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  #1  
Old 24th May 2022, 12:00
mrbean_vegan mrbean_vegan is offline
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Default I did some social exercises to decrease my level of social anxiety

In this period I did social exercises in order to improve my motivation in general and decrease the level of social anxiety.
In particular at first I said hi to people I don't know. On thursday (19 may) I decided to take notes about what I did to have a record. Here is the result

1) I said hi to a lady who was eating while walking - she didn't reply back
2) I said hi to a lady that replied
3) I greeted two women (about 40s) - one of them greeted me back
4) I asked for information regarding a future event to a man in a group of 6 men
5) I asked to a woman if her dog was of a certain breed
6) I greeted a woman (about 40 years old) - she greeted back
7) I greeted a man sitted on a moto (about 50 years old) - he greeted back
8) I greeted a man (about 70 years old) - he didn't reply back
9) I asked to a woman (about 40-50 years old) information about her tattoo - she kindly replied didn't seem angry at all
10) I greeted a 60 years old' lady who replied back
11) I greeted a couple (about 60 years old) - don't remember if they replied back because I didn't wrote in my notes
12) I greeted a woman together with another woman - they didn't reply back
13) I greeted a lady and ask "how are you" - she replied and she apologized for not "recognizing me" so funny
14) after various failures for lack of courage I pretended to be on the phone, I went near a girl and said (on the phone) "ok, it's fine, now I'll do that" and put the phone off and asked to the girl "excuse me, can we take a picture together?" - she replied "with you?". At that point, I said I lost a bet with a friend and since I did my exercise I thank her and said goodbye, she smiled and say goodbye.

Without using this trick of pretending to be on the phone I couldn't do that difficult exercise, I guess it was so difficult for me,and I was not interested in doing the picture actually (that's why in that moment I prefer to simply declare the experiment and not actually taking a picture or keeping on the conversation to arrive to taking the picture), it was a challenge to get out of my comfort zone.
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  #2  
Old 24th May 2022, 20:29
Dougella Dougella is offline
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Default Re: I did some social exercises to decrease my level of social anxiety

That's very good. Did you do that all on one day?
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  #3  
Old 24th May 2022, 23:01
Percy Percy is online now
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Default Re: I did some social exercises to decrease my level of social anxiety

Well done Mr Bean vegan
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Old 25th May 2022, 09:51
Tonkin Tonkin is offline
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Default Re: I did some social exercises to decrease my level of social anxiety

That's good. The picture one seems a bit strange though. Isn't it a bit invasive to ask someone if you can take a picture of/with them?
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  #5  
Old 25th May 2022, 11:14
The*Crafty*Elf The*Crafty*Elf is offline
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Default Re: I did some social exercises to decrease my level of social anxiety

Well done mrbean vegan. Those are things i could never do or want to do but good on your for challenging yourself
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Old 25th May 2022, 12:14
mrbean_vegan mrbean_vegan is offline
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Default Re: I did some social exercises to decrease my level of social anxiety

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dougella
That's very good. Did you do that all on one day?
Yes, all in one day. The previous times I greeted some unknown people. 9 years ago I did social exercises but different, mostly "approaching" girls in the street (I don't like this term,because I wasn't interested in going forward in the conversation), just asking "excuse me you attend the university?" or "excuse me, are you single?" just these very difficult challenges. It was useful to increase my motivation in the study and decrease anxiety while I was walking in the street. Anyway 9 years ago I just did it a lot of exercises, but in just 2 days separated by some weeks. After all this time I had lost my "skills" in doing these exercises, so I came back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonkin
That's good. The picture one seems a bit strange though. Isn't it a bit invasive to ask someone if you can take a picture of/with them?
Yes, I think it's a bit invasive probably here in Italy it is a bit invasive, maybe in the USA people are more "extroverted" than here and in the UK (from what I see from youtube experiments, in which in the USA people seem more relaxed) :D Anyway if you ask in a kind way and you don't appear as a weird person, there are no risks. The problems is the perception of negative judgement of people around, and it was so difficult for me that I had to invent that trick of the telephone.
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  #7  
Old 25th May 2022, 13:51
Dougella Dougella is offline
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Default Re: I did some social exercises to decrease my level of social anxiety

^ I would say probably now approaching a woman to ask if she's single wouldn't be considered sensible, unless you're actually interested in asking for a date! But even then women aren't too keen on being approached by strangers in the street for dates necessarily. Better to stick to more neutral questions like "do you have the time?" Or can you tell me the way to the train station?" Etc.
But other than that, really good!

Oh I see you're in Italy, perhaps customs and social expectations are slightly different there too.
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Old 25th May 2022, 16:13
Seagull Seagull is offline
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Default Re: I did some social exercises to decrease my level of social anxiety

There has been a lot of debunking of the merits of exposure therapy (talk therapy and CBT too) because the mind just resets itself each time, any perceived benefits fleeting and more linked to temporarily feeling good in the conscious mind while failing to tackle the deeply rooted subconscious trauma that causes the issue and runs the show, which is why many conventional therapies don’t tend to work in treating SA.
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Old 25th May 2022, 18:48
mrbean_vegan mrbean_vegan is offline
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Default Re: I did some social exercises to decrease my level of social anxiety

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dougella
^ I would say probably now approaching a woman to ask if she's single wouldn't be considered sensible, unless you're actually interested in asking for a date! But even then women aren't too keen on being approached by strangers in the street for dates necessarily. Better to stick to more neutral questions like "do you have the time?" Or can you tell me the way to the train station?" Etc.
But other than that, really good!

