So in dealing with my social anxiety and fears of what other people think of me, I decided to dig out my DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) binder and review some skills I might be forgetting to use. The first thing that jumped out at me is “Wise Mind.”
Just when I didn’t think I was crazy enough, according to DBT, I have three minds:
- Emotional Mind
- Rational Mind
- Wise Mind
Emotional Mind is what I have been in all day as I have fretted over last night’s outing with friends. What did they think of me? Was I funny? Whas I a dork? Did they like me? Did they think I was nice? Or obnoxious? Or weird? Will they ever want me to go out with them again or will they invite me just to be nice? Emotional mind feeds the fear big time!
Rational Mind recalls what everyone had to eat, what topics we discussed, and what everyone’s name was. Rational mind doesn’t really help relieve the fear. In fact, rational mind completely ignores the fear.
Wise Mind is like the old Chinese grandpa Buddha guy. “Ommmmm.” Wise Mind takes into account my feelings and the facts of the given situation. Wise Mind says, I understand your fear as someone who has social anxiety disorder. That must be really hard for you. However, let us look at the facts. Those who engaged in conversation with you did seem to genuine laugh and made complete eye contact with you. Those who didn’t may have not been interested in the topic at hand or had something else on their mind. There is no way to know that they were necessarily thinking something negative about you. To try to figure out if they were or not is a complete waste of time, because short of asking them, which you will never do, this is something you will never know for sure.
Wise Mind says, Yeah, I hear what you’re saying dude, but let me lay it out for you in the nicest, most compassionate, loving, and validating way I can. I love Wise Mind!