Cold Approaching Still Blows [disc/rant]

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Post by OneTrueGuest on Sun Feb 08, 2015 5:51 pm

But that's my point.  You've learned how to handle your emotions with some things.  Now learn how to handle your emotions when it comes to rejection and approaching girls.  It's time to stop thinking of your emotions around relationships as anything different than your emotions in any other difficult situation.  We romanticize romance.  Fact is it's no different to deal with those feelings than any other kinds of feelings.  You personally just aren't used to handling it.  You haven't practiced dealing with it.  So you have fewer coping mechanisms.  You think it's because those feelings are bigger and more meaningful.  But they aren't.  You've just spent less time working with them.  That's all.

So work on handling them.  Don't try to erase them.  Don't run away from them.  Just take away the romance of them (and yes, referring to yourself as a scared little boy is romanticising them).  They are feelings like all the other messy feelings.  They hurt.  They are hard to handle.  But they can be managed.

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Post by Guest on Sun Feb 08, 2015 7:32 pm

OneTrueGuest wrote:But that's my point.  You've learned how to handle your emotions with some things.  Now learn how to handle your emotions when it comes to rejection and approaching girls.  It's time to stop thinking of your emotions around relationships as anything different than your emotions in any other difficult situation.  We romanticize romance.  Fact is it's no different to deal with those feelings than any other kinds of feelings.  You personally just aren't used to handling it.  You haven't practiced dealing with it.  So you have fewer coping mechanisms.  You think it's because those feelings are bigger and more meaningful.  But they aren't.  You've just spent less time working with them.  That's all.

So work on handling them.  Don't try to erase them.  Don't run away from them.  Just take away the romance of them (and yes, referring to yourself as a scared little boy is romanticising them).  They are feelings like all the other messy feelings.  They hurt.  They are hard to handle.  But they can be managed.

I'm having trouble understanding what you're trying to say. Because I know somewhere in there you're right.

I don't know how to handle my emotions towards rejection and girls, I don't know what those emotions are other than fear, I am afraid. I'm afraid of actin' a fool, actin' a creep-o, afraid of rejection and getting laughed at. I'm afraid of being let down, flaked, turned down, etc. and I don't want to have to deal with it if it's not necessary. It doesn't make a lot of sense, I know. I know those are silly fears to have compared to having to fear for your life in case a rejection goes south and I feel like an asshole for being terrified of girls and for that I'm sorry. You may not physically hurt me, but you may hurt my feelings, but it's okay I'm accustomed to it that as well. Neutral

I hate my feelings towards romantic relationships & whatever to the point where I don't think it's worth it anymore, yet I still want it and I don't know why either despite never having stepped into the romantic boat and have no idea what's in store (well I kinda do). Okay, so maybe I do want to erase that part of my brain, it sucks and I don't want it anymore.

But I dunno how referring to myself a scared silly boy is romanticizing anything, if I'm being honest. Because that's what it feels like I am when it comes to this stuff. I don't know how to manage it.

I'm scared. Embarassed

EDIT: I have a problem don't i?

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Post by kleenestar on Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:02 pm

There's a concept in learning theory called the "zone of proximal development." Basically it means working at the very edge of your abilities, and it's how you grow. When I get scared in a certain way, I know that's a sign that I'm operating in my zone. The fear is a signpost for growth. I don't try to avoid the fear, either by how I act or by trying to suppress how I feel. Instead I "run toward the fear" - I do the thing that I'm afraid of, and I experience that fear to the last drop. I even try to be grateful to it for showing me what to do.
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Post by Prajnaparamita on Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:07 pm

The Mikey wrote:
I'm having trouble understanding what you're trying to say. Because I know somewhere in there you're right.

I don't know how to handle my emotions towards rejection and girls, I don't know what those emotions are other than fear, I am afraid. I'm afraid of actin' a fool, actin' a creep-o, afraid of rejection and getting laughed at. I'm afraid of being let down, flaked, turned down, etc. and I don't want to have to deal with it if it's not necessary. It doesn't make a lot of sense, I know. I know those are silly fears to have compared to having to fear for your life in case a rejection goes south and I feel like an asshole for being terrified of girls and for that I'm sorry. You may not physically hurt me, but you may hurt my feelings, but it's okay I'm accustomed to it that as well. Neutral

I hate my feelings towards romantic relationships & whatever to the point where I don't think it's worth it anymore, yet I still want it and I don't know why either despite never having stepped into the romantic boat and have no idea what's in store (well I kinda do). Okay, so maybe I do want to erase that part of my brain, it sucks and I don't want it anymore.

But I dunno how referring to myself a scared silly boy is romanticizing anything, if I'm being honest. Because that's what it feels like I am when it comes to this stuff. I don't know how to manage it.

I'm scared. Embarassed

EDIT: I have a problem don't i?

I don't think you have a problem, Mikey. Or rather, I think you have a problem, but I don't think there's anything wrong with you. I think too often we conflate "having a temporary problem" with "something intrinsically wrong with me" and that's not true at all. Because if you swapped the genders, you wrote perhaps the most articulate summary of my feelings around attraction from about six months ago--the angst, the fear, the feeling that they brought me nothing but misery and I had no idea how to even deal with them in any way, so can't they just leave me alone, but no I actually want them and to act on them AAAAHHHH!!!

I can't give you that much concrete advice here, because what changed for me (being finally far enough from the socially punishing world of high school and those self-limiting beliefs it left me about how I was "a freak" and "unwanted", realizing that even if I didn't feel it, other people regarded me as attractive, meeting a guy, and yes, having him make some of those moves--though in our particular case, that was initially turning me down) doesn't really apply to you, but I would hope that you realize that your emotions are very common and a lot of people, regardless of gender. (Yes, there's the whole heightened danger for us, but when your problem is unrequited crushes and getting way too emotionally worked up over attractions, rather than straight out dating, that's not a hugely pressing issue.)

