Suggestions please?

So today was the final of three hypnotherapy sessions for my agoraphobia. I paid for these sessions privately as I wanted to receive them as quickly as possible.

Things aren’t fantastic, I won’t lie, but I am still trying and pushing myself to beat this hellish disorder. I’m determined that by June it will be gone, as I refuse to have my life jeopardised for longer than a year.

Luckily for me though, my hypnotherapist is lovely – and he’s offered to continue giving me sessions (complimentary!) until I beat this, because he truly thinks I’ll get there.

emSo, because it’s now free and the traditional hypnotherapy hasn’t worked so far; things are getting tougher and challenges are being set in order to help me get better quicker.

Firstly, I need to do three things that embarrass me. I don’t do the things I fear partly because I’m afraid of the fear itself, but also partly because I don’t want to make a fool out of myself in front of everyone – so stage one is desensitising embarrassment and realising that it’s OK.

It’s harder than it sounds though – I can’t think of anything! Please help me come up with three things I can do to embarrass myself (without being rude or hurting anyone else in the process!) – I need to text my hypnotherapist my three tasks tomorrow!

lovelauren

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45 thoughts on “Suggestions please?

  1. Truthseeker247 says:

    Well how extreme is your condition? Maybe going and sitting down while sipping (not chugging!) a cup of tea in a public cafe is a good place to start? How about perusing a bookstore? Maybe going for a walk in a heavily trafficked location? Go shopping when it is busier than usual! Ask a total stranger for the time, or directions or a good place to eat in town!

    Good luck and let me know if you want more ideas – we can totally brainstorm together!!

    Best,

    -Paul

    Liked by 1 person

    • bylaurenhayley says:

      Thanks for commenting Paul, I’m out and about it’s more travel that’s an issue with me now. I can’t get in cars/buses/trains – or tall buildings because I feel the exits too far. I think the idea is to make me feel OK to look a bit of an idiot. Which sounds horrific but I do understand his reasoning so I’m happy to give it ago! I don’t want anything too extreme and far from what you say but maybe something that would draw attention to me a bit more would be more along the lines of what he was thinking

      Like

      • Devin P says:

        OK, so as I read your reply to Paul, I thought of something I saw once. Not sure if it’s what you are looking for but since it popped into my head, I’m going to share it anyway. You might get a laugh out of it at least. So one day I was at the grocery store and these what looked to be at least 30 something, couple was there. The guy was pushing the cart and the woman was sitting in the cart (where the groceries go). So you could find a friend to push you and ride in the grocery part of the cart. The couple just acted like it was a normal thing.

        Anyway, I’m not good with ideas, so will just wish you luck. 🙂
        Devin

        Like

    • Yolanda says:

      Desensitization is not a cure or a fix for Agoraphobia. You have a physical problem with your eyes. As hard as this is to believe it is true. You and all those who have the same problem have the same problem. Go to agoraphobiawhat.blogspot.com and find your answer. You will be out of your house and working in short order. All the best, Yolanda

      Like

  2. brentblonigan says:

    It sounds like you are kind of hard on yourself. At least, I sense that. I used to have a problem with intrusive thoughts. Sometimes, I still deal with these dragons. Just like it is all right for me to have these thoughts, it is all right for you to be scared. We all are. To say that we are not, we are not being honest.

    When I get really scared, I try to just let it pass. I can’t fight the river. There are things that we can control and things we can not control. Working out, meditating, all of that stuff works. We all have things in the tool box. Probably the best tools are the friends.

    Like

    • bylaurenhayley says:

      I am definitely my own worst critic. But it’s things like not being able to see my family or go to my boyfriends birthday that’s getting me down now. I can’t just jump on a train and do what I want to do and I absolutely hate that!

      Like

  3. Josh Wrenn says:

    1. Wear socks and sandals out somewhere public and just keep saying, “My feet are too hot.” over and over.
    2. Go out and dance “The Carlton” in a club.
    3. Go to a pub and order a milk on the rocks, and ask them to go easy on the water because you really need to feel it.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. northernrose17 says:

    I think it’s a good idea to try some activities which generate feelings of embarrassment. Here’s some suggestions:
    1. Be seen in an outfit or hair style which isn’t one which you would normally be seen in, e.g. something childish or something suited to someone quite a lot older.
    2. Be seen with something smudged on your face, e.g. makeup, toothpaste, breakfast.
    3. Karaoke
    4. Wear odd socks or even shoes.
    5. Eat using your fingers where cutlery would normally be used.
    6. Sing in a coffee shop.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Ziya Tamesis says:

    I think it’s great that you’re ready to challenge yourself, but don’t push too hard. I’ve learned the hard way that it’s important to respect your own boundaries. While you’re experimenting with the suggestions on how to embarrass yourself, don’t forget to plan some self-care. What can you do to make coping with the embarrassment more tolerable in the moment? What can you do afterward to soothe and/or reward yourself?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. themagicblackbook says:

