I got issues

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I got issues

Postby mercury19 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:39 am

Lately, I've been having some problems. Mostly with self esteem and motivation.


So in my high school band, we are all about working hard. We always get these pep talks about how we have to give it our all, be the best. I agree with these, and want to follow them, but I keep hitting a wall. It's something like this:

My conscious and subconscious are at war. One side wants to raise me up, and make me the best ever. The other side wants to push me down. But, I don't know which is which. Unfortunately, as it is, the bad side is winning.

I can tell because some of my mental exchanges go like this. " Oh, you know what would be a great idea? " " Not whatever you are thinking! Just keep your mouth shut. Say a word and whoever you are talking to will laugh and tease you. "


And then I was talking to my friend, and he's saying " Oh yeah, everyone I talk to days your a great musician. " to which I respond " uuuh, eerm, naah, I don't know. " I don't know how to accept praise because something in me says I don't deserve it. So I feel like I'm acting rude, but I don't know what else to do.


And so, I'm stuck. I don't know, I just had to get this out there. Out of my head, somewhere.
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Re: I got issues

Postby Silverdream » Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:48 am

Become narcissistic. Once you revere yourself you won't have to worry about low self esteem.
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Re: I got issues

Postby Zupponn » Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:05 am

A dumb idea is the one not suggested. How can you know what's good and what's bad if you never run any of them by somebody else?
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Re: I got issues

Postby Natalya » Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:34 am

I was told to start simple and just say a thank you. Be all like, "Thanks." It isn't that hard, and it is the polite thing to do.
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Re: I got issues

Postby Quantumsurfer » Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:37 am

Well, god knows none of us are qualified to be dispensing psychological advice, but, for what its worth:

Try to relax. Realize that almost no one feels actually deserving of the praise they get. Some of the most famous people in the world are as surprised by it as you are. Off the top of my head, I think of John Green. He and his brother made some videos a couple of years ago and now they are a youtube phenomenon. Folks all over the world praise and admire them. John wrote some books that are on the bestseller lists, like, everywhere. Recently, he noted that he would never, ever, get used to that adulation.

I had a brief conversation with Voltaire (a goth/parody musician) a few years back (he did a show near where I live and hung out at a local bar afterward) about this same sort of thing. At the time, I was agonizing over being a writer and feeling like I wasn't good enough. I asked him about his own career. He said some things I've found to be consistently true among all sorts. He told me he succeeded by refusing to do anything else...even though times were hard in the beginning. He said, "Doing what you love is its own reward and it better be because often, it doesn't pay!" He told me, "If writing is what you love... do it! And do it all of the time. Eventually you will realize that a writer is what you are and writing is all you do and shortly thereafter so will the world." Good guy.

And that's the truth of it, as I see it. Make great music for the love of making great music. You'll never please everyone anyway. Just do what you love. People will see your sincerity and they will be drawn to it. Remember that great music is about emotion. Tap into it and make it yours. I know it sounds trite but there is a reason cliches exist, mate. I hope that helps a little.
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Re: I got issues

Postby Bragallot » Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:41 am

Almost everyone has this voice in their head telling them not to do things they want to. Usually, I do exactly the opposite of what this voice tells me (especially if it's telling me not to do something that is totally acceptable, like helping someone), until it gets beaten into submission.

My experience is that even doing something wrong is more fun than not doing anything at all.

Here's something I wrote to someone who had 0,0 self esteem (plus social anxiety disorders).

I've often avoided people as well, but this is rather because I think people are shit, and I'd rather not meet them because they don't interest me, than any lack of self-esteem I might have. Sure, my self-esteem has been low at certain points of my life, but coping with and reversing this drop in self esteem is what has led me to discover the views I am sharing with you now. It basically happened because I doubled a year at school and changed my attitude to that of a very nice and considerate guy to better cope with my new class and 'get accepted', which backfired completely as they thought they could just waltz right over me. So don't think I'm just rambling - I've been there, too.

