loneliness, self-doubt, low confidence — how to break this vicious cycle?

snippets of what people shared on campfire.


I want to talk about how people deal with this combination of loneliness, self-doubt, and low confidence that builds like a negative feedback loop when lacking any intimate contact or understanding for extended periods of time.


I haven't been able to completely break away yet but I am becoming more and more successful at getting past the negative talk in my head that just feeds that low confidence and self-doubt. It helps to talk to others, specifically people you care about, and pay attention to how they perceive situations vs how you do. I think a big part of why I'm now starting to open up again and stopping my self-isolation (which went on for almost 3 years) is just repeating to myself that the way others view the world (and view me) is very different to how I view me and the world. And that the bad talk are are just thoughts with no real power (of course I'm still working on that last part but I don't expect it to be quick).

Now, even when my brain tells me negative things, I still send messages to people I care about and love because their absence was more painful than any of the scenarios I came up with that caused me to struggle


Thanks for sharing that. I guess I’m also enacting some form of self isolation as a protective mechanism, like most of the week I’ll stay in then on a random night I’ll feel like a pressure cooker letting the stream out then I’ll go out and get wasted all night, which then helps me feel good about staying in and recovering the following days. I can tell my friends I’m feeling sick/nursing a hangover/etc and justify the isolation


What do you think (if you're comfortable sharing!) is causing you to self-isolate? I've always put it towards my depression (which is also true) and anxiety (and body issues of course) but after thinking about it more and more I realized that a big part of why I cut people off was feeling exhausted by the idea that I had to explain what happened in the last couple of years and giving them access to ask questions but I didn't have the energy to go out and meet new people who I didn't have to explain anything to.


Thanks for putting it so clearly, I feel similarly, that these are also threads running through this.. experience. Yea old friends don’t need things explained, and with the having to explain to new people thing, it’s an aspect of finding understanding, right? Especially of specific personally traumatic details. But is this preconception that others don’t have time/energy/desire to meet someone “with issues” or won’t accept us as we are, is this also part of the negative self talk being projected?


absolutely! this is why it helped me to separate my perception and others'. I realized I was projecting what I was thinking about myself onto others then rejecting them because I anticipated their own rejection. It sounds silly but it can be very difficult


Hey! I highly relate to this. This describes my youth and young adulthood. I think for me this all changed when I...

1. Found friends I really vibe with.

2. Moved to a place where I could happily do a bunch of cool stuff, even when I'm alone.

Now my friends call me and ask me to do things with them. In the past that never really happened.

I don't think it was ever about me. It was about surrounding myself with people who didn't fully appreciate me and then trying to make them appreciate me.

It was more fruitful to find new people in a new place.


Physical movement, preferably complex movement that requires body weight support and aerobic effort, like dance or martial arts.

Being in nature and present enough to enjoy it.

Walking and letting the mind roll for >/= 1 hr. No music or other distraction.

Nei gong, or other energetic meditative practice focused on breath.

Seeking meaning and meaningful actions.

Deliberately focusing on positives and points of growth. Drawing out networks of relationships with degree of intimacy and considering where/how to improve these if unsatisfactory.

Therapy or coaching with somebody who is actually compatible in their therapeutic approach - compatibility requirements may change over time.

Exploring own prejudices and how they limit meeting need. Would a cuddle party help or be too anonymous? Does monogamy actually serve you or just something you’ve been taught to cling to? Same with polyamory or any other relational model? What do you want and how do you build a structure to support that with bravery?

Animals and contact with animals that supports their well-being.

 see your quote and want it taken down? contact us.

want more snippets?