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Life does work with a bit of luck though.
But the luck doesn't happen if you weren't in the right place at the right time, which usually requires something on your part. Of course the opposite must be true as well. Misfortune.
Anyway, have been reading your posts Dutchguy, just wanted to say they're very inspirational for me.
I hope you keep posting, and I hope you find what you're looking for.
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Old 06-02-2011
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Originally Posted by CosmicNeurotica View Post
Life does work with a bit of luck though.
But the luck doesn't happen if you weren't in the right place at the right time, which usually requires something on your part. Of course the opposite must be true as well. Misfortune.
Anyway, have been reading your posts Dutchguy, just wanted to say they're very inspirational for me.
I hope you keep posting, and I hope you find what you're looking for.
I'm happy to hear my journal has been inspirational; thanks! It's comforting that even though I'm still strugging, my experience of those struggles is helpful to others.

The reason why I talk about luck is that I see some people - especially one of my friends - who have been in the same situation as me but have been dealt widely different cards than me. Let's just face it; the universe has no concept of 'fairness'; while my friend got what he was looking for without much action on his part, I've desperately been trying to find the same thing to no avail. While I'm in a bit of a slump right now, there have been times when I've been literally torturing myself (as I've described in one of the posts on this thread) to push myself, to get out of that comfort zone; but with no significant results. Who knows; if things had only been slightly different... perhaps if work wouldn't be so extremely taxing at the moment... perhaps if a girl would have shown interest in me...

I don't think it's good to get drawn into games of "what if", however, as I have to live with those cards I've been dealt. I can't change the past; I can only change the future, so let's focus on that. My current situation is that I'm slightly depressed and enormously busy because of work. Especially work is literally physically exhausting - so my first goal should be to really stand up for myself in that arena. I've always been very accomodating, which makes me the perfect employee; but while my career is advancing by leaps and bounds my mental and physical condition is going down the drain.

It's a funny thing really; by society's standards I couldn't be more successful - yet I feel like an utter failure because I can't seem to really connect with anyone.

I have not given myself an 'assignment' for some time (which is a shame, because they really helped to push myself in a 'fun' way), but today I'm giving myself the most important one of all time; stand up for myself at work. This means doing something that will make my boss unhappy but on the other hand will be a life-saver for myself. And my life is more important than my job at this point.
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Old 06-05-2011
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I have been thinking recently about why I can't motivate myself to do more about my SA. It's so important, I can't really afford to let myself get lazy when it comes to bettering myself. So why can't I motivate myself?

One part of it is probably depression. I haven't been able to motivate myself for anything lately, and it's mainly because I don't see the point of it anymore. I have even kind of lost faith on ever finding 'love'; in my mind, a girl I find attractive can never like me back - I know on a rational level that it's nonsense, but still, after many negative experiences only one conclusion seems logical; that there's something wrong with me.

But enough with the negativity. The overall goal here is not just to find a girlfriend, but also to get control of my life back, and to steer it wherever I want it to go, instead of letting others control me. The first step is to get myself motivated again and to keep up that motivation.

I keep coming back to the idea of 'assignments', because I think it's a great way to force myself out of my comfort zone. Yet I couldn't get myself to complete the 'harder' ones. So yesterday I realized that what was missing from the 'assignment system' was some kind of tangible reward for completing them (or punishment for not completing them). In psychology, reward/punishment is one of the most basic and effective ways to change behavior; so why not use that?
So, I've decided that I'm going to pay myself for completing the assignments. There's one piece of ridiculously expensive technology that I've always wanted but never really needed; but I'm going to allow myself to buy it anyway; with the money I pay myself for doing these 'assignments'. Small things will only receive a small reward, but big things (like going out on a date) will reap bigger rewards. I'm interested in seeing how this will work out for me and (perhaps more interesting for you) if it's something I can reccommend to others.
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Old 06-05-2011
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I have been thinking recently about why I can't motivate myself to do more about my SA. It's so important, I can't really afford to let myself get lazy when it comes to bettering myself. So why can't I motivate myself?

