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  #31  
Old 13th July 2011, 23:58
Fungus Fungus is offline
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Angry Re: 'Elle' magazine article

I often imagine what its like going on a SAUK meet. Do you get slagged off (behind your back obviously) for not acting normal and making witty fluent banter(ignoring the obvious cliques)which seems to equate in the minds of the judgemental brigade as deliberately not trying because you're just a coward. I remember this bloke at work with obvious SA behaviour. He was ridiculed for not going out, then went out under pressure and was then ridiculed for being quiet and shy and not chasing girls like the other blokes. A bit of a dilemma for people with SA as it shows you are always ridiculed for not being completely normal in the first place which means you might become avoidant to avoid the humiliation. I thought f**k me, You have to be normal in the first place to even be accepted in a group as a normal human being. The crap about feeling the fear and doing it anyway is complete BS if you always get attacked for being different and never even get to first base. Step by baby step is often better.

Much of this judgemental thinking is if anything an example of survival of the fittest at work from an evolutionary point of view. if your behaviour is different in a negative way then the human race as a whole thinks you are a freak and avoids you. There is of course much evidence to support the inhumanity of man to other for any difference whatsoever from physical defects to any mental difference. Act like the heard the you are then accepted. Perhaps you even stay shy because the human race as a whole is cruel and and wont allow you in until you are one of them.
  #32  
Old 14th July 2011, 00:06
black_mamba black_mamba is offline
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Default Re: 'Elle' magazine article

Rufus, what example do you have of there even being any sort of "judgemental brigade" on here? I don't think it exists. SA UK meets are the most innocuous, least judgemental, and most calm chilled out social gatherings I've encountered in my life. Have I missed something?

I don't like it when people introduce (perhaps not on purpose) paranoia into the idea of meets because they're very useful and positive things to get involved with if you suffer from SA.

Whatever you do in life, there will always be someone who doesn't like it. The whole point is that you can't possibly be liked by everyone so need to learn how to cope with negativity.
  #33  
Old 14th July 2011, 00:28
diplodocus diplodocus is offline
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Default Re: 'Elle' magazine article

What a silly cnut. Same ol' snap out of it rhetoric. Yeah I feel like saying that sometimes but I know it doesn't work like that. She's basically having a justified (in her twisted bitter mind) rant and at any who she deems guilty of self-pity. Overly simplistic, hateful and narrow minded.

Only this bit is positive, shame it gets lost in the tide of hate and scorn:
Quote:
Originally Posted by bitteroldtrout
All the psychological research into the science of happiness proves that doing things for other people brings more satisfaction than anything else. It creates a glow of contentment which lasts for days, rather than hours. It is selfless – in other words, concentrates less on self. When we do esteemable acts, we feel esteem. Really, it’s a no-brainer.

A lot of things are no brainers, but that doesn't make them easy or realistically acheivable
  #34  
Old 14th July 2011, 00:28
disdain disdain is offline
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Default Re: 'Elle' magazine article

Rufus, meets are ace. This is going to sound mega simplistic, arrogant and patronising. It isn't meant to be. In order to overcome social problems you need to get out there and expose yourself. I have spent a good few years looking for golden answers and they don't exist. Socialise and keep doing it. People will always like and dislike you and bitch etc. Life isn't going to change.
  #35  
Old 14th July 2011, 00:33
diplodocus diplodocus is offline
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Default Re: 'Elle' magazine article

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rufus
I often imagine what its like going on a SAUK meet. Do you get slagged off (behind your back obviously) for not acting normal and making witty fluent banter
At an SA meet??!
  #36  
Old 14th July 2011, 00:34
Fungus Fungus is offline
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Default Re: 'Elle' magazine article

Quote:
Originally Posted by black_mamba
Rufus, what example do you have of there even being any sort of "judgemental brigade" on here? I don't think it exists. SA UK meets are the most innocuous, least judgemental, and most calm chilled out social gatherings I've encountered in my life. Have I missed something?
Yes its weird its like every post I ever make is like on a different planet to others even when its obvious to me and I thought my experiences of SA would be common considering I am a pretty standard shy man case. A friend(yes even I have one!)described many regulars here as judgemental tossers which sums them up pretty well actually. Ignoring the meets as I have no experience I find many SAUK regular posters to be the most judgemental condescending arrogant people I could possibly imagine. Evidence? All they ever f**king do is slag people off for being cowardly and avoidant and if SA is just a matter of forcing yourself to be normal.There are several posts in the last few weeks alone even ignoring this one.

