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 sm_victories_sa - (cjel)
06:53pm 07/03/2011
cjel posting in small victories in fighting social anxiety
I wanted to find out the hours of a walk-in clinic to see if I could go after work, so on my lunch break I took my cell phone with me to the mall in search of a phone book. Fruitless minutes passed as I saw a couple of pay phones but no books, then I spotted the customer service desk that was currently not busy and staffed by two younger girls. I walked up and asked if they had a phone book, was told no but they offered to look up what I needed on their computer. I hesitated for a moment, then gave them the doctor's name that I knew and busied myself getting to my phone's notepad function while they looked it up. It took a couple mins but they found a number for me that I input on my keypad and then thanked them as I took off.

Unfortunately, as I was walking away I looked at my phone and saw that the stupid autocomplete function had kicked in and I was missing a number. My brain worked to recall what digit was missing and I considered going back to the desk, but opted not to as I knew they'd have closed their search already and I didn't want to deal with the hassle. So I took a chance and, having determined which digit was missing, called the number I suspected they'd told me. It turned out I had guessed wrong and a man on the other end of the line told me I had the wrong number when I asked if I had reached the clinic, so I politely said I was sorry and hung up. The next number I guessed, though, was right but I was immediately put on hold for a couple minutes. Eventually I was addressed again and I got the information I needed.

All in all, I'm very proud of myself for not taking any of the various outs I had available: I could've avoided the desk and just waited til I got home to look up the number; I could've taken no for an answer at the desk and declined their offer to check on the computer for me; I could've given up when I saw I'd lost a number typing into my phone; I could've chickened out of guessing and making a call; I could've given up after getting the number wrong; I could've hung up instead of waiting on hold. In the end, by being courageous I was efficient and didn't inconvenience myself so I got done what I needed to ASAP, and that was such an awesome thing :)
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 sm_victories_sa - (cjel)
10:38pm 09/11/2010
cjel posting in small victories in fighting social anxiety
At church this past weekend, I followed up on plans for me and my boyfriend to go on an outing with another couple by stopping to ask one of them, when I happened to see him on my way by, if we were cool for going out next weekend. It was a very short exchange, but I'm proud of myself for taking the initiative, especially since I chickened out of the initial proposal and let my bf ask instead. I've slacked off on taking risks recently when out with him, which is bad, so it was an important small victory for me to not be passive again.
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gatherings and parties
 sm_victories_sa - (cjel)
11:20pm 28/09/2010
cjel posting in small victories in fighting social anxiety
Also this past weekend, I was invited to a Mary Kay party... and I went. I'd never been to a beauty products 'do before, barely know the girl who invited me, it was at her house with a bunch of strangers, and was going to involve sales pitches and doing girly stuff in front of other people. Sound like a nightmare? I looked at it as a challenge.

It's really telling of how far I've come to note that I not only went, but I participated fully and didn't hate it. I engaged in some small talk with new people, asked a few questions, tried the products along with everyone else, and endured some admittedly mild pressure to buy. I also got a ride home with a couple of girls and was invited to another such 'do on Friday - luckily I have a date that night so I don't have to make up excuses.

And one last thing along the same social lines: we had a church ladies' breakfast on Saturday: I arrived early and boldly requested a large table from the host at the restaurant, which I saved for us all and waited there for the others to arrive. I chatted with people with few anxiety issues and then pitched an idea for church to one lady who gave me a ride to the bus stop, which was well-received :)
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public speaking
 sm_victories_sa - (cjel)
11:08pm 28/09/2010
cjel posting in small victories in fighting social anxiety
In church this past weekend, I wanted to bring up a prayer request and I had two options: tell the minister before the service and let him include it when it came time, or speak up in front of everyone with it.

What I did was this: I flagged down the minister before the service and told him I had a prayer request, then laid out my options and asked him, 'which do you vote for?' He told me to speak up during the service and that if I didn't raise my hand, he'd be sure to ask me directly.

