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comment by Super_Cyan
Super_Cyan  ·  2712 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What has someone said to you that dramatically changed your outlook on life?

Somebody told me once that nobody really cares about you. Sure, your friends and family care about your well-being and happiness, but that's about it.

I used to care so much about what people thought of me. When I wanted to do something, I'd sit there and wonder "Will people think I look stupid?" It'd get to me so much, that I missed out on a lot of things. There was so much genuine fun out there that I could have partaken in, but I was too afraid to get involved. I'd sit there and look at all of the people doing whatever and envying them. It got to a point, where I just stopped doing anything. I fell into this depression and started developing social anxiety, and it got so bad that I just didn't do anything at all; I'd just sit inside on the internet all day.

One day, I was browsing a thread on Reddit and someone explained that, for the most part, people really don't think about you. Everyone around you has a life. They have their own goals, problems, and desires. If you're out there doing something weird, they probably just go "Haha, that's a little strange. I hope Alex doesn't start anything at work again..." and go on with their day. There's just too much going on in their lives to dedicate any time to whatever you're doing.

It made me realize that even I don't think that much about what the people around me are doing. I mean, I notice them and think about it for a minute, but at the end of the day, I've all but forgotten about it. I don't remember anything cringy that someone did in middleschool. I don't remember anything strange that someone said to me at school. I don't remember any thing that anyone has really messed up on. All of these things that I lose sleep over are pointless to waste time thinking about, because I'm the only person that cares.

I remember the time I sent Lauren some weird message over Facebook in 8th grade, but she probably doesn't. I bet she doesn't even really remember who I am, let alone anything I did. I remember the time I said something really mean to Tyler's sister like a decade ago, but I wouldn't recognize her if I walked past her on the street, even if I heard someone call her name.

Everyone has memories, but only a select few last a long time. The rest get pushed out or replaced with something more recent or important. What I say or do today won't really have an effect on my life years down the road, or even tomorrow. If I want to go do something weird today, I can, because tomorrow whoever saw probably won't remember it. They'll be off thinking about tonight's dinner, or whether or not Janet is into him, or the dog food they have to pick up on the way home.

In the end, it's not that it doesn't even matter - it's that nobody really cares.

Fluffy017  ·  2712 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I hope you don't mind, but I copy/pasted this to a Notepad document and saved it to my desktop.

Because I've realized that part of my social anxiety is that I do this too much: I over-analyze every action, every possible action, and every exhibited response to a given situation, and it drives me absolutely insane some days.

I really need a reminder like this to let me know that hey, I'm human, just like everyone else; I might fuck up, but they're probably going to forget about it in a week or two anyway, unless I fucked up on a GRAND scale.

Thank you.

forevergreen  ·  2711 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I hate to be "that" person recommending Nietzsche, but I'm working on him for my dissertation, and he's all I'm thinking about lately. One of his thoughts revolves around the task of ceasing to being ashamed of yourself. In order to do this, self-affirmation is necessary. It becomes the key to achieving what goals you have set for yourself. Shame is a product of an internalization of what we perceive the world around us to expect, require or demand of us. It's different from guilt, in that guilt is internally motivated: for example you may feel guilty about being grouchy at someone. But shame is the feeling that you are not worthy or that you are distasteful to others in some capacity. Overcoming shame becomes key to achieving your goals, because if you are constantly hung up on shame, it is going to be rather difficult to focus on the self-who-has goals, the self-who-acts and seeks out their destiny in the world.

Goals are difficult to achieve if you are constantly thinking about how you look, how people are judging you, etc. I know that when I'm out and about, that is also what I think about: I start imagining that people are judging me. I remind myself to cease being ashamed for whatever it is I think they are judging me about. So, I walk funny, even if it's true, I should embrace this, self-affirm it: I am a funny walker. All of these people walk the same, but I walk different. That is me.

What I really appreciate about Nietzsche's works is beyond the stereotypical kind of associations people have of him, he's an astounding observer and investigator of human nature. He is fascinated by what makes humans tick psychologically, and how these psychical forces produce and reflect in their behaviors, including large scale societal make ups. I find that focusing on this kind of work also helps me get out of my skin a bit, because I can redirect my hyper-intensive analyzing brain to something, you know, actually kind of useful, or at least not soul-sucking and depressing (i.e., social anxiety).

So pickup a copy of The Genealogy of Morals and The Gay Science and have fun :)

SirCrankyPants  ·  2711 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I started University recently, and i was really worried about living on campus and getting involved in the social life with people as much as 6 or 7 years younger then me (im 23). I have often struggled with social anxiety.

Its true, noone cares.

I get some gentle ribbing for it, but people are more focused on how you treat people and whether or not you cause drama.

Dont be afraid to get involved or try something new.

Super_Cyan  ·  2712 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I used to be like that too, and I still am in some ways.

It's really invigorating when you get out of your comfort-zone and don't feel bad. After I realized that people really don't care about what you're doing, it became a lot easier to say "fuck it"; and because of that, I've had some of the best times of my life. I have stories to tell and a strong group of friends, because of the stuff we've done. I went from thinking that I was going to die alone to having two girlfriends in 6 months - which beat my estimates by two.

I hope you start to have a similar experience, and I'm really moved that I actually connected with someone. Best of luck!

goatmeal  ·  2712 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I had a roommate who told me the same only he said something to the effect of "You're not as special as you think you. Nobody cares about whatever interaction you're still thinking about a week later. They've forgotten about it." It kind of changed my life forever.

Neleos  ·  2712 days ago  ·  link  ·  

How do you deal with the things that you say that actually do stick around? It's not as if everyone always forgets everything you say. There are things that people have said to me or about me I've remembered my entire life.

Super_Cyan  ·  2712 days ago  ·  link  ·  

If I did something bad to someone, I either just try to make amends or stay out of their hair. I tend to overthink the importance of some mistakes, but I've just tried to learn from them and not do them again.

Hertha  ·  2711 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Experienced the same also with reddit thread. could have been the same thread. Internet is amazing. Sure it doesn't apply in all cases, but now it's me who doesn't care.

goatmeal  ·  2712 days ago  ·  link  ·  
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