One part of it is probably depression. I haven't been able to motivate myself for anything lately, and it's mainly because I don't see the point of it anymore. I have even kind of lost faith on ever finding 'love'; in my mind, a girl I find attractive can never like me back - I know on a rational level that it's nonsense, but still, after many negative experiences only one conclusion seems logical; that there's something wrong with me.

But enough with the negativity. The overall goal here is not just to find a girlfriend, but also to get control of my life back, and to steer it wherever I want it to go, instead of letting others control me. The first step is to get myself motivated again and to keep up that motivation.

I keep coming back to the idea of 'assignments', because I think it's a great way to force myself out of my comfort zone. Yet I couldn't get myself to complete the 'harder' ones. So yesterday I realized that what was missing from the 'assignment system' was some kind of tangible reward for completing them (or punishment for not completing them). In psychology, reward/punishment is one of the most basic and effective ways to change behavior; so why not use that?
So, I've decided that I'm going to pay myself for completing the assignments. There's one piece of ridiculously expensive technology that I've always wanted but never really needed; but I'm going to allow myself to buy it anyway; with the money I pay myself for doing these 'assignments'. Small things will only receive a small reward, but big things (like going out on a date) will reap bigger rewards. I'm interested in seeing how this will work out for me and (perhaps more interesting for you) if it's something I can reccommend to others.
Sounds like a good way to motiveate yourself, good luck.
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Old 06-06-2011
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i remember trying this method once but it didn't really word since i was too lazy to keep up with the punishment part :9
but i think it will be handy to try this again now, cause it fits well in the situation i am now.
just wondering, what kind of things are you going to set as a punishment?
Since I'm 'paying' myself for doing assignments, so far, for the punishment I've issued myself a 'fine'; I just substracted an amount of money from my 'prize money'. While it's not a big punishment that will make me try to avoid it at all costs, I know I'll at least follow through on it.

If you want to try this for yourself; good luck, and keep us updated on your progress; There's nothing more inspiring than reading about someone making progress in the fight against his SA.

Speaking of progress; today I went to the hairdresser; as I mentioned in this thread, I flirted with an enormously cute girl there last time, so I was hoping to see her again and my 'assignment' was to flirt with her again. Naturally, as luck would have it, she wasn't there. I still had a great casual conversation with another of the girls there. It's funny, I almost felt like a normal, social person walking out of there.

Positive experiences like that really remind me of why I'm doing this and that I'm actually making progress. It reminded me that I can definitely be very social in a conversation (even with cute girls); I just have to work up the confidence to be myself.
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Well, my new 'system' has been in place for a few days and so far I'm liking it. I've made a list of 'assignments' that I can complete, and even though I haven't done any of the 'big ones' yet, at least this approach helps me complete the smaller tasks with ease. Hopefully, positive experiences following the smaller tasks will then give me the boost necessary to make the bigger steps.

Things are still not looking very rosy, but until last week, I was on a straight road to depression and I've at least managed to not only get back on the right path, but also made sure that it's easier to stay on that path.

Yesterday I almost thought luck was finally knocking on my door when a girl emailed me after I thought she had lost interest in me. I took this final chance to ask her out - and haven't heard from her since - but it at least feels good to know that I had the guts to ask her. It just takes one of 'em to finally realize what they're missing out on to finally let me experience 'love', right? :P
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It's been an odd couple of weeks. I've been having a little time off work, and it shows. Lately I've been able to manage my social life and keep working on my issues consistently. I still feel depressed and unmotivated, but on the other hand, the response of my friends to all of this has been remarkably positive, which has given me a faint feeling that I may after all be more well-liked than I first assumed.

Anyway, I don't know where this is going. One day I seem to be on the track to 'salvation', the other I'm headed for a big black pit of loneliness. ...but one the bright side, at least I'm finally being forced to make my own decisions - I've never been one to take initiative for anything, stand up for myself or organise events, but I'm being increasingly forced to do so - and while it stresses me out and makes me feel like a complete idiot, it's good for me.
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Some days I feel like finding a relationship should be the easiest thing in the world, other days I ask myself how so-called 'normal people' are able to do something so difficult so easily.

