled well throughout the rest of the evening.
Labelling:
Do you label yourself with negative words? For example:

  • I’m boring.
  • I’m uninteresting.
  • I’m weird.
  • I’m unlovable.

These, often long held beliefs about yourself, ensure your confidence and self-esteem remains low.

Challenges to an unhelpful thought
Now you can challenge your unhelpful thoughts by asking these questions.
Is there any evidence that contradicts this thought?
I never run out of things to say to my friends, so why should this be different.
What would your friend say to you if they knew what you were thinking?
They would probably say – don’t be silly, you’re always good company.
How will you feel about this in 6 months time?
I probably won’t care. Even if it goes wrong I’ll have forgotten about it by then.
What are the costs and benefits of thinking in this way?
Costs: It’s making me nervous before I even go into the situation. It’s made me feel inadequate.
Benefits: I can’t really think of any.
Is there a another way of looking at this this situation?
Even if I don’t have anything to say, it’s not just up to me to keep conversations going. It’s everyone’s responsibility.

Reducing internal focus during social interactions

When we are socially anxious, we tend to spend a lot of time concentrating on our own bodily sensations during social interactions. This is because we fear that our anxiety is visible to others. For example, we may spend time trying to judge whether we are sweating, shaking, or blushing.

Although we do this in the hope being reassured that we are not visibly anxious, this strategy actually just makes things much worse. This is because we tend to overestimate how visible our anxiety is and this of course makes us feel even more self conscious. Also, by focusing on ourselves, we are prevented from fully concentrating on the conversations around us. This naturally makes it more difficult to join properly and we usually end up interacting less well than we could. This strengthens our beliefs that we are no good in such situations. The reality is that our anxiety is a lot less visible than we think. Often we have no idea if someone is anxious or not and it can help to remember this.

Similarly, when we feel socially anxious, we tend to spend time monitoring how well we are performing during social interactions. This too prevents us from paying proper attention to the conversations we are engaged in. For example, we may spend time trying to figure out if our voice sounds shaky, or go over and over the things we have said in our minds. Again, by doing so, we end up finding it hard to follow conversations which likely makes us perform worse. Given all of this, it is helpful to try to remove this tendency to focus on ourselves. Below you will find tips designed to help you during social interactions:

  • Try to spend less time focusing on your own physical symptoms in social situations.
  • Remember anxiety is much less visible than you imagine.
  • Even if you are visibly anxious, it does not necessarily mean that you will be thought badly of. Anxiety is something we all experience and it does not make you unusual.
  • Just because you feel anxious, it does not mean that you are performing poorly.
  • Remember – you are not the central focus of everyone’s attention. There are plenty of other things for people to think and talk about.
  • Really try to concentrate on the conversation you are involved in. Don’t think about how you appear or how well you are performing.
  • Don’t replay parts of the conversation in your mind, instead just focus on what is being said in the present moment.
  • We do not need to perform perfectly or brilliantly in every social interaction we have, no-one can achieve such high standards.
  • Don’t worry too much if there are silences. Everyone has a responsibility to keep conversations going. Besides, silences are ok and do not always need filled.
  • Just be yourself.’ Why bother when it is impossible for everyone to like us anyway.

Removing the use of avoidance and safety behaviors

When we are socially anxious, we tend to avoid social situations (parties, speaking in front of groups, going out). However if we keep avoiding the situations we fear, we never get the chance to prove to ourselves that we can cope in them and our confidence remains low. Similarly, whenever socially anxious people do enter the situations they fear, they tend to use safety behaviors (sticking besides a good friend at a party, staying silent when in a small group to avoid looking foolish…). Although these behaviors seem to help in the short term, they are actually unhelpful. This is because they stop people from learning that they could have coped fine without relying on such things. Therefore, like avoidance, safety behaviors stop us from learning that we can cope in such situations and our anxiety towards them continues.

Because of this, the best way to reduce our anxiety towards social situations is to gradually confront them, without relying on safety behaviors. Of course, confronting social situations can be horrifying, especially given that our anxiety levels often rise when we do it. If you repeatedly allow yourself to become involved in a short conversation, rather than avoid it, you can begin to prove that you can handle these scenarios much more effectively than you think and your confidence will soon rise.