Friday, 27 January 2012

Indecision, confusion, extro- and intro-version...

Hello conquerors,

It's been a while, I apologize for missing this week's Weekly Challenge - I've had some things on the go, and haven't made time to sit down and write for you.

I have been thinking very recently about indecisive behaviour, and the anxiety that precedes and follows it.

When you have depression or anxiety, I think there is a great concern for the opinion of others (possibly because you view yourself negatively, or think your anxiety/depression makes you a bad person). This concern creates expectations of yourself which you may or may not be aware of... Also, it mimics perfectionistic behaviour as well because you'll begin to judge whether what you are saying or thinking is the "right thing" to say... This judgment will halt your thinking process and in turn, your decision process. There is also the weighing out of alternate ideas in your head and their possible outcomes, as well.

So if you're stuck trying to think of the "right thing" to say or the "right thing" to do, you might end up saying/doing nothing at all. This is an example of how analysis can lead to paralysis. You also run the risk of becoming confused and upset or, for extroverted people, "venting" or "airing out".

But let's be honest, how many of you out there can say you feel 100% comfortable saying everything you think? There are very few environments in which to vent possibly confusing ideas that you don't entirely understand but want to 'air out'. (This "airing out" is very common for extroverts, anxious or not)... If you are speaking with or relating to someone who is more introverted, an "airing out" of your thoughts and ideas and emotions might be very overwhelming for them - to the extent that you cross emotional boundaries. You might actually be doing damage even though you think your behaviour is benign... So air yourself carefully and be respectful... It's hard to hold in your thoughts if you're an extrovert because thinking things over by speaking and getting it out of your head is so helpful, this is especially noticeable if you are anxious or depressed in addition.

If you don't have a supportive group to which you can air your thoughts and concerns, I would suggest doing so in your journal, or perhaps into a voice-recorder. Just saying or writing or typing out what you are thinking might help you follow your thoughts better, and perhaps help you connect the dots - without getting someone else involved. (This also saves you from the "back-lash anxiety" of having vented and then worrying if what you said was the wrong thing!!)

Next time you need to "air out" - do so first on paper or online to yourself, then read it over and take out any key points that might still resonate as issues you need to solve.The issue itself may just be that you needed to vent - but you can do so without causing damage to relationships and other people.

If you find that you have "aired out" and yet still feel extremely confused or anxious, seek out a close friend who understands and is willing to listen. Try to come up with positive, workable solutions to the problems you discover. Once those solutions have been crafted, try to stick with them.
Don't get down on yourself if you can't stick with them all the time, no one is perfect - and that mentality will just add to your self-judgment and anxiety/depression even more.

I hope this has been helpful for those of you coping with this interesting aspect of anxiety/depression - that is, the interactions and relationships aspect.

Conquer on!

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