Living Inside Out

Photo by: Vanessa Leanne “Perception of Outside from Within”

With the constant buzz of everyday life in modern society, it’s difficult to stay grounded and tranquil. Any moment of disruption in our daily routines can cause an instant disruption of our own, that being angst. Everyday is filled of the constant of proceedings without a moment for breath. Obtaining anxiety has been the new normal as it would seem and not too far behind follows an abundance of judgement.

Digging deeper into the psychology of anxiety has shown to me that there is more than one category and reasoning for each type of anxiety. The main one, I believe that many often have in common is social anxiety. Growing up, I always sought myself to be a social butterfly, but as the years went on, that quickly faded. One reason I feel could be a reason for this is my disconnection to those surrounding me that continued on into other areas of my life. More on social disconnection here: Bonding with Drugs. By the age of six weeks, a baby is… | by Vanessa Leanne | Nov, 2021 | Medium. Though, there is something I noticed that becomes triggered when I am filled of angst in any social situation.

Whether I step into a room filled of various others or am face to face with meeting someone for the first time, my mind fills of myself. I become vastly self absorbed, but not in the way you’d think. I tend to self deprecate while losing myself in rumination of all the horrible things the other must be thinking of me as well as what embarrassingly stupid thing I might (and probably will) do or say. I shrink to myself and go deep in my mind to visit where the judge lives. Contradictory, though, my mind [firstly] begins surrounding the other(s). My anxiety begins with them as I fear of their own freedom of thought to believe as those choose of me. Only then will I find myself in a cycle of negative thought. The opposite is true when I find myself in judgement of others. I take one look at someone and begin to become lost in my own perception of how the world “should be” and judge the individual from such lens. With anxiety, I find myself shifting my focus on the other(s) as with judgement, I find myself focused on myself.

It’s difficult to manage social anxiety when already in the midst of falling into its traps just as difficult it is to catch ourselves in judgement of others, let alone ourselves. Though, I find challenging these automated systems in our minds to be far helpful and necessary. Learning to live inside out has helped diminish these rather quick automated responses to the world by slowing down and being able to rethink the process before it begins and allowing it to dissolve in a calm manner. Living inside out is doing the opposing to what these systems ask of us. For example: When meeting one for the first time, instead of allowing ourselves to think of what the other may be thinking of us, start from within and ask yourself what you think of yourself. After all, this is far more important. It’s been proven that we merely fall into this type of anxiety because we fear the other will see the salient negatives as we see of ourselves. Also, begin to channel your focus to how you feel in the moment of meeting one for the first time in lieu of what they might possibly be feeling of you.

As far as judgement goes, you must also reverse the thought from the outside world to within oneself. Judgement is a natural and quick response to the world and completely shutting it down is far impossible. But learning how to stop it in its tracks before it continues on is true power. Learn to notice when you’re judgement is triggered and take a moment to shift from the outside to in. For example: You decide that you are not fond of you’re new coworker because they seem angry and akin to that of a true Debby Downer. This person never truly gave you a reason to dislike them, but your judgement of how others “should be” is casting a negative shadow on the individual. To your eyes, one must be cheerful and openminded regardless of any circumstance and your coworker is anything but. Instead of perceiving the world from one lens, we must always remember to see it through other dimensions in an abstract way. Channel your focus from the external to the internal by asking yourself what values are underlying this judgement. Another great example is when we instantly think to ourselves that an individual is far from attractive. The value underlying this judgement is “looks matter and that is all one has to offer.” This stimulates ones own anxiety in having to appear attractive all the time and soon believe that they have nothing else to offer the world.

When you find yourself obsessively focused on another of their possible thought/emotion toward you, shift this energy of focus to the internal to remind yourself of the true importance of the situation: what you feel/think of yourself. When you find yourself constantly in focus of how others are and how they act, speak, look, etc. put an ease to this judgment by asking yourself what value you are shrinking your world by.

Have you read yesterday’s post?: Are You a Protagonist or an Antagonist? | by Vanessa Leanne | Nov, 2021 | Medium

Where to find me: Vanessa Leanne (@vanessa_leannee) • Instagram photos and videos

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Vanessa Leanne

Vanessa (n.): Writer, reader, & coffee enthusiast. A lover of 20th century poetry, abstract/contemporary art, & almond croissants at any given moment.