What will do you if you have not had specific traumas but you are dealing with social anxiety?
Last week, Sebastiaan made a video entitled “HEAL TRAUMA TO BEAT SOCIAL ANXIETY”
And one specific question caught Seb’s eyes.
Here’s the question:
Thank you for this helpful video, many coaches have confirmed that we should work on the root cause of the problem or the trauma, but in my case I don’t remember a specific situation, I just remember the pattern “most of people in my childhood, my family and school friends looked at me and treat me in a certain way that I hate” so there’s no certain event just general pattern that made me believe on it, so what should I do in this case?
And in this episode, Seb will be giving you 3 techniques to address the question.
Learn more about Steve Wells’ intention tapping by going to https://www.intentiontapping.com/
What do you do if you have not had any specific traumas, but you are dealing with social anxiety?
That’s what I’m going to answer in today’s video.
I’m going to give you 3 techniques to address that.
And I made this video because there’s a person that wrote the following:
Thank you for this helpful video. Many coaches have confirmed that we should work on the root cause of the problem or the trauma. But in my case, I don’t remember a specific situation. I just remembered a pattern: “most of people in my childhood, my family and school friends looked at me and treated me in a certain way that I hate”
So there’s no certain event, just a general pattern that made me believe on it. So what should I do in this case?
Okay. Good question.
So it sounds like what you’re describing is that you did not have a Specific Significant Emotional experience. There was no moment of like:
‘Well, I did public speaking, and then I messed up, and then they all laughed at me, and I was ridiculed. And from that moment forward, I started to get anxious. or I was bullied by this guy in school. And from that moment, the anxiety started.”
For you, there was no initial shock experience. And it sounds like what you’re describing is, well, it was just the dynamics of how it was early on that kind of started the social anxiety.
And that’s how it is for a lot of people. I’d say, everyone, or 95+ % of the people that I work with, with social anxiety in the past 13 years, all have been dealing with some kind of a stuff that happened in their early childhood that was unpleasant, didn’t make them feel safe, or cause them to feel unsafe being themselves.
So something that happened over and over and over in early childhood, indeed, as you write a pattern – something that happened repetitively.
So that can be physical or emotional, or sexual abuse, that can be parents that are fighting all the time, it can be a divorce, it can be an alcoholic, parents, critical parents, over controlling mom or dad over protective parents, a horrible uncle, a brother that is older does bullying you, an ongoing basis being compared to this other family that are higher up in the status chain, not being pretty enough compared to your sister and your sister getting all the attention, etc.,
There’s a whole bunch of things that could have caused you to already be socially anxious. The repetitive negative experiences from early childhood, the childhood pattern to childhood baggage.
Now, that in my experience, either already starts to social anxiety, or it makes you more vulnerable to it starting at a later date. But whatever it is, it needs to be addressed.
So how do you do that?
Well, first of all, there’s no one way to do it.
There are many ways. Many ways to address it. And certain practitioners will address it in a different way than another. I like to use a particular exercise, it’s super powerful, where we combine your whole childhood together without even knowing too much details, and then working with all of it together, and neutralizing it nearly always in a single session.
I’ve done this so many times that we do it in group form in the Social Confidence Club. And it’s one of the most powerful exercises that we have one of the most significant exercises where people report life transforming results just after that one exercise. So it is very important to address that childhood baggage.
However, I guess what you’re asking for is, how do I do this by myself?
I’ll give you 3 approaches.
Approach #1: Working in the present.
Now you can work with the past, and look for what happened, why it happened, with whom it happened, what was the dynamic and so on and so forth. And that can be very helpful, especially with the help of like a practitioner or a therapist who can assist you with this. But sometimes that becomes a bit too complex.
And if you’re not a psychologist or a practitioner or someone with a lot of experience yourself, it’s maybe easier to work with the present.
Now anxiety gets triggered by three things – memories, beliefs, and fantasies. And these three things often originate ate in early childhood.
