Jordan Peterson: How To Fight Social Anxiety AND WIN! (Must Watch)



look let's say you're socially anxious okay so what happens when you're socially anxious you go to a party your heart's beating why the party is a monster why because it's judging you and it's judging you it's putting you low down the dominance hierarchy because that's what a negative judgement is and that interferes with your sexual success and that means that you're being harshly evaluated by nature itself right so you are confronting that the dragon of chaos when you go into the social situation and so what do you do you like this right you hunched over and that's low dominance I'm no threat it's like well that's not gonna get you very far you know but that's a logical thing to do and in the in the face of a tyrant so our no threat you know you look at the King and you're dead I'm no threat I'm hunched over and then what's happening internally how are what are people thinking about me what are people thinking about me I'm am I looking stupid am i looking foolish geez I'm awkward I hate being here man I'm sweating too much it's all internalized right it's all self focused the the eye isn't work the eye isn't working what do you tell people stop don't stop thinking about yourself because you can't it's like don't think of a white elephant white elephant white elephant white elephant you can't tell someone to stop thinking about something because they get caught in the loop what you do with socially anxious people is you say look at other people look at them right why because if you look at them you can tell what they're thinking and then you you're unless you're unless you're terribly socialized and some people are some people have no social skills and so the reason they can't go to a party is because they don't even know how to introduce themselves like they're just no one ever taught them how to behave and so they're really good candidates for behavior therapy because you walk them through the process of how you actually manifest the procedures that are associated with social acceptability but most people aren't like that they have the ability so if they're really introverted in high in autism they can usually talk quite well to someone one-on-one why because they look at them well if I look at you it's another thing to do if you're ever speaking to a group of people never speak to the group of people that doesn't exist you talk to individuals and then they reflect for you the entire group because they're all entrained so you look at one person they broadcast to you what everyone's thinking and you know how to talk to one person so it's easy so as soon as you focus on the person not you you post your attention outward use your eye you push your attention outward and you start watching well then all your automatic mechanisms kick in and you start being awkward because if we're talking and I'm looking here I don't know what you're gonna do next and I'm gonna put disjunctions into the like they're like bad chords in the melody of our of our conversation and the reason is I'm not paying attention so that's why the eye is the thing at the top of the pyramid it's like the thing that enables you to win the set of all possible dominance our keys is the eye pay attention pay attention that's the critical issue that's why the Egyptians worshipped Horus that's why Horus was the thing that rescued Osiris from the from the depths it's the capacity to pay attention what do you pay attention to most what your right hemisphere signals as anomalous it attracts your attention it's like this isn't going quite right I'm not looking at that wrong that's what you look at that's what you look at what's not going right because that's see that's the terrible monster that might eat you but it's also the place you get all the information so that's why it's useful to have discussions with your enemies because they will tell you things you do not know and that's such a great thing because if you don't know them well you're not very smart are you you know there may be a time when you go somewhere this that's the thing you need to know and maybe your enemy will tell you why you're such a fool you know and a bunch of other things that aren't true too but even one thing that's accurate it's like yeah thanks very much man maybe I'll do some work on that and I won't have to carry that forward so and then that's part of the reason again why the terrible prayer it's always the terrible predator that has the gold it's like it's the person who delivers the message you do not want to hear so it's rough it's rough but it doesn't matter life is rough to move forward you know I mean I've dealt with lots of people who have anxiety disorders you know and one thing about people who have anxiety disorders is they are not mysterious to me I understand it's it's no problem for me to understand why people have anxiety disorders or why they're depressed or why they have substance use problems the mystery to me is always why people don't have all of those things at once because everybody has a reason to be anxious in fact we have the ultimate reason to be anxious because we know that we're vulnerable and we know that we're going to die and how you cannot be anxious under those circumstances is a great mystery it's a massive mystery and the same thing applies with regards to depression and then the same thing applies to some degree with regards to drug and alcohol abuse as I said last week there's plenty of reasons to drown your consciousness in alcohol that's for sure we could refer to the aforementioned anxiety and depression not least and so and the and the sorts of drugs that people are prone to take our chemicals that take the affective edge off the tragedy of life so so back to back to the issue of fear I mean Abraham