Thinking out loud

Topics in this category pertain to planning. Discussions include how to prepare yourself, your family and your community for catastrophes and what you plan to do when they hit you.

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Thinking out loud

Post by Jadey » Fri May 30, 2014 11:46 am

What's the first step to empower someone who is afraid of their own shadow? Kind of vague? I thought I would throw it out there...

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Re: Thinking out loud

Post by Beowolf » Fri May 30, 2014 11:57 am

Religion works for some.

Philosophy works for others.

Fear and paranoia can do the job, too.

But aside from those, I would learn how to stand up to yourself. You will always be your worst enemy, your harshest critic, but you will always only be the single person who can make a change in your life. Own up to that responsibility and you'll see an entirely new world of possibility.
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Re: Thinking out loud

Post by Jadey » Fri May 30, 2014 12:08 pm

Beowolf wrote:Religion works for some.

Philosophy works for others.

Fear and paranoia can do the job, too.

But aside from those, I would learn how to stand up to yourself. You will always be your worst enemy, your harshest critic, but you will always only be the single person who can make a change in your life. Own up to that responsibility and you'll see an entirely new world of possibility.
I'm thinking discipline. Gaining physical control, a strong body builds a strong mind.

And training. Firearms seem like they create a sense of power. But is it the actual heft of a gun, or the right training?

Discipline/Training=Physical/Mental Strength, the mind and body are so closely intertwined...

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Re: Thinking out loud

Post by Kelvar » Fri May 30, 2014 12:31 pm

Image


Okay, serious answer: the question is too vague to provide a meaningful response. Do you mean someone who is afraid of:
Being mugged?
Zombies?
Aliens?
The "Gub'mint"?
The Number 13?
Heights?
Open Spaces?
Crowds?
Germs?
Snakes?
Commitment?


Certainly, confidence seems to be nearly (but not quite) the opposite of fear. I have found that the way to build confidence is to gain life experience and to accomplish meaningful life goals. Travelling, meeting new people, facing new challenges. . .these all build confidence for those who face them with the right mindset. Some people have a fear of public speaking. The way to solve it is to speak in public and be willing to look foolish at first.

But the most important ingredient, the one thing that is essential is the desire to change.
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Re: Thinking out loud

Post by Jadey » Fri May 30, 2014 12:46 pm

Kelvar wrote:Image


Okay, serious answer: the question is too vague to provide a meaningful response. Do you mean someone who is afraid of:
Being mugged?
Zombies?
Aliens?
The "Gub'mint"?
The Number 13?
Heights?
Open Spaces?
Crowds?
Germs?
Snakes?
Commitment?


Certainly, confidence seems to be nearly (but not quite) the opposite of fear. I have found that the way to build confidence is to gain life experience and to accomplish meaningful life goals. Travelling, meeting new people, facing new challenges. . .these all build confidence for those who face them with the right mindset. Some people have a fear of public speaking. The way to solve it is to speak in public and be willing to look foolish at first.

But the most important ingredient, the one thing that is essential is the desire to change.
YES! When the DESIRE to change yourself, your circumstances, is there, but CHANGE is one of your biggest fears...I think if you take that first plunge, whether it's a career change or relationship, whatever, that sets in motion a chain reaction that you need to be prepared to ride out and not bail back to your old safe, stagnant ways...

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Re: Thinking out loud

Post by Kelvar » Fri May 30, 2014 1:04 pm

Jadey wrote:
YES! When the DESIRE to change yourself, your circumstances, is there, but CHANGE is one of your biggest fears...I think if you take that first plunge, whether it's a career change or relationship, whatever, that sets in motion a chain reaction that you need to be prepared to ride out and not bail back to your old safe, stagnant ways...
What I'm saying is that one has to want to change oneself. Not everyone does. I did. Hell, I still want to find ways to improve. If this person *wants* to become more confident, then he or she first needs to want to change. Otherwise, there is no advice that you or I or anyone else can give that will make a difference.
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Re: Thinking out loud

Post by raptor » Fri May 30, 2014 1:23 pm

In my experience the best defense against fear...any... fear is confidence and success.

You build confidence by successfully dealing with the fear. Start off small to ensure you are successful.

If your fear is spiders for example start off by dealing with a small spider and keep dealing with small spiders until any fear you had upon seeing them is gone. Then move to to two small spiders and so on.

