Why is society so superficial?

I have suffered social anxiety my entire childhood and I'm 19 years of age. I have managed to pluck up the courage to attend the gym and have been going for a few months however, I was taught in CBT sessions that if I keep going to the gym and face my fears regularly, they will reduce. My fears have not reduced one bit and only today I was there and I panicked because I thought some people were laughing at me in the pool (I have ginger hair and I am overweight so I thought they would be mocking this)

This is just one example. I have fears like this in all environments, not just the gym. I'm terrified of people laughing at me all the time. I have been wondering if I am suffering from Gelatophobia because the fear is extremely intense and nobody can understand why I am fearing it so much.

I feel like there are no decent people left in society and people just judge based on looks all the time. I feel I am at the bottom of the social ladder because I'm not good looking. I've never had a girlfriend either and I feel like there is injustice because all the better looking guys have more fun than me even though they may not have a caring personality (like I say, superficial)

I cannot talk about this with family or frineds as this is a disorder and they simply don't understand. I dont know what to do anymore because CBT obviously does not work for me and I've had counselling for years and nothing has worked. The fear is too strong to get rid of.

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4 Replies

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  • gcyorks

    Well done for plucking up the courage to join a gym , should feel proud of yourself !

    When we suffer with anxiety , we think people are looking & talking about us , part of anxiety in general , the chances are they are not !

    OK you say you have ginger hair & over weight , well any one that thinks that is something to laugh at , i wouldnt want to no anyway , i only like nice people that see deeper than that & believe it there are some out there

    I think at some stages in life , girls do go for cocky good looking guys , thats just life but .....let me tell you as girls mature , they start looking for more than that in a relationship , they then want personality , kindness & some one to take care for them ...thats when there is not enough like you , believe me

    I have two daughters , as they were growing up , yes they wanted that sort , they are both beautiful girls & not just saying that because I am their mum , they really are

    Went out with them , got hurt several times ,,now they are 26 & 32 & do you no what , they are both in relationships , this time not gone for looks they have matured & they have gone for personality & they have never been happier !

    Dont worry , this will happen for you , the more you get on top of this anxiety , the more your personality will shine & the mature girls will start to notice you believe me :-)

    As someone once said to me "there is always a lid for every pot " you will find yours

    Dont give up on the CBT it takes time , think about going to see your GP ? let them no how you are feeling , may be a short course of meds might help . just suggestions

    And dont forget to let us no as soon as you find your lid , its out there !

    Keep posting , lots of lovely people & support on here , who you can talk to , who wont laugh & wont judge !

    whywhy x

  • HI gcyorks,

    I know exactly how you feel, I went through what you are going through for years and finally sought help at 33. I learned in my CBT that people have had their own lives, think their own things and have their own experiences to make them behave the way they do. I am not responsible for those thoughts nor can I do anything about them. I spent years modifying my own behaviour in the hope that someone would like me but it wasn't until I realised that it didn't matter what I did myself people will always behave the way they want to, that's them and has nothing to do with me. By focusing on being in the present and not on the thoughts in my head, I was able to be with those i wanted to be with, those who are decent people. I don't have a big circle of friends but those i do have are awesome and I can now enjoy the time I spend with them and have stopped having panic attacks about what anyone and everyone else is thinking or saying about me.

    It might be worth sticking with the CBT, it's not a quick fix and I know it doesn't work for everyone, and I had to really face all my fears, putting myself into situations that would have normally put me into a weekend of trying to be swallowed up by the sofa in complete hysterics and panic attacks that would last days, to be able to objectively look at the situations and whether what I was perceiving was true.

    Keep doing what your doing and over time you will be able to stop having these thoughts and start enjoying life. You're more than likely to meet a wonderful lady who loves you for being you.

    as whywhy said, keep posting on here, we're all going through/have been going through something similar to you and can completely relate, and no-one here will judge you in anyway.

  • Hi gcyorks,

    I hope you don't let these thoughts put you off and you continue going to the gym, I'm sure people are not laughing at you, they are probably more bothered about what they look like in the pool (I know I normally am!). At least you are making the effort to keep fit and healthy and perhaps some of the people in the gym have not always been the size they were so might know how you feel.

    Having ginger hair is nothing to be worried about, I have a friend who prefers men with ginger hair and I dye my hair red as well and wish I could get it more ginger but those more orangey colours don't work on my hair.

    I don't understand the reason 'attractive' people are thought to be superior. After all, they are just been born like that, it isn't an acheivement, it's just pot luck! Sometimes it does make people uglier on the inside if they do think a lot of themselves, so I personally don't go for looks. Personality shines through ones you get to know someone anyway.

    I used to hate the way I looked (and still do without make-up), but now I have leant to just make the best of myself and try and dress nicely and it gives me a bit more confidence.

    Please don't think people are laughing at you. I always think that people are thinking the worst of me, when they meet me or when they look at me, like I'm boring and have no personality, or that I'm horrible, but in reality they have probably got other things on their mind and probably aren't thinking that at all. We just have to learn to accept that people are more likely to be thinking about what they are having for dinner tonight than paying us that much attention :-)

    Jill

  • As a teenager, & young adult, people were always commenting on how attractive I was, which I found extremely irritating, not only because I didn`t think that I was, but also because such comments prove how shallow people are. Why can`t we be complimented on an achievments, no chance of that because the only thing that matters to most people is looks!

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