You come across to me Mikey as, if not happy-go-lucky, a person who leans towards the positive, at least from how you've presented yourself here. You have your insecurities and areas you see as weak, but you don't let those things get you down long term, and bounce back quickly. So I hope you would also do the same for this--yeah, you have some feelings and narratives in your head that aren't exactly helping you right now, but those can be dealt with. And I know this isn't exactly the most helpful thing right now, (and I'm sure if I was you I'd just end up screaming back "YES BUT HOW?!") but I've found one of the greatest silencers for those is to just luck out and have some success. That doesn't mean the onus isn't on you to deal with your negative perceptions, but success changes patterns of negative reenforcement to positive ones, and makes you understand why you keep having those feelings, because damn when its good, its so worth it. And from there it just gets easier for the most part.

I'm sorry I can't provide anything better. Just be kind to yourself and keep hope, okay?
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Post by Guest on Sun Feb 08, 2015 10:52 pm

kleenestar wrote:There's a concept in learning theory called the "zone of proximal development." Basically it means working at the very edge of your abilities, and it's how you grow. When I get scared in a certain way, I know that's a sign that I'm operating in my zone. The fear is a signpost for growth. I don't try to avoid the fear, either by how I act or by trying to suppress how I feel. Instead I "run toward the fear" - I do the thing that I'm afraid of, and I experience that fear to the last drop. I even try to be grateful to it for showing me what to do.

Sounds like a pretty good tip to apply to my diving class where I'm afraid I'll break my neck or screw up my back worse than it is now lol. Thank you, though. ^ -^

Prajnaparamita wrote:
I don't think you have a problem, Mikey. Or rather, I think you have a problem, but I don't think there's anything wrong with you. I think too often we conflate "having a temporary problem" with "something intrinsically wrong with me" and that's not true at all. Because if you swapped the genders, you wrote perhaps the most articulate summary of my feelings around attraction from about six months ago--the angst, the fear, the feeling that they brought me nothing but misery and I had no idea how to even deal with them in any way, so can't they just leave me alone, but no I actually want them and to act on them AAAAHHHH!!!

Thanks, I know everyone has their issues and they are indeed conflated by... whatever it is that plague us. I never knew I could sound articulate in such a way either, all I knew how to be articulate in were academic papers on film and TV. Razz Speaking of wanting to act on feelings, I read the Doc's last Kotaku article and he said you don't have to act upon your crushes or whatever. Which is a relief, but also, a question arises, how am I supposed to get any where (again)?

And for me, not being able to solve some of those issues feels like I'm suffocating more than anything. If I had to describe that feeling of hopelessness, misery and just overall blah feeling, it feels like suffocation.

Prajnaparamita wrote:
I can't give you that much concrete advice here, because what changed for me (being finally far enough from the socially punishing world of high school and those self-limiting beliefs it left me about how I was "a freak" and "unwanted", realizing that even if I didn't feel it, other people regarded me as attractive, meeting a guy, and yes, having him make some of those moves--though in our particular case, that was initially turning me down) doesn't really apply to you, but I would hope that you realize that your emotions are very common and a lot of people, regardless of gender. (Yes, there's the whole heightened danger for us, but when your problem is unrequited crushes and getting way too emotionally worked up over attractions, rather than straight out dating, that's not a hugely pressing issue.)

Prajna, I just wanna make it clear that I'm 23, it's been a cool five years since I've been outta high school, so I should be free of all my hangups right? Ehh, not so much. I've been away from that world for long enough but I still have plenty of hangups. Why? I don't know. I wanna attribute it to the fact that I didn't exactly "live" at that time and I attribute that to not having anyone to do stuff with a lot of the time. I went to zero dances, didn't attend a single football game and I skipped prom too.

But, eh, that's in the past now, so who gives a shit?

Prajnaparamita wrote:
You come across to me Mikey as, if not happy-go-lucky, a person who leans towards the positive, at least from how you've presented yourself here. You have your insecurities and areas you see as weak, but you don't let those things get you down long term, and bounce back quickly. So I hope you would also do the same for this--yeah, you have some feelings and narratives in your head that aren't exactly helping you right now, but those can be dealt with. And I know this isn't exactly the most helpful thing right now, (and I'm sure if I was you I'd just end up screaming back "YES BUT HOW?!") but I've found one of the greatest silencers for those is to just luck out and have some success. That doesn't mean the onus isn't on you to deal with your negative perceptions, but success changes patterns of negative reenforcement to positive ones, and makes you understand why you keep having those feelings, because damn when its good, its so worth it. And from there it just gets easier for the most part.

Oh, I'm definitely happy-go-lucky, I love laughing and I love making others laugh even if my sense of humor can be pretty dry. You're correct in that I know exactly what my issues are, but I don't let them get to me, there will be days when I'm just feeling "UGH." But overall, a good night's sleep takes care of things, so yes, to steal your words I do bounce back rather quick. :3 These feelings and narratives though, are joined at the hip with my own self-esteem issues. I'm afraid that because I'm not physically attractive enough (or at least I don't feel as such) I can't find anyone, but then other days I'll look in the mirror, make like Ice Cube and say to my self "Mikey's a pimp."

And lucking out, I believe that too, I believe that maybe, just MAYBE, if I can have some better luck things could go a lot better, maybe be easier and let the shit roll down hill from me.

I'll be fine, I just... need to figure out how to deal with my bullshit when I have zero frame of reference (or so I think).