Quote:
I don't like it when people introduce (perhaps not on purpose) paranoia into the idea of meets because they're very useful and positive things to get involved with if you suffer from SA.
Only if they don't make your SA and paranoia even worse. I imagine someone new making a real effort,sitting there scared shitless and all the time being slagged off for not making an effort because they don't speak enough or normally.
  #37  
Old 14th July 2011, 00:41
Fungus Fungus is offline
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Default Re: 'Elle' magazine article

Quote:
Originally Posted by diplodocus
At an SA meet??!
Why,do they all sit there staring at the floor making strange noises and farting?
  #38  
Old 14th July 2011, 00:41
diplodocus diplodocus is offline
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Default Re: 'Elle' magazine article

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rufus
Only if they don't make your SA and paranoia even worse. I imagine someone new making a real effort,sitting there scared shitless and all the time being slagged off for not making an effort because they don't speak enough or normally.
I went to my first meet, people made a lot of effort with me. I virtually sat there for 2 hours in silence. I was completely paranoid at that time and not once did I feel people were slagging me off. I couldn't think of anywhere less likely to be judged for being quiet, shy, wierd e.t.c.
  #39  
Old 14th July 2011, 00:42
diplodocus diplodocus is offline
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Default Re: 'Elle' magazine article

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rufus
Why,do they all sit there staring at the floor making strange noises and farting?
Oh so you have been?
  #40  
Old 14th July 2011, 00:48
Fungus Fungus is offline
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Default Re: 'Elle' magazine article

Quote:
Originally Posted by diplodocus
Oh so you have been?
Yes that's what I normally do in stressful situations!
  #41  
Old 14th July 2011, 00:52
Ajax Amsterdam Ajax Amsterdam is offline
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Default Re: 'Elle' magazine article

I just read the article, and to be honest, I agree with it. I didn't even think the wording was particularly harsh. I have to say that this is just my personal take on it though, and I understand how others may see it differently.

The line I did initially take issue with was where she said shyness is a ''badge of adolescence''. On further reading I did see what she meant, although I don't think she worded that bit very well.

My own view of my own SA is very similar to how she sees this subject. I did eventually come to see my SA as totally selfish. The important thing was always my own feelings. My own worries. My own problems. Everything revolved around me and no one else. Also, I was 'special' because I was sensitive and not like all those nasty 'normal' people. Snobbery, pure and simple! I see it far too often on this site too. That superior attitude that puts us above supposed 'normals' and looks down on all confident people as being shallow, loud and arrogant.

Although she likens shyness to a ''badge of adolescence'' I think I do get what she means, despite the clumsy wording. I've seen countless people on here over the years talk of being stuck in a child-like state. A child in a grown up body and a grown up world. I've felt like that for most of my own life too. As she says, in adolescence we are so busy trying to work out who we are and where we fit that we have little or no time for others and what they think. As she says, young people do not generally develop empathy for others until after this stage. So although we are very sensitive, it's sensitivity towards ourselves and our own feelings, not necessarily sensitivity and genuine empathy towards others.

This all fits in with how many of us feel stuck and childlike. So although adolescence has, for most of us, long gone, we can still be stuck in that developmental phase where we are trying to work out who we are and where we fit. This is generally a very selfish place to be in our lives.

I don't have a problem with the article being simplistic, if that is in fact what it is. It's just an article, and not a research study, so fair enough. For me personally, it resonates a lot. As I said, my comments are based purely on my take on this in relation to my own life experience of SA. I'm only really bringing others into the equation when I mentioned the snobbery against supposed 'normals', which I always find short-sighted and rather cringeworthy.

