Coping Strategies

  • Coping Strategies

    Hey there SAC! I thought we could perhaps use this group for something beneficial and get some discussions going. It's not easy for many of us but it might be helpful.

    Now, this is quite a long post so if you don't feel like reading it the basic idea is to post things that you do, or would do, to cope with anxiety. I'm thinking of social situations in particular but it could be anything. Feel free to skip the rest of the thread (or skim it) if you just want to post. :)

    I'm a terrible coper; if I can't avoid the situation, I usually just get as drunk as I can (if it's socially acceptable for that particular occassion) or just do all my little avoidence things, like avoiding eye contact, trying to be invisible, saying "I don't know" whenever I'm asked something that takes more than a few seconds to answer otherwise. Those sorts of things.

    Of course, these "sorts of things" aren't actually helping me cope. In fact they're just allowing my anxiety to get worse, and increasing my reasons for people percieving me negatively. I need some proper strategies for coping in various situations.

    When I was in CBT (hopefully I will be doing that again soon) I can't recall being given any methods for coping in these situations. I probably was but nothing comes to mind. However, as a whole, I'd say that CBT is all about learning to cope. But doing so by dropping avoidence and learning to see what's really going on. That's all well and good but can take quite a long time. And it's freakin' scary to be honest. So I think it's a good idea to have strategies available that are beneficial to coping while having few negative effects (e.g getting wasted).

    In most situations I'm worried about people thinking I'm either stupid or boring so one of the methods I'm going to try using is to have things to say as standbys when the conversation hits an awkward silence. Silences are a very natural part of interaction between people. Conversations aren't often completely flowing and if it gets awkward, it's not just me freaking out about what to say, we all have that need to fill the silence. So having topics of conversation ready should be useful.

    Topics can be:
    A recent purchase
    A new cd/band/film/television programme
    News article

    Something that I've always tried to do is to keep the conversation focused on the other person/people because many people actually enjoy talking about themselves and if they think you're a receptive listener they will really open up. I try getting them talking about things they're passionate about. It seems to create a positive energy that can get rather contagious.

    Something else that might be useful is choosing an activity that avoids too much conversation (or getting drunk, sorry but this is a problem of mine so I keep mentioning it). Going to see a film rather than going to the pub/coffee shop/restaruant, for example. The cinema itself can be quite intimidating, though, so perhaps a DVD might be a better option. If I was still into video games I might suggest a game night. Sports are pretty good, they don't require too much conversation and they get the endorphines rushing. Unfortunately I don't do any but maybe one day I'll start martial arts again. I'm sure there's many more activities that are safe-ish, if you think of any let me know.

    So having topics of conversation on standby and choosing certain activities over others are a couple of coping strategies I'm going to be using but I'd love to hear more. They can be really small things that you do or bigger things. If you think of something you don't use but could be useful, post it! You'll be definitely helping me and many others too.


    I thought I might add that I'm seriously doubting posting this. I'm worried that you'll think it stupid or worthless but I'm going to go ahead and post it anyway. I hope that doing so will be beneficial for me and that the thread itself will be useful for someone else. I know my writing style isn't great (if you have any suggestions about that I'd appreciate it) but hopefully you get the idea. :)

    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 14 Mar 2012, 13:30
    I think it's a good idea for a topic! However, I probably won't be able to contribute. Now, I just want to say that I used to get drunk to be more social and all, but it didn't help that much and it ended bad for me, so I don't drink anymore (and I don't have anyone to drink with anyway xD). I suppose the reason why even alcohol wasn't of any help is that I'm a genuine idiot. Ha!

    (But wait, maybe I'll remember something and will be able to contribute after all? Hm..)

  • Hey, thanks! I was getting a bit worried about whether I should have posted or not. When I saw a reply I freaked out and planned on ignoring it. Glad I didn't :)

    Yeah, I'm a nightmare when I get drunk. I used to go out by myself a lot and just get wasted. It got pretty bad, to be honest. Can't afford it these days, but occasionally I'll get dragged to the pub. Would like to be able to go out and not drink, but I'm not much fun sober. For obvious reasons...

    Anything that furthers the discussion is contributing I think. Get stuck in :D

    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 16 Mar 2012, 18:37
    I'd feel exactly the same if I posted something (which I actually planned on doing). This place really makes me feel better for that kind of silly reasons.

    Weren't you scared to drink out alone? :o Or is it just me who was never able to get home without help... :'D You know, once I noticed that I can get drunk on air (really) and I can act more like a human after this. Maybe I should try to meet with people when there's amazing weather with amazing fresh air, get drunk on it have some fun at last!

    I'll try to think about something smarter to say >D

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