Kinda sounds like I got an answer I didn't want, but it's quite the opposite: I knew that he'd encourage me to speak up and the whole point of talking to him about it first was to make sure he'd give me the opportunity to do so by making time in the service this week. It was just a bonus motivation having him ready to ensure I followed through with my intention by picking on me if I didn't raise my hand.

I'm happy to say that although my heartrate sped up prior to that part of the service and I felt the clamp of anxiety as I worried that I'd speak too quietly and nobody would be able to hear, I bravely raised my hand when he opened up the floor to our requests and got mine in first, speaking slowly and clearly. Nothing horrible happened: nobody stared at me, I didn't feel my face turn hot, I wasn't asked to repeat myself or speak up, and I didn't stumble over my words. Just goes to show that the anxiety and catastrophizing thoughts were liars - I COULD do it afterall. :)
mood: troubled
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Things you never thought you could do
 sm_victories_sa - (cjel)
03:56pm 27/09/2010
cjel posting in small victories in fighting social anxiety
I was at my volunteering job (at a senior's recreation centre front desk) this past week and one of the staff members stopped in and gave me a list of people and their phone numbers. She asked me if I could be so kind as to give each one of them a call to confirm they'd be coming to an event they'd signed up for that was taking place the following day - the list was 24 people long.

I made a few notes of what my purpose was and what to do if I got an answering machine etc, and had a minor internal freakout because although the one staff member who assigned me the task had gone, there was another one there with me who'd overhear everything I was going to say over the phone and I felt terribly insecure about my phone etiquette skills, which I've never particularly developed. However, I decided that I could do this and so to make things easier to start with, I waited a couple mins for the staff lady to get busy serving some people before I picked up the phone.

18 calls later, I was finished (some people on the list were spouses and so only required calling one number) and feeling intensely relieved. I admit it wasn't the easiest thing to do but I found that plugging away at it and ignoring my small mistakes here and there was enough to get me through the process. I didn't feel much less self-conscious as I went along, but it did help that the staff lady also made a couple phone calls while I was doing mine and I noticed that if I wasn't particularly listening to her, she probably wasn't particularly listening to me either. All in all, I'm quite proud of myself for tackling something that freaked me out so much and knowing that I'm more competent than I thought. :)
mood: weary
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 sm_victories_sa - (lucidxlunacy)
10:58am 25/09/2010
lucidxlunacy posting in small victories in fighting social anxiety
I've lost/been losing a significant amount of weight over the past year. Randomly, coworkers whose names I don't even know (there are 730 people at the Clearwater location of my company; dispersed between three buildings; in a variety of departments and teams - it's a miracle I remember all the names just of the 17 ladies I work with directly) have stopped me and asked about how much I've lost/what I'm doing/how it works/etcetcetc. I've gotten used to that part; I actually enjoy the opportunities to talk to people now, in fact.

Yesterday, however, on my way out of the ladies' room, a woman who had stopped me the day before to ask the usual set of questions said to someone she was coming in with "WOW! This is the girl I was telling you about!" and then to me "How much have you lost?!"

Not only has she been telling people about me - but in a full ladies room, all eyes are now on me as I'm expected to announce my weight loss. Thankfully having already talked to a ton of people about it, I'm not all that bashful, so even that wasn't horrible - but a hug in the ladies' room from a woman I don't know in front of a bunch of veritable strangers because she was so happy for me was new. Again, not horrible, but new.

I know I've mentioned a victory similar to this before, but I still get a quiet thrill realizing how different I am now than I was a year ago. A year ago, I would have had a nervous break down over something like that. Now, it's just an interesting story. =)
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two confrontations
 sm_victories_sa - (cpufem)
08:52pm 12/09/2010
cpufem posting in small victories in fighting social anxiety
 i had to confront not one, but two people today. ( as a background, confrontations have historically been avoided or handled very meekly by me. it's not my forte but this past summer i finished the book: asserting yourself .)

