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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Confidence and Social Phobia

Once titled Confidence Game, this post is under revision for the book.

I'll repost it when it's ready, but it could take awhile, and I'm not sure if that's even a good idea. What do you do when you can't decide?

therapydoc

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Aren't you oversimplifying this?

Therapy Doc said...

Yes, but when I write something like this it's to make only one point, this one was that if you're a parent you should push your kids a bit, and if you didn't have pushy parents, then learning assertiveness and practicing pro-active behaviors and social skills will help.

Margo said...

I fully credit my parents for my self-confidence as a child and adolescent, and believe such is the continued source of my accomplishments as an adult.

My dad never questioned whether I could handle Lake Shore Drive when I first got my license. He just handed me car keys and told me that if I wanted to take lessons at the Art Institute downtown, I'd better figure out the parking logistics. I never doubted I'd be able to, since he seemed so sure.

Just one small example...

Vanessa said...

I am curious, more so about social anxieties and lack of confidence. Growing up, I was plagued with the fact that nothing I did was quite good enough for my father. It caused me to quit alot of activities as a child, and causes me to quit many things as an adult.

my GAD doesn't help in the least. I am not crippled by this, but I definately suffer in life because of my social anxieties and such. I would love to read more on working on these skills later in life.

perhaps not all labels are bad said...

Hmm...someone signed me up for assertiveness training in middle (grade?) school...I was not invited back after bribing someone during an exercise.

As someone who is more self-reliant than what some would consider healthy (and is too miserly to bribe), I always wondered if it would have made a difference--I'm not afraid to ask for what I need, but prefer not to owe to or rely on others.

I must say, freely available knockoffs of the MBTI have helped a lot in accepting who I am. I was used to hearing people pathologize or otherwise denigrate behaviors I happened to exhibit--and perhaps the theory is flawed (or perhaps not)--but the fact remains that a large number of people, many of them successful and respected, share these traits and it is somewhat attributable to a unique perspective and way of interpreting the world. It has helped me recognize why I've always felt so different (the few others like me are similarly non-social so I've not seen any/many, people have trouble accepting women with intp traits, societal and institutional rules are made by those with opposite traits, etc.), and frankly most of the intp descriptions describe me far better than I could describe myself, with such nuance it's a bit disturbing (e.g. I mirror others' temperament, not cynically or deferentially but to feel them out, and not being just myself makes it even harder to feel at home outside of my own thoughts). Heck, it can even account for my behavior in the assertiveness training--I hate illogical rules (as in, one person must keep assertively asking the other to do something while the other must refuse, until someone buckles), I refuse to either lead or be led unless I independently determine that's what I want, I like to find ways around the system, and feeling that knowing I could do something if I wanted to is as good as doing it.....that, and I found my solution hilarious, despite what the counselor and other students assuredly thought. (Besides, I got my partner to publicly complain about my insolence!)

I suppose my point is learning that others' perspectives really are much different and that my own doubting nature makes me susceptible to entertaining their opinions of me helped partially correct some of the bad feelings I'd internalized about my behavior. I don't know that it's made me more confident, but I am happier. Also, ironically, the MBTI's label helped me better understand where my weaknesses are and gave me ways of mitigating them that are tailored to the way I think (which succeeded where self-help books and a therapist's efforts failed, though both of those avenues bore other fruit).

Okay, that's more than enough of my self-involved tangent.

therapydoc said...

Thanks much for the comment. For those of you interested, and why wouldn't you be, Perhaps is talking about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator .