Trusting And Expressing Your Opinions With Anxiety
Trusting and expressing your opinions as a person with anxiety can be tough. Plummeting self-esteem caused by an anxiety disorder can sometimes lead to us conforming a little more rigidly than we would like to. Growing up, I was too awkwardly self aware to express a single opinion that might have rubbed slightly against the grain. Anxiety robs you of that luxuriant arrogance of youth and continually makes you question the validity of your opinions (Anxiety And Self-Doubt). My problems in trusting and expressing my opinions due to anxiety affect every aspect of my life.
As a young person, I never really went through some of the introspective stages of adolescence that I watched my peers go through. I never dropped my guard long enough to experiment with the various shabby shop bought identities of the regulation teenage misfit. I never chalked up my face with gothic makeup or streaked my hair with electric, pink highlights. Instead I learnt how to mimic, conceal, repress and repeat. I never trusted or expressed my opinions because of my anxiety.
How I Don't Trust or Express My Opinions Because of Anxiety
As an adult, friends will often tease me for folding much too easily in a debate. I will flip-flop when discussing a social or political issue if I am put under even the slightest pressure to agree. I will back down in an argument and am usually the first to apologise profusely; even if I am seething inside (How To Stop Being A People-Pleaser). My distrust in the validity of my own opinions affects my ability to make rational, everyday decisions. Making any mundane decision, such as picking out a restaurant for a birthday party, can be enough to make me break out in a cold sweat. What if I were to make the wrong choice and ruin the evening for everybody? If I’m being completely honest, the fear isn’t that the evening would be ruined. The real anguish is that even such an inconsequential decision would somehow reflect negatively on my character (How To Stop Worrying About What Other People Think).
The problem is more complex in that I am a fiercely opinionated person with a passionate stance on many issues. I resent that my anxiety masks this integral part of my personality. I hate that the tenseness of my anxiety defines me in the eyes of others so much more than my genuine thoughts or feelings (Mental Illness Can Mask Who We Are). I hate that anxiety presents a false, diluted version of me to the world. I am sure that many of you can relate to feeling the same way (Mental Health Stigma And Your Identity - I Am Not My Mental Illness). It’s getting easier for me to discuss this frustrating aspect of my anxiety; however, actually overcoming it is proving to be a much more complicated journey.
How to Begin Trusting and Expressing Opinions Despite Anxiety
I always find that small steps are less daunting. Get used to expressing your honest opinion concerning a recent television programme or film when chatting with your colleagues and get to the point where you are happy to express these thoughts unprompted. When meeting a friend, suggest a particular place where you would like to meet for coffee or drinks. Make sure to consider any potential criticism in a non-personal way and understand that differing opinions are a natural and even positive aspect of socialising.
On a long term basis, I would suggest working on finding your voice so as to give yourself greater confidence for times when you feel you must speak out; whether that be against an act of injustice or just to stop your best friend from buying that awful jumper. I find that writing is pretty much the best possible way to do this. Keep a diary and practice writing your opinions on anything from current events to philosophy. After a little time and persistence, you will come to recognise and understand the pattern of your thoughts and will get to know your assertive self better. Most importantly of all, never forget that your views are just as valid as those of the person next to you.
These are methods that have worked well for me; however, everybody is different and I would love to hear your thoughts on how to trust and express your opinion with anxiety and whether anybody has perhaps taken a different approach.
Anxiety And Difficulty Expressing Your Opinions Video
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Banim, J. (2015, November 4). Trusting And Expressing Your Opinions With Anxiety, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, March 30 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2015/11/speaking-up-trusting-and-expressing-your-own-opinions-as-a-person-with-anxiety
Author: Julia Banim
Hi Julia, thank you so much for sharing!
Also, are you me? Haha! I feel like you've written exactly what I've been struggling with, word for word. I'm really trying to get myself to express my opinions and speak out rather than conform. It's been affecting me everywhere in my life and I've been looking for ways to overcome it. Speaking out during an injustice has also been a challenge as there have been many times when I don't and feel extremely awful later. Thank you for your points, I shall try writing to express myself better.
What I do now is I try and start conversations with close friends who have very polarizing views from me as I find it easier to debate on topics that I have very strong opinions on. Hopefully, that will help me in situations where a smaller opinion would be something I express with others too.
It's been a while since you've written your article. Have you been able to overcome most of your anxieties and express your opinions better now? I really hope you have! Have you found other methods to overcome them than the ones you've mentioned already? Thank you for your time!
Positive thoughts are more pofuwrel but you need to understand somethings first.1. Negative thoughts don't just come. We are lead to believe that all thoughts are of our own thinking and that is not the truth. For you to have negative thoughts there have to be people related to you, whether by blood, friendships, work, neighbors, social etc., who are toxic. Relationship means ESP is strong and thus these thoughts can be repeatedly presented to you.1a. ESP is greatly enhanced if they can present you with some sort of danger to make you fearful because with fear all types of perception are enhanced but at the same time thinking and discrimination is suspended until we determine the nature of the danger. Don't worry about it the danger is always Mickey Mouse, even if they have weapons. It is only aimed to make you fearful and all you will be aware of is feeling a bit hot and not that you are fearful.2. These people are usually motivated out of jealousy or to try and obtain power and influence over you to manipulate and control you. There is also a third very common motive and that is that toxic people get pleasure out of hurting other people around them.3. You can assess who these people might be by looking at the material that comes to mind. Who knows of your financial situation, your past relationships and how they ended, who knows about the stuff that is coming to mind?4. Toxic people befriend others for the purpose of hurting them and for that reason they do not appear obvious at all. On the contrary if you were to make a lisst of all those that you suspect then chances are these people would not even be on your list.5. The most important thing to know is that all that is presented to you is suggestion only. YOU are the only one that can make choices and thus found your reality. You provide the basis of your life. All else is just suggestion and suggestion is null and void unless you accept it.6. You don't need to know who these people are to be able to stop them from hurting you. You can then tear up the picture or erase it from your computer and throw it away. It is only important to get a visual picture so that your counter mental image is strong. Thus when these thoughts come up, which they won't once you've made the picture, then you just hold the picture in mind. It doesn't matter if you can't visualize it consciously it still works.7. Now knowing that you are the only one with the power to make choices and provide the universe with the directives that dictate your life you can go forward and make positive ideas for yourself.8. Always state your reality as if it has already happened. So avoid words like will be or may be etc. State I have now . whatever it is that you want. When we ask of the universe and ask appropriately and for ourselves and our protection we ALWAYS get what we ask for. It is the nature of the reality in which we live.
its shred to my experience support seekers is good to help you. if you have health problem go ahead and get the solution. i really appreciated thanks
No problem Marry. Absolutely, looking for a solution to the problem and trying to deal with it is a great step to take. Best, Julia.
I suffer from many of the same stuff you have mentioned. The best things to do is keep socializing, keep your mind active, and keep moving. Sitting too much puts me in a depressive mode. I must walk or jog almost each day. Anxiety and depression are not easy, but they can be dealt with. You made some good points. Good luck.
Hi John. Those are some really great ideas, many thanks for sharing. I also find that socialising helps too. Even if social situations feel daunting at first quite often interacting with others can help increase your confidence. Completely agree with your advice about keeping your mind active.. I try and always have a book on the go which I find helps to organise my thoughts... also crosswords seem to really help! It is absolutely fantastic that you are keeping so physically active despite your anxiety. I know from experience how easy it is to end up sitting around a lot with your own thoughts. I will certainly take your advice on board.