Side-note: Last night I went to a buddy's surprise party and I was chillin' with *my* particular circle of nerd friends and one of my buddies is like "Duuude, your hair is on point... I'm surprised you still don't have a girlfriend yet." Which I had no reply to other than, "I dunno, I try [with my hair]." I couldn't tell him the 'real' reason why

Prajnaparamita wrote:
I'm sorry I can't provide anything better. Just be kind to yourself and keep hope, okay?

I'm tryin', I'm usually pretty good to me, but other times... I can't. So I drink! Grin

;A;

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Post by OneTrueGuest on Sun Feb 08, 2015 11:19 pm

But you literally just told a story where you were scared and you managed that fear. You worked through it, you called the cops, you did all the right things despite your fears. That's what I am saying you need to do with your other fears. I think you are romanticising your fear when it comes to romance into something bigger than other fears that you face in your day to day life. You think you are freakish for having such fears, that normal people don't fear approaching women and rejection, when almost everyone does in some way fear those things (or approaching men or whatever). When you talk of yourself as if by the age of 23 you should be over your hangups it's . . .well it reads kind of silly Smile . 23 is not that old. It's just not. You feel it is because you've never been as old as you are now, but hell, I don't have my shit together and I'm over a decade older than you.

I'm saying that you need to just deal with it. Feel scared. Work through it. The same way you worked through your fear that night with the robbery. I like what kleenstar is saying, pushing yourself, doing the thing that scares you. I too use fear as a benchmark. If I'm scared to do something 9 times out of 10 I end up doing it because I know pushing through the fear is the healthy thing. You need to do the same thing with approaching women and asking them out on dates. You need to face your fear. Over and over again. It's not about getting rid of your fear, it's about working with it.

You aren't special at 23 for being scared of rejection. That's actually very normal for men and women alike. Stop thinking your fear is wrong or bad or immature, ie. scared little boy. It is normal. It is very average. It is very human. Own your fear, don't let it own you. And face it.

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Post by Guest on Mon Feb 09, 2015 1:43 am

OneTrueGuest wrote:But you literally just told a story where you were scared and you managed that fear.  You worked through it, you called the cops, you did all the right things despite your fears.  That's what I am saying you need to do with your other fears.

Well, it wasn't that big a deal... for me, I mean. Uh-oh It was the appropriate thing for me to do because it was important!

OneTrueGuest wrote:I think you are romanticising your fear when it comes to romance into something bigger than other fears that you face in your day to day life.  You think you are freakish for having such fears, that normal people don't fear approaching women and rejection, when almost everyone does in some way fear those things (or approaching men or whatever).  When you talk of yourself as if by the age of 23 you should be over your hangups it's . . .well it reads kind of silly Smile .  23 is not that old.  It's just not.  You feel it is because you've never been as old as you are now, but hell, I don't have my shit together and I'm over a decade older than you.

Heh, I don't think my fear is anymore appealing than it actually is if I have the definition of romanticizing/romanticism correctly. Razz Any other hangups/fears/etc I have about other stuff is no big deal. I don't think I'm freakish, I think I'm silly for having such a fear when others who do have said fears, have gotten over it. So I should too, but then reality strikes. Don't get me wrong, I've asked people out a few times too, but it's never came out in my favor, all it's done is really discourage me from asking out another person again. It's been about... one, two... about eight months since I've asked out anyone (and intern girl doesn't count because well, you know why I think).

I know 23 isn't that old, I'm reminded of that when I make that joke in person. And what I mean by my hangups by 23, I mean petty and ultimately meaningless hangups I had in high school. I know they're silly words (silly silly words), but I'm happy that I could make you laugh. ^ -^

-sigh-

OneTrueGuest wrote:
I'm saying that you need to just deal with it.  Feel scared.  Work through it.  The same way you worked through your fear that night with the robbery.  I like what kleenstar is saying, pushing yourself, doing the thing that scares you. I too use fear as a benchmark.  If I'm scared to do something 9 times out of 10 I end up doing it because I know pushing through the fear is the healthy thing.  You need to do the same thing with approaching women and asking them out on dates.  You need to face your fear.  Over and over again.  It's not about getting rid of your fear, it's about working with it.  

You aren't special at 23 for being scared of rejection.  That's actually very normal for men and women alike.  Stop thinking your fear is wrong or bad or immature, ie. scared little boy.  It is normal.  It is very average.  It is very human.  Own your fear, don't let it own you.  And face it.

I don't wanna feel scared, I want to feel anything that isn't that. I want to feel calm and at ease. I never used fear as a benchmark unfortunately because there have been very few situations where I've felt serious pants-shitting fear/anxiety. Sure I'll feel nervous before a presentation or whatever, but never scared, I keep cool and it's nothing I can't handle.

I just can't approach because I legit got nothing to say other than "Hey, I think you're cute, I'm Mikey" and that to me is so bizarre, I don't want to scare them either and risk getting maced. I don't want to come off like the dude in my original post in this thread. Hell, even my boss told me, "Just ask them questions, you can practice here, dude". I dunno how to practice, especially when I'm working, I can't hit on students -- that's such a weird term, 'hit-on'.

I never thought of myself as special, I thought of myself as... let's just say, not special. At the very least I'm glad to hear I'm not alone, but even if I do muster up the courage, what are the chances it's not gonna happen. Hell, I'm the type of guy who it takes a very long time to even find someone worth asking out either and I blew the last one before I even made a move.

Thank you for the pep talk but... I dunno, at this moment I don't think I can do it, at least not in this current state of mind tonight. I mean, I *know* that I can do it but I don't want to feel scared and then get my feelings hurt (or assaulted).

I just need to feel sad for another night. Maybe stay off the forums for awhile. Eh, who am I kidding I'll be back trying to fix the wrong problem. Why is it that every time I come here I always feel more depressed than I was previously?

Anyway, thank you again OTG. :3

PS please don't hurt me, I'm squishy.

