How does Stoicism d...
 
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How does Stoicism deal with low social standing?


lainedunc
(@lainedunc)
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I don't know much about stoicism, but I know for some people it really helps them get their shit together.

I have pretty severe social anxiety, not many friends, and my low social standing causes me depression. I constantly feel like I've failed to measure up to other people, in social situations I often feel like I've failed to leave a good impression or any impression at all, and it weighs down on me. I try and do things for myself, walks, photography, art, working out, but I fail to get much satisfaction from it. A real-life, friendly conversation is infinitely more satisfying to me.

I feel like social standing is relatively fixed - you can either be a person with an active social life, lots of friends, parties, etc or you can't - the idea that I can't is distressing.


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Margaux Dizon
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Stop comparing yourself to others. Some people feel natural in social settings and some don't. If you are able to accept that you are different than the people to who you're comparing yourself, then you wouldn't feel the anxiety.

Happiness doesn't require any social standing or financial success beyond your human needs being met. What ducks us up in life is our inability to accept it when reality doesn't align with the picture we had in our heads.

You're not alone in your feelings. Just don't let them control you.


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Richard Hawkins
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I feel like Stoicism is actually a pretty helpful way to approach the problems you've mentioned. At least it helped me with somewhat similar issues.

It's not an instant cure, of course, and you can't just make your anxiety go away by reading texts. But Stoicism may help you navigate your life situation with a bit more inner peace and to focus on things that are within your control. I have also discovered that Stoic practices like premeditating adversity and letting go of things also made me less anxious in situations that used to really freak me out.

But all of it takes time and practice, of course. And philosophy should not be used as a substitute for therapy or other kinds of qualified help. Some problems can be solved on one's own, and for some, it is right to be humble and seek help from outside.


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gardnermcgee
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@richardhawkins

Do you mind giving an example, I think I understand what you are saying but an example would help me personally. 


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Jacob Stephens
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In my opinion, you're looking for stoicism to solve a non-problem while sidestepping the original issue.

Stoicism may help you develop a sense of self that is unaffected by 'anxiety'. (Am not a doc/shrink so it may be a chemical imbalance, but don't jump to conclusions without due diligence)

If you were free from your anxiety, are you sure that would solve your 'low social standing'? Or is there something keeping else keeping you in your head?

A true sense of yourself, your inner value, can only be determined by you.

I do not think a person's social value is 'fixed' it fluctuates throughout your life, and you can and should be proactive in making it better for you. Like if your spouse just left you, it may be time to withdraw from friends and realign your thoughts, words, and actions.

This may not be exact cut and dry stoicism, but true stoic thought is something like 'don't care about your place in other people's minds' period.


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frankrichardson1979
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Don't compare yourself to others. Social standing and fame and pointless things like that are trivial. You're a speck of dust in the universe, who cares about your social standing among other pieces of dust? Might as well focus on your spirit and well being.


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