Maybe my age has something to do with how I see this article. If I were back in my twenties or even thirties I'd have been spitting feathers after reading that, and would have taken it as an insult and as not understanding the depth of my issues. Today, in my 40's and with a lifetime of SA and the benefit of hindsight, it actually rings very true for me.
  #42  
Old 14th July 2011, 00:57
black_mamba black_mamba is offline
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Default Re: 'Elle' magazine article

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rufus
All they ever f**king do is slag people off for being cowardly and avoidant and if SA is just a matter of forcing yourself to be normal.There are several posts in the last few weeks alone even ignoring this one.
I have no idea who you are referring to. I don't see this sort of behaviour at all on here. Perhaps they've just been isolated cases.

Quote:
Only if they don't make your SA and paranoia even worse. I imagine someone new making a real effort,sitting there scared shitless and all the time being slagged off for not making an effort because they don't speak enough or normally.
I sat for 5 hours in total silence at my first meet (a Richmond picnic about 5/6 years back). No one made me feel bad. Right at the end a kind man started a conversation with me, which made me feel a bit better although I was nervous at having to talk.

I agree with diplo I can't think of another situation where people were so nice to me despite my SA.
  #43  
Old 14th July 2011, 01:15
diplodocus diplodocus is offline
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Default Re: 'Elle' magazine article

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benfica
Maybe my age has something to do with how I see this article. If I were back in my twenties or even thirties I'd have been spitting feathers after reading that, and would have taken it as an insult and as not understanding the depth of my issues. Today, in my 40's and with a lifetime of SA and the benefit of hindsight, it actually rings very true for me.
It's a pity then that she manages to alienate anyone below the age of 40 then. I think it was abhorrently worded and that's coming from someone who thinks the worst of their SA is behind them.
  #44  
Old 14th July 2011, 01:37
Ajax Amsterdam Ajax Amsterdam is offline
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Default Re: 'Elle' magazine article

Quote:
Originally Posted by diplodocus
It's a pity then that she manages to alienate anyone below the age of 40 then. I think it was abhorrently worded and that's coming from someone who thinks the worst of their SA is behind them.
Fair enough, but it did resonate with me personally.
  #45  
Old 14th July 2011, 01:44
diplodocus diplodocus is offline
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Default Re: 'Elle' magazine article

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benfica
Fair enough, but it did resonate with me personally.
I have to admit it did with me as well, but and it's a big but.. it doesn't matter how good the message is, if it falls on deaf ears.
  #46  
Old 14th July 2011, 02:00
Ajax Amsterdam Ajax Amsterdam is offline
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Default Re: 'Elle' magazine article

Quote:
Originally Posted by diplodocus
I have to admit it did with me as well, but and it's a big but.. it doesn't matter how good the message is, if it falls on deaf ears.
I'd agree with you there.
  #47  
Old 14th July 2011, 11:00
disdain disdain is offline
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Default Re: 'Elle' magazine article

Maybe I see it differently being older too? I just see a my life behind me as wasted and with maybe 30-40 years left on the planet I don't want to be counting out all the regrets for all the things I didn't do.
  #48  
Old 14th July 2011, 13:08
gingercat gingercat is offline
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Default Re: 'Elle' magazine article

Firstly I'll admit I haven't read the article (it sounds like it would wind me up far too much and I don't want to ruin my day), I've just read what people have said about it and the bits quoted on here. Maybe I'm close to a turning point or something, because although my first instinct is still to get angry and defensive, I have to grudgingly admit that I identify with some of what people have said. Back in my teens for example I used to have the snobbery of thinking all the people who went out to pubs and stuff were shallow idiots. I don't anymore, thankfully, so I guess I have progressed. I'm also acknowledging now that I need to change and not anyone else, but that's because I'm the only one who CAN change this and it will help me a lot if I do, not because I have some moral obligation to change for other people's benefit.

