The Crutch of Social Anxiety

    Social anxiety is the pinnacle of fear in interacting with others. You start to overthink about how you act or speak, especially when you’re around certain people or are attending certain social gatherings. Sometimes, you feel so much shame, anxiety, and humiliation that you prevent yourself from attending such meetups and events.

    Social anxiety is able to affect you physically. It makes you sweat profusely. You feel your heart racing out of anticipation and nervousness-mostly nervousness. Social anxiety makes you tremble and shake from head-to-toe. You feel sick to your stomach in social interactions and gatherings.

    One is as much affected emotionally by social anxiety as he/she is affected much physically It’s the feeling of extreme nervousness when saying something as simple as a hello to others. Social anxiety is wanting to reach out, but being terrified to do so; and when you do reach out, you’re stressing over the person’s potential response or lack of response. It’s desiring to make connections, but being afraid of not being liked or not liking yourself enough to handle people or situations in everyday life.

   Having social anxiety honestly sucks. I constantly feel self-doubt in my social interactions. I desire to connect with others, but the fear of connecting with others sometimes stops me from doing so. I sometimes struggle to follow the simplest social cues because I’m so anxious about doing or saying something wrong. I attempt to be an active friend in my life and reach out to others. But, even that is able to feel like a chore out of my own anxiety and fears. Due to my own past hurts, I sometimes avoid interactions out of panic of being hurt again-being made to feel crazy in situations of which I have no control.

   For those of you without social anxiety: reassure the daylight out of those in your life who have it. Social anxiety is able to be so debilitating and exhausting. Most to all people with social anxiety don’t want it, and honestly feel scared. Let them know you care, and help them overcome their negative thoughts about themselves.

   For those of you with social anxiety: I’m so proud of you in your attempts to overcome your problems and to socialize. I know such things can be scary and difficult. Don’t beat yourself up when you mess up. Just keep trying, and know you’re doing the best you humanely are able to do.

  Social anxiety is able to be conquered; it doesn’t have to be the pinnacle of fear in someone’s emotional connections.

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The Fine Art of Stopping to be a People Pleaser

    Recently, I’ve had an epiphany about myself. I’ve always been a people pleaser. I have been for most of my-if not my whole-life. However, my epiphany was this: I didn’t have to be a people pleaser for another day; and, if people were truly meant to be in my life, then they wouldn’t require me to be one.

    From my own life, and seeing other people pleasers in action, I’ve come to realize that we don’t always attempt to make others happy to boost our credibility or career. Sometimes, we simply want to be loved and to be accepted by our loved ones. In fact, we crave such affection so badly that even the most opinionated and independent of us are willing to stifle our own opinions and dreams to please those around us.

   I’m pretty independent. I never needed anyone to control who I was and what I did; I simply went and worked to improve my life-academically, socially, and emotionally. However, growing up in an environment where I felt that I had to perform in order to receive love, I subconsciously fell into the people pleaser mindset, thus falling into plenty of toxic relationships. I still would give my opinions in my friendships and relationships; I never felt the urge to give up my identity to a certain extent. Yet…I still stifled my character, goals, and successes to make these people happy. I made myself go down to their level to make them happy. And honestly….it sucked.

    I hated who I was becoming, feeling like I was losing pieces of myself. I would get weirded out or concerned when people were genuinely kind to me and genuinely wanted to be in my life for the right reasons, because I was so used to being belittled or used by others in my life. But, I still tried to hold onto these relationships out of love and respect for the very people who couldn’t give me either-or at least, couldn’t give me either in a healthy manner. In trying to validate them, I was invalidating my own feelings, which is not okay. I always encourage everyone to validate the feelings of those around them; however, not at the cost of your own emotional well-being.

    My recent epiphany has stemmed from a few recent moments in my life: a friendship ending and running into some former loved ones. All these incidents have been crushing; yet, they helped me see things that I think were always there in front of me…I just needed a couple of situations to open my eyes.

