Psycho-Babble Psychology | about psychological treatments | Framed
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Posted by fallsfall on April 19, 2005, at 7:52:10

Daisy said: I've really regressed into old isolating behavoirs right now. How is it that you help yourself not do that?

This is one of those "you have to force yourself" things. First, recognize that you *are* isolating (this may be sleeping more, avoiding people by walking a different way, not being where you usually are when you are usually there, pretending to be too busy to talk, cancelling social engagements etc.). Then you need to tell yourself (very sternly) that isolating is NOT good for you. It allows the ruminations in your mind to fester on their own, without any input of reality from the outside. It means that you aren't adding anyone else's positive spark to your negative mood. It means you are focusing entirely on your own issues - you aren't giving anyone the chance to help you to see that the whole world has issues (and sometimes you can help other people, even when you are down) - this means there is no variety to your thoughts. You are removing any possibility that you might be able to feel better by doing something (even very small) for someone else.

How do you get out of it? Well, I am a champion isolater, so I can give you my tricks of the trade.

1. Decide who the least threatening person you know is. Call them. Make up some lame excuse for the very brief call, "How 'bout them <fill in name of local baseball team>?" (you don't have to tell them that you are feeling lousy). All you need to do is to have a brief connection so you can realize that connections don't have to be dangerous. Then congratulate yourself - I eat ice cream.

2. Take a deep breath.

3. Go out in public, like shopping, where there are people, but you don't really have to interact with them, except for an occasional smile or "excuse me". Just be in a place where there are people.

4. Tell a good friend that you want to go for coffee, but that you really only want to talk about mundane things. And then do that.

I guess the key is that you don't have to spill your soul (which is, I am guessing, why you are isolating). Just keep connected in even superficial ways to other humans. Each encounter will take effort, but it will get easier.

And (at least around here) it is spring! At least get some sunshine, even if you aren't ready for people.




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