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Old 02-15-2008, 06:44 AM   #1
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Sannah HB UserSannah HB User
Self-consciousness

Hi Everyone, a few weeks ago I was writing on a thread about relaxing in social situations when the situation is not serious and therefore, requires a variety of responses from yourself (serious conversations allow you to be serious - laughing/lighter conversations require varied responses, or at least a response that I am not as comfortable with!). Anyway, after discovering some things about myself with these situations which have allowed me to relax more, it has also allowed me to whittle the problem down to more specifics. So now I see that the issue is having increased self-consciousness so I want to explore this topic on this thread.

Why are we more self-conscious? I guess we grew up with issues that did not allow us to feel that we can fit in comfortably in a group. If we were given the opportunity at a young age to have these social skills and have them in a family that was comfortable to be in, we would have much lower levels of self-consciousness because we would just naturally feel that we fit in with most groups most of the time. When you don't get to experience fitting in, you experience not fitting in and this is uncomfortable and makes us focus on our discomfort and therefore, have a history of high self-consciousness.

What are the skills or feelings that allow you to fit into a group? A healthy degree of self-worth, good boundaries to allow self-protection, social skills, self-empowerment so that you are proactive instead of a follower, and having your feelings in order and at a comfortable level (this is all I can think of). (No wonder I grew up not feeling that I fit in! I didn't have any of these skills).

So now I have these skills built up to a good level but now I am still carrying around my habit of increased self-consciousness. So now the challenge is to figure out how to get rid of this problem! Any insight, comments or experiences to share?

Last edited by Sannah; 02-15-2008 at 07:16 AM.

 
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Old 02-15-2008, 08:18 AM   #2
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Re: Self-consciousness

You are spot on by what you say about self-consciousness, and I believe that re-learning or learning the skills for social/environmental confidence does take a lot of work - which is why I rate so highly various therapies like CBT etc is better than taking just taking a pill and nothing else.

I can't help you in the next step, but I think practice does make perfect. So it might be something that will come in time.

 
Old 02-15-2008, 11:38 AM   #3
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Re: Self-consciousness

Hi Allsorts, this idea that the self-consciousness was causing my problems just came to me in the last 24 hours. After I wrote this thread I was wondering if just self-awareness about it would be enough. You know how much worse a problem is when you don't understand it. Since I have so much history/habit of being self-conscious (and not really being aware of it!) I know that getting some history of not being self-conscious just might turn the tide. Thanks for responding.

 
Old 02-15-2008, 04:01 PM   #4
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Re: Self-consciousness

Hi, Sannah. I hope you don't mind my replying to your post. I had read your earlier post that you mentioned above and found it very interesting. I could relate then to a lot of what you said. You have great insight and ability to put things down in writing and it all makes so much sense. Like what you say above about the self-consciousness aspect of social skills being hindered. I suffer this, totally. And, yeah, my upbringing surely didn't help. I have epilepsy and was never shown how to properly view it all, and it still gets all in the way of my social skills. For me, anyway, you have hit the nail right on. It is a high self-consciousness thing, and for all sorts of reasons (I could write a book - at this point). I just wanted to let you know that and I really enjoy reading your posts.

Last edited by ms_mod; 02-15-2008 at 06:44 PM. Reason: Removed unnecessary quote. Ms_Mod

 
Old 02-15-2008, 05:24 PM   #5
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Re: Self-consciousness

Hi Sannah....

There's another possible reason for self consciousness.....if you were teased badly while growing up. If it was done within your family, it makes it even worse.

You've answered your own question in your posts.....habit.

Self consciousness is a habit, just like smoking. You need to break the habit, and replace it with another behaviour.

How about....active listening. When you find yourself feeling self conscious, concentrate really hard on what people are saying. Soon, you'll find yourself injecting your own thoughts and experiences.

The self worth, self-esteem and empowerment, will quickly follow.

What do you think?

Jan

Last edited by Pri Lily; 02-16-2008 at 09:27 AM.