    I used to constantly (and I mean, constantly) beat myself up over lost friendships and relationships. I’d think to myself, “If only I said this or that,” “I should have done that instead of this,” or “Maybe they left me because something’s wrong with me.” We all have room to grow in our interactions with others. There have been situations in my life that I truly could have handled 100% better than I did. Yet, I’ve realized that I really truly did all I could to rectify things and to better myself for people who simply outgrew not only me as a person, but their use of me. The same people didn’t want to put in as much effort of the relationship as I did for them. Realizing these things actually are helping to give me the closure and healing I desperately needed.

   So, here’s my encouragement to you all: Don’t lose yourself over people who didn’t want to put in the effort to keep you as a person. Don’t stoop to someone’s level because they’re intimidated by your character and goals, but don’t want to work on improving themselves. Don’t blame yourself for how others inappropriately treated you. Don’t be suspicious when some people are kind, because those people legitimately care about your well-being and happiness. Lastly, don’t feel that you’re obligated to please others who take advantage of your love and respect for them. We as humans are only able to do so much to work on ourselves and improve ourselves. We don’t have the responsibility-or requirement-to fix others who like being stuck in their ways.

  As I’ve received this epiphany, I’m going to take the steps to better myself and to give my soul a rest from being a people pleaser. I hope you will all give yourself that same healing, and just know that you are loved by the right people, even if you don’t feel like you deserve it; you do.

Crazy Makers Make You Feel Crazy

    Have you ever known someone who made you feel like your words were invalid? Has anyone made you feel as if you were the bad guy when they’re the ones instigating disputes? Has anyone ever made you feel….crazy? Well, then you may be dealing with a crazy maker.

   We all know at least one crazy maker in our lives. According to Joi from Free People International, a crazy maker is defined as many things: manipulative; persuasive; charismatic; selfish; greedy; narcissistic; and irrational. Crazy makers love the drama they bring to people’s lives. They enjoy being the center of attention, no matter how chaotic their choices are in providing them recognition. They hate order, and thrive in disharmony.

  Kimberly Keys from Psychology Today notes that there are three types of crazy makers: narcissists; drama-cultivators; and stealth-bombers.

  1. Narcissists-They’re the biggest crazy makers of them all. Narcissists are extremely insecure people deep down, who simply crave some type of validation-however, at someone else’s expense. The world revolves around them, and God forbid you tell them otherwise. They excel in being charismatic, charming, and controlling in order to get what they want. They lack empathy, and are willing to hurt others for their success.
  2. Drama-Cultivators-Usually histrionic, borderline, or another type of personality disorder. Drama-cultivators expect you to fix their problems on their time, not yours. They see everything as being a crisis, and are barely able to empathize with others due to being wrapped up in their own emotions and problems. Drama-cultivators often make their loved ones feel on edge in interacting with them due to their inconsistent affections; they could either love you one day or hate you, depending on how they think you make them feel.
  3. Stealth-Bombers-They’re the ones that seem like the least likely ones to be crazy makers, but alas, they are. They seem to attempt to please those around them, but to their own benefit. When commitments and plans stop benefiting them, they will seek opportunities to cancel plans, ruin moments, or to lose items important to the people in their lives. Then, when they’re confronted with their behavior, they will attempt to make you feel like the bad guy, and make you feel guilty for them canceling, ruining events, wasting your time, or losing things precious to you.

    Crazy makers are also excellent at using four tactics to drain people of energy, according to Keys: the double-bind; inconsistent praise; selective memory; and lack of empathy.

  1. Double-bind-The double-bind is a tactic that disguises a negative message or gesture in positivity. For example, your significant other is upset with you over a situation. They’ll say they love you with an angry look. Then, when you question them about their look, they’ll snap because of the fact they said something positive.
  1. Inconsistent Praise-Ah, gotta love this one. This was one of the major issues I experienced in my first ever relationship. Inconsistent praise is self-explanatory: praise by someone, but on their terms when it’s convenient for them. My ex-boyfriend was great at saying he loved me and in offering me positive compliments…when he felt the need to express such emotions, at least. If I didn’t agree with him I didn’t do something he liked, or he was jealous of my success, I received much guilt, anger, and self-pity. However, when I agreed with him, was unhappy with myself, or praised him in something, he was the most affectionate and praising person ever.
  1. Selective Memory-Another sign of inconsistency from your local crazy makers! With selective memory, crazy makers will forget the issues you had with them when they need something out of you. Then, if you confront them on those issues, they will attack you with all the things you’ve done to upset or anger them. I’ve dealt with them in some past toxic friendships, as well. I gave much time and possessions to some former friends and forgave them for their slights against me, despite their lack of apology or change. They tried to suck me dry of everything I could give them, but refused to listen to any errors they committed against me.