BUT... whether it has truth to it or not, the tone of this article just sounds incredibly unhelpful to me. A lot of people have SA due to low self esteem caused by being treated badly in the past. They may already judge themselves harshly and blame themselves far too much for things. I actually think someone who on the surface lashes out and blames everyone else for their problems may be doing it defensively because deep down they're terrified there's something wrong with them and it's all their fault. Trying to "snap them out of it" by being overly harsh is like trying to put out a fire by throwing petrol on it. I know this is what happens with me anyway.

The only thing that's worked for me is finding a bit of the understanding and kindness that was sorely lacking in my childhood. When people treat me well I can actually relax and start to make progress. When people treat me overly harshly I get wound up and anxious and defensive, it's an automatic reaction I can't control. It's just the way I am now, it doesn't mean I've chosen it or that I "don't want to get better" or that I want to blame other people for everything. It just is that way right now.
  #49  
Old 14th July 2011, 13:43
disdain disdain is offline
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Default Re: 'Elle' magazine article

^Excellent post gingercat.
  #50  
Old 14th July 2011, 15:40
kastra kastra is offline
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Default Re: 'Elle' magazine article

Quote:
Originally Posted by gingercat
Trying to "snap them out of it" by being overly harsh is like trying to put out a fire by throwing petrol on it. I know this is what happens with me anyway.
Great post
  #51  
Old 14th July 2011, 16:31
Ajax Amsterdam Ajax Amsterdam is offline
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Default Re: 'Elle' magazine article

Quote:
Originally Posted by gingercat
Firstly I'll admit I haven't read the article (it sounds like it would wind me up far too much and I don't want to ruin my day), I've just read what people have said about it and the bits quoted on here. Maybe I'm close to a turning point or something, because although my first instinct is still to get angry and defensive, I have to grudgingly admit that I identify with some of what people have said. Back in my teens for example I used to have the snobbery of thinking all the people who went out to pubs and stuff were shallow idiots. I don't anymore, thankfully, so I guess I have progressed. I'm also acknowledging now that I need to change and not anyone else, but that's because I'm the only one who CAN change this and it will help me a lot if I do, not because I have some moral obligation to change for other people's benefit.

BUT... whether it has truth to it or not, the tone of this article just sounds incredibly unhelpful to me. A lot of people have SA due to low self esteem caused by being treated badly in the past. They may already judge themselves harshly and blame themselves far too much for things. I actually think someone who on the surface lashes out and blames everyone else for their problems may be doing it defensively because deep down they're terrified there's something wrong with them and it's all their fault. Trying to "snap them out of it" by being overly harsh is like trying to put out a fire by throwing petrol on it. I know this is what happens with me anyway.

The only thing that's worked for me is finding a bit of the understanding and kindness that was sorely lacking in my childhood. When people treat me well I can actually relax and start to make progress. When people treat me overly harshly I get wound up and anxious and defensive, it's an automatic reaction I can't control. It's just the way I am now, it doesn't mean I've chosen it or that I "don't want to get better" or that I want to blame other people for everything. It just is that way right now.
Yes, that's a good post.

I said earlier in the thread that I agreed with the article on a personal level. I fully understand why some would get upset by it though. When I was younger I'd have blown a fuse if anyone had put that kind of thing to me. I'd have taken it as a major misunderstanding of my difficulties. Now I've got more years behind me than in front, I see it differently, but that's hindsight for you. I'm not even suggesting that it's maturity that makes a difference. I'm just saying that we are in different places at different times in our lives. Some identify a helpful revelation in their teens that another may not find helpful until they are many years older, if at all. So it's not always about age and maturity. It can simply be about the place we are as people at any given time.

One factor I see as important on this kind of topic is that the SA mindset and the non-SA mindset are obviously different. So both camps are speaking from different perspectives. It can be difficult for those in one mindset to understand those with another. Sometimes those in the non-SA mindset say things we really don't want to hear or accept as having any genuine basis. Thing is though, in order to move away from SA we do, at some point, have to gravitate towards the non-SA way of seeing things. I do know from my own experience, though, that this can feel like our whole being is being undermined and our experiences and difficulties invalidated.