One of the things I noticed is my voice. When I felt better about myself, I noticed I spoke louder and in a lower voice. So now, I always try to keep my voice low and speak at a sufficient volume. Thatcher did this, too, and it worked for her (I won't tell you to use her as a role model for anything else, though). I study communication techniques, and it's probably not a surprise that people associate this type of voice with authority. It's a simple, easy trick, but it works.

The problem with desperately trying to fit in, is that you're trying to fit into something that doesn't fit you, which will only make you feel more uncomfortable. People notice this, they know you're uncomfortable, and being uncomfortable makes others uncomfortable, too.

My drop of self esteem was not (solely) because of me, but because of outer factors, pressure, if you will. Society is constantly trying to make it so people have low self esteem. People with low self esteem are easier to control and manipulate, after all. People buy into these artificial 'values' society creates, and will mock you for not following them, which will make you feel worse. The mere fact this is at a changing level instead of a constant shows that the outside pressure plays a bigger role than the person you are.

I assume all people are bastards (without showing it). I leave it up to them to prove the opposite. The attitude that they need to prove something to you, rather than the feeling you have something to prove to them, is already an attitude that could help you along a long way.

Social anxiety in my eyes is the imaginary fear that something 'bad' will happen even when you do something that is totally and completely socially acceptable, your brain keeping you hostage from being yourself. Yes, we are socialized creatures and therefore our brain holds some of the things we'd otherwise do back, but it often gets overbearing and also tries to stop us from doing pretty much anything that involves other people.

I was on the train the other day, and this woman sitting opposite from me failed to open the garbage can. Immediately, my brain started telling me to use what I'll call 'polite negligence' (though I'm sure there's a better, official term for it), which is basically people acknowledging others' presence but ignoring everything else and thus, in this instance my brain shouting out 'no! don't open the garbage can for her! It'll attract her attention and reveal you were watching her (even though I wasn't, she was simply right in front of me) and acknowledge you saw the 'embarrassing' thing she did (being unable to open the garbage can and having stuff her garbage down her purse)!' Which, surprisingly, is exactly the opposite from what is socially acceptable! The socially acceptable thing would be to help the poor lady so she doesn't have to run around with her garbage all day, so once I had told my brain to STFU, that's exactly what I did.

I know I adopt rather aggressive language to get the point across and my message might seem like 'be a jackass!' but that's not really it. I'm not a jackass to people, though I sometimes put them off by being honest (though rarely permanently). I get into fights sometimes, but the girl I had the most fights (for the right reasons) with is the one who respected me the most in the end because I never shut the door entirely. My message is be a jackass to people who are being jackasses to you, acknowledge which relationships are good for you and which ones aren't and drop people like they're garbage if that's what they deserve. Be honest in your evaluations of people, to others as well as yourself.

Do you like sports? You should go to a sports game with a hefty crowd once. It is the best place to shout in public and start random conversations with strangers, by far. The sense of unity fans have will also create a certain kind of respect that will build up not right from the start, but after people start recognizing you as a regular spectator.

And don't go 'but I have social phobia!' Yes, I'm sure that you do, but the fact you're telling me you're struggling with it is an indication you don't want to feel like that (otherwise, you'd feel totally okay about avoiding people and stuff and wouldn't feel anxious about it in the first place), so the fact you have it alone shouldn't be an excuse for trying to change.

I've said this before, but when my brain is trying to tell me to not do something (for example, when it wants me to pick the spot in the train next to the old tart instead of the spot next to a hot girl) that logic tells you *is* socially acceptable (no one's going to complain if I sit down next to the hot girl, after all) I just do the complete opposite. If people (some people would make a face like you just hit them when you speak to them) react badly to something you did that doesn't break any social conventions that's their problem. Don't let their insecurity carry over to you. Letting others' insecurity carry over to you (the need to insult people, for example, people who insult others a lot usually do so because they feel insecure, thus passing their insecurity on to others, so they're insulting you because of themselves, not because of you) is something you should avoid. This 'STFU brain! I'm doing what I want!' attitude when it's trying to tell you not to do something you want to do, that no one else will find offensive (if your brain tells you not to push someone under the train because they just bumped into you, you should probably still listen to it) and then finding out your brain was wrong every time and being able to say 'haha brain, see I was right?' really works. It just does. I've been a lot happier since I broke out of that suffocating embrace, that straight jacket that is your brain holding the person you are and want to be hostage.