4. Lack of Empathy-Crazy makers have the empathy levels of a toddler. They will claim to understand you, but really they don’t. They’re too consumed by their own emotions and feelings to even attempt to understand and to feel for others around them.

    Unfortunately, crazy makers are in our lives as people we know: our family members, our friends, our significant others, or our bosses. Fortunately, there are ways to deal with crazy makers-and to help ourselves not feel so crazy. Sherrie Campbell from Self-Growth offers some tips in avoiding or dealing with the crazy makers in our lives: implementing boundaries; changing our response; being consistent in our character and actions; saying no; being factual; and being self-validating.

  1. Implementing Boundaries: You’re justified in being distant from crazy makers. You don’t have to be around them if you truly don’t need to be. Or, if you have to be, keep interactions short and objective. Crazy makers feed on personal anecdotes and situations to use against you later in the future.
  1. Changing Our Response: When a crazy maker tries to provoke you or upset you, take a step back and learn to change your response. They crave the drama, and crave you responding in a negative way to victimize themselves. Respond to them objectively, factually, and quickly.
  1. Being Consistent in Our Character and Actions: Since crazy makers off zero consistency in their actions or personality, you being consistent is the game changer. Be consistent in how you act around or respond to them.
  1. Saying No: You’re justified in saying no to them when they ask for favors. You don’t owe them anymore of your time than what’s being offered.
  1. Being Factual: Discipline yourself in showing emotion with them, as they enjoy to take advantage of any weakness or emotion you show when they hurt you. Be factual and objective in your interactions with them. Don’t show any emotion if they cancel, and discontinue inviting them out to situations or events they could ruin.
  2. Self-Validating: Lastly, love yourself and take care of yourself. Crazy makers are draining, and you deserve to feel respected and validated with yourself first and foremost, and in your relationships secondly. You’re validated to cut off crazy makers from your life, no matter how much they rant or try to guilt you into letting them stay.

    Crazy makers are inevitable in life. However, you deserve to live an emotionally stable, positive life, as well as have emotionally stable and positive people around them. Crazy makers may make you feel crazy-but you have the power to keep yourself sane.

References:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/counseling-keys/201403/how-handle-crazymaker

https://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/quick-tips-to-deal-with-the-crazy-makers-in-your-life

http://www.freepeopleinternational.com/11-signs-you-are-dealing-with-a-crazymaker/

Plunder Hell-Poem

Let us plunder

Hell with

Compassion, not

Hatred.

 

A touch

Of selflessness

Can go

A long way.

 

A smile

Of warmth

Can melt

The coldest heart.

 

Let us plunder

Hell with

Mercy, not

Judgment.

 

Why would we

Point a finger

At those we

Do not understand?

 

An open mind

Can unlock

The door of

The most closed mind.

 

Let us plunder

Hell for

The purpose

Of salvation.

 

We need

To fill

Heaven of

Lost souls.

So Many Sick People-Poem

So many

Sick people,

With no

Hopes and dreams.

 

They remain

Stuck in

A rut, waiting

To be pulled out.

 

So many

Sick people,

With no

Courage or fight.

 

They want

Others to

Battle for

Them, and win.

 

People like

To be

Sick in

Their minds;

 

Their thoughts

Take them

To and fro,

With no destination.

 

Forever they

Remain victims

In their

Self-deprecating stories.

 

So many

Sick people,

With no

Empathy or sympathy.

 

They choose

To belittle

The problems of

Those around them.

 

So many

Sick people,

With no

Interest in others.

 

They like

To use

People to

Benefit them.

 

People like

To be

Sick in

Their words.

 

They twist

And pull

To achieve

Their hapless goals.

 

Always do

They manipulate

Others to make

Them feel crazy.

 

If only

People desired

To be well

Instead of being sick;

 

Then there

Would be

Less heartache

And confusion.

 

If only

People considered

The importance

Of good health;

 

Then there

Would be

Unity instead

Of strife.

 

I wish

To be

Better: to

Conquer my demons.

 

I wouldn’t

Dare to

Impose my

Health onto others.

 

I don’t

Crave to

Be a monster

And claw at others;

 

I wish

To be

Healthy for my

Loved ones-and myself.

 

So many

Sick people

Are in

The world.

 

Let’s get

Better for

Our loved

Ones-and ourselves.

Speak Life or Death

    Words are powerful; in fact, they’re more mighty than we give them credit. With words, God breathed life into existence. With words, leaders throughout history captivated millions into fighting for and believing in what was right. With words, writers and performers craft stories that touch our very souls. Words are not only powerful, but they’re important. Your interactions with others, your motivations in causes, and your perception of yourself are able to speak words of life or death.

    I’m sure you’ve experienced some negative situations in your own life. Maybe your father called you stupid and now you feel insecure in having big goals. Perhaps you struggle with how your appearance because some peers in high school made fun of you for how you looked. Maybe a significant other made you believe that you were the source of problems in the relationship and made you feel that anything you said or did was worthless. Such circumstances are examples of words of death.

   Words of death are like poison we’re forced to drink: they make us lack self-esteem, feel that our dreams are silly, and destroy our value in relationships. Such negative connotations create feelings of rejection, doubt, and fear in us.

   Thankfully, there are positive experiences, too. Perhaps a teacher complimented you on how well you did throughout the school year and created feelings of pride within you. Maybe your grandparents supported you in your goals of being a doctor, and were so happy to see you accomplish those dreams. Perhaps your child thanked you for all you’ve done for them. On the other hand of words of death, we have words of life.

   Words of life are like seeds of encouragement in our lives. Even when we face opposition, positive voices are able to help us continue to strive and to pursue our dreams. Words of life boost our self-confidence, fill us with joy, and give us hope.

    We’ve all experienced both words of life and death being spoken to us in our lives. We’ve spoken positivity and negativity over others’ lives. At the end of the day, words are able to break us or make us. With words of death, we have to break the hold they have over our lives. With words of life, we have to use them to help us keep going.

     So, what will you do? Will you loosen the chains words of death have over you? Will you speak words of life, not only over yourself, but over others? Choose wisely.

Anxiety Worsens Situations

    Anxiety acts as both the bullet and the gun in confronting problems within and outside of yourself.

    Anxiety makes you constantly over-analyze a situation until you’re beating it to death in your mind. It makes you overthink what you should say or do when your supposed, exhausted solutions craft more conflicts for yourself. It makes already poor situations rich with doubt and strife.

    Anxiety makes you think it’s your objective assistant in making your life easier; in reality, anxiety is your subjective accomplice in making your life harder.

    I am able to recall numerous experiences in which I gave into my anxiety, and it ended up making matters worse. In craving for an ex to sit down with me and to work things out, I became overly pushy, insecure, and heartbroken; he then walked away from me because I didn’t give him space to think. In resolving conflicts with friends, I became smitten by fast and immediate solutions; I then became beaten down by long-lasting, entangled conflicts with people who begin to doubt my role in their life as a healthy friend. In wanting to improve my character, I overworked myself to the point I barely had anything to give to anyone or to myself.

    Anxiety makes you feel defeated when all you want to do is win at least once in your life. Yet, anxiety doesn’t have to be the end-all to resolving conflict. For my own life, I’ve learned that writing down my feelings and receiving accountability have assisted me in obtaining a more logical, stable perspective. Attending therapy has also been helpful in receiving objective standpoints in why I have anxiety over certain circumstances and how I am able to handle them in a more appropriate, calming manner.

    Anxiety may be the catalyst in worsening situations. However, you have the power to defuse anxiety before it explodes.