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Old 06-11-2017
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Pride and ego make us think we are something important. They make us puff up our chests and think to ourselves that we deserve respect, praise, admiration, and whatever else leads to feelings of self-satisfaction.

And when our pride and egos are challenged, when we feel slighted and are hurt by others or feel we don't measure up, the result for some is SA - shelling up and avoiding social interactions because we don't want our precious egos to be wounded even further.

In a way SA is selfish. It forces us to look inward too much and too often in a negative way--and it's because our pride and egos dictate us to do so.

So maybe we should take the focus off our subconscious pride and egos. Maybe we shouldn't give them so much credit, and maybe when we actually do get slighted by people or are feeling insecure, it won't feel so bad.

This is one explanation out of many. This won't apply to everyone.
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Old 06-12-2017
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Ego, the cause or the consecuence?
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Old 06-12-2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arjuna View Post
Ego, the cause or the consecuence?
Some people develop unhealthy egos as a consequence of feeling inferior or from indignation, sure. I believe they call that a superiority complex.
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Old 06-12-2017
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I think my point is that if some of us just simply stopped thinking so much about ourselves, stopped prioritizing our lot in life in comparison to others, stop thinking that we deserve this or that, or that we're somehow special, we might have a better time. At least for my own life, this is applicable. I'm not saying pride and ego are the source of SA for everyone, just one explanation out of many, since we all have different life experiences.
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Old 06-13-2017
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I agree. At least in my case I can relate almost 100 % to that. How do we unidentify?
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Old 06-13-2017
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What led to these thoughts was reading a book called "Ego is the Enemy" by Ryan Holiday, which consequently made me think about my SA. I think the only way to unidentify is to logic your way through it, and I think Holiday does a wonderful job logically explaining how and why the ego is a sabotaging piece of shit. If you read this, I think it's likely you'll come up with your own answer to that question. I highly recommend it.

My answer, for myself, is to stay mindful of my pride and ego and realize that I am nothing. Who am I? Am I someone special? No. Am I somehow better than others? No. Are they better than me? No. These things are all a ruse that my ego has fabricated over years of competition with other people. If I ignore its siren call, then it can't hurt me.
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Old 06-13-2017
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People with SA understand their fear and anxiety are irrational and shouldn't be there, it's not a response to their expectations. At the core of this irrational anxiety is not the desire to be respected, but the fear that people will consider them weird, remarkably ugly, disgusting, clumsy, mentally ill or something else that is not considered normal or appropriate. It's clearly irrational and not something normal because it doesn't matter if there's no reason for them to feel like this, they can look and behave perfectly normal, even in situations where they have been many times before and dealing with the same people they are already familiar with, and in worst cases just the possibility of being seen by a stranger that won't interact with them in any way and they will never see again, if another human being will notice or remember their existence, it can make them lock themselves in a room and never leave, even if it means the destruction of their lives for not having a job or not going to the doctor for other health problems.

I don't know how someone could see people with SA as victims only of their own sense of entitlement and self-importance, unless they have no idea what the disorder actually is and what people with SA go through. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders even separate narcissists and histrionics, people who actually have issues with their egos, from those with anxiety issues in different clusters, since what's going on with them is completely different and their behavior is almost the opposite of each other.
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Old 06-13-2017
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Originally Posted by arjuna View Post
Ego, the cause or the consecuence?
This actually really made me think. I slept on it and here's what I came up with.

Naturally humans are born egotists, but it's rarely that big a deal when we're children. We have a minimum amount of pride as children, let's call it self-confidence, and it barely registers on our emotional radars save for instances like getting into fights with other kids or during competition. Pride and ego only become a big deal as we grow up and see that people get the things that we can't have. They become a big deal when we compete, when adults, society, and media praise those that have "success," and tell us that we need these successes in order to be valuable human beings. Anyone else that doesn't fit that mold is looked down upon, seen as unworthy, and even mocked. The world in the latter case, beats us down.

As a result, some people just deal with the feeling of not being "valuable." But the extra sensitive folk might develop SA. And I wonder if SA is intrinsically intertwined with the inferiority complex. Other's develop a superiority complex.

So I think ego is both cause and consequence. We are born with a predisposition toward egotism, which is inflated by society as we grow, and then either broken or lifted up by others, depending on a person's "success."

Initially ego isn't a problem, but then it becomes a problem, which can lead to SA, an inferiority complex, superiority complex, or a lack of any.