Basically, social awkwardness is less about what you do, than the manner in which you do it. Ever seen a bunch of jackasses being jackasses and felt yourself wondering 'hey, these guys are being total jackasses! How come their behaviour seems to be accepted by the people around them?' Well, it's because the confidence they radiate. People might be thinking 'hey, you're a jackass' but be too afraid to speak up when everyone else is accepting this person and thus not just hide, but also change their opinion. Again, I'm not telling you to be a jackass, but they're a clear indication that even if you do stuff that should be socially unacceptable, no one's going to say anything, so it's safe to do things that are socially acceptable which you nevertheless are scared of (addressing someone, for instance).

What you really need to ask yourself is, what has this 'considerateness' done for me? Do people appreciate me more? Probably not. Being very considerate with people who don't deserve it makes these people think you want something from them, or something. Helping them with stuff makes them believe you think they're better than them, and even if they don't they'll feel you're pointing out their inadequacies by succeeding where they fail either way. It's paradoxical, but I speak from personal experience and am past the point of hiding from the truth (which is what I just told you) in favour of thinking less of myself. Usually, it only starts paying off to be very considerate with people once you know them a little bit better: them perceiving the change in your attitude helps them to recognize the relationship is taken to the next phase, makes them feel special and like you more. That is basically friendship. There are exceptions to how quickly you should adopt this attitude (in a business relationship it helps to be considerate from the start, for example) but you can take it as a general rule.

I won't claim I adopt my own rules perfectly all the time and am a perfect social being (none of us are), but I know they work, because when I follow them, everything goes well for me. When I don't, when I listen to my paranoid brain, I get caught in a vicious circle of feeling bad about myself. I've managed to avoid this quite often.

Something you need to be aware of, is that other people probably feel just as insecure as you do. That's how society made it. Most people feel insecure all the time, even if they don't show it. The stereotype of the guy with the biggest mouth often being the greatest wimp is often based on truth.

I have a dominant personality, or at least I had, until it was largely destroyed after spending a couple of years in my second class, but I'm still me, and personality traits can be built up again from scratch. Before that, I was always the leader among my friends, the one who set out the rules of play and the one people came to looking for answers. Why wouldn't I be able to achieve that status again? Why wouldn't anyone be able to achieve that status again?

One thing I sometimes do is controlling verbal cues. Verbal cues are indications in a conversation that indicate when it's who's time to talk. 'Huh?' at the end of a sentence, 'Don't you think?', 'Right?', things like that. The important thing to know is that once you get the hang of it (basically, by displaying the right attitude in a conversation), this happens mostly spontaneously.

Life is much more fun when you're dominant. If your dominant, you can do things others would otherwise never accept of you - not because they're forced to! But simply because they accept it.

Another trick when you're anxious is to think of situations where you were successful, rather than keep thinking about what the other person is thinking, what he will be thinking, and how he'll react. You don't know what he's thinking, anyway.

The bottom line of what I'm trying to say is, since you can't avoid social interaction, you might as well look outward instead of inward and blame others instead of yourself when you have to.

And I'm putting this right at the bottom because I think it is important for you to not write off my advice. You will not be less considerate if you do these things. You will be more considerate. People want to find other people they like, people they feel good among. By opening up to others, you are being more considerate, people will like you more, and that is what they want. Believe it or not, people want to like you. That's why they're pissed off / unfriendly when they find out they can't like you (even though their reasons are sometimes bizarre and shouldn't always be considered). Of course, you always have the option of saying 'eh, fuck you'. That's your choice.
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Re: I got issues

Postby Ben-Jammin » Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:05 pm

I can't say anything here because I hate myself more than anyone else.
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Re: I got issues

Postby Arkbrik » Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:38 pm

Wow, you need to get out and meet some assholes.
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Re: I got issues

Postby mercury19 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:08 pm

@Quantumsurfer: that's what I'm talking about! People give these great motivational speeches, and I'm all like yes! I must do this! Then I get home and all my conviction just disappears...


