I am socially anxious person with wooden behavior and emotions. Unlike others, I try to suspend emotions and stay stoic when I feel uncomfortable. That's my weakness because I don't let others see how I feel and that only let's them the freedom to behave as they want with me. I am not talking about cultural, polite and compassionate people, but less civilized ones who are opposite to description I just gave.

What I have noticed is that such people react differently to emotional people who do not hold anything in them and behave as they see fit. I have noticed that look, tone and voice can manipulate behavior and instill fear in non-emotional people. I have listed 3 examples below:

Look - when you are being talked to with angry look, if you don't show same angry look and react in a normal polite way, you just give person freedom to keep talking in such manner to you.

Voice - if you are being talked to with raised voice, you need to adjust to same voice of person talking to you, but stay calm and you give freedom to person talking to you to treat you that way.

Tone - we'll take customer service as an example when it comes to customers fighting for their rights and claiming what they deserve. Because in phone conversation there's only hearing involved, tone and voice play important roles that determine the outcome of conversation. Polite and cultural people are easy to deal with while it's hard to deal with opposite people who don't feel limits in how they react. Those impudent people usually get what they want by being emotionally manipulative compared to the opposite type of people.

I guess with this question I wanted to get more input from others here and to know how wooden people should deal in stressful situations being as they are, implying freedom to emotionally-unrestricted people to talk to them as they see fit. Should such susceptible people keep being socially avoidant type of people to avoid conflicts or become as their opposites through cognitive behavioral therapy or hypnosis?


1 Answer 1


I don't know if this will help you, but when I first started to see patients (somewhat similar to customers), I was taught by attending physicians that what I felt after a few minutes was most likely what the patient felt because of clues given off by patients in their look, manner, words, posture, etc. If the patient felt hopeless, I started to feel that way as a doctor; is he felt anxious, so would I; the same with anger. Once I really trusted that, I could step back from it and use it as a tool to understand the patient's feelings.

People who do not hold anything in them and behave as they see fit are usually not well adjusted socially, and that intimidates people who are more empathetic.

You ask:

Should such susceptible people keep being socially avoidant type of people to avoid conflicts or become as their opposites through cognitive behavioral therapy or hypnosis?

Before seeking cognitive therapy to become more assertive, there is the possibility of trying the following (which is what we were taught to do as physicians):

1) Step back in your mind and describe how you feel (angry, afraid, insignificant, anxious, what exactly?) 2) Decide what the opposite emotions are (calm, confident, capable, peaceful, etc). 3) Try responding consistently in the opposite manner until they have calmed down (it usually works). It's like taking the wind out of someone's sails instead of blowing back. (This will work if someone is normal. With mentally ill patients, it's still very helpful, but there are other behaviors to use as well.)

This way, you can defuse situations instead of escalating them while staying true to yourself.

  • $\begingroup$ Interesting. You are like a mirror, reflecting patient's emotions back to him until you step back and try to observe from perspective of higher awareness how your ego feels in that situation? $\endgroup$
    – Boris_yo
    Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 19:23
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'd say more that you absorb the emotion, then you step back and ask, "why am I feeling this way?" $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 19:56
  • $\begingroup$ I thought this is only true for highly sensitive people. $\endgroup$
    – Boris_yo
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 9:56
  • $\begingroup$ @Boris_yo - I'm sure there are people with whom this does not occur, but I'd wager they are in the minority. All medical students are taught this because it happens to doctors all the time, and we are not all highly sensitive people. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 13:58
  • $\begingroup$ Well, I bet those minority (or few of that minority) are one of happiest people because they don't care. When you don't care about things that are not important, you focus on things that are truly important to you and you succeed in life. I know what is important for me but unfortunately I let things that are not important influence me. $\endgroup$
    – Boris_yo
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 15:22

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