Oh I see you're in Italy, perhaps customs and social expectations are slightly different there too.
Dougella, but remember my goal wasn't to have the right tricks to know a girl, my goal was to do a hard challenge (9 years ago). Nobody of them actually got angry, the answer was "no" and that's all. I had a conversation with a girl, to whom I asked "you attend the university?" but after a while I ended it. Yes, I'm in Italy and I'm Italian, you would guess from my English that I'm not British, no need to specify that, I guess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seagull
There has been a lot of debunking of the merits of exposure therapy (talk therapy and CBT too) because the mind just resets itself each time, any perceived benefits fleeting and more linked to temporarily feeling good in the conscious mind while failing to tackle the deeply rooted subconscious trauma that causes the issue and runs the show, which is why many conventional therapies don’t tend to work in treating SA.
Seagull, I'm not attending a therapy. I know there are cognitive-behavioural therapy and brief therapy and there are also exercises of social exposure. I did this thing for a personal choice to motivate myself in general and decrease the level of social anxiety, without too many expectations. 9 years ago for a period, my anxiety was lower and I walk in the street looking people in the eyes (before not). After a few months, I guess, without doing that, I started again to avoid groups of young people in the streets as before :D
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Old 26th May 2022, 09:17
Tonkin Tonkin is offline
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Default Re: I did some social exercises to decrease my level of social anxiety

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbean_vegan
Anyway if you ask in a kind way and you don't appear as a weird person, there are no risks. The problems is the perception of negative judgement of people around, and it was so difficult for me that I had to invent that trick of the telephone.
I'm still not convinced. Maybe ask a man next time as asking a woman, no matter how kind you ask, could come off as a bit threatening.

Although I'm just assuming as I'm a man. But if a man asked if he could take a photo of me I wouldn't agree, but if he was much bigger and looked scary, I might feel intimated into agreeing, even if he "asked in a kind way".
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Old 26th May 2022, 10:21
mrbean_vegan mrbean_vegan is offline
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Default Re: I did some social exercises to decrease my level of social anxiety

Tonkin ok, I get your point. Asking a man could seem even more strange, for some people it could be easier because they maybe fear women more than men. I don't know. For some reason, it would be easier, for other reasons could be harder. There are videos of people that ask for selfies with strangers. My goal was to do this exercise because I considered that to be impossible for me. There are also other exercises that are not "useful" in our lives, and there are even more difficult than this one, but are like challenges to try to win the judgement of others. I'm not particularly eager to lay out on a sidewalk for 30 seconds or to walk in public with a banana on a string :D I didn't want to convince you, I assume you are against these "exercises" and it's ok. You don't solve all your problems just because you can do that particularly difficult exercise. Maybe I forgot to say that I didn't do these exercises in my place (it's not a big town), but in a city. Thank you for your opinion.
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  #12  
Old 26th May 2022, 12:49
Dougella Dougella is offline
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Default Re: I did some social exercises to decrease my level of social anxiety

^ I do think you have to consider the feelings of the people you approach, aswell as the challenge for yourself. I would feel very uncomfortable if someone approached me and asked for a photo, and I think a lot of women would probably too. But asking a simple question such as do you attend the university or can you tell me the way to such and such a place would not make people uncomfortable.
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  #13  
Old 6th June 2022, 09:34
Tonkin Tonkin is offline
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Default Re: I did some social exercises to decrease my level of social anxiety

Yeah, I'm not against the challenges. But its more what Dougella said that you have to consider the other people involved and not just see them as objects to help you overcome your issues. They are people too who could have their own issues around being approached.

I don't think there are many more (legal) things that are as intrusive as taking a photo of someone, even if you ask first.

If I was a woman getting asked for this, I'd assume it was some creep who was going to reverse image search me and then track me down online and stalk me.

There are apps and services where you can upload a photo then it will use AI to show all other photos of that person that have ever been uploaded online to the internet and social media, with links to their pages and profiles.

Depending on how threatening I found the person asking, my response would be different. Not everyone feels free to say no.

Maybe go up and ask what they think of the town or if they know a good place to get a coffee or if you can have 10p for a phone call.
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  #14  
Old 6th June 2022, 10:10
Jen. Jen. is offline
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Default Re: I did some social exercises to decrease my level of social anxiety

A better alternative would be to ask them to take a photo OF you. I've been asked three times recently to take photos of people for them and didn't mind, except it feels awkward knowing how many photos to take and not knowing whether to do a countdown for them or tell them to say cheese of whatever. It would feel like a normal interaction though, it's initiating a social exercise without putting much pressure on the other person.
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  #15  
Old 6th June 2022, 11:51
Clumsy* Clumsy* is offline
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Default Re: I did some social exercises to decrease my level of social anxiety

^I think it's a great alternative.
I always do a countdown without asking as I think that's how I would like it to be done and that everyone likes to be prepared, then I take loads of pics, cos they can always delete them. I do sound a bit dumb as I countdown and recently my teenager son has said he felt embarrassed. But I am so chuffed of the fact that it doesn't bother me anymore.
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  #16  
Old 14th June 2022, 01:54
hollowone hollowone is offline
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Default Re: I did some social exercises to decrease my level of social anxiety

Good stuff mate! At the very least this is an exercise in showing interest and will help you break the ice in more challenging situations.

Asking information of a future event/what's on=great icebreaker!
Dog walkers, breeds of dogs (and other dog-related)=great icebreaker!

Million dollar question: How many hostile replies has there been? Has there been as many negatives as you expected?
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