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No one cares - your first mistake
For those of us crippled by panic and social anxiety:
NO ONE CARES.
Let me explain what I mean by outlining just one common scenario:
Walking into a room and feeling all eyes are on you. NO ONE CARES.
At the very least, not as much as you do.
For you, this is a life or death situation. For the others, they barely know you exist, apart from as a breathing blob of humanoid that happens to be in the vicinity.
Each is lost in their own thoughts: whether their wife has asked them to get milk or bread on the way home, feeling tired because of a crappy day at work, feeling slightly off because they ate too much at lunch, feeling hungry because they skipped lunch, or mentally daydreaming about what they're going to be doing next weekend.
Just as you are wrapped up in your little world, so too is everyone else. They know nothing about you - and they won't care to know unless it directly affects them.
This may seem like a cold, cynical way of thinking, but I see it more as a splash of cold water to the face for anxious.
To allow yourself to be controlled by panic in this way is to assume that you are more important than everyone else.
What do you think?
Hi JessF, thanks for this thread.
My first response to the scenario of entering a room full of strangers is shyness. I dont know how that fits in with me thinking of myself more than them however.
For me shyness is a feeling of lack of confidence, embarrassed that eyes are on me.
I think you're right on the ball here, i.e. what you are saying makes good sense . This Who Cares "knowledge" could be used by people to better handle panicky/anxious situations. And a means that helps reduce a person's negativity and fear is a winner in my book. In a similar vein is the old trick of pretending everyone in a room is naked. This too relieves anxiety, no doubt!
I'll remember your viewpoint next time I'm "surrounded" in the waiting room of my doctor's surgery as I often find being there quite uncomfortable,
Hi motorcycle boy,
Good points. I tend to try inner humour.
I once entered a doctors waiting room and it was filled with older people mainly ladies. Initially embarrassed I thought of- saying "its ok ladies I'm ok...just need a top up of my Viagra pills"
What resulted was a tiny smile from me and the embarrassment disappeared.
I suppose this is intentional personal "brainwashing" ?
Is this along the lines of your initial post JessF?
Hi Tony WK,
Thanks for the encouragement. Your "Viagra" story had me laughing straightout and I realized what a great coping mechanism humour can be. Thanks for sharing that. I think it could be classified as IPB (intentional personal "brainwashing") but that's ok with me. ha ha.
Hi JessF, Yes, laughing out loud for no apparent reason might make one conspicuous which is not the desired outcome for an anxious person.
This is actually my first post and first reply lol!
the noone cares actually came to my sight and its true! Noone does care!
But ive been and saw my first shrink just this week and its quite funny that the first lesson he taught me was the 'mind changing' technique.
He babbled something about an elephant and said 'dont think about the elephant' and babbled and kept repeating 'dont think about the elephant... Then he talks about a cake and says 'focus on the cake'... Then babbled about the cake then added the elephant but at the end asked what im thinking about...
you guessed it! I was thinking about the cake!
I was mind blown!
Said hell yes to another visit! Felt very proud of myself 🙂
Hello Sleepless, I now want cake. Can I blame you for that haha?
It's funny how our brains work, if you say 'don't think of' something, it sticks in your brain.
I find that songs will get stuck in my head simply by reading a headline or a piece of text in an article that is similar to that song's title. It's fascinating how our thoughts can be triggered, but being aware of the process happening takes us a step closer to being back at the controls.