If we decide to ignore the ego and our pride, then maybe they become non-issues because they simply don't exist to us (or at least minimized to the extent that people can minimize such a thing).
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Old 06-13-2017
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Originally Posted by Louco View Post
People with SA understand their fear and anxiety are irrational and shouldn't be there, it's not a response to their expectations. At the core of this irrational anxiety is not the desire to be respected, but the fear that people will consider them weird, remarkably ugly, disgusting, clumsy, mentally ill or something else that is not considered normal or appropriate. It's clearly irrational and not something normal because it doesn't matter if there's no reason for them to feel like this, they can look and behave perfectly normal, even in situations where they have been many times before and dealing with the same people they are already familiar with, and in worst cases just the possibility of being seen by a stranger that won't interact with them in any way and they will never see again, if another human being will notice or remember their existence, it can make them lock themselves in a room and never leave, even if it means the destruction of their lives for not having a job or not going to the doctor for other health problems.
I disagree. I think that yes, there are irrational responses inherent in SA, but having expectations about the world, and those expectations not being fulfilled can have a powerful influence on a person's psyche. They aren't mutually exclusive.

I recognize in myself the irrational fear of complete strangers, people I've known for 15+ years, even my own friends, even my parents at times. I try to reason out why I feel the way I do instead of just accepting it as irrational.

Furthermore, I think SA is different for many people across the spectrum. It's not like we're all subjected to one SA experience. Some people feel it more strongly than others. Some can function better around people but still feel anxious, faking it if you will. Some people can't handle it at all and hold up in a room for weeks. Some people fluctuate between the two. We all have different idiosyncracies when it comes to SA.

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Originally Posted by Louco View Post
I don't know how someone could see people with SA as victims only of their own sense of entitlement and self-importance, unless they have no idea what the disorder actually is and what people with SA go through. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders even separate narcissists and histrionics, people who actually have issues with their egos, from those with anxiety issues in different clusters, since what's going on with them is completely different and their behavior is almost the opposite of each other.
I never said it was the only reason. I said it could be a reason out of many. It may very well be that other DSM disorders overlap with SA as well, as these things are almost never cut and dry.
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Old 06-13-2017
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If it's subconscious... then it's not a conscious choice.

Many people have SA without secretly feeling that they deserve some kind of special treatment or praise. It can be a fear developed after abuse or bad experiences, or just not a "rational" fear with a clear reason at all.
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Old 06-13-2017
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Originally Posted by Fey View Post
If it's subconscious... then it's not a conscious choice.
It's subconscious if you don't realize it's affecting you. When you realize it's affecting you, you can take steps to change the effect.
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Old 06-14-2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miserum View Post
I disagree. I think that yes, there are irrational responses inherent in SA, but having expectations about the world, and those expectations not being fulfilled can have a powerful influence on a person's psyche. They aren't mutually exclusive.
The fact that it's irrational is one of the major and defining traits of the disorder, and there is no evidence that things like personality, expectations or "the subconscious" are the source. I think there is an "avoidant personality disorder" which may or may not have more to do with your personality, but we are talking about SA.

I highly recommend a visit to this site for more info:

https://socialanxietyinstitute.org/d...xiety-disorder
https://socialanxietyinstitute.org/w...social-anxiety

Check the other articles around there as well, the ones about other kinds of behavior often seen in social phobics have really helped me. I used to beat myself up a lot for not being able to live a normal life, turns out people with SA are usually harsh judges of themselves, and this doesn't help...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miserum View Post
I recognize in myself the irrational fear of complete strangers, people I've known for 15+ years, even my own friends, even my parents at times. I try to reason out why I feel the way I do instead of just accepting it as irrational.
And you think the reason you fear everyone is because you are prideful and egocentric?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miserum View Post
Furthermore, I think SA is different for many people across the spectrum. It's not like we're all subjected to one SA experience. Some people feel it more strongly than others. Some can function better around people but still feel anxious, faking it if you will. Some people can't handle it at all and hold up in a room for weeks. Some people fluctuate between the two. We all have different idiosyncracies when it comes to SA.
My experience is that it's not different at all, as long as you hold up the standard of only diagnosing the disorder in those who had their lives significantly damaged by the symptoms, like never being able to graduate from school or finding a job. I can relate very much to what they feel even when their lives are totally different from mine. Can't pick up the phone or make a call? Can't do the most simple things in the presence of others, like drinking a cup of coffee? Made it to college but can't enter the classroom? Can't leave the front door, and probably wouldn't even if your house were on fire? Been there. Been there a million times, even when I read about situations I have never been through, I feel exactly the same in my own circumstances.

