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kjhb20
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:11 am

Watching

Postby kjhb20 » Tue Jan 22, 2019 2:07 pm

I feel conscious that people are watching me. For instance when I look out there always seems to be somebody walking by stearing through the window. If I have to go out I fear of being watched and followed . people looking. I know this is anxiety is this normal to feel like this most days?

andthistoomustpass
Posts: 1637
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:02 pm

Re: Watching

Postby andthistoomustpass » Tue Jan 22, 2019 5:34 pm

Hi

It sounds like you are describing the spotlight effect. This is very common with social anxiety and it is persistent, always there. The good news is that there are things you can do to reduce it. I used to be plagued by it all the time and now I barely notice it. The even better news is that the first step is recognising that it is going on. Step one completed! :)

I googled a couple of articles. Never heard of this website before but it appears reputable and the advice appears good.

https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-th ... ct-3024470

https://www.verywellmind.com/center-of- ... ar-3024831

This is one of my bugbears because it lies at the heart of so much social anxiety. I'm going to go on for a bit, maybe some of it will help you or someone else.

The biggest help for me in turning off the spotlight was realising that I'm just not that important to other peoples lives. They have their focus on their own stuff, including wondering what people think of them. :lol:

Another key realisation for me was that the opinions of acquaintances or strangers just aren't that important to me. Why should I care if they are thinking / what they are thinking about me? Even the opinions of friends have their limit.

I also found it really helpful to realise that no one is perfect, everyone slips up at times. I remember being in a busy bar when a girl slipped and fell down a long flight of stairs. She was mortified but as an independent observer, I could see there was no reason for her to worry. Yes, everyone looked at her but one second later they had all turned back to their own lives and conversations. It just wasn't a big deal because it could have happened to anyone.

The fourth realisation I found really helpful was that judgement is bulls*it. Most of life is beyond our control. We are who we are and all any of us can do is play the cards we are dealt as best we can. I'm never going to be a supermodel, never going to be a football star, never going to be a rocket scientist. These are not failings to be ashamed of, I just don't have the right combination of aptitudes, experiences and opportunities to be any of those. There is no sort of willpower or character trait that will make me more handsome, athletic or academic. There is nothing I can do if I don't have access to the same opportunities and connections as other people. There is no shame in being me.


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