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Post by OneTrueGuest on Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:08 am

Well now I kind of feel like shit.  I certainly in no way meant to make you to feel worse than before you came to visit.  I am truly sorry for that.  

I guess I just feel that when we realise we aren't alone, that dating is scary for most people, that it's scary to us because it matters to us, that it can kind of help.  Women aren't the other or the enemy or perfect with their feelings.  They are scared just like you in all the same ways you are too.  I think knowing we are all flawed people helps us to face the fears because they put things into more perspective.  

I know what it feels like to feel hopeless and scared in the face of one's romantic future.  I know the pain.  That's why I give the advice I do.  Because it's not just going to magically go away.  The only way for us to find someone is to push past the fears.  That's pretty much the only option.  And I'm here to say that it is possible, that you can survive confronting the fear, and, in fact, thrive.  

But if saying all this just makes you feel worse, I will absolutely stop making that point.  And again I'm really sorry.  I was truly just trying to help.


PS:  I would never hurt you, at least not on purpose.  What kind of person would do that?  Sad

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Post by Guest on Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:32 am

OneTrueGuest wrote:Well now I kind of feel like shit.  I certainly in no way meant to make you to feel worse than before you came to visit.  I am truly sorry for that.  

I guess I just feel that when we realise we aren't alone, that dating is scary for most people, that it's scary to us because it matters to us, that it can kind of help.  Women aren't the other or the enemy or perfect with their feelings.  They are scared just like you in all the same ways you are too.  I think knowing we are all flawed people helps us to face the fears because they put things into more perspective.  

I know what it feels like to feel hopeless and scared in the face of one's romantic future.  I know the pain.  That's why I give the advice I do.  Because it's not just going to magically go away.  The only way for us to find someone is to push past the fears.  That's pretty much the only option.  And I'm here to say that it is possible, that you can survive confronting the fear, and, in fact, thrive.  

But if saying all this just makes you feel worse, I will absolutely stop making that point.  And again I'm really sorry.  I was truly just trying to help.


PS:  I would never hurt you, at least not on purpose.  What kind of person would do that?  Sad

Don't worry about it and don't feel like poop. I know your intentions are as pure as gold and for that I thank you! If anyone is to blame, it should be me, because I'm the one in control of my emotions. Wink

I know I'm not alone, but it certainly feels like I'm alone. I know women aren't perfect either, I know women are not the enemy (how can they when they're the best thing that's happened to this world, imo) and I know women are people just like me. To be honest, knowing all that doesn't make me feel any worse. Knowing that we're all flawed also doesn't make me feel any worse either, so I have nothing to fear about that in particular.

I just hate feeling this way. If I could take those feelings and emotions and toss them into the trash, I would, things would certainly become easier and I would become a Vulcan. I just want it to go away soooo badly. I've been able to push past my fears but when I fail, I get discouraged and not want to do it again.

I completely understand your fear and hopelessness, I'm living it! Matter of fact when I asked out Social Anxiety Girl last year, I whipped out the Litany Against Fear on my iPhone to get over it. No matter how many times I recited that I was still shaky and nervous.

I know you're trying to help, so don't feel about that. It's absolutely appreciated! So, don't worry about me. Smile

PS: You'd be surprised sometimes!

But it's okay, you did nothing wrong. Here have kitty hugs.
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Post by nearly_takuan on Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:47 am

OneTrueGuest wrote:Even people who do well in relationships are dealing with something else in their lives that is really difficult and scary for them.  None of us are ever going to live this life free of any stress, anxiety, self doubt and bad things happening.  I think what is almost more important for a lot of people here to think about is not so much solving all the problems, but how to emotionally deal with the bad things that happen in life.  That's what most of us learn how to do.  We don't live lives free of feeling uncomfortable feelings, we've just learned how to handle them in a fashion that doesn't cripple us nor make us paralysed to live our lives.  

It's nothing particularly unique to feel bad feelings, every single person on the planet feels bad feelings.  It's how one handles them that makes the difference.

I'd dare to say that the plurality of people in our respective countries/communities don't have to face their biggest problems alone, though, and that that can make a significant difference. I just...needed to say that, I guess.

Of course you shouldn't feel bad for just saying what you think (and trying to help) and I wouldn't want you to stop.
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Post by ReploidArmada on Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:22 am

Prajnaparamita wrote:And I know this isn't exactly the most helpful thing right now, (and I'm sure if I was you I'd just end up screaming back "YES BUT HOW?!") but I've found one of the greatest silencers for those is to just luck out and have some success. That doesn't mean the onus isn't on you to deal with your negative perceptions, but success changes patterns of negative reenforcement to positive ones, and makes you understand why you keep having those feelings, because damn when its good, its so worth it. And from there it just gets easier for the most part.

I'm sorry I can't provide anything better. Just be kind to yourself and keep hope, okay?

I can only really speak for myself, but... I'll try. I'll try to keep myself from beating myself up over my inability to attract anyone, and hold out some measure of hope that what I'm doing for myself will eventually help me find someone to fall in love with, even if it's not entirely responsible for it. But still, I'm not quite sure what I should be trying to do for myself in the meantime. I'm keeping up with work, spending time around people twice a week, and trying to keep myself in good care (although I still struggle with it), but even with all of those things that seem to be going right, I still feel the pain and heartache of my perpetual loneliness. I'm not sure what else I can do, besides daydream...

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Post by Prajnaparamita on Mon Feb 09, 2015 12:17 pm

ReploidArmada wrote:
I can only really speak for myself, but... I'll try. I'll try to keep myself from beating myself up over my inability to attract anyone, and hold out some measure of hope that what I'm doing for myself will eventually help me find someone to fall in love with, even if it's not entirely responsible for it. But still, I'm not quite sure what I should be trying to do for myself in the meantime. I'm keeping up with work, spending time around people twice a week, and trying to keep myself in good care (although I still struggle with it), but even with all of those things that seem to be going right, I still feel the pain and heartache of my perpetual loneliness. I'm not sure what else I can do, besides daydream...