This link is not exactly on target but it is in the same vein.

Pay attention to the first lesson strating @4:43. It is another example of my advice above.



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Re: Thinking out loud

Post by Rin » Fri May 30, 2014 1:30 pm

I would say one of the number one things to remember when dealing with someone else's fear is not to push them. Make trying new things, or working through the fear as easy as you can make it, especially if they're taking steps on their own, but don't push them, that often just makes things worse. Working in baby steps is a great idea, but only they're gonna know when they're ready to move past a step.

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Re: Thinking out loud

Post by Mikeyboy » Fri May 30, 2014 2:00 pm

I found that the best thing is to face the fears and do some gradual exposure to the fear until you have confidence.

A good example of how this works is work with phobias, there was a show on Animal Planet called "My Extreme Animal Phobia" that showed a therapist working with people's animal phobias. Say you are deathly afraid of bugs, they start by looking at pictures learning some basic fact that the majority of bugs are harmless, then having multiple pictures of bugs in a room that you hang out in all day, then looking at live bugs in a tank, then getting to the point where you are touching and handling a bug.

http://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/my ... mal-phobia

You can do the same with public speaking, with social situation, with a fear of heights, etc.

If its your kid, or a friend, you can nudge them here and there, but if its you got to want to fix yourself and push against your fear. If its an overall anxiety it may be something to get check out and work with a doctor or a therapist. I really don't like taking medication if you don't really need to, but a lot of things can be going on in your body and/or mind that could be causing you to be overly anxious. Nothing wrong with being a little bit anxious, but when its debilitating you may need serious help to get to the bottom of it. Sometimes irrational fear and anxiety can exist in real tough individuals who can take on almost anything in the world...except that one fear. I know a cop who would have no problem shooting at a bad guy or taking down and arresting a guy twice his size, but throw a spider in his direction and he screams and runs for the hills. Is could be anything from a childhood trauma, to a chemical imbalance, to just an irrational fear that you need to work thru.

Perfect example, someone I know who is an anxious, shy lady, that really loved horses and wanted to ride a horse someday but was very standoffish and was afraid to even approach one. She went to a therapist to ask about her overall anxiety, and she said that helped her chip away at it. She then took lessons on horseback riding and did some volunteer work at a stable. Now this meek little lady has no problems grabbing a horse by the leg, and pulling up it hoof to clean the mud of its shoe, something that I think most of us would be a bit leery of doing. Not only that, all this forced her to become a bit more sociable dealing with people.
Last edited by Mikeyboy on Fri May 30, 2014 2:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Thinking out loud

Post by Murphman » Fri May 30, 2014 2:12 pm

Tough love.

Suck it up, buttercup.

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Re: Thinking out loud

Post by Stercutus » Sat May 31, 2014 8:51 am

I have found through many years of dealing with difficult situations that there is one consistent discrete point that indicates how well a person does when faced with a situation that will rightly induce fear in to most people. Because most everyone will be afraid at some point of something.

This point is belief in something greater then themselves;
that is favorable disposed towards them;
and has the perceived capability of safeguarding them.

This can be anything. A team, a leader, God whatever. The belief is esential because even the most supremely self confident will discover their own mortality at some point.
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Re: Thinking out loud

Post by duodecima » Sat May 31, 2014 3:53 pm

I was going to say self-efficacy - the belief that you can actually do something (anything at all) to change something(anything at all) and that it will work. Because if you don't believe that, why the hell even try at anything in life. After that they do indeed have to desire those changes, but desire's not enough if you really don't believe you've got control over anything at all.

It's basically Raptor's confidence and success - and that's how you build it.
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Re: Thinking out loud

Post by woodsghost » Sat May 31, 2014 8:38 pm

As was mentioned above:

Habituation: super important.
Desire to change: Honestly, I think this is second to habituation, but that is like saying the gun comes before the bullet.

Just my thoughts.
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Re: Thinking out loud

Post by vahtryn » Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:59 am

I find some form of conflict works the best. Scared of something? Take it on full on frontal. It's always worked for me.

When I was afraid of heights all I did to get over it was jump out of a perfectly good airplane. Then again most people aren't like me.

