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What is Social Amnesia?

It is the realization that nobody is going to remember.

Let me explain...

I remember being in a bar/club in Nicaragua a few years ago on a surf trip. I have always been on the social but introverted side and at times it has been a struggle for me to get outside my shell...

... but I remember standing there by the pool table feeling like if I went up and started a conversation with a girl that everyone was going to think I was weird... and as I type this right now I am shocked by how weird that thinking is... wow... I find a girl attractive... that's weird? WTF?!

I was obviously waaaaaaaay too concerned with what I thought everyone else might be thinking about me which is ridiculous because it was a bar... people were dancing, having fun chatting and getting drunk and were probably not even aware that I was there... not to mention that the majority of people there were tourists and they would go home to their lives... and even if they did remember me walking up and starting a conversation... would they care? Probably not... they might turn their head and look but they didn't know me. But in my mind... everyone was looking at me and they were going to know.

If we were to go inside the mind of one of the people there that night... they may have noticed me as they walked by me on the way to the bathroom but fast forward to where they are today in life... the memory of me has long been lost... unless something really stood out about me... which wasn't the case.

Think of all the cars that you pass every day... cars of all different colours and styles, and brands, being driven in a variety of different ways. Do you remember them? Probably not because your brain has better things to do... and so does everyone else. They don't have time to put all that effort into thinking about you.

If a green Lamborghini pulled up beside you... you'd probably remember it... because it stood out from the mundane details of everyday life... and it would give you something to talk about... but you will probably never see it again. And besides... does it really matter?

Thinking that everyone else is busy thinking about you is your ego lying to you... and you believing it. But it's a strange ego problem because on the one hand... you don't do something because everyone is going to see you do it... which is exactly the opposite of what you think an ego would want... to be seen and appreciated and adored... and on the other, you have the luxury of having the time to NOT be busy enough to not care... you care too much because you are trying to present a particular image to the world and won't do anything that isn't part of that identity.

You also haven't had experiences in life that thicken your skin to the point that you realize that yes... you are a beautiful and unique snowflake but you are also just like every other snowflake in the storm.

Part of my identity is being a bad dancer... in fact, it's not manly... and so you see groups of girls dancing on dance floors together and guys standing around the outside of the dance floor being stiff and manly I guess. It's a common identity trait to many white guys in Canada... but if you travel to other parts of the world, it is manly to dance.

I remember being a kid and being completely unconcerned with the side of me that my family saw... I would walk around in my underwear and do ridiculous shit... but when I was at school or out in public I became very stiff. At home... I didn't care if I got attention because I was just so familiar with them... but in public... I wanted to avoid attention because I was concerned with being liked and didn't really understand how to make friends and so didn't want to do anything that looked weird... I limited my experiences to the things I was comfortable with and got me what I wanted. And I didn't want to feel uncomfortable.

Social Amnesia offers you the safety to do the things you want to do... within reason... without having to be concerned about being judged by other people. And let's be honest... part of this is about the safety of controlling who you want to project... the safety comes from being comfortable in the person you have created... but that person should probably be continuously changing.

Obviously, being trained by society has some good parts... people usually behave better... but the big downside is the repression of actions that would fall into the category of social paralysis. Not doing something like talking to a girl because you are afraid of what others will think is probably gonna make you beat yourself up... which in the end is detrimental to your potentially positive mindset.

Some people use this as fuel to do better and try harder but that is a small segment. A lot of people are crushed by it and it becomes their prison.

#overcominganxiety #makingfriends

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