Is Social Anxiety Caused by a Belief?

kuurt

Well-known member
#1
Do you think it is a belief that is the cause of one's social anxiety? If so, what belief or beliefs do you think cause it?
 
#2
Speaking for myself: yes. My social anxiety is caused by a belief. Though, not my own personal belief.

It still surprises me how my mother and sisters think I’m faking it. I mean my mother frequently would rant about how all men were “useless effin’ [email protected]$%@rd$“. Something my older sisters would say to me as a “joke”, minus the swearing and anger. They were the only ones who’d be laughing, though. And any time I got brave enough to challenge my mother’s on her view of men by asking if that’s what she thought of me, she’d say: “Oh, I didn’t mean you...”

My mother also told me to “Trust no-one, except yer family”. How could you not be social anxious when that guff been told to ya on an almost daily basis from the moment ya hit adolescents?

Having said that, the useless remark so stopped when I yelled at my mother,in middle of her talking shit about my dad - who was by no means perfect - that she should go to therapy, instead of projecting her hatred for my father onto me.

Not that being praised by my family is any better, mind you...
 

kuurt

Well-known member
#3
I don't understand Graeme, why would this cause you social anxiety? Do you feel like all girls are going to judge you as a useless effin' [email protected]$%@rd? So that makes you shy or anxious in social situations?
 

Sacrament

Well-known member
#4
Social anxiety is a distortion of reality brought on but certain events in your life (parental behavior making you feel scared of the world, bullying, a traumatic event, etc). Recognizing the distortion is a good path to seeing things in a more rational fashion.
 
#5
Social anxiety is a distortion of reality brought on but certain events in your life (parental behavior making you feel scared of the world, bullying, a traumatic event, etc). Recognizing the distortion is a good path to seeing things in a more rational fashion.
This is a short and simple statement - yet it encompasses so much truth concerning SA. :perfect:
 
#6
I don't understand Graeme, why would this cause you social anxiety? Do you feel like all girls are going to judge you as a useless effin' [email protected]$%@rd? So that makes you shy or anxious in social situations?
No, being told I was useless just made me a people pleaser, more than anything. And did an obvious number on my self-esteem and confidence.

I think my mother telling me not trust anyone outside the family during my teenage years is what really made me shy and anxious in social situations. Cuz most of my schoolmates at that time were recreational drug users, and my mother didn’t want me falling in with them. Doubly ironic, given that a couple of my relatives are junkies. And how my family has betrayed my trust more than once.

Though, my family are fairly dysfunctional, to be honest. Quite volatile. Prone to overreacting, so I tend to not interact with them much. My mum and older sister in particular. It’s quite difficult not feeling anxious socially when you can’t exactly predict how your own mother or sister will react to you asking what to you is a simple, straightforward question.
 

kuurt

Well-known member
#7
So thanks to your mom, you have a belief that you can't trust people. I can see how such a belief could make one shy and maybe even fearful around people.

Social anxiety is a distortion of reality brought on but certain events in your life (parental behavior making you feel scared of the world, bullying, a traumatic event, etc).
But wouldn't a distortion of reality be a belief too?

I'm not 100% sure what is causing my social anxiety, I guess that's why I'm asking about this topic.
 

Kiwong

Well-known member
#8
Social anxiety is born from beliefs that may have a grain of truth, that snowball into a storm of irrational thoughts most of which are irrational. Thoughts and beliefs that are given much more weight than they deserve to be.
 

Sacrament

Well-known member
#9
So thanks to your mom, you have a belief that you can't trust people. I can see how such a belief could make one shy and maybe even fearful around people.



But wouldn't a distortion of reality be a belief too?

I'm not 100% sure what is causing my social anxiety, I guess that's why I'm asking about this topic.
Yes. It's similar to people with OCD believing they have to tap their fingers 5 times on a surface or their family will die.
 
#11
Perhaps 'belief' is not the right word, but it's definitely caused by a skewed perception of the world, and the reactions you have towards these perceptions. If someone with and someone without anxiety go to a party, and person for person, and word for word, have an identical night (activity wise,) they could and probably would reach very different conclusions about how that night went, and how the people they spoke to perceived them.
 
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Sacrament

Well-known member
#12
Perhaps 'belief' is not the right word, but it's definitely caused by a skewed perception of the world, and the reactions you have towards these perceptions. If someone with and someone without anxiety go to a party, and person for person, and word for word, have an identical night (activity wise,) they could and probably would reach very different conclusions about how that night went, and how the people they spoke to perceived them.
It's true. Your perceptions about life, yourself, other people, your job, etc, all depend mostly on the way you react to things. If you're already extremely anxious before a job interview, chances are your fears will come true (stuttering, sweaty hands, blushing, not being able to express yourself properly, etc); but if you manage to turn that anxiety into excitement over a new experience (taking things as they go, and doing things for the hell of it), you're much more likely to achieve a good outcome.

Same thing goes for social interactions of any sort: if you're talking to someone and you can't stop focusing on them noticing any supposed flaws you may have, you're gonna leave that conversation exhausted, frustrated and possibly miserable; but if you focus on the other person, on the things they're saying, their mannerisms, etc, it'll be much more fulfilling.
 

kuurt

Well-known member
#13
If someone with and someone without anxiety go to a party, and person for person, and word for word, have an identical night (activity wise,) they could and probably would reach very different conclusions about how that night went, and how the people they spoke to perceived them.
Yeah, but wouldn't their perception be based upon their belief? If one had an inferiority belief and the other didn't they would perceive things differently.

It's true. Your perceptions about life, yourself, other people, your job, etc, all depend mostly on the way you react to things.
But wouldn't that also depend upon your belief?

I could be wrong, but to me it seems like it always comes back to a belief. A belief is a habitual way of thinking. Maybe it starts from an emotion which leads to a thought, and when we think the thought enough times it becomes a belief. Sure a belief has to get started somewhere, but by the time we're in our 20s or 30s most of our beliefs are probably already established by then. So, to me it seems like social anxiety might have been started by an uncomfortable emotion, which lead to a negative thought that we kept thinking, which turned into a belief. But, now it is a belief that keeps it going, is it not?

And if that's the case, couldn't we change what we believe?
 

grapevine

Well-known member
#18
Most part a belief brought on by circumstances in life and the other part genetics.

I think the belief is subconscious and basically a trail of low self-worth that makes one feel so inferior and anxious with others that it becomes just too painful to be around people and thier evaluations. It becomes a phobia.
 

lily

Well-known member
#19
Oh yes, i forgot about genetics, i think that plays a part too as i think some people have the foundation of being fed really healthy and others not so that helps in mental health.
 
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