Today is one of those days when I wonder how people can even have a normal conversation without feeling like an idiot constantly. I hate awkward silences.
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It might be an illusion, but it seems like things are finally going back to at least some form of normality. These past months may well have been the most stressful of my entire life, but even though the stress is far from over, the worst seems to have passed. A tiny glimmer of light has once again appeared in what seemed to be an unending tunnel of darkness.

All cliché metaphors aside, I've been feeling pretty optimistic for the past few days. I think the reason for this is that for the first time since februari, I'm getting some things back under my control. I think I'm finding out that's the most important part of dealing with a stressful situation; make a plan and work things out on your own terms. A few posts back I came up with a way to motivate myself by giving myself rewards for completing certain tasks. I think that the act of listing my short-term goals and giving myself a reason to complete them has been essential in gaining back some control over my life.

So, all in all, after a detour that was a little too long, I managed to force my life back onto the tracks. I'm well underway to sort out my problems at work, had some very good social interactions and have been talking with a girl that I'm greatly interested in.
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Old 06-21-2011
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hey (fellow)dutchguy

i know it may seem hard , but searching for that special someone can be really demotivating, when you don't find someone. But most of the times it's just because your looking to hard that you miss out on some girls. A lot of people say you have to wait for the right one, well i'll tell you i'ts something in between. (gulden middenweg)

You can't just sit at home and home some special awesome lady will knock on your door, but also like i said looking to hard, for example on dating sites might not work as well.

What i suggest is for you to go to places where you can meet others.
For me, because im 17, it's school most of the time. I see a lot of girls there who seem friendly/want to know better. Now i don't know if you're still in school/college but then again this was just an example. Choose something you like, a hobby/passion. Let's say you like acting. Why don't you go to an actor-class or improv class thing? You can do something you like, and at the same time meet others who share the same passion for it.

Hope this helped you a bit , personally i dont know if dating sites work cause all of them require you to be 18+
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hey (fellow)dutchguy
i know it may seem hard , but searching for that special someone can be really demotivating, when you don't find someone. But most of the times it's just because your looking to hard that you miss out on some girls. A lot of people say you have to wait for the right one, well i'll tell you i'ts something in between. (gulden middenweg)

You can't just sit at home and home some special awesome lady will knock on your door, but also like i said looking to hard, for example on dating sites might not work as well.
You're absolutely right, but there's one problem; it is true that even when you do nothing - and some people say, especially when you're not looking - chances will present themselves. And they're right, because they did, even for me. But the problem there is that every chance needs to be acted on before it can become more than that. ...and I've never had the guts to do that. I've always felt so inferior (and 'afraid' of women) that I never managed to act on any of the many chances I've had. Which is even more demotivating than desperately looking for someone.

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What i suggest is for you to go to places where you can meet others.
For me, because im 17, it's school most of the time. I see a lot of girls there who seem friendly/want to know better. Now i don't know if you're still in school/college but then again this was just an example. Choose something you like, a hobby/passion. Let's say you like acting. Why don't you go to an actor-class or improv class thing? You can do something you like, and at the same time meet others who share the same passion for it.

Hope this helped you a bit , personally i dont know if dating sites work cause all of them require you to be 18+
Thanks for these suggestions!
That's a great suggestion and probably something I should be working on. I've thought about this for a long time - how can I meet the woman of my dreams where I hardly ever meet any women? My job is an office job where I only work with other guys, so that's no option - I've thought about joining a club but I'm not into sports so I'm nog left with many choices there. Nevertheless, I should be looking for a group to belong to.

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wow dutchguy, seems like you're doing great :>
it's really awesome you managed to get it better and stick to the goals.
Thanks! Things are still very hectic and stressful, but at least I've gotten some important parts of my life back under control - and more importantly, I've once again doubled my efforts to become more social.
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*sigh* I seem to have hit a rough patch again, even though I'm still not sure why. Things seemed to be going very well - over the past week or so I've even slowly been noticing that my attitude towards dating and girls has shifted a little towards not 'putting them on a pedestal' so much.