Well Reploid, if I was to drop the motivational speeches shtick and try to give you my best stab at practical advice, I would suggest focusing your new energy on two areas--keeping up hygiene and getting out of the house more. Getting out of the house because meeting someone is entirely predicated on meeting people, and hygiene because without that its going to be a lot harder to make a good first impression on people when you do meet them without that. Also, just from my personal experience, there were days when I was like "fuck it, I'm not getting dressed today" or just wore the same clothes over and over again, I would feel really horrible inside of myself, even if I couldn't articulate why. I felt like I was letting myself reflect in my outward appearance my inner apathy, and it would become a vicious cycle in just not feeling comfortable in myself, inside and out. So even though it feels so exhausting, just making sure I get dressed sometime before the afternoon can make a big effect on my mood. I know its easy for me to say "just do this, it'll help I swear!" and another story to put it into practice, and I'm also often assisted by my parents basically ordering me to change out of sweatpants and into a pretty dress and tights instead, but I think if you can find some system around motivation and rewards for keeping up hygiene routines, it might help a bit.
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Post by KMR on Mon Feb 09, 2015 1:54 pm

The Mikey wrote:
I just hate feeling this way. If I could take those feelings and emotions and toss them into the trash, I would, things would certainly become easier and I would become a Vulcan. I just want it to go away soooo badly. I've been able to push past my fears but when I fail, I get discouraged and not want to do it again.

I completely understand your fear and hopelessness, I'm living it! Matter of fact when I asked out Social Anxiety Girl last year, I whipped out the Litany Against Fear on my iPhone to get over it. No matter how many times I recited that I was still shaky and nervous.

I want to point out that "pushing past your fears" does not mean no longer experiencing fear. It's not that you make yourself stop feeling afraid and then you can do whatever it is you were previously afraid to do. It's about making the conscious choice to act despite still feeling that fear and being shaky and nervous and all those things that fear does to you. You push through fear by acknowledging that those feelings are going to be there, that you probably won't be able to control them, and that that's okay and normal, but you've decided that you just can't let it stop you from doing the things you want (or need) to do.

Also, I completely sympathize with the feeling of discouragement when you put yourself in a scary situation and things don't go your way. But I think it's good to remind yourself that romantic rejection happens to everyone, including people who have a lot of romantic success (even romantically-successful people have often experienced more rejections than successes when you look at their overall history). Unrequited feelings are incredibly common. You used the term "fail" and this tends to have the connotation of "bad thing that is your fault" but this is generally not the case in romantic contexts, because a lot of the time being rejected has less to do with you doing something wrong and more to do with things that are out of your control (they're already seeing someone or you're not their type). "Fail" also tends to carry the connotation of "you should give up on this thing if it happens to you multiple times," but again, this is not applicable in dating because you're dealing with a completely different person each time, and you can't assume that being rejected by X number of women in your past means you will be rejected by any other woman you may be interested in in the future. So I think it's often dangerous to describe romantic rejection by using the word "failure." It might be helpful to re-frame it in other terms.
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Post by Guest on Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:51 pm

KMR wrote:
I want to point out that "pushing past your fears" does not mean no longer experiencing fear. It's not that you make yourself stop feeling afraid and then you can do whatever it is you were previously afraid to do. It's about making the conscious choice to act despite still feeling that fear and being shaky and nervous and all those things that fear does to you. You push through fear by acknowledging that those feelings are going to be there, that you probably won't be able to control them, and that that's okay and normal, but you've decided that you just can't let it stop you from doing the things you want (or need) to do.

Also, I completely sympathize with the feeling of discouragement when you put yourself in a scary situation and things don't go your way. But I think it's good to remind yourself that romantic rejection happens to everyone, including people who have a lot of romantic success (even romantically-successful people have often experienced more rejections than successes when you look at their overall history). Unrequited feelings are incredibly common. You used the term "fail" and this tends to have the connotation of "bad thing that is your fault" but this is generally not the case in romantic contexts, because a lot of the time being rejected has less to do with you doing something wrong and more to do with things that are out of your control (they're already seeing someone or you're not their type). "Fail" also tends to carry the connotation of "you should give up on this thing if it happens to you multiple times," but again, this is not applicable in dating because you're dealing with a completely different person each time, and you can't assume that being rejected by X number of women in your past means you will be rejected by any other woman you may be interested in in the future. So I think it's often dangerous to describe romantic rejection by using the word "failure." It might be helpful to re-frame it in other terms.

That's a good thing to keep in mind, that despite that fear, the physical reactions may still remain but to still move forward.

I forget that. I get so bogged down with my own issues and emotions about that I forget that but I'm not the only one who is unsuccessful. Only they can deal with it far better than I have in the past. I mean, I'm okay at it, I don't particularly feel like shit in the moment I typically say, "Hey, that's cool, it's all good" and then I'll go cry at home in bed with a bottle of whiskey. Grin No, I don't actually do the whiskey part much, but it Feels Bad Man.

The bolded bit is true, I suppose, but sometimes, blind fear and sadness, is well, blind and I can't particularly see that. I'm in a weird place that, despite putting on my best face forward and having a grand attitude when I'm not depressed, I feel like I'll still get rejected. So that's another hang up, I'll visualize some sort of suc- wait a tick, did I visualize a yes with Social Anxiety Girl? Maybe that's my magic feather.

