Don't know who I am anymore. I'm scared

Postby Baby_buddha » Tue Nov 01, 2016 2:26 am

Little about me...I'm 21, Female, I live in San Francisco, I go to art school.

Lately, I feel like I have totally lost my sense of self. I feel like I have no idea who I am anymore.
I used to confidently and calmly socialize and now everywhere I go I feel like I have completely lost my ability to communicate in a comfortable way. I was always very social growing up and well-liked. (Although a little obnoxious at times) But recently I feel like people are judging me when I'm speaking to them and I can't relax...
It's extremely unsettling. I feel dumb, rejected, and afraid to speak up.

I feel a lot of guilt for truly insignificant things in my life. Like when I was in middle school and high school I feel like I wasn't very nice. So as a result, I now feel like I deserve for people to be mean to me.

I'm terrified because these feeling just kind of came out of the blue. The only thing I can think of that might have contributed is that recently I took a big bruise to the ego. Did that make me lose my sense of self? I thought ego-loss was a good thing...

Also, I was recently spending a lot of time with a pretty great guy. The second things got serious, I became like a scared little child. And totally lost my sense of identity.. This ultimately led to me ending our relationship ending because I just was't comfortable anymore and stopped enjoying my time with him even though we got along great before. I feel incredible guilt for letting him go when he was so great to me. He was always trying to be there for me, understand me, be open with me. And I just said SEE YA!

My mental health is ruining the perfectly good relationships I've always wanted for myself.
What is wrong with me? I don't feel comfortable in my own skin.

I used to feel very clever, fun, interesting, special, quick witted, now I feel like my brain has simply melted into a puddle.
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#1

Postby Roady » Tue Nov 01, 2016 8:37 am

It seems to me that you have always tried to be someone who you are not.
Now you have to deal with the real you. If you always played the perfect girl (who you was not) now it's time to show your real self.

I've been through such a process as well. It was horrible to show the outside world that I wasn't that perfect boy, I always tend to be. The masks must go off if I would survive.
"Hi Roady, How are you? " people sometimes asked. It was very difficult to me to give an honest answer: "Well, actually not so very good."

Go this way young lady, try to be honest about your feelings. In the first place to yourself, and then honest to the outside world.
You make a very good start here in this post!
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#2

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Tue Nov 01, 2016 12:37 pm

Baby_buddha wrote: I was always very social growing up and well-liked. (Although a little obnoxious at times) But recently I feel like people are judging me when I'm speaking to them and I can't relax...
It's extremely unsettling. I feel dumb, rejected, and afraid to speak up.


The ego bruising probably changed one of your core beliefs about how people see you. You say you were "well liked" growing up. That is a belief. It is a normal belief, especially for young people that grow up in a community with a shared or open belief system. This tends to give a person a flawed view of the world. The ego bruising has you reexamining things and adjusting your beliefs about how people actually see you and how the world operates in general.

Instead of accepting the adjusted belief you are struggling. This is "cognitive dissonance", the mental discomfort when trying to resolve a conflict between beliefs. You prefer the old belief as it is what you know and is more aligned with what you want to believe. You want to believe being "well liked" is a truism and should continue throughout life.

The sooner you accept the new belief, the sooner the mental discomfort will go away. Once you accept the belief that being "well liked" is not important, then being rejected or people judging you will not be such a big issue. Sure, it always stings just a touch not to be liked, but it is not a big deal. You can't please everyone, nor should you try.
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#3

Postby Baby_buddha » Wed Nov 02, 2016 2:25 am

Thank you both so much for the responses. Super helpful. Do you have any tips on how I can move towards acceptance of myself? And acceptance of the possibility I might not be well liked by everyone?
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#4

Postby Roady » Wed Nov 02, 2016 7:58 am

Acceptance of yourself starts - I think - by accepting your feelings.
Then speak out, express these feelings for yourself. What I do sometimes when nobody is available, is to write down my feelings and thoughts, just to make it clear.
Start to share your feelings with others. O Yes They would be surprised, because you was the one who learned others to react on a "perfect" girl. That have to change now. So you are the one who has to learn others how to respond on a new, a more real girl.

That doesn't matter at all. The most important thing is that you stop being haughty, and humble yourself.
If you do that, you will quickly see that you will meet humidity ehh I mean humility from others.
In that humility there is intimicy possible, that can be the next step. And I think that is what you always was afraid for, to be intimate with others.Because if you do that, you can be hurted (again?), rejected (again?).

At least there must be a reason for you to wear your mask and hide the real you.
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#5

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Wed Nov 02, 2016 8:55 am

Baby_buddha wrote:...how I can move towards acceptance of myself? And acceptance of the possibility I might not be well liked by everyone?


You said you are scared. Maybe scared is not the right word, but you have angst, anxiety, etc. IMO the best way to move forward is simple, you face your fears.

If you were scared of a spider, how would you overcome such a fear? You might start by looking at pictures, next watch a spider in a closed container, then an open container, then closer, closer, eventually you are holding the spider. Each step, each time you deliberately engage yourself in facing your fear of spiders your mind begins to better understand and reframe your beliefs. You go from fear of spiders, to realizing there is nothing to fear, but it doesn't happen overnight or by random happenstance. You make it happen.

The same with not being liked, fearing rejection or being judged. Put yourself out there. Place yourself in situations where you will be judged or rejected, but do so with a purpose, do it deliberately with the intention of showing that no matter what another person's opinion of you, you are fine. You are still breathing, you are not hurt, the world is turning and the sun will come up, all is good, are not hurt. Same as any other fear, deliberately face it, don't hide or run, make it happen.
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#6

Postby JuliusFawcett » Wed Nov 02, 2016 6:24 pm

Instead of looking for what is wrong with you, think about what is great about you.

The power of positive thinking makes a massive difference to our experience of the world.
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