How are we supposed to get better?
People will and can notice other people visibly getting embarrassed, for example, and people will notice when someone is quiet. Note: both of these things are fine. Visibly looking embarrassed, blushing, for example, that’s fine. Being quiet - that’s fine. I know these things might not feel fine to you now, but, for me now - there is nothing wrong with this at all.
Dr. Richards often points out in the therapy about physical symptoms - sure, people may see these things and even comment on them. Well, also they may not see them as much as we think they do, but YES, they may also see these things and certainly may comment on them. But still, the other person doesn’t “care” that much about them. They don’t associate bad things necessarily with that. They don’t feel the pain or the self-judgement you place on yourself because of something like excessive sweating happening - or what you consider to be excessive, which other people aren’t really worried about.
People may notice you are quiet, and they may say so. Yes, when around quiet people and trying to have a conversation, well first - I don’t mind. I’m more quiet in some groups, and I am comfortable with that. I can talk more now, which is also good, and I can carry on my side of the conversation - because conversation is (usually) a give and take, a balance between more than a single party. Thus if one of the parties is doing much more of the “work”, it naturally becomes a little more obvious and even tiring for that side, unless that side is just super happy about talking and never listening. But still, you are quiet now - so what?
Are you naturally a quiet person? If so, then fine. Over time, accepting yourself, you can be just fine with that. I am. I don’t NEED to talk unless I feel like it. But I imagine the anxiety is also keeping you more quiet that you may want to be at times. And keeping up with the therapy and applying the therapy is essential here. Yes, we need to take that first step. We need to do before we feel. The Profound Concept here, from the therapy. We won’t usually feel like doing that mildly anxiety causing thing before we do it, but the moment we do it, the moment we take that first step, the moment we act - that’s the moment the anxiety will decrease, and you will feel better after, just by doing.
Find ways in your life, step by step, that you can take that initiative. Maybe it’s just one “hello” to a neighbor or someone walking by. Maybe it’s asking the time, even if you know the time. Maybe it’s making small talk in situations where feel more comfortable for you now. And continue doing this. It takes repeated practice and daily application to work yourself out of the hesitancy, the habit of being too quiet.
Everyone here is on a different time schedule of doing therapy, based on where you are right now in your life and with your anxiety. Don’t judge yourself based on what “they” say, or “they” think you should be doing. Don’t judge yourself based upon what session you are on in the therapy. You’ll likely repeat the series again. I hope you do because we all should do that. So, rationally there doesn’t need to be a reason to worry about or negatively judge ourselves based on being quiet now or based upon that feedback.
Having said that, you DO want to apply the therapy and take that first step. You do need to DO, not just think the therapy. And this is where it comes down to knowing yourself, knowing where you are and what you’re ready for. So, be patient with yourself. But don’t just avoid doing. That is a tendency so many of us know so well. You do have to take opportunities to DO, to act, realizing the truth of the Profound Concept - that only through action will we then feel the positive change. Keep the cognitive in mind as you are doing so. And by that I mean, just keep doing your daily therapy. That alone “keeps it in mind”.