So there’s certain memory from which you learn certain things about yourself, maybe I’m not good enough. You might learn some things about people, people are mean. You might some learn some things about the environment, the world is a risky place, the world is a dangerous place.
And you also learn what your capabilities are, and what to fear.
So you might also learn, “I can’t handle X situation, I’m bad at being the center of attention”, you name it, and you learn what the fear:
‘Okay, I’ve just gotten rejected. I know that is very painful. I want to avoid that in the future.’ — And your brain just helps you to become afraid of that.
These are the things that you learn. And when you’re in the here, and now, what you’re experiencing is you’re reliving past trauma. So you are reactivating those emotions, and then you feel like you felt back then so you feel like you felt in childhood, or you perceive the world in the here and now through the lens of that younger you. Your perception, which is governed by your beliefs.
Or you’re having these worries about negative fantasies, negative outcomes, your brain is taking the past, and it’s projecting it into the future. And then it’s telling you: “Careful, this thing is going to happen”, and freaks you out.
All of this leads to anxiety.
So you can work in the present moment with something that triggers anxiety within you.
And then work to neutralize your emotional reactions to that.
For example, say that you have meetings at work that really make you feel anxious, then you can think of the last meeting that you were in, and tune in and see how that feels. Or you can imagine being in a meeting in here and now or you can even think about one that is coming up.
But say that you think about the last meeting, then you can tune into that.
And as you tune into that, what’s the elephant in the room?
What are you noticing?
You might notice that your heart is racing. Okay, you can tap and focus on your heart racing.
You might notice that you feel a sensation of shame, you can focus on the shame while you continuously tap.
You might notice a thought like, ‘Oh my God, I don’t want to be here, or I hate dealing with this’, you can focus on that thought while you tap.
Now, this is a very simple thing that you can do that doesn’t always work, because you’re also dealing with resistances, and other kinds of issues.
It’s very hard/impossible for me to explain what exactly to do to clear all of your childhood baggage in a couple minutes videos. But I’m just going to give you a bit of — Alright, here are a few things that you can do and see where that leads you.
So working in the present, that’s what you can do, you can tune into a past experience, a specific scenario, that’s difficult. And then you can begin to calm down the emotional responses that you have, as you imagine it.
The last time it happened, as if it’s happening right now, or a scenario in the future.
And as you’re doing that, and you’re clearing your emotional reactions, sometimes a memory pops up – just naturally without forcing it. Okay, great. When that happens, write it down and do the work to neutralize that memory.
Other times, you might be with a particular stuck feeling and you’re tapping, you’re tapping and it won’t decrease much further, you might ask yourself:
What is this feeling remind me off?
Or you might ask:
When’s the earliest time that I can feel this way that I can remember feeling this way?
Or you might say:
How old is the ‘me’ that is feeling this way? And and whatever your answer is, just guess, for that last question.
And if a memory comes up, or you remember an earlier time, or a particular scene or a particular person, then just go there with your attention. And now start on working with your bodily sensations, the emotions that get triggered, the thoughts that are coming up, begin to decrease all of that. Just asking yourself the question:
What’s the elephant in the room for me as I focus on this memory?
What’s the elephant in the room for me as I focus on this person?
In other words, what is the strongest thing that I’m aware of?
Is it a emotionalized thought that’s there in my head?
Is it a negative emotion that I’m experiencing?
Is it a bodily sensation?
What am I most aware of and then just hold that in your attention and do a round of tapping and see how you go.
This way, you can tune into a particular triggering experience and start to calm down the reactions.
And as you start to calm down the reactions, sometimes this may lead you to some of your childhood baggage stuff that naturally comes up or that comes up as you ask directed question, and then you can begin to decrease and neutralize the emotions there. And the lessons learned from it.
That’s another thing when you’re working on an older memory, you’re not just trying to neutralize the emotions, you also want to get rid of the meaning that you made at the time.
So you might ask yourself exactly that.