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Re: Thinking out loud

Post by Chop » Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:03 pm

I would remind them that not only is it OK to be afraid it is a natural instinct. Think of it as a sixth sense that is enhanced by your past experiences.
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Re: Thinking out loud

Post by therianthrope » Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:48 pm

Fear (especially of the general and irrational sort, i.e. being afraid of change, or ... zombies?), at it's core, is a self-confidence issue.

If you have someone in your life that you'd like to try to "cure" from being "afraid of everything", I would recommend taking steps to build their self-confidence. Different people will respond in different ways to different approaches to this. Verbal reinforcement is just about always a great place to start, especially in a moment when they've truly succeeded at something (something that produced unexpected quantitative or qualitative results, not just anything - and especially not something that is expected of them anyways - like showing up for a job/school, or performing the normal duties of that job/or just passing), show them that not only do they have strengths and successes but how to see their strengths and successes in their own self. Do not stand for "pity-parties", and especially do not console them for a situation that doesn't truly warrant it - most injuries, defeat in a contest/test, verbal abuse from others - don't do it (and even when it is warranted, just reinforcing the notion that "It will be okay" may be best, instead of a "you poor thing" approach). Show them how the injury can be overcome (or perhaps how it was their own fault?), how they can improve their contest/test skills, or how the verbal abuser likely is just victim to his own fear. 'I can't do this', 'It's out of my control', 'What's the point?' - don't accept these types of responses or reactions, absolutely do not be confrontational or angry about it (at least not at first, not until they've started "turning around"), just calmly - and privately (that's very important) - and matter-of-factually call them out in that moment and make them aware that they're accepting and therefore contributing to their own fear and/or defeat.

At the same time, teach them that it's perfectly alright to not be good at things (but it's not okay to accept that it has to remain that way), then show them how to think critically (What do I want, and how do I get it?) and determine active steps - things they can physically and/or mentally do - towards improving those things they're not good at, or making up for that short-coming in another way, being able to be pro-active towards something is so important for reducing anxiety or fear towards it.

I would not necessarily look to self-defense (whether martial arts, firearms training, or what have you) as a cure-all, because that's also a tremendous responsibility requiring mental strength and discipline, and if they're not ready for that it could just set them back. Also, again different people respond differently and different faiths and philosophies and groups/teams handle these things differently, but faith and/or philosophy and/or group/team association could end up pushing the locus of their sense of responsibility for their own reality and their belief in their ability to affect their own reality further from their own self - and that could be counterproductive. Which isn't to say ignore those elements, but just be aware how the fearful person is incorporating themselves into it.

As mentioned, for any of this to work they have to want to change, because - and I'd even recommend telling them this; the root of the problem is within their own self - but so too is the solution. Don't forget to tell them that last part. That's empowerment. And all of this isn't philosophy, it's psychology.

Sorry this is all so vague, but your question was pretty vague too... more specific fears would probably get more specific approaches toward remedying. And also, this isn't so much applicable for rational fears; like that of bears or flying in small planes, but it should help them remain capable of acting (hopefully intelligently) when faced with rational fears.

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Re: Thinking out loud

Post by buck85 » Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:43 pm

The first step should be creating a foundation of comfort.By defining what he/she is comfortable in doing.When one has a foundation, they can set goals and through reasonable expectations reach a level of empowerment.
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Re: Thinking out loud

Post by DarkAxel » Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:24 pm

Fear is NOT a bad thing. Fear is a natural response to threatening stimuli. Every man, woman, and child on this planet feels fear (unless they have some sort of mental illness).

How a person responds to fear is governed by the "fight or flight" instinct. Our culture puts a lot of positive emphasis on the fight aspect and frequently denigrates the flight aspect, but both are acceptable responses.

Problems arise when fear dominates a person's life. At one end of the scale are timid folks who go to the prom alone because they are afraid of rejection. At the other end are OCD sufferers (REAL OCD, not Internet OCD) who perform bizarre rituals because they are afraid that if they don't Something Really Bad will happen, and people who stay in abusive relationships because they fear being alone, not being able to find someone else, etc.

As mentioned above, a person's self esteem and how they react to fear are linked. People with healthy self esteem usually don't allow fear to dominate their decision-making. People with poor self esteem frequently do.

It is true that a person must want to change before they can. However, I haven't met a single person who WANTS fear to govern their life. They may have lived that way so long that they are comfortable with it, but they still want something different. For these people, the one fear that they need to overcome is the fear that they can't change. Breaking through that wall requires a lot of emotional energy, support, and positive reinforcement.
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Re: Thinking out loud

Post by Mikeyboy » Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:13 am

therianthrope wrote:Fear (especially of the general and irrational sort, i.e. being afraid of change, or ... zombies?), at it's core, is a self-confidence issue.