    Good for you honey, you’ve made so many positive steps already this year, but be careful with this one as feeling embarrassed so much in a short space of time might become too much to take. But you strike me as a gal who is capable of laughing at herself and generally having a giggle, so I’ve got faith in you that you can do this! ❤

    Start small. Lipstick on your teeth. As soon as someone points it out, that's enough, it's over, you can wash it off and crack on with your day. Then you can work out your next task based on how that first one made you feel; how did you react when someone pointed it out? If you managed to laugh it off and act like you don't care, then maybe up the stakes. But if you ended up hiding in the toilets feeling tearful and panicky, and losing your self-confidence then suggest to the hypno guy that you don't feel ready just yet but would like to try again in a week.

    Like, please don't let yourself be pushed too soon. YOU know yourself the best out of anyone on this planet, whether they're a specialist expert or not. I've been mentally ill since I was a child and have lived with my mum for most of my life: she is a psychologist, hypnotherapist, mental health advisor, smoking cessation advisor, and addiction counsellor. And she doesn't think there's anything wrong with me (!!!) She didn't spot my drug addiction and daily drug abuse, nor my alcoholism, and after almost a decade of smoking, she still hasn't noticed. So sometimes, the people that you think can/will/should help (on paper) might not actually be the best person for the job.

    All you can do is your best. And that's more than enough 🙂 trust in yourself girlie! Good luck, let us know how you get on. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • bylaurenhayley says:

      Thank you – I do think I’ll be fine to be honest and I’m so ready to get over this that I really do want to push myself to my limit. It’s daunting but I need to start seeing some results soon! :)x

      Like

  7. Peace Writer says:

    Hey Lauren! I think this is a great idea!

    There was one guy at my college who asked random people to take selfies with him. I took 2 selfies with him ^_^

    There were some people who didn’t allow him to do so, so he just asked the next person. Most of us around campus had fun taking a selfie with him 😀

    Always remember, Lauren, you are awesome regardless of what people think or say. You got this!

    Like

  8. Vicsabina says:

    Hey, my therapist made me go into a coffee shop and order a drink. If that isn’t challenging enough, step it up a little, take a while to get your money out, or ‘forget your pin’ or mess up the order.
    Ask someone in public for the time, or when the next bus to [insert close town] would be. old ladies are the nicest.
    Play music from your headphones really loud in public, no one will say anything, but it will get you (ever so slightly) noticed.

    Good luck, I wish you the best! xxxx

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Rina says:

    Hi there, I haven’t had chance to read the above comments yet so please forgive me if I am repeating what other readers have suggested! I’m currently trying CBT to help force myself to face and deal with my anxieties and what causes my panic attacks. Without listing in here what my main problems are, I have been told that I need to do things to draw attention to myself, to test my predictions and prove them true or false. We created a list of ideas such as
    * dropping a cup or tray in a cafe, to see the reaction I received.
    * Another was to bump into someone in a busy place.
    * Spill drink (preferably cold!! ) over myself accidentally in a public / busy place.
    For my paranoid thoughts on going for a walk on my own, incase of people staring or wondering what I was doing / Where I was going etc, i was told to go as far as I could, a little further each day and test my predictions.

    It has gotten to the point where I feel anxious about having a panic attack, therefore I avoid situations where I may have had a panic attack before, Rather than avoiding my actual main fear, I am avoiding going because of the thought of the fear.

    Time and perseverance will help me If I keep working at it – I know this, and your agoraphobia can be helped too. 🙂 So keep going!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. magickmogwai says:

    Something that really embarrasses me is when I mishear what people say. That makes me feel like a bit of an idiot but isn’t harmful and shouldn’t be embarrassing because it’s easily done. Why not go to buy something in a shop and pretend to mishear or misunderstand someone, ask them to repeat something to you maybe? You could also take it a step further by doing the same on public transport maybe asking a bus driver to repeat something to you to fave joint problems?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Charlie Cowtan says:

    I guess there are things like ‘accidentally’ spilling a drink or messy food down yourself in public. Or stumbling down the street and dropping lots of books/paper, or going up to somebody random in the street (pretending to think you know them) and then ‘realising’ that you made a mistake.
    All of these sound terrifying! :/

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Tamara Kate says:

    Wow this would be really challenging – I don’t have agoraphobia but I kind of want to try it anyway! Hmmm, what else could you try? Toilet paper stuck in a shoe would be horrifyingly embarrassing, or a skirt tucked in to underwear!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. borderlinefunctional says:

    I find these things to be embarrassing – but some of them I have been able to do and they aren’t tooo out there! 🙂

