Making friends can be hard to do. This is especially true for the wide range of people that suffer from social anxiety symptoms that can range from facial blushing to a constant battle with the thoughts of their own mind. For too many, being insecure or having preconceived notions about what others are thinking hinders their ability to make long and lasting friendships in life. Sadly, comfortable and supportive relationships can be the building blocks of a life well lived. If you have trouble making friends or keeping friends, you may find that CBT therapy by a trained professional can help.
When you meet someone new there is a such thing as a first impression. For you, your first impression may also include lots of accepted belief patterns and thoughts about how you think other people are thinking. Unfortunately, it is impossible to know what other people are thinking. Most of the time, these thoughts such as ‘she would never want to be friends with me because I don’t make a lot of money,’ or ‘this person is better than me or she is a snob because she drives a BMW,’ and even ‘He is my boss which means he is better than me,’ and ‘I will never have a reliable friend’ serve only to sever the friendship before it can begin. Chances are you have spent your lifetime witnessing other people have broken friendships or seeing other people betrayed by friends which only helps to make you feel righteous in your beliefs. However, what if it is those beliefs that are keeping you from a host of friends just waiting to fill your life with joy?
One of the reasons CBT is such a perfect match for those suffering from social fears is because you will first be able to identify with your belief patterns and thoughts. It may be difficult at first to pull these things from your mind, but once they are out in the open you have the opportunity to rationalize them. What you most likely will find is that little of how and what you think is based on actual experiences. You may have had one bad friendship in your life that forced you to erect a wall of beliefs that you feel are protecting you now. CBT can help you decide whether those walls or more hindering than helpful and whether or not your preconceived notions are based on rationale.
As humans become accustomed to thinking a certain way, the brain begins to move on auto-pilot. This means that instead of analyzing your own thoughts and what goes through your mind as you meet a potential friend you immediately revert back to your comfort zone. This can be a difficult habit to break without tools that help you to cope. CBT equips you with the tools you need to stop, think, question and react differently than you ever have in the past. It can also put a succinct end to the mindless chatter that puts a heavy weight on all facets of your life. A good therapist, for example one of the many anxiety therapists in Huntington Beach, can help you accomplish your social goals.
When you are able to recognize, rationalize and rethink your thoughts and belief system you are given freedom to a world that never existed before. This world includes friendships that are healthy and empowering and that you deserve. CBT is not an overnight cure nor does it involve medication. However, it does involve changing your life for the better by using your most valuable asset to health and happiness…your mind and beliefs.