My guess, based purely on my own experience, is that in the end we do come around to the way of thinking in the article more and more as we move away from SA. I think it crucial that we do this in our own way, in our own time and with the support of others, though. We cannot have it beaten into us, and until we actually experience progress and change, articles like this can just look like unhelpful words on a page from someone who doesn't understand. It's a bit like long multiplication. Someone can write down a sum and give us the answer, then say there, now you can do long multiplication. But it's not like that is it? Unless we also learn how to arrive at the answers ourselves, no amount of people telling us we can do it makes any real difference. Only when we arrive at the answer ourselves, can we say yes, we can now do it.

I just want to clear something up as well. When I say I agree that SA is very selfish, I don't believe that SA people (of which I'm one) are intentionally selfish. SA by its very nature forces focus inwards. Trying to survive is a very selfish business. At my worst my day solely consisted of trying to stay alive at get through another 24 hours, so not much room left there for others. SA in itself is selfish. Coping with it often requires us to behave selfishly too. Underneath all that we may well actually be very giving and caring human beings, but being in survival mode can block off expression of such qualities.

I think there can be a fine line between being honest and blaming people for their own problems. In CBT, for instance, it can be identified that the way we think is what is perpetuating our problems, but this is not to say we are to blame. It's just saying that our current mindset and perceptions are not helping us to be where we want to be. So I think it wise to take on board that although some people may say things that conflict with how we see things, they may not necessarily be blaming us. I think it possible to blame the thinking but not the human being.
  #52  
Old 14th July 2011, 16:55
kastra kastra is offline
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Default Re: 'Elle' magazine article

It seems like most people who like the article are at least some way recovered from SA; and it's a pretty pointless article if it's not going to be any benefit to the people actually struggling.
  #53  
Old 14th July 2011, 17:12
Leif Erikson Leif Erikson is offline
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Default Re: 'Elle' magazine article

I think she totally misunderstands what shyness and SA is. However some people spout anything to get themselves published.
  #54  
Old 14th July 2011, 18:39
disdain disdain is offline
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Default Re: 'Elle' magazine article

Benfica, you've summed up the vast majority of my thoughts with your post.
  #55  
Old 14th July 2011, 19:51
black_mamba black_mamba is offline
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Default Re: 'Elle' magazine article

Quote:
Originally Posted by kastra
It seems like most people who like the article are at least some way recovered from SA; and it's a pretty pointless article if it's not going to be any benefit to the people actually struggling.
I was wondering the same, perhaps if the tone were less condescending the good points in the article might be better appreciated?

I agree that telling people to "snap out of it" is never helpful, as gingercat elaborated on, but I didn't get the impression this article was doing that. In fact I might go so far as to say perhaps social anxiety is making us feel as if this article is criticising us personally, as if it's saying we don't have a legit reason to be unhappy, whereas I don't feel it was doing that.

I've just posted a thread about how to deal with critics so it might be useful to read that as it distinguishes between good, bad and well-meaning-but-misguided critics. Perhaps this author is the latter?
  #56  
Old 14th July 2011, 19:55
diplodocus diplodocus is offline
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Default Re: 'Elle' magazine article

Quote:
Originally Posted by kastra
It seems like most people who like the article are at least some way recovered from SA; and it's a pretty pointless article if it's not going to be any benefit to the people actually struggling.
Exactly. The woman is just ignorant if she thinks a good kick up the arse and some abuse thrown in for good measure are going to help people with low self-esteem
  #57  
Old 14th July 2011, 20:57
Ajax Amsterdam Ajax Amsterdam is offline
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Default Re: 'Elle' magazine article

Quote:
Originally Posted by kastra
It seems like most people who like the article are at least some way recovered from SA; and it's a pretty pointless article if it's not going to be any benefit to the people actually struggling.
For me at least it is not a case of liking or disliking the article. It's a case of whether or not it has any truth and relevance to it. In my case it has both. I also think the article can have some benefit for at least some of those who are struggling with SA. There is plenty of food for thought in there, and if we can put our defensiveness to one side for a moment there may well be useful nuggets in there people can use.