If you have someone in your life that you'd like to try to "cure" from being "afraid of everything", I would recommend taking steps to build their self-confidence.
Different people will respond in different ways to different approaches to this. Verbal reinforcement is just about always a great place to start, especially in a moment when they've truly succeeded at something (something that produced unexpected quantitative or qualitative results, not just anything - and especially not something that is expected of them anyways - like showing up for a job/school, or performing the normal duties of that job/or just passing), show them that not only do they have strengths and successes but how to see their strengths and successes in their own self. Do not stand for "pity-parties", and especially do not console them for a situation that doesn't truly warrant it - most injuries, defeat in a contest/test, verbal abuse from others - don't do it (and even when it is warranted, just reinforcing the notion that "It will be okay" may be best, instead of a "you poor thing" approach). Show them how the injury can be overcome (or perhaps how it was their own fault?), how they can improve their contest/test skills, or how the verbal abuser likely is just victim to his own fear. 'I can't do this', 'It's out of my control', 'What's the point?' - don't accept these types of responses or reactions, absolutely do not be confrontational or angry about it (at least not at first, not until they've started "turning around"), just calmly - and privately (that's very important) - and matter-of-factually call them out in that moment and make them aware that they're accepting and therefore contributing to their own fear and/or defeat.

At the same time, teach them that it's perfectly alright to not be good at things (but it's not okay to accept that it has to remain that way), then show them how to think critically (What do I want, and how do I get it?) and determine active steps - things they can physically and/or mentally do - towards improving those things they're not good at, or making up for that short-coming in another way, being able to be pro-active towards something is so important for reducing anxiety or fear towards it.

I would not necessarily look to self-defense (whether martial arts, firearms training, or what have you) as a cure-all, because that's also a tremendous responsibility requiring mental strength and discipline, and if they're not ready for that it could just set them back. Also, again different people respond differently and different faiths and philosophies and groups/teams handle these things differently, but faith and/or philosophy and/or group/team association could end up pushing the locus of their sense of responsibility for their own reality and their belief in their ability to affect their own reality further from their own self - and that could be counterproductive. Which isn't to say ignore those elements, but just be aware how the fearful person is incorporating themselves into it.

As mentioned, for any of this to work they have to want to change, because - and I'd even recommend telling them this; the root of the problem is within their own self - but so too is the solution. Don't forget to tell them that last part. That's empowerment. And all of this isn't philosophy, it's psychology.

Sorry this is all so vague, but your question was pretty vague too... more specific fears would probably get more specific approaches toward remedying. And also, this isn't so much applicable for rational fears; like that of bears or flying in small planes, but it should help them remain capable of acting (hopefully intelligently) when faced with rational fears.

This whole post is brilliant, and I never really looked at fear as being a part of confidence. Its actually is common sense when you think about it. For an average person a first time fear of heights or public speaking, will slowly loses that fear over time with a combo of exposure, knowledge and confidence building. Take an average joe, and but them on top of a radio tower and in most cases they will freak. However school that person on repelling, safety harnesses, climbing and start them 5 feet up, then thru coaching and exercises, build up to 10 feet, 20 feet and higher. Make that person confident in there abilities and safety in high places. Putting that person on a radio tower would not be that scary for them.

Same with public speaking. Pluck someone off the street, dump them in a stadium in front of an audience of 50,000, and start up a teleprompter with a pre written speech and most will get nervous. However take James Earl Jones, Billy Crystal, or someone else who already talks to large audiences for a living, and has done it for years, its no big deal to them because they have already been there multiple times and they are confident in there ability.

Everyone has a bit a fear of the unknown, but I think you are right, those who have a constant, deep fear of almost everything either have a self confidence issue or is a biological/chemical issue. Building a person's overall self confidence does help lessen overall fears.