    *Paying for something with nothing but small coins
    *Humming/singing in public
    *Singing the wrong words to a song in public
    *Letting an alarm to go off when you’re in a library or traditionally quiet place
    *Trying to exit through the one way entry of a shop
    *Dropping coins or shopping in public and having to bend down and collect it all
    *Getting to the checkout and not being able to afford everything
    *Asking the bus driver a strange or obvious question
    *Talking to the bus driver
    *Wearing two different shoes (I actually did this by accident once and was 40 mins away from home by the time I realised)
    *Buying and then returning an item
    *Calling out to a friend in public when they are at the other side of the room
    *Using a silly name like ‘princess’ or ‘lady lovely locks’ when giving your name for a coffee order
    *Not wearing makeup or doing your hair
    *Wearing your daggiest ‘at home’ clothes out

    Some other really good suggestions here too!
    Hope it goes well for you! 🙂
    Aimee xx

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Aidan says:

    -Wear your pajamas or “lazy” clothes out somewhere. Sometimes I’ll just throw on a pair of flip flops and run across the street to the grocery store in my ratty yoga pants and a too big t-shirt because I don’t want to get dressed for a five minute errand. And once I overslept and didn’t have time to get dressed, so I went to school (riding the bus) in my pajama pants and a sweatshirt (I didn’t even have time to put on a bra). Looking ratty (even due to my own laziness) is pretty embarrassing.

    -Talking on the phone in public. Not being rudely loud or anything, but I’m always embarrassed when I HAVE to make a call in public (but that may also stem from my severe anxiety around talking on the phone in general).

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Exploring Alura says:

    My best advice is to find something you love to do but choose not to do in public for fear of judgment or other negative emotions. For instance, I love to sing and dance. I have absolutely no training nor talent in either realm. It could be said that I am borderline awful at this stuff. Because of this I would never sing out loud unless I was completely alone and I reserved dancing to the stripper moves I perform for my husband. When I decided I wanted to be free to be myself, I chose to start dancing and singing when the mood struck me. In whatever way I felt motivated to express myself.

    When I’m walking into a gas station and the urge to sing “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz comes over me, I embrace it and sing along to the best of my ability. Often times it adds a little dance to my step. And I feel lighter for being free.

    I still feel people looking at me, I still wonder what they think of me, consider if they’re laughing behind my back. But then I remember I don’t care. Because I’m laughing along to life, why shouldn’t they join in?

    Find something that makes you laugh as you do it. That way if other people laugh along with you, you’ll have no reason to feel embarrassed. Good luck in whatever you do. I know you got this! 🏆

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Alison Borey says:

    I know that the thing I have a hard time with is asking for assistance in stores. I know the clerks are there to help, but just the thought of asking and possibly making a fool of myself or being shot down is terrifying to me.

    You could do something small, like ask a male clerk in a store where the feminine products are. Or you could be a little bolder and dance through a store with your headphones in!

    I wish you the best of luck! I look forward to reading about how it goes.

    xoxo,
    Alison

    Liked by 1 person

  17. stuffthatneedssaying says:

    I once went to therapy wearing a zebra ear headband and clip on zebra tail (my clothes were appropriately colored/patterned as well). I felt like an idiot, but my therapist and the receptionist got a big smile out of it, and I care a lot more about them than about random strangers.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. rileyoisin says:

    You could try doing something completely silly, like asking random strangers if they’ve seen your imaginary friend. Greet people randomly and request they address you as “Madame Commander” or some other crazy name.

    The thing that helped me the most in dealing with my anxiety of dealing with random strangers was what my therapist said about all of us having different issues. Whenever I think someone is trying to make me feel inferior or laughing at me, it’s probably because they’re hiding their own insecurities. I just started telling myself that, whatever I think is going on in a certain situation, it’s not all about me. Maybe it’s their issues I’m internalizing as my own. Constantly reminding myself about that FINALLY helped me to find enough courage to have a conversation with a random stranger…something that seemed impossible just a week ago.

    Like

  19. theothersideofp says:

    this is such a small thing but I was so embarrassed at the time…I tried to use my Tesco clubcard in Asda once and was really annoyed when she wouldn’t accept it until she reminded me I wasn’t in Tesco ha xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  20. tinybows says:

    Getting a bra fitting is super embarrassing… even though its the job of the person doing the fitting. also having to have someone else zip up your dress in a fitting room… it never seems to bother anyone else but its super awkward for me.
    I’m certain you’ve already received one of these but I would like to award you with a Liebster if you’ll accept. If you’ve already done one just let me know and i can link to the post on my Liebster post.
    I love reading your blog. I’ve had sever social anxiety for a very long time and it (along with the comments on it) reminds me that its ok to be afraid and not ok in public sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

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