@Brag: I think this is some of the most helpful advice ever. Is there a way to know when your brain/subconscious thing is right? Because I'm always looking at the why. Like, why can't I do this? Why do I not feel that way? And most of the time it feels like I'm making an excuse. Matter of fact, as I'm typing this I'm looking at why I feel this way.


@Natalya: see, I shouldn't have said I don't know what to do. But I feel like my brain just freezes up, which might just be an excuse for me to be a butt, or any number of things. So, yeah, that's just me being stupid I guess.
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Re: I got issues

Postby stubby » Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:47 pm

Ben-Jammin wrote:I can't say anything here because I hate myself more than anyone else.

Arkbrik wrote:Wow, you need to get out and meet some assholes.

:ftw:

When did this board turn into a place where people talk about problems and take things seriously? What the hell is going on here?

Anyway here's your advice. http://therumpus.net/2013/02/the-seven- ... re-people/

Pay close attention to habit #3. Fail. Fail hard, fail often, fail fast and decisively. Everything good in life comes from being open to constant failure. Anyone who's good at anything got there by slogging though ten thousand failures first and getting very comfortable with looking like an idiot.
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Re: I got issues

Postby Quantumsurfer » Sat Feb 16, 2013 5:04 pm

I understand, mercury. I think most of us struggle with the inability to merge the epic and the mundane. I'm doing a study on that right now. Everything seems polarized in many modern cultures. Only two sides to any argument, two extremes to any thought process. It's hard to keep that heroic feeling going for any real length of time. It feels good but it consumes a lot of mental energy. And its difficult to find the amazing in the commonplace so that feeling dies often rather abruptly. Its hard to feel inspired and heroic when you're sat at the edge of your bed staring at a wall, sat on the toilet taking a colossal dump, or eating and sleeping. And as you get older, you face more and more mundane, commonplace things. Tests and homework from high school through to college, paying bills, working to pay those bills, blah, blah, blah. It becomes harder for a lot of people to accept that awesome, famous people also take dumps and go to the grocery. Logically, you know it must be true but it's just hard to imagine. So the correlation I find a lot of people drawing is that successful people don't do these things (or do less of them) and you do and therefore you cannot be successful. Because you're boring, mundane and commonplace.

It isn't true, of course. Nearly everyone has the potential to be extraordinary. And, frankly, its flatly amazing any of us are here at all. How impossible it should be that there is a wall for you to stare at. What's more, how impossible it should be that there is a you to stare at a wall. But no amount of inspiring speeches or trite commentaries about the nature or wonder of the universe is ever going to make you realize that. Its something each person comes to on their own, or not at all. It's nice to have people reminding you so surround yourself with people just like your friend who supported you about your music. But the decision to keep looking for inspiration, even to create it yourself, is yours alone.
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Re: I got issues

Postby Quantumsurfer » Sat Feb 16, 2013 5:06 pm

stubby wrote:Things of a serious nature veiled in lightheartedness


Yeah, this, agreed.
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Re: I got issues

Postby mercury19 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 5:21 pm

stubby wrote:When did this board turn into a place where people talk about problems and take things seriously? What the hell is going on here?

When people decided to respond. I actually never asked for advice. However, I appreciate everyone's advice. So thanks. I honestly didn't expect this many responses.
It alos goes to show that (most) Brikwarriors are cool people underneath their :troll: :twisted: internet identities.
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Re: I got issues

Postby Tzan » Sat Feb 16, 2013 5:22 pm

:pedo:
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Re: I got issues

Postby mercury19 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 5:28 pm

Huzzah, sub forum!!!

And actually, I am interested in just about everything, about everything.


And I figured I'd post here because this forum just about encompasses everything, and I'm not going to go find another forum just to post my personal crap in.
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