I still have no idea how you reached the conclusion that maybe it all comes from a self-centered personality though. The most effective treatment available, with the best results (CBT), never mention your ego or things like pride, lazyness and cowardice, to mention some other nice traits people like to believe are what SA is all about. They are wrong as well. Actually, It's all about teaching your brain to stop behaving irrationally, and that's all.

By the way, I'm not denying your personal experience. If you think you successfully dealt with your anxiety through a change in your mindset or some kind of personal development, that's awesome. You won't have to go through a hard and psychologically painful therapy to rewire your brain, I'm glad for you. However, I find it hard to believe a social anxiety that goes away this easily was destroying your life to the extent that Social Anxiety Disorder usually do, and you were probably mistaken about having it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miserum View Post
It may very well be that other DSM disorders overlap with SA as well, as these things are almost never cut and dry.
You are actually right about this, depression and SA like to hang around. But as I said, the behavior seen in the cluster B is usually the opposite of what we have with SA. The psychos over there usually crave attention, while we avoid it at all costs, and also how we react to attention, how we understand attention, everything about us is totally different in every way. To think we could have a similar emotional framework makes no sense, they do not overlap at all in this case.
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Old 06-14-2017
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I'm not going to have a pissing contest about what does or doesn't constitute SA. The fact of the matter is, I get anxious when it comes to socializing with people. I've been this way for over a decade. I've seen psychiatrists, I've been involved in forums for quite a bit of this period. I've lost a great deal of friends because of my anxiety. Beyond that, I'm not going to defend myself against those that think I don't have it or don't know what it is.

I posted this here because I thought some people could relate to my experience. My musing is not a complete answer to SA, obviously, and I've stated this several times in this thread. Take it or leave it. No one here has to listen to me if they don't identify with what I'm saying.
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Old 06-14-2017
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I know I said I wouldn't have a pissing contest, but my ego told me otherwise.

Quote:
I think there is an "avoidant personality disorder" which may or may not have more to do with your personality, but we are talking about SA.
APD is essentially a more severe form of SAD:

https://www.verywell.com/avoidant-pe...erence-3024444

Quote:
And you think the reason you fear everyone is because you are prideful and egocentric?
When you focus on yourself constantly, how you don't measure up to society's or the people's around you standards of what a person is supposed to be, yes, you become fearful of being judged and ridiculed. So you withdraw. People tend to think that if you're egocentric, that you're full of yourself. Well it can go the other way too.

Also I'd say that I was proud, but also without pride. I think that what happened was that I used to take pride in myself, then woke up to the reality of things, felt inferior, so felt that I needed to make up for it in some way -- boom, superiority complex. You can even call it an alpha-beta mentality. I needed to prove that I was better (mostly against other men and those who had slighted me), not on any conscious level, but I was doing it nonetheless. I felt that everything was a competition, which stressed me the **** out during every single social interaction. Everything I identified as was riding on winning or being better. I considered this as "just being a man." And whenever I "lost," friendships would either dissipate, or I would make up excuses for how I was "special" in some way, and that I would show everyone up one day. So I ended up burning out eventually and hated socializing. Over ten years of experiencing this. But now that I see that I don't have to partake in this little game of pride, and it honestly feels good.

And in retrospect, it seems like a lot of the people I knew suffered from some sort of egotistic mania, which obviously didn't help because I myself was suffering from it too. That's just a recipe for disaster. I'm doing a little experiment right now where I'm trying as little as possible to compete with other people or become overwhelmed by my pride. To see and treat them as complete and utter equals. Historically, I've either thought of people as better or worse than me. No more. And of course I've heard of the platitude "treat others as equals" but that never really made sense to me on any meaningful level until recently. I can already think of one friendship that, from my point of view, has improved because of it, and it's only been about two weeks since adopting this philosophy.



Quote:
My experience is that it's not different at all, as long as you hold up the standard of only diagnosing the disorder in those who had their lives significantly damaged by the symptoms, like never being able to graduate from school or finding a job. I can relate very much to what they feel even when their lives are totally different from mine. Can't pick up the phone or make a call? Can't do the most simple things in the presence of others, like drinking a cup of coffee? Made it to college but can't enter the classroom? Can't leave the front door, and probably wouldn't even if your house were on fire? Been there. Been there a million times, even when I read about situations I have never been through, I feel exactly the same in my own circumstances.
I too can relate to these things. It took me a decade to get my bachelor's degree, in part because of my anxiety.