Anyway, it's still hard to think you're NOT gonna get rejected when your past romantic history is marred by rejections. When you follow one pattern it's hard to expect the same thing to not happen again, I mean I know things can change, but I'm gambling at that point.

What do you suggest I do to reframe unsuccessful attempts? Frame them as unsuccessful approaches/date proposals?


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Post by OneTrueGuest on Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:17 pm

The Mikey - How about framing them as successfully pushing through your fear? Smile But yes, I think unsuccessful is far better a word than "failure".

And KMR, thank you SO MUCH. This is essentially what I've been trying to say to The Mikey since the beginning of this thread, but clearly I wasn't articulating it well enough. It's never been about not feeling the fear. It's about pushing through the fear despite feeling it. It's about being terrified to go into the cave, and still going into it.


And now.

nearly_takaun:

Okay. You have inspired a rant. I totally and completely apologise, this is not directed directly at you, but what you said is the catalyst for it.

In one sentence you basically implied that most people have help facing their fears and so we don't count. First of all, I want proof that that's true. Because I know very few people who had help facing their fears, most of us have to go it alone.

Second of all . . . I am sick to death of that attitude here. The attitude that clearly people who have managed to face their fears or push through them or done anything that others here find difficult, that for such people it was easier. That they had help. That really the only way a person can possibly have success dating or professionally or whatever is because they had an easier go of it than you (plural "you", not specific "you"). That is a huge massive fuck you to all the work I have put in to my life. I don't know really if there is anyone else here on this site who faces as much daily rejection as I do. I think maybe Mel, who is also an author, might have something comparable, but she is not an actress too. I get rejected pretty much on a daily basis. And guess what? It hurts like a mother fucker. Every. Single. Time. This past week I could barely get out of bed I was so depressed. I felt so worthless. What was the point of going on when no one seems to appreciate anything I do? I definitely had suicidal thoughts, I felt alone and helpless and I just didn't want to do anything.

And no, I don't have clinical depression (I have been diagnosed with mild depression, but it's not the same), so I'm not fighting that. But I still have to deal with constant horrible feelings. The same goes for my dating life. Yes, right now it's amazing. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE. AT 34 YEARS OLD. But up until last year, it was fucking hard. You feel invisible being a man? Try being a typically attractive woman who is supposed to get all the attention all the time and NO ONE IS PAYING ANY ATTENTION TO HER. Try having everyone assume you must do just fine but no one actually interested.

My point. I know fear. I know rejection. I know pain and grief and wanting to end it all. And fuck people saying that clearly the only reason I have managed to get ahead in my life, to have a relationship, to be able to go out to parties, to have a kind of career at this stupid arts stuff it's because I had help. Or I had it easier. Or I don't really know what real fear is like.

Why the fuck do you all think I come here to post? Do you honestly think it's to lord my superior skills and living situation and shake my head in wonder why you guys just can't get it together? It's because I GET IT. I've been there. Sometimes, like last week, I AM there. But I have spent my life facing my fears. Facing crippling self doubt. Facing all of the bullshit. Why? Because what other damn choice do we have?? We can sit around and analyse articles and dissect human interactions and theorise the best ways that society should run. And there's value to that, it's true. But we also just have to get on with living. This is it people. This isn't rehearsal. This is your life right now, it's happening RIGHT BLOODY NOW. You have two choices: do or do not. Someone once said that. I think he was green.

Facing your fears is fucking hard. It's a scary mother fucking thing. It's horrible. After all fear is telling us not to do the thing, it seems like it's trying to protect us. But it's almost always a lie. Fear isn't our great protector. It holds us back. It's an abusive partner that wants to see us fail.

Stop thinking that one's individual cases are so much more difficult than everyone else who has ever lived. Thinking that means you never have to try. Because it's harder for you than everyone else, and therefore the only way to have any success is to have it easy to begin with. So there's nothing you can do.

I'm not saying people don't have unique difficulties they are facing. I am not negating very real challenges that many of us face. But the funny thing is other people here do. That's the irony. People here write about how it must be so much easier for others, they had support, they just always found dating easy etc etc. They completely negate whatever issues those people might be facing that you know nothing about. It is some of the most insensitive BS I read here. This arrogant assumption that others don't feel real pain or have real issues just because you don't know about them. Hell I have serious digestive issues which means when I get really stressed I get really ill. This past year was a very hard one for me (tons and tons of rejection and unsuccessful projects) and I got sick 3 times ("sick" = over a month of serious crippling pain).

In conclusion: Stop assuming everyone has it easier than you. Maybe instead assume everyone has something unique that makes it just as hard as it is for you. And maybe instead of rolling your eyes and assuming they have nothing of value to offer by way of advice, maybe admire them. Maybe think, "Wow, this person has faced all the things I fear most and survived. Maybe I can too." Maybe realise we're all human and all dealing with shit. And we all are scared.

And that it's time to get out there and fight for what you want.

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Post by reboot on Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:06 pm

OneTrueGuest wrote:The Mikey - How about framing them as successfully pushing through your fear?  Smile   But yes, I think unsuccessful is far better a word than "failure".

And KMR, thank you SO MUCH.  This is essentially what I've been trying to say to The Mikey since the beginning of this thread, but clearly I wasn't articulating it well enough.  It's never been about not feeling the fear.  It's about pushing through the fear despite feeling it.  It's about being terrified to go into the cave, and still going into it.  


And now.

nearly_takaun:

Okay.  You have inspired a rant.  I totally and completely apologise, this is not directed directly at you, but what you said is the catalyst for it.  

In one sentence you basically implied that most people have help facing their fears and so we don't count.  First of all, I want proof that that's true.  Because I know very few people who had help facing their fears, most of us have to go it alone.  

