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Friday, December 15, 2017

The Secret: People are attracted to the familiar

People are creatures of habit.  We are naturally attracted to the familiar. It's safe.  It's comfortable.  By contrast, people get a queasy feeling with the mysterious, the unknown.  The familiar is so powerful that it doesn't matter whether something is good or bad, people are attracted to it.  The expression, "better the devil I know than the devil I don't know," sums it up in a nutshell.  How often do we hear about people staying in abusive relationships?  Because that's what they grew up with or saw; it's familiar, it's predictable, you know what to expect.  How often do some people distrust and push away a giving caring person.  It's a staple of psychotherapy.  Because it's not what they are used to, it's unfamiliar, confusing.  The secret to why people will be comfortable with you and attracted to you versus someone else is the simple fact that they know you.  Nothing more, nothing less.  It doesn't matter whether they like or dislike what they know about you, they will still feel comfortable, safe, and bond with you.

So, what should you do to put this principle into practice?

1:29 am est 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Why Do People Want To Be With You?

If none of the traits mentioned in earlier blogs explain why people would want to be with you, then why else  would they spend time with you?  People are by nature hard wired to be social.  They instinctually want to bond with other people.  Otherwise there would be no society.  It makes life less lonely, less boring, gives us someone to bounce ideas off of, and we accomplish more than we could alone.  

 So you already have a head start just by being human.  People already want to bond with you.  But this begs the question:  why do people want to bond with you rather than with someone else?  What is "the secret?"  

1:45 am edt 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Myth: You have to be friendly and helpful for people to spend time with you.
This sounds seductively obvious, but it's wrong.  Do you know people who are not particularly friendly or helpful who still have friends? I think we wonder why some people are actually attracted to people who are not the nicest, even abusive, but we know it happens all the time.  Can you imagine how some people would actually be uncomfortable around a friendly, kind, giving person? They might not trust such a person.  They might think the person is naive, stupid, boring, or has an ulterior motive.  They might feel embarrassed to be dependent upon or helped by others.  So being friendly and helpful is not a requirement for others to spend time with you.  Nor is it a guarantee.  It could have the opposite effect.
11:39 pm edt 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Myth: You need to be humorous to attract friends
Do you know people who don't have a sense of humor but still have friends? Plenty! Having a sense of humor is not a prerequisite for people to want to spend time with you.  Can you imagine how sometimes some people might actually be turned off by someone who is humorous.  They might think "everything's a joke with him, he's never serious, how can he empathize, everything's great with him, he couldn't relate to my life."  So being humorous is neither a requirement nor is it a guarantee people will want to spend time with you.
12:02 am est 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Another myth: People want to be with attractive people. Not!
Think of how much money people spend on their appearance, even more than their physical health!  But does it really pay off?  People might have an initial attraction or curiosity to an attractive person, but after their curiosity is satisfied they don't necessarily stick around.  Do you know people who are not particularly attractive but still have friends. Of course.  Can you imagine how some times some people would be uncomfortable around an attractive person? They might feel insecure and jealous.  They might not try to ask the person out for a date. They might think the person is shallow or even dumb. So, being attractive is neither a prerequisite for others to hang out with you, nor is it a guarantee.
12:10 am est 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Why do people want to spend time with you?
I blogged on December 27th that people with social anxiety have some pretty demanding standards that they think they have to satisfy just to get others to spend time with them.  For example, they think they have to be extremely intelligent and have smart things to say.  Is this true?  No!  People who are not smart have friends too. So sounding intelligent is not a prerequisite for people to spend time with you.  In fact, sometimes some people might actually be more uncomfortable if you frequently say smart things. They might not understand you.  They might feel jealous or insecure and not stick around. They might feel you're too removed from the reality of their day-to-day lives and that you couldn't possibly relate to their feelings.  In sum, being very intelligent is neither a prerequisite nor a guarantee that people will feel comfortable around you.
9:12 pm est 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

6:37 pm est 

"I know what people think of me."

Do  you believe this?  People with social anxiety do.  Is it even possible to read people's minds?  Of course not. But there is a good indicator whether someone is comfortable being with you.  It's very simple: they stay with you for 5 minutes. It's not a question of whether someone is comfortable or uncomfortable around you. It's a question of degree, not all or nothing. The question is how uncomfortable are they.  Are they uncomfortable enough to matter?  If they're still with you for 5 minutes then they're not "uncomfortable enough to matter." Or "they're comfortable enough" to want to stay with you. The other question is how frequently are they uncomfortable enough to matter. If they're sometimes staying and sometimes leaving it's a pretty sure bet they're generally comfortable with you. Everyone has competing priorities for their time and also have obligations or other friends they also wish to see.

 

 So the bottom line is this: People would have to leave you most of the time after just a minute to prove that they're uncomfortable enough to matter.  And what would you have to do to make them want to leave you consistently most of the time? It would have to be something extreme. You'd have to scream and threaten them, punch them in the stomach, or consistently curse them out, not shower for a month, or sleep with their significant other.

 

So this begs the question: why are people willing to spend time with you, despite the ordinary risk of them once in a blue moon feeling uncomfortable with you? Read future posts to this blog to find out.

6:35 pm est 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Why is making friends so hard?
Have you ever asked yourself that question?  People with social anxiety do all the time.  They place extreme demands on themselves to be accepted. They think others somehow have cracked a code and know exactly what to do.  They think others are interested only if they know what to say, are smart, attractive, humorous, friendly, outgoing, a good listener, successful, have similar interests, backgrounds and values, etc. It's daunting;  it's also not true.
11:08 pm est 

Monday, November 21, 2016

YOU CAN ONLY GET BETTER
We cross the street every day without thinking we could be hit by a car.  Does that guarantee we can't be a fatality?  Of course not.  Accidents happen all the time.  We've learned to live with these everyday risks not because we've been reassured, but because we simply are habituated to it.  The good news is that if you've overcome fears of these everyday situations--learning to ride a bicycle, learning to swim, etc.--then you WILL also overcome the anxiety that has put your life on hold.  You, and millions of people going through the same thing, can be hopeful of overcoming this problem once and for all!
6:57 pm est 

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