BlissChick recently posted on resistance – BlissQuest: Why Do We Resist Our Bliss?

BlissChick is busy resisting her bliss creating activity of creative writing and creativity in general. Well, as someone with social anxiety, I know resistance intimately – specifically, resistance to social activities. I actually didn’t used to know resistance as well, because it is a very sneaky piece of work. Resistance is what stops me from doing the things I have determined will make me happy or will contribute to my life. But I don’t necessarily know this is resistance.

Instead, when it’s time for a social activity or event, I suddenly feel too tired to go or to participate. Or it seems more pressing to get in an extra hour of paid labour than to carry out my plan of going out. Or I feel a strange heavy sluggish feeling that I need to block out with TV watching or some other distraction.

The activities I’m talking about here are largely social, since those are the ones I fear most. I actually didn’t know I was avoiding (successfully resisting) social occasions in the past. I just thought there weren’t any activities I would like to go to, I had few invitations, and I had better things to do than waste my time trying to meet new people.

Wrong. I was afraid and in denial. Actually seeing the resistance was a step forward for me.

So now I make social type plans – I’m going to go to so and so networking event for instance, or I’m going to try this or that group. This seems like such an excellent idea the week before. By the time the day of the event rolls around, I’m not so sure anymore. By the time I have to get ready to go, resistance is in full flight.

I start literally yawning with fatigue. I realize I have nothing to wear. I think about how much better my evening would be if I stay home – I can cook a nutritious and cheap meal, I can get to bed on time, I can unwind from my day…..

It’s very hard to counter act this resistance because it makes so much sense at the time. And sometimes, it is true that I am just too tired or down to go out and I need to stay home. But usually, it’s a big fake lie from my mind to me. I’m on to you resistance – you are a lier! I will get energy from going out, seeing new things and talking to someone new. It won’t break the bank to have a quick restaurant meal if there’s no time to cook. I’ll be home in plenty of time to get my needed rest.

I picture resistance as this black sludgy river I am tending to fall into too often. Being aware of resistance and it’s tricky ways, like learning the shoreline of a dangerous river, helps me sneak in a few social activities resistance thinks I’d be better off missing.

What do you resist?

  1. Ellen, Just a question…I've been reading and thinking a lot about my introvert nature. And since I've come to embrace this essential part of myself, my life, my relationship, everything has gotten so MUCH BETTER.Introverts, as you probably know, just get all their energy SUCKED AWAY by interactions. So we have to be very picky about what interactions we choose to participate in.This Western culture is totally extroverted and expects the same of everyone. Judges people as "shy" or even ill if they aren't like everyone else.So my question — and please take it gently — is: are you just an introvert trying too hard to be something you aren't?

  2. Ellen said:

    Hi Bliss Chick,Great question. I can see how you would think that from reading my blog. I totally agree with you about the extroverted Western culture btw.I am both an introvert and I have social anxiety. That anxiety isn't the same as introversion. An introvert may spend most of her time alone not because she is afraid of people, but because she is happy and gets energy from solitary activities. More power to her say I.For a social anxiety sufferer, there can be huge anxiety in anything to do with people, so we avoid. Some I have met even stopped leaving their house because they might have to interact with someone.For me, I never used to make eye contact, leading people to dislike me. I never dated, as I thought I was too ugly. I was paralyzed with fear in any group situation, such as a classroom. I could not get hired for a job because I would be so anxious in the interview the interviewer would think I was ill or unstable.It's a bit of a program to get over this. For me, I can give into the anxiety and stay at home with TV and books, but I will be horribly lonely. I need people too. I have no partner, though I do have a few friends luckily.I aim to respect my introversion, but wish to get over my fear. One way to do that with anxiety is with small 'exposures' to the feared situation. I realize this is quite different from where you are in your life, Christine, and I envy you for that. BTW, challenge me anytime. It doesn't bother me – I'm so happy anyone is reading!Cheers, Ellen

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