I understand why people may be defensive, of course. In counselling we speak of the Self-Concept. How we see ourselves. And anything that challenges the self-concept will often be resisted and defended against even if our Self-Concept is a negative and self-destructive one. I lost count many years ago the amount of times I've defended my SA mindset and perceptions against people who challenged them. Where did this get me? Well, precisely nowhere, really. It just dug me in further.

Personally, I feel the article holds relevance and truth, but whether we are willing to accept there may be relevance and truth in there is another matter. Whilst I once saw the value in defending the SA mindset and perceptions, I now realise that in order to move on I had to undermine them and dismantle them. Articles like this one help me do just that, although I understand that others will not feel the same on that score.

I didn't see the article as an attack. I just saw it as a different perspective. As I didn't feel attacked, I don't feel threatened by it, thus I don't feel the need to defend myself from it. This means I can then take out the bits that I find useful. I didn't see it as a ''pull yourselves together'' kind of thing.

I'm not sure that the article was criticing people. I took it more as criticising the thought processes employed by people. If that is the case then I can take that on the chin, because it is those thought processes that got me in this mess in the first place, and it's only a real shift in thinking and perception that will get me out.

To be honest, finally realising that I was not the centre of the universe after all; not the focus of everyone's attention; not the topic of discussion; not that important to everyone else's world; not watched and observed all the time and not on people's mind all the time, etc etc, freed me up quite a lot. Noticing, as the article states, that it's not all about you (me) was actually extremely helpful to me. This realisation can be a revelation.

So yes, it's not really about liking the article. It's more that I found it to hold some truth and relevance. I don't expect everyone to see it that way, of course, and plenty don't.
  #58  
Old 14th July 2011, 21:13
Belinda Belinda is offline
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Default Re: 'Elle' magazine article

I find the article condescending as it claims that having social anxiety/being shy automatically means your thought processes are like those of the stereotypical angst-ridden teenager who thinks they're superior to the fun-loving masses and only thinks about themselves and assumes they're too sensitive for this cruel world. I find this a bit offensive as it seems a really lazy, thoughtless assumption. Most s.a. sufferers I've encountered seem to think about other people's feelings too much rather than not enough and are much more likely to feel inferior to 'normal' people and wish they could be more like them than despise them. My lack of confidence makes me question all my beliefs constantly so it doesn't make me judgemental of people who are different from me. There seems a bit more empathy and understanding on this site than most internet forums- how could that be the case if we were all so self-obsessed and embittered?

We have plenty of faults which need addressing but I think she's got it completely wrong about what these are. I don't think the 'kick up the bum' approach is that helpful with s.a. and is a bit counter-productive.
  #59  
Old 14th July 2011, 22:09
gingercat gingercat is offline
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Default Re: 'Elle' magazine article

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benfica
I think there can be a fine line between being honest and blaming people for their own problems. In CBT, for instance, it can be identified that the way we think is what is perpetuating our problems, but this is not to say we are to blame. It's just saying that our current mindset and perceptions are not helping us to be where we want to be. So I think it wise to take on board that although some people may say things that conflict with how we see things, they may not necessarily be blaming us. I think it possible to blame the thinking but not the human being.
I think that's a very important point and missing this has been the source of a lot of confusion and anger for me over the years. There is a huge difference between saying to someone "This is all your own fault, if you weren't such a bad, weak person you wouldn't have these problems, don't you dare try to blame anyone else" and saying "The way you're behaving (regardless of how it started) is causing you difficulties now, it could help you a lot if you changed it, but no-one else can do it for you". But even when people probably meant the second one or something like it, I would always hear the first one... I think I was just so sensitive and so predisposed to blaming myself that it was inevitable. It took a lot of discussions with a therapist I trusted to untangle the difference between them for me and even now I can still slip back to the old way of thinking if I'm having a bad day or something.