Quote:
I still have no idea how you reached the conclusion that maybe it all comes from a self-centered personality though. The most effective treatment available, with the best results (CBT), never mention your ego or things like pride, lazyness and cowardice, to mention some other nice traits people like to believe are what SA is all about. They are wrong as well. Actually, It's all about teaching your brain to stop behaving irrationally, and that's all.
If my ego is out of control, I'd define that as irrational thinking. Also I didn't say "it all comes from" the ego. I said that if a person realizes their ego is out of control, they can take steps to mitigate it which in turn, can blunt the blows of SA. I'm not saying it solves SA entirely. I agree that CBT is effective.

Quote:
I find it hard to believe a social anxiety that goes away this easily was destroying your life to the extent that Social Anxiety Disorder usually do, and you were probably mistaken about having it.
It's not gone. Maybe it's lessened, but it's not gone. I've only just thought of this. Let's see how it plays out in the long run... and I hope it plays out well.

I think a lot of my SA stems from coming from a broken family, and verbal and physical abuse as a kid as well. Addressing those issues in a meaningful way is probably required to make a full recovery, if there is such a thing.

Quote:
You are actually right about this, depression and SA like to hang around. But as I said, the behavior seen in the cluster B is usually the opposite of what we have with SA. The psychos over there usually crave attention, while we avoid it at all costs, and also how we react to attention, how we understand attention, everything about us is totally different in every way. To think we could have a similar emotional framework makes no sense, they do not overlap at all in this case.
This feels like a general blanket statement that makes SA black and white, and I think SA is more grey than anything. SA is far from being solved as a mental disorder. Otherwise, this forum wouldn't exist.
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Old 06-14-2017
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So I think ego is both cause and consequence. We are born with a predisposition toward egotism, which is inflated by society as we grow, and then either broken or lifted up by others, depending on a person's "success."
I think it's a good thing for the ego to be broken. Once that happens, you then don't have to suffer the feelings associated with the ego's constant fight between superior/inferior. Even if you feel superior, it's still draining.

Quote:
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If we decide to ignore the ego and our pride, then maybe they become non-issues because they simply don't exist to us (or at least minimized to the extent that people can minimize such a thing).
Having AvPD (as a result of extreme SA, or SP) means i can ignore my ego for most of the time. Also, due to the isolation, i no longer feel special, important, needed - so my ego seems to be broken fairly well i think. It still exists in me though, i'm sure.
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Old 06-14-2017
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It's subconscious if you don't realize it's affecting you. When you realize it's affecting you, you can take steps to change the effect.
Exactly. Acknowledgement is #1. Only after acknowledging the problem, can you move fowards, and take steps to resolve it (if you want - at least now you have a choice).
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Old 06-14-2017
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I used to swing between the extremes of completely superior and completely inferior. Seldom did i feel "in the middle". I wonder how common that trait is?
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Old 06-14-2017
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I think it's a good thing for the ego to be broken. Once that happens, you then don't have to suffer the feelings associated with the ego's constant fight between superior/inferior. Even if you feel superior, it's still draining.
Interesting. I've been looking at it like a broken leg, where there is pain because the bone is shattered and it needs to be fixed to feel better. You're looking at it like a broken lamp or other inanimate object where it being broken doesn't really affect you.
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Old 06-14-2017
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Originally Posted by theslowesthand View Post
I used to swing between the extremes of completely superior and completely inferior. Seldom did i feel "in the middle". I wonder how common that trait is?
Yes. I think this is what I meant when I said I was proud, but without pride at the same time. Because I felt inferior, I would do things to make me feel superior. But undoubtedly, other things would happen to make me feel inferior again, so I would try again to be superior. I think this is what you mean, no? It's a vicious cycle.
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Old 06-17-2017
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Yeah I think there is some truth in what you're saying. There is some truth in what Louco is saying as well, of course SA doesn't boil down to self-centeredness. I think SA started in each of us from something else, shame, health problem, trauma, etc. and being too focused on ourselves may be one of the long term side effect. I find that when I succeed to move my focus from myself to my surrounding, and place myself in a context where what matters is my view on them and not the other way around, social interactions become another kind of experience.
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