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Negative Thoughts


BellaLaBella

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Hello,

I am just wondering if anybody can help me with some advice to stop thinking negative and live happy. It's easier said than done. I tend to think people do not like me, I always feel ignored, and have no friends anymore to talk to. If someone I've met a few times and I see them again and they do not say anything to me eventhough they see me again, I want to say hi but I feel like they dont want to talk to me coz they do not say hi so I just ignore them too. I know i should say hi but I feel like they dont like me anyways and I'd rather not bother them. This seems to be the case just about every new people I meet. I feel like I've made them not like me like I've said something to offend them or they just didnt like my personality. I used to have so much friends in school and I had no problem before but now as an adult I seem to suck at socializing or tend to have this negative thinking towards people that they hate me and that I'm just not likable. I dont know what to say and I feel like when I do talk to people I come across wrong or say the wrong thing and offend them. I admire people who are very social and just loved by every people they meet. I wish I can be that way but I dont know how. Any thoughts?

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Socializing is like a tennis game. Both people have to send the ball back and forth with equal effort. Otherwise no game is possible. When people approach you, say hello to you, talk to you, they just sent the ball into your court. Next time you see them, you send the ball back by approaching them, saying hello, talking to them. Back and forth you go. If you don't return the ball, there is no game. People will pitch that ball to your court once, twice, maybe even thrice, but if you don't pitch back.....no tennis game. People expect reciprocity and equal effort.

 

If you like being around social people, pay careful attention. They GIVE freely. Meaning that they approach people, compliment, make people around them feel good. They are great initiators. The rest is just reciprocation.

 

Anyway, so adjusting your mind to the idea that it's a two way street, that you need to give even more than you receive might be a good start.

 

Other than that, as goofy as it may sound, start a list. Every single morning, write down one good thing about yourself. Each day read through the growing list and keep adding another positive thing. Don't repeat what's already written. It may sound easy or goofy, but it won't be easy at all when you are so down on yourself and so stuck in self criticism. Quite frankly it will be a struggle for you, but if you persevere with this, and it will get harder and harder to add on something new the longer the list grows, the more you are going to reshape your negative thoughts into finding what's positive and focusing on that instead.

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Hi DancingFool! That is such a great way to explain. You really opened my mind. I really appreciate your time.

 

I'm typically just a shy person so I hardly initiate unless ive known you a very long time andd know exactly how talk to you. However, when its new people I'm kind of stuck on how to strike up a convo and I never meet new people and become comfortable enough to be friends or wants to be friends. I do say hi and hows your day? when I see them when they dont say hi or pretend they dont see me but maybe its just in my head but it seems like they wish they never met me and they dont like to be bothered so it just kind of put me down and i think all these negative thoughts in my head. I dont know what I'm doing wrong but i do acknowledge them and talk to them but then i would stop and just ignore them too when i feel like they dont want to be bothered.

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Some of it is definitely going to be your own critical, negative perception. Meaning you see people as uninterested, when in fact they are interested. Some is going to be true in that you are not connecting and there is nothing wrong with that. There will be a few people that you click with and majority you don't. However, when you are so down on yourself, it creates a vicious cycle where you just can't see/feel that click because you are already denying that to yourself in your mind. What's in your mind becomes your reality.

 

So other things that you can do to help yourself is join Toastmasters or take some drama classes at the local theater or public speaking classes. The point of all of those is they will help you get over being shy through practice and being put on the spot. Toastmasters is especially great for learning and become comfortable with social chit chat, dealing with strangers, etc. Trial by fire kind of a thing plus exposure and repetition. If you only give a presentation once in front of 3 people, it will be nerve wracking. If you have to present in front of a thousand people 20 times, by the time you are on your 5th time, you'll be chugging coffee so you don't fall asleep at the podium. Nerves and jitters all gone to the point where you almost wish you had some left to keep you animated at least without that gallon of coffee. By the 20th time....well....my point is practice works.

 

The other thing to think about is that you used to be social and had plenty of friends. So you weren't always so down on yourself. What changed? What knocked down your confidence?

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Joining classes and such is something to think about and I probably need courage to do that and add to my budget as well. Lol I had plenty of friends up til college. I guess we have more in common and I had more social life so its easier to talk when you were teens/twenties. Then slowly after college... they either changed, moved to a different state/country, or just lost touch. I've kept in touch with some of them and even after having a family. However, I got sick - hospitalized in 2013 due to chemical imbalance in the brain what trigger is the death of my aunt and grandpa. I completely lost myself to the point i cant differentiate thoughts in my head and reality. I was taking meds and therapy. i was in and out of the hospital in 2013 coz i would have episodes. Doctors cant diagnosed me other than severe depression... no doctors seem to understand how I became that way or why im having episodes. In 2014 i found a good Psychiatrist and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I havent had severe episodes ever since. I am now down to taking the lowest possible meds which is only one and 2.5mg just for maintenance coz we tried to stop but my episode would come back. Anyways, I just focus on my family. I am trying to be happy with myself and its 2018 I am much happier but sometimes the past just comes back to me. I am really trying to get back to the way i was but its a really tough environment, I feel all these emotions after having a convo with someone. I feel like I dont talk the way i used to and everything just comes out wrong. I'm just not the same person and i think i do blame myself because of this depression and i think that's whats putting me down.

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Have you tried talk therapy in addition to the psychiatrist and the meds? Maybe your psychiatrist can recommend someone who would be good with your situation?

Other than that, toastmaster groups are usually free. Look around on meetup.com. You might find some on there local to you or through their website.

 

Ultimately, it's not your fault that you have these challenges. Can't go back to the past. None of us can. So maybe rather than thinking, feeling like you must somehow return to how you were, focus on how you would like to be today or tomorrow. Make that list of good things to say about yourself. One step at a time and don't get discouraged when it gets hard. It's supposed to, but when you persevere and push through past the hard parts, that's when you succeed.

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As a kid, there were times that I felt overwhelmed by negative thoughts and situations. One day, when it was a particularly difficult struggle, I thought, "Just think of one thing that was good today, even the smallest thing." So that's what I did. And it helped! Day after day, I'd fish around in my memory for small kindnesses during that day and after a little while, that darkness started to fade.

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