Second of all . . . I am sick to death of that attitude here.  The attitude that clearly people who have managed to face their fears or push through them or done anything that others here find difficult, that for such people it was easier.  That they had help.  That really the only way a person can possibly have success dating or professionally or whatever is because they had an easier go of it than you (plural "you", not specific "you").  That is a huge massive fuck you to all the work I have put in to my life. ......

In conclusion:  Stop assuming everyone has it easier than you.  Maybe instead assume everyone has something unique that makes it just as hard as it is for you.  And maybe instead of rolling your eyes and assuming they have nothing of value to offer by way of advice, maybe admire them.  Maybe think, "Wow, this person has faced all the things I fear most and survived.  Maybe I can too."  Maybe realise we're all human and all dealing with shit.  And we all are scared.  

And that it's time to get out there and fight for what you want.  

OTG, you summed up brilliantly what I was thinking, so I only want to add that each and every person out there faces and conquers their fears alone. No one helps you because it is not something they can help with. Fear is an emotion that each individual needs to conquer by themselves because it is unique to them. Handling rejection and failure is an individual lesson. No one helps you. No one teaches you how to do it. Everyone needs to learn it on their lonesome.

And OTG is absolutely correct that everyone has to learn how to do this because it is part of being human. Everyone is afraid, everyone gets hurt, everyone fails, maybe not in the same areas of life, but no one is immune from it.
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Post by kleenestar on Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:44 pm

Mikey, I think other folks have said some very wise things, so I just want to tell you that I know how it feels to not want to be afraid. The problem is that when you let your behavior be guided by wanting not to be afraid ... you end up teaching yourself that the fear is even worse than you originally thought it was. After all, you wouldn't have avoided it if it weren't worse than the alternative! For me the key has been letting myself feel fear, and not being afraid of how bad it can sometimes feel. I don't always succeed - but when I get avoidant, I generally end up working myself into a far more miserable state trying to avoid the fear than the experience of fear itself would have been. That's my two cents, and I hope it helps to know that someone who has an entirely different set of life challenges than you still experiences the same underlying emotions.
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Post by Hirundo Bos on Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:36 pm

I can just add to what people are saying about facing fears... and how amazing the change can feel after you have faced it down enough times that you can, well, use your inner eye to see its path...

The first thing you learn by facing fear is that it is endurable. It's very very unpleasant, but it is endurable. And it isn't harmful in itself... have you ever had the misfortune of touching a sensitive area after handling chili peppers? Your eyes for example? Chili peppers have evolved to create the illusion of intense heat, just like fear of fear itself creates the illusion of intense danger. But once the illusion clearly away your eyes aren't horribly burned after all, there isn't even any trace of harm. Same thing with fear of fear itself.

The second thing you learn when facing fear, is that the sensation is anything but static. The physical sensations, the thoughts that go with them, will rise and fall, rise and fall, like waves crashing against the shore. On a scale of 1 to 10, the sensation will change from 9 to 5 to 8 to 10 to 6 etc etc. After a while, the waves come with less force, 6 to 4 to 6 to 3 to 2.... and then finally they go away.

The third thing you learn is after the fear calms down to a manageable level, the thing that started the fear will still be there. It may not be much easier than before, but you're likely to find yourself able to do it. And then the fourth thing you learn, and this is the cruical part – you get to know the actual consequences of engaging with the thing you fear. Chances are good they won't be anywhere near as bad as you thought they would be. But even if they are... even if they are, they are now turning into something familiar to you, something you can prepare yourself for, something you can figure out and with time improve.

All of these things are hard to learn as long as you stay away from the thing, whether try but then become overwhelmed by fear, or become numb to it or avoid it altogether.

You ask why you become more depressed, more upset, when you talk about this on the forums, and while I don't know your mind, and while there are probably many reasons why people feel they way they do, I want to point out that these feelings are probably a sign that you're already doing a good job with fear-facing. You are not avoiding the subject, and so it hurts.

Because... facing your fears doesn't have to be about doing all the most scary things you can imagine, at once. You can approach them gradually, do things that provoke a milder version of the fear, get familiar with them gradually. Just imagining or discussing the thing you fear can bring you far along.

And it's a good idea to be kind to yourself on the way. Take a break now and then, do enjoyable things. Set your own pace, your own rate of progression. That's also something that will get easier once you get used to it.
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Post by Autumnflame on Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:27 pm

The Mikey wrote:I just can't approach because I legit got nothing to say other than "Hey, I think you're cute, I'm Mikey" and that to me is so bizarre, I don't want to scare them either and risk getting maced. I don't want to come off like the dude in my original post in this thread. Hell, even my boss told me, "Just ask them questions, you can practice here, dude". I dunno how to practice, especially when I'm working, I can't hit on students -- that's such a weird term, 'hit-on'.

My only real contribution I feel I can make here is (besides general cute-kitten-gif levels of supportive feelings) that's not so bizarre as all that. It's not the most scintillating of openers, but it's nothing that's going to scare most people or make them reach for the Mace (if done in the usual places where cold approaching is all right).

And that's putting aside that cold approaches don't even have to be your thing, seriously - it's not the end of the world if all cold approaching was outlawed everywhere. The human race would carry on and people would still find, date, and marry each other.

(But yeah, don't hit on the students when you're working. You can practice on other people - shoppers waiting in line, that sort of thing. :p If it's just talking to women you're attracted to in a sociable way, that can definitely be practiced at work with students, though.)
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Post by nearly_takuan on Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:38 pm

OTG it seemed to me you were comparing the non-relationshippy hardships of "people who do well in relationships" with those of...people who don't.