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Re: Thinking out loud

Post by therianthrope » Fri Jul 11, 2014 3:27 pm

DarkAxel wrote: It is true that a person must want to change before they can. However, I haven't met a single person who WANTS fear to govern their life. They may have lived that way so long that they are comfortable with it, but they still want something different. For these people, the one fear that they need to overcome is the fear that they can't change. Breaking through that wall requires a lot of emotional energy, support, and positive reinforcement.
You probably haven't ever met a single person who really BELIEVES or would acknowledge that fear governs their life, either. That's the problem. They would probably admit they're not very adventurous or are overly self aware in social situations, or may even agree/say offhandedly that fear governs their life, but they probably wouldn't truly agree with you if you tried to tell them point-blank that they're letting fear run their life. Wanting to change, here, mostly means that the individual is able to recognize and admit to themself that they're being debilitated by a lack of self-agency (the desire or willingness to act on your thoughts, wants and needs). That their life is being negatively impacted by fear. It's probably not all the time either, and that's why it can be hard for people to see in themselves - "Hey, I get out and do things! ... ...sometimes...", and that's where verbal encouragement comes in. Helps them recognize self-agency and it's positive feelings and effects, and to recognize the mental behaviors and habits by which they're harming themselves and then to avoid them. Even if they won't admit that they need to change, you're still arming them with the tools to change.

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Re: Thinking out loud

Post by MasterMaker » Fri Jul 11, 2014 4:58 pm

Skill...........

To do something and succeed at it, then ad new things as the skill and confidence grows, can be applied to EVERYTHING.

Start this person with something that the are likely to succeed at even if they think that they will fail at it, then add more things and slowly ramp things up until this person gets in the habit of managing what happens and the reason to be afraid will fade as they succeed at the kind of things that used to frighten them.

Hopefully getting to point where failure will be nothing more then a reason to try again and again until they eventually don't fail....
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Re: Thinking out loud

Post by DarkAxel » Fri Jul 11, 2014 8:51 pm

therianthrope wrote:
DarkAxel wrote: It is true that a person must want to change before they can. However, I haven't met a single person who WANTS fear to govern their life. They may have lived that way so long that they are comfortable with it, but they still want something different. For these people, the one fear that they need to overcome is the fear that they can't change. Breaking through that wall requires a lot of emotional energy, support, and positive reinforcement.
You probably haven't ever met a single person who really BELIEVES or would acknowledge that fear governs their life, either. That's the problem. ...snip...
Actually, I've met quite a few. Of course, this usually was AFTER they had made the first step and sought professional help. I see people like that just about every time I go to my therapist (manic depression). In every case, their narratives go something like this: "I was afraid all the time, and it made me sick. I couldn't stand myself. I wanted to change, but I was afraid that I couldn't, and that made me feel even worse". These people were well aware of their problems, but used justifications like "I go out, ...sometimes" to avoid the uncertainty that comes with change. They may not admit it to others, and might even attempt to lie to themselves about it, but at their core they know something is very wrong with them, and that seriously damages their self esteem.

I don't know your qualifications, and I'm not about to insult you by saying that you don't know what you are talking about. You obviously know quite a bit and your advice is sound. The best thing that the OP can do is to lay out the tools for the other person and encourage them. The best thing ALL of us can do for ALL of the people with fear issues is to do our very best to reduce the negative image of mental health issues. It's much harder for someone to pick up the toolbox if the sticker on the side reads "Warning, opening or using these tools will make you look like a fool, a feeb, a nut, or a crazy person".
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Re: Thinking out loud

Post by therianthrope » Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:10 am

DarkAxel wrote: I don't know your qualifications, and I'm not about to insult you by saying that you don't know what you are talking about.
...
The best thing ALL of us can do for ALL of the people with fear issues is to do our very best to reduce the negative image of mental health issues.
Not insulting in the least, it's a legit point; I don't have any qualifications unless you count personal experience (as someone who used to have self-esteem issues but was able to make a complete 180) as a qualification. And I hope you didn't feel like I was trying to discount what you said in your post - I wasn't, I was trying to clarify for the OP the notion of "wanting" to change.

And abso-friggin-lutely to that last statement. Dispelling the stigma surrounding mental health issues is one of those societal shifts that is happening, but still does and will continue to require people to be vocal in the defense of.

PonceCuba
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2014 7:03 pm

Re: Thinking out loud

Post by PonceCuba » Sat Jul 12, 2014 7:26 pm

Jadey wrote:What's the first step to empower someone who is afraid of their own shadow? Kind of vague? I thought I would throw it out there...
What ever they do to me, I can do to them........so that I try to do it first.

V

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