Also, I got some news lately that might mean my stress at work might soon be a thing of the past.

Nevertheless, I still feel down. I went out last night and almost immediately spotted one of the cutest girls ever. The thing is that this time, I almost felt the courage to walk up to her - but I was just going to have to wait for the right timing and I wanted to recruit the help of the friends who were with me. So, just as I was telling my friend (which is a huge milestone, I usually never talk to my friends about girls I like), she walked away and I didn't see her again for the rest of the night. So, I went home disappointed once more.

Anyway, the point of this story is that even with all the progress I've made over the last few years, some things will stay "impossible". While it's changing very slowly, in my mind the idea of a woman being attracted to me seems more remote than ever.
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I figured out why I felt so down yesterday (and why I'm still feeling a bit more weird than usual); I have a rather large crush on that girl I spotted in the club on saturday. I know, it's hopelessly pathetic... but on the other hand; I kind of like this feeling and I haven't had it in a long time - I almost even forgot how good it felt.

Anyway, that aside, I don't think I have much of a chance with her, but still, I'll be going to the same club this saturday so there's always the possibility of her being there again. I already have some kind of a plan in mind to walk up to her and introduce myself, so if all the right the planets align, if the gods are in my favour and if pigs finally discover flight, then maybe I'll actually get to talk to her.
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hey dutchguy, don't give up and remember even though it may not seem like it: everybody is struggling with getting someone else. As well as belonging to a group. (it's instinct actually because no group ->no food/survival in stone age)

sure, it seems sometimes as if you are the only one with this problem and everybody else seems so confident, but alot of people have the same insecurities. My best friends all of them i saw them as the 'party people who are out of my league' but it turns out the are even more insecure then me.

It can be scary to talk to strange women (i think it scary as **** so your my hero for that) but you've got to relax. So what if she doesn't like you? So what if things don't work out right? everybody makes mistakes, and everybody's a fool/Nobody is perfect. you gotta live life with a laugh they say
and not take everything too serious

oh and ' niet geschoten altijd mis'
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hey dutchguy, don't give up and remember even though it may not seem like it: everybody is struggling with getting someone else. As well as belonging to a group. (it's instinct actually because no group ->no food/survival in stone age)

sure, it seems sometimes as if you are the only one with this problem and everybody else seems so confident, but alot of people have the same insecurities. My best friends all of them i saw them as the 'party people who are out of my league' but it turns out the are even more insecure then me.

It can be scary to talk to strange women (i think it scary as **** so your my hero for that) but you've got to relax. So what if she doesn't like you? So what if things don't work out right? everybody makes mistakes, and everybody's a fool/Nobody is perfect. you gotta live life with a laugh they say
and not take everything too serious

oh and ' niet geschoten altijd mis'
Haha, thanks for the encouragement! Don't call me a hero yet though, because I still have yet to take any action. But honestly, I kind of hear a voice in the back of my head that says "you can do this", which is pretty awesome considering that normally the (much louder) voice in my head says "you'll NEVER be able to pull this off". Seems as if I'm getting more confident, which is great!

You're also right about 'normal people' also being scared of approaching people; when I told one of my friends (one that always has women hitting on him and is one of the most popular and cool people I know) that I liked this girl and wanted to do something, he told me he didn't have a clue what to do either and that he never knew how to approach women in clubs - so I guess we're surprisingly more normal than we thought!
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Finally the worst seems to be over. I'm probably going to get a new job and I probably have a date with a nice girl in august. Finally, an end to what might have been the worst period of my life.

What bothers me is that I didn't even notice how depressed I was these past few months. It was a few days ago that I felt true happiness for the first time since februari. I've been living like a depressed zombie for a long time (basically from the beginning of this journal), but the slow crawl out of that dark hole is nearly complete. I think this journal and the people who have replied with encouraging comments have greatly helped my recovery from this depression.
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I've lurked around a bit on your journal over the past couple of months when I've seen you post something new.

I'm glad to hear that things are a lot better for you now You must continue to let us know your progress. It's informational reading real-time stories like this.
Thanks! I really like writing these as well, because it helps me (and hopefully others) deal with the confusion of everyday life.