Whatever. Of course I can fucking survive. I'm not writing this from an afterlife.
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Post by Guest on Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:05 am

OneTrueGuest wrote:In conclusion:  Stop assuming everyone has it easier than you.  Maybe instead assume everyone has something unique that makes it just as hard as it is for you.  And maybe instead of rolling your eyes and assuming they have nothing of value to offer by way of advice, maybe admire them.  Maybe think, "Wow, this person has faced all the things I fear most and survived.  Maybe I can too."  Maybe realise we're all human and all dealing with shit.  And we all are scared.  

And that it's time to get out there and fight for what you want.  

While I don't disagree with your premise in any way, because everyone goes through something they consider difficult and they are typically 'alone' while they go through it, I've always balked at the idea that because someone else faced fears I share it means I could.

Maybe it's my lack of faith in the concept of faith itself, but knowing someone else can do it only means they can, ultimately. In my head, anyway. It's one of those trains of thoughts I've had for so long that it doesn't feel like jerkbrain talk.

Or, maybe, I'm just a stupid. Razz

kleenestar wrote:Let me anti-hammer with data!! The vast majority of Americans (you are American, yes?) meet dates through shared social context - school, work, hobbies, religious organizations - or by being introduced through friends. If you have to choose between getting good at cold approach and getting good at other types of relationship-building, the smart money should always go for the latter. I understand that there are cultural messages telling you that you can't wait around and therefore must cold approach, but maybe it helps to hear clearly that the former does not imply the latter. If you don't want to wait around, cold approaching is not your only choice - and if you want to be more approachable by women, we can help both with the practicalities and with helping you resist the bullshit cultural messages you're getting.

Interesting.

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Post by kleenestar on Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:20 am

I'd suggest that knowing someone else has successfully faced your fear at least gives you data to examine and hypotheses to investigate. What skills did they use, and how can you develop them? Where do their circumstances and capacities diverge from yours? The more people you know who've done it, the higher the odds that at least one of them has something you can use.
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Post by OneTrueGuest on Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:54 am

nearly_takuan - what do you mean by that?  That sentence made no sense to me.  Could you rephrase?

MapWater - not sure what to tell you.  Quite frankly you are articulating the exact attitude I find problematic here.  The thought that what you feel, that your personality, that all those things combine to some kind of a special human being incapable of coping while others have a combined situation that makes them more capable.  Basically you're saying that it's easier for me.  Yet again.  And I disagree.  But whatever.  Clearly this attitude runs deep, and quite frankly, I could see how it could be kind of comforting.  To know there's nothing you can do to change your situation means you never actually have to face your fears.  Not saying you are actively doing it on purpose, but I bet there's something deep down that gets some kind of satisfaction in believing that.

I know that reads harsh, and kleenstar has much more patient advice to offer.  My advice in general to so many in this forum is to stop thinking that you are so unique that no one else can be seen as a model for behaviour.  Maybe if you actually thought others had it just as rough as you did, then maybe you'd think it was possible for you to fix your situation just as others were capable to.

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Post by OneTrueGuest on Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:14 am

After re-reading your post several times, nearly_takuan, I understand it now. First of all, I began by talking about people facing their rejection fears, I directly talked about that. I augmented my point by saying that even if you are in a relationship you have to deal with fears. And I'm sorry, saying that by virtue of being in a relationship your fears aren't as big a deal is yet another delightful fuck you to everyone going through shit. No one feels anything as badly as someone who is single, is that your point? Seriously?

You know it says a lot that you just had to grab at that straw and ignore all of my paragraphs addressing the fear of being single and approaching people. I talked about facing my own personal fears when I was single too. But that doesn't count I guess to you. Because it's over now. Because since I'm not longer single I cannot possibly know what it was like to be so alone that sometimes I wanted to kill myself. So alone that I didn't want to step outside and see happy couples. So alone that I assumed there was something fundamentally and completely uniquely wrong with me. Nope, I have no empathy at all.

Sigh. So glad my story of overcoming my fears and facing them and working my ass off can so easily be dismissed by you. So glad you choose to cherry pick my attempt to demonstrate that everyone, even those people in relationships, have to face fears all the time and that being in a relationship won't therefore solve that problem for you.

You know what. Time to take a break from this site. I can't handle how much people want to vilify me here. Maybe i deserve it. I've definitely been way harsher of late. It's clearly not helping, and I never meant to harm people here. I really did want to help.

You guys be kind to each other and yourselves. Ttyl.

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Post by Guest on Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:24 am

kleenestar wrote:I'd suggest that knowing someone else has successfully faced your fear at least gives you data to examine and hypotheses to investigate. What skills did they use, and how can you develop them? Where do their circumstances and capacities diverge from yours? The more people you know who've done it, the higher the odds that at least one of them has something you can use.

I suppose that's a constructive way to look at it. I just wish I actually witnessed friends actually, I dunno, hitting on people or trying to pick someone up so I could actually see it. Learning theory is all fine and dandy, but I need to see thing in action to be confident in how I could react well to them.

OneTrueGuest wrote:nearly_takuan - what do you mean by that?  That sentence literally made no sense to me.  Could you rephrase.

MapWater - not sure what to tell you.  Quite frankly you are articulating the exact attitude I find problematic here.  The thought that what you feel, that your personality, that all those things combine to some kind of a special human being incapable of coping while others have a combined situation that makes it more capable.  Basically you're saying that it's easier for me.  Yet again.  And I disagree.  But whatever.  Clearly this attitude runs deep, and quite frankly, it's kind of comforting.  To know there's nothing you can do to change your situation means you never actually have to face your fears.  It'd be nice to have that luxury.  

You can just call me stupid. I won't get mad, promise.

But, in all seriousness, I'm sorry. I'm a fuck up, who while not beyond help, doesn't want help because it's too comfortable being a fuck up. The only difference I would say I have from most people I have personally seen in my position is that I've made myself so emotionally cold, I don't know what else to do but just be comfortable as is.

Active refusal is worse than passive inability, after all.

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