Shy isn’t a joke!
Generally, I find it more helpful to remind myself that it is OK to be anxious and allow myself to feel those uncomfortable feelings rather than using “tricks” to try to shut the feelings down. Deep breathing, relaxation exercises and all the other approaches we could discuss can
all help, but only in a limited way, at least in my experience. That is, limited if they are done a devices to try to control the anxiety rather than devices which allow us to experience it without freaking out. Because the disputing phase of REBT can be so rigorous and “combative” sometimes, it may not always be obvious that much of what REBT-CBT is about is teaching us to accept reality (before we deal with it proactively), in this case accepting the reality of what we are feeling.
I find that paradoxically, allowing myself to feel anxiety rather than resisting and fighting it
(1) makes it more bearable and
(2) allows it to pass more quickly.
Obviously, the opposite of “I must not feel anxious!” is “though uncomfortable, it’s OK to feel anxious.” That is an exercise in Acceptance (with an intentional capital “A”) that has
deep philosophical roots in both Eastern and Western philosophical
“I must not feel anxious!” by resistance makes you feel more anxious as well as guilty.
“And since I feel anxious, as I must not, I am a wimpy, inadequate, incompetent fellow (not at all like these people around me who seem to
be so poised and confident” makes you feel like a wimpy, inadequate, incompetent fellow.
If you already understand understand these principles somewhat, now it is time to practice applying them. Do this with pencil and paper.
(1) In your imagination, go back to your most recent awkward social experience, get into it a little bit and let yourself re-experience all the unpleasant emotions as vividly as you can.
(2) Write down what you are feeling.
(3) Write down all the thoughts you are thinking associated with this unpleasant experience; just before, during and after. Especially, look
for all the shoulds, oughts, musts and awfulizing and written them down.
(4) Begin to dispute these IBs & distorted thoughts one at a time.
(5) Replace each distorted thought with thinking that is cooler, less inflammatory, more rational and helpful.
Hopefully, you will come to the place where you can honestly say something to the effect that while it is a bummer to feel anxious, it is not the end of the world
(1) It is not the end of the world,
(2) You will not die or “go crazy” from experiencing some anxiety
(3) Although awkward and embarrassing, you can function and complete your task even though anxious.
Please join the discussion and add your comments in the box below
We LOVE hearing from you.
3,409 total views, 5 views today
How useful was this post?
Click on a star to rate it!
Average rating / 5. Vote count:
Originally posted 2013-04-22 21:06:21.
Search this site
Quotes That MatterThere is a profound cognitive distortion that deserves a place on the official list of cognitive distortions. Namely, the tendency to confuse thinking and talking with action. That is, the convincing delusion or feeling that one has actually done something because he or she has talked about it or thought about it.
It seems to me that this must have been noted elsewhere in the literature. If not, I am claiming the copyright! Copyright (c) 2017 Rex. All rights reserved. :o}Rex Alexander
REBTraining coach, author, founder REBTinfo.com
… (next quote)
Regular Columns & Features
Amazon Associate Member
Rex Alexander and REBT Info are participants in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
When you buy items using the links on this website, we may get a small commission which keeps me in coffee, which keeps me working, which keeps me providing valuable content for you. Thank you for your continuing support of REBT Info.com. ~Rex
TOS / Terms of Service
Pretty basic stuff: No fussing, no fighting, no cussing, no spamming, no scamming, no blaming, no flaming, no hating, no bating, no trolling, no personal attacks. No pornography (Damn!). The Golden Rule applies. Focus on issues, ideas and principles rather than on personalities and you will fit right in. Please keep your contributions friendly and polite, treat your fellow members and readers with respect and all will be well.
All content and information submitted become the property of REBT Info (REBTinfo.com)
We at REBT Info value your privacy. Your personal information is secure with us. Secure server software (SSL) encrypts all information you enter before it is sent to us, and all of the customer data we collect is protected against unauthorized access.
We WILL NOT sell, rent, distribute or otherwise share your personal information, including e-mail address, to or with anyone for any reason (except in the extremely rare, unlikely case of demands by duly authorized law enforcement acting strictly in accord with due process).
For more information, please read the long version
Copyright © 2012-2019 by Rex Alexander dba REBT Info / http://REBTinfo.com.
All rights reserved. The content of this website or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
This website, REBTinfo.com, and others under the REBT Info family are for education, information and entertainment purposes only; are not intended as, nor should be regarded as medical or psychiatric diagnosis, advice or treatment.
By accessing this blog you understand and agree to these conditions, as well as to the other Terms of Service / TOS posted, and which may be updated and amended from time-to-time.
By accessing this website blog and related media, you affirm that you have read, understand and agree to our Terms of Service / TOS which may be updated and amended from time-to-time.
This is a public blog
Anything you post may be viewed by the public. Therefore, do not post anything you wish to remain private.