The Road to Self Betterment!
by, 27-May-2015 at 06:21 (350 Views)
This blog has been a long time in the making and delves into things I have never really been comfortable discussing. This has become much, much longer than I ever expected it to be! I have broken it into 3 sections which should make it easier to understand.
When I turned 21, I made a list of everything I didn't like about my life in an effort to change them and make my life better (depending on context, this could sound pessimistic or optimistic). At the end I began to notice specific patterns that allowed everything to group into two categories.
1) Social anxiety and a general fear of anything done outside of a professional environment.
2) Apathy and cynicism towards people as a whole.
So, I have set out a plan to help change these things. I have started with the social anxiety because I believe it could be leading to some of the cynicism I have towards people. So, the first thing I did was add color to my wardrobe. Color? Yes! Bright colors tend to indicate happiness and by extension more welcoming and social(the validity here can be challenged but is largely irrelevant). Then I began to distribute more small talk with people I know. This was harder than it sounds and is one of the biggest challenges I face.
Then I got the idea to get a zoo membership. This has turned out to possibly be one of the best decisions I have made. I now go to the zoo to at least once a week to walk and see the animals. This has allowed me a time to destress from a week long of work and put in a little exercise that I get so little of. It also allowed me to get a bearing on my little side and narrowed down on a species for a fursona (something that is now years in the making. I did originally settle on a husky but didn't get into it too much because something didn't quite fit right. After going to the zoo I saw the arctic foxes and they fit the bill of everything I was looking for. They are playful and awesome and just look like they are having the time of their lives running around in that enclosure. )
The zoo also taught me something pretty valuable that has helped me a lot in dealing with social anxiety. When it starts to get crowded, what I like to call "walls" of people form. Everybody knows what I'm talking about. The small group at the front takes up the whole path and walks slower than everybody else and won't let anybody pass. I learned while navigating through one of these "walls" that 20 minutes from now, these people won't even know I exist; so why do I have to act so professional and worry about every little thing I say in front of them or how they might react? I don't! Once I realized that my whole outlook changed on how to handle occurrences with people I will probably never meet again (This does not mean that I am disrespectful or rude to those in public, just that I am a little less like a recording when talking to them and more like a human being).
It Isn't All Peaches:
I'm not going to sit here and say that fighting my social anxiety is easy or full of roses. A few weeks ago there was a party at my house where I "relapsed" hard. It was basically the family of a friend that was staying from out of town I think they are slightly crazy! First, they go out and buy supplies to roast hot dogs. Nothing out of the ordinary, except they buy $75 worth of hot dogs, 1 package of 8 hot dog buns, forget mustard, and are feeding about 20 people. I don't really know who did their math, but now my freezer is stuck full full of hot dogs! They can also pull up chairs and talk for HOURS about nothing. I finally went kind of crazy and used a contrived 'emergency' (I always make sure to have some form of way to escape a social event if I get uneasy). I got back from that and was tired so I went to bed. I get up the next morning, let the dogs out, and look out the window to see tents pitched in my back yard!!!! I just got ready and left, went for a ride to clear my head. I put a whole 250 miles on my car that day. Took me a full week to get back to where I felt comfortable talking to people again.
This has also been condensed into the most interesting points and I could probably go on forever here.
If you managed to read all of this, I salute you!
TLDR: I am going to rid myself of social anxiety or die trying!