Feb 3 2013

Part 13: Social Anxiety

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The following is part of a series of questions and answers that I did on a Reddit self-improvement forum in Jan 2013. This was a question from user mcthrowawaymyes, and the response is the one that created the Reddit craziness. Answer has been edited slightly for clarity.

Also, for reference: The safe/unsafe chart.

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Q: It seems that one of the big steps of FA improvement is simultaneously not caring as much about others opinions and developing self confidence and a positive self image. The usual advice is that picking up hobbies or getting good at SOMETHING will give you the confidence you need and free you from trying to please others, put them on the pedestal, etc. It’s my belief that hobbies and a lifestyle are means to an end, and effective tools, but they themselves don’t have the power to make you grow into the person you want to be. I feel they’re just a guide to some philosophy, some train of thought that lays out the facts of life clearly and puts things in perspective, making you realize how little the opinion of strangers matter (in day to day interactions), and how you’re a person that is deserving of love and respect.

I consciously know these things, but I don’t believe them. I don’t feel like a “viable” choice. Second rate. What has your experience taught you? Any line of thought like I was suggesting, or something different, something subconscious? If so, what was it?

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