Is it okay for me to feel this way?

After seeking help from counsellors at TP, I feel better about myself. However, I still feel anxious around others, and I feel left out amongst my group of friends irl and in the genshin game communities I am online. I prefer to be alone to think about life so I wouldn’t hurt others… But I can’t help but rant my feelings online. Is it really okay to feel the negative emotions I feel at times? I’m really struggling and am not sure what I can do apart from watching kdramas about people going through pain and suffering so I wouldn’t feel left out…

Hi there; thank you for sharing your situation and how you feel. To feel left out by your community is not a good feeling or experience. It can often make us question who we are as a person and affects our confidence in life. I am glad that you are seeking help from the Counsellors and would encourage you to continue to do so. :raised_hands:

I want to share with you that all emotions are valid, and there are no good or bad emotions. However, our feelings can communicate to us that there are underlying unmet needs that require our attention. In this instance, the unmet need may be forming a secure attachment with people. However, this unmet need also results in us feeling fearful or losing confidence when we need to speak in front of people.

Here are what we can do:

  1. Write down one committed goal and action. What are you committed to doing over the next 1-2 weeks to see improvement or changes? Having the end goal in mind helps us become more intentional about our actions. We can do this by setting SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, and Realistic).
  • An example of a SMART Goal could be: “I want to be able to ask my friend Tom and Jerry out for a meal and have a meal with them next week.”
  • If your goal is, “I want to be happier,” perhaps consider what some of the things you would do when you are happier are (i.e., spend time with family or friends). Here is a resource on how you can set goals (1)
  • With this goal in mind, identify the barrier preventing you from having a meal with Tom and Jerry. Are there any expectations, self-doubt, or criticism you are holding on to? Spend some time writing these thoughts down on a piece of paper
  1. Next, try this metaphor.
  • Place the paper with your thoughts in front of you and try to push the paper away to get rid of it. You will find that over time, you will feel tired and give up trying. Eventually, we give up trying, and this “paper” becomes closer and closer to us, and we become consumed by the thoughts written on the paper. You can watch this video for the demonstration and explanation: [What does Acceptance mean? - Experiential exercise Metaphor (Push the paper) - YouTube].
  1. In many situations of our life, we often get stuck with unhelpful thoughts that would result in an automatic response or action. We can become fused with these thoughts and believe that these thoughts are real when they could be our assumptions or false belief. Therefore, the first step to regulating emotions is learning to recognize these thoughts. We can challenge these unhelpful thoughts by looking for pieces of evidence that do not support our beliefs. We can also change the narrative from “I am unloved, or no one loves or cares about me” to “I am having thoughts that I am unlovable.” See how this helps you to take a step back and see yourself from a third-person perspective? Changing our narrative also helps to reduce the intensity of our thoughts. Here are other ways you can use to change the narrative (2).

  2. Allow the emotions to pass. Just as these emotions can come, they can also leave us. You can place these emotions on the passing clouds and see them drift away (3). Then focus on the committed actions that you have set out to do.

(1) How to Translate Values Into Committed Action - Mindfulness Muse
(3)How to feel your feelings: Allowing yourself to feel fully — Living Better Lives Counseling LLC Living Better Lives

  • J.Q. (Therapist)

Thank you Mr Jason for the advice, I’m feeling better now :blush: