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(5 Posts)
cocothe Tue 31-Oct-17 19:20:39

I really regret a past behaviour and it still plays on my mind. Part of my behaviour is a result of my inability to be assertive and that I will do anything to avoid confrontation and/or awkward situations.
I ended up being swept along by idiots and didn’t have the courage to stop things or say how I truly felt.
I still think I would struggle now to stand up against something I disagreed with for fear of confrontation. How do I overcome this? I don’t want to be ashamed or regret the same problem if it crops up again.
I’m in my late 30’s and have started to realise that I’ve struggled with social anxiety for most of my life.

Jeannie78 Wed 01-Nov-17 18:12:23

Me too cocothe. I made one short-term mistake (slept with someone I didn't really want to sleep with just because he asked and I didn't want to 'offend' him, and then, despite him saying he wouldn't tell everyone, of course he did) and another long-term one (stayed with a boyfriend for many years, who I didn't want to be with because I couldn't stand up for my own needs and wants and had a habit of putting everyone else before myself) and I spend a lot of time going over and over these things in my mind these days. I'm in my 50s now and think about it every single day. I am desperate for some help to stop thinking of it all and to try and stop feeling so ashamed of the first thing.

I too am very bad at confrontation and would rather run than face up to people. I am isolating myself because I'm so afraid of them and even have palpitations at school pick-up time when speaking to other mums! I think I sometimes come across as being a bit odd, when in fact it's just that I'm so nervous.

I'm sorry I don't have any answers but wanted you to know that you're not alone. I hope someone can help.

cocothe Wed 01-Nov-17 18:24:05

That’s how I feel about talking to others. I’m very nervous and very self conscious which I know comes across as odd so it strengthens the anxiety as people notice it and don’t warm to you.
Being in my 30’s I expected I’d have the balls to tell people where to go who were taking advantage but I just don’t.
I’m on maternity leave at the moment but last year I started profusely blushing whenever the CEO was talking to me. It was only ever her. Then whenever she walked past or approached the department I’d instantly start sweating and blushing before she’d even spoke to me. It’s so embarrassing, I just want the floor to swallow me up when it happens because I go so red that people notice it more.
It’s a real battle with myself.
How does anyone begin to tackle these problems and why is it worse now than say when I was in my 20’s?!

Babdoc Tue 07-Nov-17 16:05:45

You’re both very brave to come on here and describe your problem. And you’re both well aware of what it is you’d like to change. I wonder if some assertiveness training would be helpful?
Many women are conditioned from childhood to be compliant and submissive, to try and “people please”, to never say no or stand up for their own needs or rights. This can be changed, but it needs practice, and encouragement, which a therapist can provide.
Eventually you’ll find you’re less self conscious and you won’t care whether you’re blushing or not. Most of the time, nobody else notices anyway, or just thinks you’re a bit flushed - they’re far more interested in their own appearance and issues!
I had a lot of the same social anxiety, compounded by being on the autistic spectrum, and I found therapy very helpful. It also gets better when you’re older (I’m now in my 60’s), so at least you can both look forward to being stroppy old women one day!
In the meantime, why not start small, with some positive affirmations?
Every morning, tell yourself three positive things about yourself. The constant repetition of drip feeding your brain with encouraging thoughts does work to change your mindset to being more confident. Cognitive therapy can help with this too.
Good luck to both of you, I hope you soon feel that things are getting better. Be proud of yourselves for even the smallest step towards social confidence, and if you have a bad day don’t beat yourselves up over it. Hugs all round!

NolongerAnxiousCarer Thu 09-Nov-17 10:17:46

Personally I've found councelling very helpful, once you realise the reasons behind your behaviour it really helps you to tackle it. I also reccomend a book by Susan Jeffers, "Dare to Connect " which I found very helpful.

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