Reply To: Caring too much what others think
My name is Nick, and I was the person who started the other thread (obsessive thoughts about other people's opinions) as I have a similar problem with my beliefs on the value of other people's opinions.
I think it's valuable to remember that really it has nothing to do with anyone else, it's actually not their opinion you're worried about when it comes down to it, it's that you don't like the opinion you hold of yourself, and so you fear other people will have this same negative opinion of you, that you already have. Crazy hey?? (when I say “you” in this context, I mean myself aswell by the way)
Ultimately this is just another trick of the “ego” or whatever your term for it is, the self protective, but often extremely negative part of ourselves that runs automatically, and that we unconsciously identify with as who we are. This part of us, that runs subconsciously, of course means well, and wants to protect us, but at the same time, is completely irrational, and ultimately if it gets out of control, can cause us a lot of unnecessary dysfunction and suffering in life (as you know).
When you say that everyone has a fear of disapproval, and a need for approval from others (even when people say they don't care what others think) you're generally right I think. This is one of those “mental programs” that basically all human beings get taught right from the get go, as newborn babies. Obviously some people have it much more than others (which comes from negative experiences of the past where other people's disapproval caused you significant emotional pain – usually early childhood, or before the age of 6-7 is the popular consensus)
You mention that you have problems with your face going red, etc. It sounds like (from someone who also experiences and understands this from their own life) you have a degree of what is labeled as “social anxiety” – which often stems from picking up negative beliefs about your self worth, and how kind (or unkind) other people are in general – again, these things are picked up in childhood, and are not in our conscious awareness – but you CAN become aware of them by how much you trust people, how you interact with people, etc.
Your comments on PSTEC positive would best be answered by Meghan or someone else with more experience, as I'm totally new to this too.
However, I can comment on your fears about PSTEC just being a placebo effect, and therefore not actually being a valid therapy. Here's the kicker, in a way, everything to do with beliefs, and changing your perceptions, etc, is a placebo effect.
Basically the “placebo effect” is just your minds ability to create change through the power of belief. I was also worried about this idea in the past, and I found this great video from Robert Smith (founder of Faster EFT – which seems to also have very positive and powerful effects as a healing modality) Here's the video, he explains it well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdRolW-7BoM
Hope my ideas help you. I think one of the most important things to remember here is that you are NOT ALONE! A LOT of people experience these things – in fact (don't know the exact stats) but something like 7% if not more people in the US suffer from social anxiety (SEE:
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Healthday/story?id=4621523&page=1#.T5finquNMkQ – and that was back in 2008)
If you are open to it, I think it might be valuable to have someone who is going through similar things to chat to here and there. I'd be happy to share my contacts with you, if that's something that you feel would help you get past this.
Personally for me, I only just (in the past 6 months) worked out exactly what I was going through, and why I'd always had issues with friendships, relationships, caring what other people thought of me way too much, etc. I realized and have come to accept that the beliefs I picked up through my childhood experiences have led me to have something similar to what's labeled as SAD (social anxiety disorder).
Hey, while not ideal to any degree, awareness is the first step. Now it's just a matter of working to neutralize negative feelings from my past, and begin to change my limiting beliefs about people, and myself, to beliefs that bring about more peace of mind, and a more positive, happy way of living.
Take care, and remember, you are not alone (not even close!)