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> wanting to speak to strangers, breaking silence in a lift - but these have never really sat comfortably with me afterwards. I'll be chewing and ruminating about the imagined mistimed comments or miscued lines for ages.

This resonates very strongly with me. I will throw a party, have a great time, and then lay in bed replaying scenes and focusing on every slightly awkward thing I could have done differently.

> I have bruised myself emotionally believing that I needed to be an extrovert to be successful when in fact I was only demanding too much of myself.

For me, I think don't it is the extroversion part of the equation that's wrong, it's the negative obsessing afterwards. Sure, being less social avoids that, but it feels like a crutch and not a cure. The cure I am pursuing is learning to care for myself enough including all of my flaws such that I don't beat myself up afterwards for not having every social interaction go perfectly.




Consider that negative obsessions is a particular case of a more general problem - attention you don’t control.


I think you could "generalize" any pyschological problem to that. Every psychological problem, by definition, means thinking things that are harmful. Thinking requires attention, and if you know they are harmful, presumably it is a lack of control that makes you think them.

But I don't think that's a particularly useful generalization in most cases. Unless a person has general problems controlling their attention, then the likely culprit for negative thoughts is not attention control in general, but something related to why those thoughts in particular are prevalent.

In other words, if you eat rocks, the most likely explanation is pica, not gluttony.




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