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My name is Sebastiaan van der Schrier and I’m an ex-social phobia sufferer and current social confidence coach. I’ve suffered with SAD for more than half a decade. And during this period I tried all I could to overcome it, just like you are now probably doing all you can to overcome it…
Eventually I overcame my SAD using a technique that I at first laughed at because it looked so stupid. But eventually (out of sheer desperation and because I found so many videos and testimonials online, and because I could learn the basics for free online!) I got intrigued and tried it anyway.
Once I got it to work for me, I experienced it as at least 10 times as powerful and effective as all the other stuff combined that I tried…
I solved 90% of my SAD in 3-6 months and today I can happily say I have zero anxiety. 🙂 Watch the first video here.
This was obviously exciting, amazing, and life changing for me. And since I had been struggling and studying self help and almost all of the other therapies and treatments for SAD out there for more than half a decade, I decided to study this technique and specialize in applying it to SAD sufferers.
This is now (February 2011) roughly 4 years ago…
I am here on this forum to share some of my knowledge on this technique and the process of going from SAD to feeling at ease in all social situations around all people. It is my intention to help out and contribute as much value as I can.
There have been a lot of things that have contributed to my social anxiety and I’m going to speak of the 3 that have most impacted it. This is very revealing for me, because I’m now showing my previous insecurities to the world. Back then I could have never believed I would ever do such a thing. I was deeply ashamed of them.
But that’s OK now, I’m over it, I’ve made peace with the past. I’ve learned from it, it has brought me where I am now, and I know I did the best I could back then. I’m grateful for where I am today.
Up until the age of 12 I was a popular kid. I had low self esteem (because of what happened to me in early childhood, lost my dad at the age of 5, mom and I had lots of trouble together), but I was the strongest kid in school. I was loud, funny, confident and obnoxious at times. I had many friends and I was very cocky. Nobody really stood up to me and basically nothing would get to me. It was all fun. Saying anything that was on my mind and having fun was all me.
And I was a pain for my teachers and parents…
One day -this is the first time I can clearly remember becoming embarrassed- we where sitting in the class about to watch a video.
I was sitting in front of the screen and it was dead silent in the class. Then my teacher jokingly said from the back of the class:
“Sebastiaan, please move away from the television because due to your big dumbo ears people cannot see the screen over here”.
The whole class bursted out laughing. Pointing at me and laughing. For very, very long. So long that I started to think and feel that everyone didn’t like me, and I felt ashamed. Tomato-faced. And then I got confronted by being ashamed also. From here on onwards, I got teased with my ears for maybe a good year. Several negative social experiences. I got ashamed and embarrassed a couple of times. More people started to know it was my weak spot. It was frustrating.
So frustrating that I was considering to get my ears fixed (The weird thing is that I actually don’t have big dumbo ears.)
Well… Maybe a bit!
When I told my friends that I was about to get my ears fixed, they laughed and told me that if I did that they where going to call me Barbie (a Barbie is a perfect looking doll that girls play with -my friends did have a sense of humor-)!
So…. That was actually great to hear because now I knew it wasn’t about my ears, but about people having a need to find something to tease me. I actually felt strong because I now knew they just didn’t have anything to tease me about.
The teasing therefore didn’t get to me any longer. The meaning of the teasing changed. And once it can’t get to you anymore there no fun for the teasers in teasing you anymore, right?
So that stopped. I was in some situations still [I]anxious to get teased[/I] and was a lil’ more cautious than I used to be, but it was much better.
But then a second thing that has been a major contributor to my social anxiety also happened at age 13 or 14.
I did something really stupid…
Something that I’m definitely not proud of. But hey, I did it. I discriminated some people at my school in a not so nice way (I‘m definitely no racist, but I was just foolishly trying to be cool back then). And I got my punishment…
… I got my ass kicked by 2 guys on that same day and I was being “stalked” and threatened by a group of them for roughly a year. They where at my school and lived in the same village that I lived in. They where threatening me everywhere they saw me and waited for me.
I walked the newspaper and had to pass them every day. It was anxiety provoking for a long period. I guess I deserved that. But it did increase my social anxiety.
I thought everyone was out to get me or at least make fun of me. Because other kids not all of a sudden started to try to tool me as they knew I was afraid to get my ass kicked by this group of guys.. Again, lots of negative social experiences.
By now I was about 15 and had already experimented with drugs for a while (I know, very young…). After all, at that time “being cool” was very important. And the “cool” thing to do was to start smoking, drinking, smoking weed and doing drugs.
It made me feel great and I could escape reality for a while. I have experimented with this world for about 2 years until I got the hang of it and did it extensively for a full year.