As for today's entry; Sometimes it feels as if life mocks me. Last week I wrote about how I spotted a girl in a club that I found amazingly beautiful, but she was gone before I could even think about doing anything. Now, this week, I went out with a couple of other friends, and one of them brought a friend that looked almost exactly like the girl from last week (except for her hair color). Only problem; she had a boyfriend (that wasn't with her). It's as if life teases me by saying "see, this is what you want, but you'll never have it".

That's what's so hard about putting yourself out there; you're constantly confronting yourself with the things you're not yet ready to handle. But yeah, at least I'm learning. I'm starting to fight for what I want - when it came to that girl from yesterday I made a point of at least exchanging a few words with her at the end of the night - and I even decided that I don't care if she's already 'taken', I was going to try to make eye contact with her if I wanted to.

That's one important thing that I've learned over the last few months; live on your own terms, not by some abstract "rules" set out by society. Now, I'm definitely not saying "break the law", but all of these little etiquette rules that I've been following all my life have only ever kept me from doing what I really wanted.
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That's one important thing that I've learned over the last few months; live on your own terms, not by some abstract "rules" set out by society. Now, I'm definitely not saying "break the law", but all of these little etiquette rules that I've been following all my life have only ever kept me from doing what I really wanted.
This is really good that you learned this. There are people who will never understand this, so good job.

Don't be afraid to not fit in with all the etiquette bull****. Be the person you want to be. Rather make a mistake and learn from it than never have taken a risk and to be sorry later. Because you've got to live your life and be happy.
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This is really good that you learned this. There are people who will never understand this, so good job.

Don't be afraid to not fit in with all the etiquette bull****. Be the person you want to be. Rather make a mistake and learn from it than never have taken a risk and to be sorry later. Because you've got to live your life and be happy.
You're right, and I wish I discovered that earlier. It kind of connects to that idea of 'not caring what anyone thinks', which is one of the most important lessons a person can learn in their lives. But nevertheless, it's still hard to actually live by; I still often fall back into the habit of overanalyzing what random strangers might think about me; but knowing is half the battle.

...and the more I actually try to live by my own advice, the more I realize how true it is; I have been taking some risks lately; I have even done things that I deeply regret... but the consequences that I feared (everyone finding out and making fun of me for it) have not come to pass. It's one thing to know that other people don't care as much about you as you think they do, but it's absolutely wonderful to find out that it's true first hand.
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Speaking of living life on your own terms... I've just had a less than ideal night out with one of my best "friends".

So earlier this week he calls me, telling me all about how he's taken up dancing and how it would also be perfect for me (first thing I don't like; people telling me that I really should like something). I refused his offer to go with him, because while I agree that joining a club would be good for me, I think it should be something that lets me utilize my best assets (my 'smarts' and creativity) rather than accentuate my biggest weakness (I have no motor skills). But after a whole lot of arguments (which mostly convince me that he wants me to go with him because he's afraid to go alone) I agree to go with him.

So cue tonight; we go to the event which turns out to consist mostly of old people. I tell him I assume we're going to leave, but he's enjoying it so we stay. After we finally leave and after I've made it clear in no uncertain terms that this is definitely not for me, he continues to tell me that I really do like it but just don't know it yet. Go figure.

What really kills me is that his intentions are really good and he's right that I need to 'get out more', but his approach really, really annoys me. It should be me making this choice - I make the decisions in my life, and just doing whatever he's telling me to is not going to help my confidence one bit.

But what I did realize is that even for all his social skills, for all the hundreds of 'friends' he has, for all the dozens of dates he has in a month, for all the talk and laughs... he still needs me to go out on a wednesday night. He's still just as single as I am. Heck, some of our mutual friends have told me numerous times that they find me much more likeable.

So my conclusion is; fellow social phobics - we don't have to become the overly loud, boastful party animals that we all secretly loathe to finally be happy; we just have to realize step by tiny step that with just a little confidence, we can remain safe and introverted but also live a full and happy life. On our own terms.
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