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Small talk :)
 sm_victories_sa - (crystalpopz)
05:45pm 02/09/2010
Brittany posting in small victories in fighting social anxiety

Im starting to think that i'm kinda done w/ my shyness that i've struggled w/ as a child but not completely . I feel a bit more comfortable to be me you know. I can look people in the eye now. When people talk to me  i talk back. I offer my opinions when asked... i feel like ive made defeinte progress since i was a kid. Now the other thing is find friends to hang out w/ bleh. Anyways , a couple  of days ago some door-to door saleswoman came to the door. I didn't feel nervous or any rush of anxiety. I just felt calm. I keep my eyes on her and we talked.. Iwasn't afraid to ask questions about her product and even asked more questions to keep the conversation going :) i felt so happy. I definetly feel like im changing and im happy. Although when i get around people my age like 18-20 i feel abit uneasy..i guess cuz kids are kinda judgemental. well thats it for today.  

~feel free to add meh :D 

mood: cheerful
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 sm_victories_sa - (cjel)
10:55pm 17/08/2010
cjel posting in small victories in fighting social anxiety
I got thrown for quite the loop this evening when my roommate/bf joined me in our evening plans, which involved making some pasta, eating, biking out to do some work, and a bit of homework/study together. Unfortunately, despite my careful planning, it seemed like I could do nothing right with him - I bought sauce ingredients specially that he didn't end up using; the salad I made he didn't want any of; I didn't serve enough sauce on the pasta for his liking; he finished first and I was feeling self-conscious so he cleared the table and put all the leftovers away; I'd gotten earbuds that weren't the right style and he said he doesn't like using them for biking anyway; I had trouble keeping up with him on our bikeride; he shut down my instigated water-fight when we got home; and finally I added something to our study time that he only did half of before putting the rest aside for another time 'cause he was wiped out.

So here's how all this made me feel: inferior and ashamed of myself. I admit that it threw off my self-confidence and each little thing stung noticeably - how easy is it to go out on a limb with someone and be rejected or corrected? - and I struggled tonight with that. However, I achieved a very important small victory and that's sitting down here at the end of the night, after all that, and seeing that while I feel a bit battered and bruised, I am still, in fact, intact. The world didn't end because I bought my bf a gift he didn't have a use for and food he didn't want to eat tonight, nor did it break my heart or invalidate my existence that he was too tired to play around with me or stay up to finish some study discussion. I'm actually tending towards realizing how proud I should be of myself that I put myself out there for the greater good of doing some thoughtful things and getting to know him better. It's tough stuff, but it turns out that I can do it, and I'm optimistic even now that as with all things, the more I do it, the easier it will get.
mood: determined
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 sm_victories_sa - (lucidxlunacy)
09:13pm 05/08/2010
lucidxlunacy posting in small victories in fighting social anxiety
I have recently assumed a new role/gotten promoted at work. My very first day of doing my new job, I had a half day followed by two full days off (scheduled before I knew about the promotion and couldn't cancel). Not to mention being behind three weeks on my old job (which I have to keep doing until it is filled as well and then train my replacement) from when I was training for my new one. I am quite backed up all around on my workload and 80% of what I do faces pretty tight and rigid deadlines.

This has meant having to face the challenge of reigning in my eager-to-please, often overly-helpful nature in order to get things done and do them well. That has meant having to tell people no. And even be firm about the fact that while I realize I used to help you by doing X-task, and so did our former coworker whose job I now do, it is in fact your job and now that I don't have time to do it for you, you do, in fact, have to go back to doing it yourself.

I've had a much more polite, but very similar version of that conversation (referring to that last sentence) three times already and it's been less than a week. Twice it was with the same coworker. And yet I've barely flinched when I've done it.

The old me would have tied herself in knots before risking disappointing, upsetting, or annoying someone. If the old me did manage to stutter out that she might not get to their need right away, she'd have felt bad about it for a month. I much prefer the new me who realizes that her job and time are no less important than anyone else's. =)
mood: good
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