Then around age 16, 17 it all of a sudden started to become cool to get a cute girlfriend. And that’s where new trouble began. I had barely spoken to girls in the past 2 years, and if I had it definitely wasn’t romantically. And now I wanted a girlfriend because I didn’t want to lose my “cool” status (to the people that still were thinking I was cool I guess…).
The situation was that I almost never went out to a place where there were girls. In a normal weekend we would hang out with a group of guys, use XTC and get high and talk about how awesome the high was and what not.
And now I had to get out and talk to women?
But… What the hell will I talk about? And then they’ll know that I want something from them, they see that I’m insecure and then I’ll risk getting rejected! And that will make me look bad and… (here it comes again)
So I didn’t talk to women when I was out (though there were a few attempts when I was completely wasted where I obviously got rejected…). I just got very drunk with my friends and most of the time ended up so wasted that I had no clue how I got home.
The first thing I did after I came home after a night like that was to look in my pockets if I didn’t lose my wallet and phone. And then call my friends to ask what had happened and how I managed to get home. That kind of wasted…
I did still have a different friend-group from my school that I started to hang out with more and there where a few girls that I was kind of into. One of them I fell for. Hard.
We kissed a couple of times and I thought “If I can get her to be my girlfriend, then all my problems will be over”. Sounds familiar to any of you?
So I did everything I could to get her. I’ll spare you (rather me) the embarrassing stories, but I basically chased her like a love lost puppy.
Which obviously made her run! There where several other let’s just say “unsuccessful experiences with women” like this within the year and this all added up to the previous negative social experiences. And at this age I developed my worst stage of social anxiety.
By then it was at the worst.
I felt that everyone knew what a loser I was with women. I felt more “uncool” than just about anyone out there. I felt inferior. I was afraid of sex, fearing I might mess it up, that I wouldn’t do it right, that the girl would tell others how clumbsy I was etc. So I was extremely uncomfortable around women. And I felt that all guys that had sex or had a girlfriend were better than me. Plus I was afraid of the topic of sex being brought up in conversation.
It was a very low time, I was very embarrassed and ashamed of myself, avoided going out, always had excuses not to go anywhere, felt awful. My life was a mess and I was pretty depressed and constantly anxious anywhere.
Even strangers could pick up on how I felt (maybe they didn’t, but I was convinced they did).
I had a whole bunch of things that would trigger me blushing and feeling insecure. Laughing it off was impossible because my face would basically freeze.
If the attention was on me in a group setting (more than 1 other person), I was in trouble. When I did something stupid, I was in trouble. When I ‘heard’ or ‘saw’ people talking about me, I was in trouble. When people would disapprove of me or something I did, I was in trouble. When there was talk about relationships or sex, I was in trouble. When … etc. It was bad…
At first I didn’t want to go out and be confronted by my issues and eventually I didn’t want to go to visit friends anymore. I was afraid the conversation would go to sex or relationships or that I would become ashamed and embarrassed for some reason and they would see it.
I avoided parties and going out whenever I could. When I did go I got wasted quickly and when the subject of relationships came up I tried to change it in a way that wasn’t obvious (but probably was).
I felt less than people. I had extreme fear of becoming ashamed.
I felt everyone was judging me. I was afraid of maintaining eye contact with a guy because I was afraid that his friends (not the guy per se, rather the friend group) where going to threaten and fight me and my family.
I had intense negative thinking. Paranoia thoughts. Maintaining eye contact with a girl wasn’t optional either because I was afraid I actually had to talk to her and then would have nothing to say. And that I would become insecure and embarrassed and that she would laugh at me and more weird thinking like that.
I felt everyone thought I was a loser. I avoided social situations and just smoked weed and watched TV all the time. I was pretty depressed.
It was a messed up time in my life.
At age 17 I got a psychology book from some book club I subscribed to. This book opened my eyes. I saw that what I had was actually something that existed in my mind. Something that I could change!
This really gave me hope. I now knew (well, I was of course somewhat sceptical at first, but at least I had something to hold on to) that it was possible to become completely confident.
I got so determined to get over this that I tattooed my hand with a cross on it.
This to remind to not forget to keep going until I am 100% over it and beyond.
I started reading anything and everything I could get my hands on regarding psychology and the mind. I constantly listened to audio books and bought and downloaded all I could find on NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), Hypnosis, Psychology, self help, and related things.
I read, studied and applied. This improved my confidence a fair bit.
At age 18 I had sex for the first time. By luck, when I was drunk and with a very drunk girl. This improved my confidence a tidbit more because now I finally knew what it was and could participate in “sex-talk” if necessary.