What did I make that mean at the time?
Or what did I make that mean about me?
Okay, because these become our limiting beliefs.
So you might have learned, “I am not good enough, or I am worthless, or I’m unlovable”.
Or you might have learned, what does this mean? “Well I’m getting rejected all the time, means there’s something wrong with me or I’m unlovable”.
Okay, I get criticized all the time means that “I can’t do anything right. Or I’m incompetent or incapable”, or whatever it is.
And you could also look for what did I begin to fear there in that memory while this.
Now you’ve got a whole bunch of things to tap on. Right?
So you can work with the present, then check in with a specific scenario in which you feel anxiety, and then begin to work there and see if something from the past comes up or use those questions that I mentioned. That’s one.
Approach #2: Focus on difficult people and circumstances.
This one is pretty easy, straightforward, you say that you don’t have any specific moments that kick started the social anxiety.
In that case, when it’s just a whole bunch of things that happened, well, there might be certain key players – your mom, your dad, maybe a teacher, maybe a particular friend, maybe your particular sibling, and some of these may have had a huge effect on your inner world on how you now see the world.
And when I work with clients, I nearly always end up working with the relationship with their mom, or the relationship with their dad. Those relationships are pivotal. And so, when you start changing things there, that can be very powerful.
So you might think of your mom, or you might think of memories with your mom, or specific circumstances that were always triggering with your mom, or how your mom thought or whatever.
Whatever made you feel unsafe or not safe to be you in the household, or it could be the household dynamic, or the dynamic between your mom and your dad, or the divorce that happened or whatever.
And again, you want to then address your negative emotions as you work through those memories. You want to uncover what the beliefs were that you picked up there, and what fantasies you might have picked up – negative fears, things that you started to fear.
So that’s what you want to do with people, key players.
And you might also have specific circumstances that were recurring.
So maybe nothing happened at one point when you were eating dinner around the table, but maybe it was always stressful. There was always complaining, there was always mom that was freaking out, there was always tension around the dinner table.
Well, then you can pick that particular scenario, and think about that, close your eyes, go back there, and work with the emotions, work with the beliefs, and work with the fantasies.
And whatever comes up, whatever the elephant in the room is focused on it, tap on it for around and begin to break that down, begin to neutralize and clear it.
And again, this is just a strategy to begin to decrease it. Because one of the things that I’m not addressing here is resistance to change that comes up. And that’s the topic of a different video.
But if you’re not succeeding in this, you need to learn more understand more, you’re lacking knowledge and you’re lacking help that you probably need.
I’m just giving you some quick tips on how you can make some progress here yourself.
Let’s go on to the third one.
Approach #3: Picture Tapping.
This is really straightforward.
You take old pictures of yourself and of family members and difficult situations that may have occurred, maybe pictures of your old house or or old school, these can trigger automatically feelings within you.
I can remember looking back to certain pictures of myself, where I look just so insecure and cringe. And just looking at that would bring up cringe within me. Okay, so then you can tap on your emotional reactions to seeing that picture.
You can imagine how that you was feeling big back then. And work with those feelings.
You can address the emotions that get triggered, that might have memories pop up, and so on and so forth.
In other words, with these 3 approaches is what you’re doing is you’re finding a way creative ways to tune in to those old feelings, where a lot of the stuck emotions are, and you begin to neutralize them, you begin to shift, and you begin to change them bit by bit slowly but surely.
And with the first approach I shared with you, I explained to you how you can work with emotions in the present. And then I told you, well, sometimes you might not get that far, because you’re addressing things at a surface level. And then you can ask yourself questions in order to get to the past stuff.
But often with other techniques, such as intention tapping by the Psychologist, Steve Wells, you don’t need to know where that came from. And you can work more with what’s here in the present right now. So go check that out.
So hope this answered your question. Hope this was helpful for you. And this is Sebastiaan from social-anxiety-solutions. I’ll talk to you very soon. Bye for now.
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