I agree with you about the two different states of mind. Though I am probably only at the stage of starting to see that the non-sa state even exists.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kastra
It seems like most people who like the article are at least some way recovered from SA; and it's a pretty pointless article if it's not going to be any benefit to the people actually struggling.
I thought this as well... I don't see the point in writing something that's going to come across as so inflammatory to the very group of people it's supposedly trying to help that most of them won't get anything out of it. Surely if there are good points (and it sounds like there are) they could be put across in a more sympathetic way that wouldn't be so likely to alienate people. The fact that she didn't do that makes me wonder if it's true what someone said earlier about ex-sufferers being harshest of all because they're angry with themselves over how they used to be.
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Old 15th July 2011, 01:39
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Default Re: 'Elle' magazine article

Quote:
Originally Posted by gingercat
I think that's a very important point and missing this has been the source of a lot of confusion and anger for me over the years. There is a huge difference between saying to someone "This is all your own fault, if you weren't such a bad, weak person you wouldn't have these problems, don't you dare try to blame anyone else" and saying "The way you're behaving (regardless of how it started) is causing you difficulties now, it could help you a lot if you changed it, but no-one else can do it for you". But even when people probably meant the second one or something like it, I would always hear the first one... I think I was just so sensitive and so predisposed to blaming myself that it was inevitable. It took a lot of discussions with a therapist I trusted to untangle the difference between them for me and even now I can still slip back to the old way of thinking if I'm having a bad day or something.


I agree with you about the two different states of mind. Though I am probably only at the stage of starting to see that the non-sa state even exists.
Yes, it's very hard to get the balance right. When anyone tries to point out that what we may be doing and thinking is causing us more harm, we can often read that as saying that we are wrong, inadequate, a failure, bad, weak, to blame, etc...

Blame is also a murky area. I mean although I was very anxious from my earliest memories, I also later had environmental factors that fuelled anxiety and meant that building any kind of confidence and esteem was pretty much impossible. So I know for sure where some of the blame for some of my issues lies. Thing is, if I sit back and play the blame game, I will stay stuck in bitterness. So I think it becomes a case of accepting where some of the blame may lie, but from here on taking responsibility for my own recovery.

In the past I've had people basically telling me to simply get over myself. This, of course, does not help. In fact, it hinders further. But I've also had people offer what I now see as sound input, but at the time it was not stuff I wanted to hear or accept, so in effect, it came over just like the 'get over yourself' comments, but put over differently.

I think when we are SA we are naturally quite defensive. Always looking out for attack. So when people are saying one thing, it is very easy to think they are actually saying something else. If someone suggests that our thinking and behaviour hold much of the blame for keeping us stuck, all we actually read is - we are to blame for our problems. Blaming the mindset for the continuation of a problem is not necessarily the same as blaming the person for having the problem in the first place, but that subtle difference can easily be missed if we are hyper-sensitive and already pre-disposed to self-blame, as many SA people are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaina
I think the reason why a lot more improvers understand her points is
because they see their self centered-ness more clearly now.
Yes, that's certainly the case for me. I mean I'm not a selfish person generally. I'm pretty caring and generally considerate. But SA made me act selfishly. It's a very self-centred disorder where we focus on ourselves and believe everyone else is focused on us too. When stuck in that horrible spiral of introspection it can be a very dark place, and I'm sure you and most here can vouch for that. When in survival mode we can lose sight of a lot of things.

Later on, when we get ourselves to a better place, we can sometimes see things a lot clearer. It can then be easier to look back and see that some people did have a point when they said some things that I'd previously dismissed out of hand.

I think as an SA person I became interested to understand what non-SA people were thinking and doing that meant they coped a lot better than I did. It fascinated me that if you put a group of people together and put them through the same experience that they'd all cope to differing degrees. Some better, some worse. So something made the difference between the copers and the non-copers. So to me, understanding the non-SA mindset is important, because that's where I want to be. I think when we move towards doing what helps us, we see more clearly what wasn't helping us. We also give ourselves enough distance between ourselves and our old ways to see them for what they were and how they affected others as well as ourselves. Improvers are moving away from the SA mindset, and that distance from it brings some clarity and newer perspective I think.
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