Then up until age 20 I got lil’ successes with women here and there. But still no girlfriend. I wanted one desperately (which, ironically, was exactly why I didn‘t get one).
My confidence did start to improve as I gained a bit more experience, but meeting women when I was out was still a major problem.
If I did started talking I was turned down because I was way too drunk. Or I rejected them by pretending not to be that interested. Of course out of a fear of getting rejected myself.
Being insecure and drunk isn’t all to appealing to women J Sober I couldn’t talk to them, drunk they weren’t interested. Can you say catch 22? I was feeling a little better in social situations among friends by now, but still hoped there wasn’t talk about sex or relationships.
Which there often was of course!
Meeting strangers was still highly anxiety provoking. It seemed almost impossible to do that confidently.
In the same year I decided I was courageous enough to test some things out though. One thing being exposure therapy. On my site you can learn more about it (though I strongly advice you to try out this technique that I used to cure my SAD, as it‘s much more effective and has permanent results… will tell you later), but it basically means doing the things you fear. I read some advice on a seduction website to help you overcome your fear of rejection, and I decided to go for it.
I went to the city (Amsterdam, I‘m from the Netherlands) with a friend and I had to speak to 25 groups of women. Women passing by, in shops etc. I had a standard way of starting conversations to do this. And boy… this sucked!
I’m almost ashamed to say it, but it was very, very scary.
I was afraid of becoming ashamed and them telling the world about it (though they didn‘t even know me..). Or them remembering me, and then running into them again in the near future…
Anyway, I did it and after that day I had a huge boost in confidence. It did work, but it’s wasn’t easy. And after a few days the confidence worn out, and I was back to where I was before…
I also have done tons of experiments where I would say hi to a certain amount of people. Or introduce myself to strangers. Or make small talk with people working behind counters.
I also did other experiments where I had to walk up to a girl and get myself rejected for 20 times…
I know, stupid stuff, but I read a study that claimed that it does help you to better take “rejection”. The first couple of times where very harsh, but indeed, when I did it for the 15th time I started to have a little fun with it.
One girl actually thought she was on an MTV show… I think it helped a little, maybe 20% of my fear of rejection was gone.
A few weeks after that I decided to go backpacking by myself because I wanted to gain more confidence meeting new people and of course because travelling and seeing the world is an awesome experience.
The first 2 weeks I met up with a friend who was already in Thailand and we hung out together. We only met a few people and most of the conversations where very short. But I was improving.
After 2 weeks my friend wanted to party on an island and I wanted to take the jump and travel by myself. I did it and it was great. I was forced to speak to people because of course it would otherwise be a very long and lonely time.
In the beginning it was scary as hell, but it got easier and easier the more I did it. I did a jungle tour where you are with 15 people for 2 days and I decided to talk to all of them as much as I could and try to be myself.
It worked out fine and I got 8 new friends by the end of the tour.
After the 3 months of traveling and meeting people I went back home. My confidence and self esteem being higher than it had been in the last half a decade. But then I fell back in my old habits. Smoking weed and avoiding social situations… I did that for another 9 months until I had the opportunity to go work in sunny South Africa. I jumped on that opportunity and it was brilliant.
We went with a big group of people to South Africa and nobody knew each other. My social anxiety was pretty manageable at the time as nobody knew each other, and me having to meet so many new people and getting new friends did my confidence wonders.
My issues with women where still there, but I felt reasonably OK around people. It was a level of anxiety that I could hide pretty well. And I only felt ashamed every now and then (about a lot of different things that I had no idea how to get over).
I then met a sweet, funny and beautiful girl that became my girlfriend.
We had a fun and intense relationship, lived together and it ended after a year because I had to go back to the Netherlands and didn’t want to settle long-term yet. In South Africa I was still trying to completely rid myself of all my social anxiety.
Because I still had the inferiority/superiority thing nagging inside me and I sometimes still became ashamed and embarrassed.
For several different reasons, most of them non-related to relationships, being beat up or being bullied.
Logically I felt I was OK with it, emotionally it turned out not to be. I then, after getting certified in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), stumbled onto EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique).
Read more about the power of EFT therapy and what it exactly is and the science behind it (includes videos demonstrating the power of EFT on war verterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
EFT is being used by millions of people worldwide, it’s scientifically proven to work, it’s being endorsed by Phd’s, doctors and people such as Jack Canfield (famous Psychologist in the US from the “Chickensoup for the soul” books). This is because it’s simple, painless and ridiculously effective.
The first time I saw an EFT clip on youtube though, I thought it was a scam. Too good to be true I thought. Then after a month or two I saw it again and started looking for more info on it. I found thousands (!!!) of testimonials and tons of videos on you tube. So I got curious…
It turned out to be great for treating any type of emotional problem. I was excited! But…
It didn’t work for me! I couldn’t feel emotions when I wanted to. I had repressed so much stuff (and possible messed up a lot of my feeling-emotions-capacity due to the drug period) that I couldn’t access my emotions.