 
Old 02-16-2008, 01:07 AM   #6
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Re: Self-consciousness

Basically, it seems that everything as you are growing up good and bad gets recorded in the sub-consciousness. If the said recorded thing was a bad one, and it wasn't overcome or dealt with, there is a likely chance it will show its ugly face again in a similar event.

I think the type of therapy for it is almost like regression, I'm not sure of an exact name, but I know there are some therapists out there who can help with this.

 
Old 02-16-2008, 05:29 AM   #7
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Re: Self-consciousness

It's so true what you say Pri Lily. I know it wasn't directed to me, but I just want to say I agree!! I was teased terribly as a kid by yes--of all people--my entire, large, family, all 7 of them. It was horribly cruel (I have epilepsy and they would go around saying I was having "spells," "fits," laugh at me, make fun of me, and worse, when I would try telling them how that made me feel, they would deny my feelings and say that I'm being "too sensitive." It does affect your entire life lots of time. That's why I'm on this Board too. I'm really reaching out and I want to help others in addition to helping myself. A lot of you have way more wisdom than I'll ever have. I like this Board a lot. If I ever sound too sensitive, please know I'm working on it. Anyway, I agree with Pri Lily 100 percent. Talk later!

Last edited by ms_mod; 02-16-2008 at 06:01 AM. Reason: Removed unnecessary quote. Ms_Mod

 
Old 02-16-2008, 09:30 AM   #8
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Re: Self-consciousness

Hi Purple Rose.....

Yay....progress.....!

Family's can be the worst offenders....I'm sorry for what happened to you.

But now that you know about it, you can work on it.

I will certainly know why you may be acting too sensitive...and I won't laugh, I promise

Lil

 
Old 02-16-2008, 03:00 PM   #9
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Re: Self-consciousness

In regards to my earlier reply, there is one form of therapy that I have seen that does seem very interesting on its approach towards the sub-consciousnes in general and that is dianetics. Now, I may not agree with some of the principles of scientology but their dianetics regression therapy is very interesting. For those who don't know what this is, basically they ask the patient to go to the trauma zone, and keep describing the said event in more detail, until the whole thing becomes less traumatic and frightening - almost like breaking it down and pulling it apart until its not scary anymore. It's quite interesting...

 
Old 02-18-2008, 06:29 AM   #10
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Re: Self-consciousness

Thanks for your posts Purple Rose and good luck.


Hi Lil, I need to think about what you have written for a bit.

I was never teased while growing up. I only remember seeing one person being teased while I was growing up. I don't know why teasing wasn't normal in rural northwestern Michigan in the 1970's where I grew up. I know that I talked to people my age who grew up in the more southern areas of Michigan where the economy was better and people had more money and they had more teasing. We were just a bunch of poor kids all in the same boat.

I went out to lunch on Friday with a woman and it was really, really comfortable for me. This woman is different than the usual women that I am around. I live in a suburban area where most of the woman can stay home. This woman that I just had lunch with has a PhD but because her husband does too they followed his career and not hers. She, therefore, is just working in his lab part-time and not really enjoying it and is half a stay-home mom. She also lives in the city. I feel that I had a better time with her because she is an intellectual and I can really just get into a deep conversation with her. Many of the conversations that I have around this suburb are not too deep. Having a conversation that isn't too deep leaves you less involved and aware enough to be self conscious.

I was remembering in the past when I haven't been self-conscious. I do remember many times in my life when I haven't been self-conscious for periods of time in certain situations and this was the common denominator - being involved deeply. During these times, if you can built up enough times when you are not overly self-conscious then you have a new habit going.

You are correct about the habit thing, especially when it was a habit that I wasn't even aware of until now.

Actually, I am a really good listener already.

So I guess the being really involved in the conversation can be substituted for being an active listener. I also feel just being aware of what is going on now will help.

Thanks for replying.

Last edited by ms_mod; 02-18-2008 at 07:04 AM. Reason: Removed unnecessary quote. Ms_Mod

 
Old 02-18-2008, 06:32 AM   #11
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Re: Self-consciousness

I agree Allsorts.

Last edited by ms_mod; 02-18-2008 at 07:04 AM. Reason: Removed unnecessary quote. Ms_Mod

 
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