I worked on that and I stuck to it. I decided that it had to work for me also. After a while I got more info, started to study it intensely and (I’m now an experienced, advanced EFT specialist) handled the not-being-able-to-feel-issue.
I have worked with several therapists now and I’ve rid myself of all my shame issues. And all my social anxiety problems, I’m socially at ease now. In all situations, with all people. And I;m very grateful for that.
Currently when I encounter a challenge (because while we can solve our social anxiety disorder, new lil‘ challenges always arise, that‘s life), I am actually happy because I can treat it. I find a little issue, I clear it, it’s gone.
I’m now perfectly OK with myself, I really accept myself now. I feel at ease in social situations and I can strike up conversations with people effortlessly. I have basically have zero social anxiety now. And it’s an extremely free feeling.
I can maintain eye contact easily (it even feels stupid to write this now actually) and I now live in a friendly world. I’m not having the relationship of my dreams yet, but I can meet women now, and I’m happy being single while I’m finding the relationship I want.
Socializing is now -and has been for a long time- a normal thing. Which it really is, there’s nothing to it. It just seems like a big thing (that you‘re convinced of you need to do PERFECTLY!) because you freeze because of the anxiety. Therefore you can’t socialize.
Once you don’t have any anxiety, and you feel good about yourself, socializing comes naturally. And if you really have zero social skills, they’re very easily learned and picked up once you’re feeling good about yourself and confident.
I’m at the moment living in the Chiang Mai, Thailand. I’ve lived the last 2+ years in the Philippines and South America is next on the list. I’m constantly meeting new people and I have a very satisfying social life with the relationships I want.
I’m in love with life and want to live it to the fullest. I have the friends and relationships I desire, live where I want to live, do what I feel like is my purpose, and wake up excited every day for yet another adventure.
I changed my mind with all the tools I learned and I’m now living the life I want. I’m myself again, finally. It feels great. And… Well, normal!
I’m very grateful and excited about how my life is at this moment.
I’m saying this not to brag, but to tell you about what is possible. It’s my intention to have this story inspire you and give you hope. Because there’s a way out of social anxiety. I’d like to show you the way, the shortcut.
And that shortcut is EFT (applying it in the right way..)!
It is my intention to help you to get over your social anxiety disorder as fast as possible.
On my site you will find great information, advice, personal stories, practical tools and step-by-step techniques. All will be presented as simple and easy to understand as possible. It will all be available on this site.
I will give you a complete resource to take control and get over your social anxiety (disorder). So you can become the socially confident person you want to be and get the social life you desire
If you are serious about overcoming your social anxiety forever, and leading a life where you feel secure and confident about yourself and comfortable and at ease in social situations, I offer 1 on 1 Skype coaching sessions. Here we use the power of advanced EFT to get you to achieve social confidence in all situations.
You can see and hear m tell my own story here:
Go here to read all about my 1 on 1 Skype Social Confidence Coaching
I also offer an online program called the Social Confidence System. Here I will guide you (via articles+exercises, audios and videos) using the power of EFT to get you from social anxiety all the way to social confidence.
Even if you’re not interested in getting the Social Confidence System, you might want to have a look at the information and videos on my homepage where I explain in detail what SAD is, what is going on with you, why it’s NOT that there’s something wrong with you at all, and how you can overcome it.
The information on my homepage is the accumulation of nearly a decade of research from my own journey of going from dealing with Social Anxiety Disorder and becoming socially confident, and that of my experience as a coach guiding client to do the same.
I highly suggest having a look there as it will forever change your view about what’s going on with you (in a VERY positive way) and the info will inspire you to take action, as you will understand what’s going on with you and that you can become 100% free of social anxiety.
Go here to get the specifics on the Social Confidence System. The SCS will allow you to release your social anxiety and get you to a natural confidence in social situations using the most effective and efficient self-help tool out there (EFT). And there are NO SCARY EXPOSURES involved.
When you put in the effort (I even have exercises at the start of the program to make sure you persist and don’t procrastinate and sabotage yourself) I’m 100% convinced you will be excitedly satisfied by the results. And of course I back that confidence up by my 60 day money back guarantee.
I hope this has been helpful to you. There really are solutions to overcome social anxiety (disorder).
I wish you social confidence and a fulfilling social life.
P.S. If you liked my story, you’ll love the world-class emails you get on how to step-by-step eliminate your social anxiety and create EFFORTLESS social confidence.