is self-conscious that's what this commentary says but the thing is as he moves forward despite that he's self-conscious and he knows the danger but he moves forward despite that and that's actually the appropriate response in the face of actual non naive understanding of what constitutes life like if you're naive and you move forward it's like well what the hell do you know you know there's no courage in naivety because you don't know what there is to stop you you don't know what dangers you might apprehend but to be aware of what it is that your problem is so to be alert existentially let's say or to be fully self conscious means that you're perfectly aware of your limitations and how you might be hurt and then to make the decision to move forward into the unknown in the land of the stranger anyways that's the I would say that's one of the secrets to a good life and I can say that really without fear of contradiction I would I would say because the literature on this is very very very clear what you do with people who are afraid and and to some degree depressed but certainly anxious is you lay out what what they're anxious about first of all in in detail what is it that you're afraid of what might happen and then you decompose it into small problems hypothetically manageable problems and then you have the person expose themselves to the thing that they're afraid of and what happens isn't that they get less afraid that isn't what the clinical literature indicates exactly what happens instead is they get braver and that's not the same thing right because if you get less afraid it's like well the world isn't as dangerous as I thought it was you know silly me if you get bravery that's not what happens what happens is yeah the world damn world's just as dangerous as I thought or maybe if it's even more dangerous than I thought but it turns out that there's something in me that responds to taking that on as a voluntary challenge and grows and thrives as a consequence and there's no doubt about this even the psychophysiological findings are quite clear if you if you can if you impose a stressor on two groups of people and on one group the stressor is imposed involuntarily and on the other group the stressor is picked up voluntarily the people who pick up the stress or voluntary voluntarily use a whole different psychophysiological system to deal with it they use the system that's associated with approach and challenge and not the system that's associated with defensive aggression and withdrawal and the system that is associated with challenges much more associated with positive emotion and much less associated with negative emotion it's also much less hard on you because the the defensive posturing system the prey animal system man when that thing kicks in it's all systems are go for you you know you're the gas is pushed down to the or the pedals push down to the metal and the brakes are on you're using future resources that you could be storing for future time right now in the present to ready yourself for emergency so there's there's there's nothing simple or trivial at all about the idea of being called to move forthrightly forward into the strange and the unknown and there's a real adventure that's associated with that right so that's an exciting thing which is part of the reason why people travel and then also to see or sell as the sort of creature that can do that is willing to do that on a habitual basis is also the right kind of tonic for I hate this word for your self-esteem you know because the self-esteem has nothing to do with feeling good about yourself as I already mentioned there isn't necessarily reason why a priori you should just feel good about yourself but if you can view yourself acting in a courageous and forthright manner and encountering the world and trying to improve your lot and and and taking risks you know in a non naive way well then you have something that you can comfort yourself with at night when you're wondering what the whole damn point of is of your futile and miserable life and so and that's necessary because it's often the case that you wake up at 4:00 in the morning or at least sometimes the case that you wake up at 4:00 in the morning when things haven't been going that well and wonder just what the hell the point is of your futile and miserable life you have to have something real to set against that it can't be just rationalizations about how you know you're a valuable person among others even though that's true that's not good enough you need something that's more realistic to set it against that an observing courage in yourself is definitely one of the things that that that can help you sleep soundly at night when when things are destabilized a little bit around you you

44 comments

  1. Hey. I’m a 20 year old male from Canada looking for a friend. Reply to this comment & maybe we can be friends I got like none.

  2. I have social anxiety, my personality changes everyday to the person I’m with.i quit my job as it was to many people used to always comment on me. And because I’m a nice guy didn’t use to say anything but felt uneasy inside. To nervous to speak red in face and heart racing. The funny thing is tho I love my fashion and take pride in what I wear and how I look but I don’t have the personality because I’m always overthinking when really I shouldn’t care because they are jealous and insecure. I’m okay around postive people who are like’ you are sick bro’ not people who are judgemental. I have no bitterness towards anyone, I just wish I had positive friends so I could enjoy my life instead of living in my room all day and overthinking. Love you guys
    22 Uk please hit me up

  3. Thank you Jordan I'm going to face people eye to eye little by little until I build more confidence not self esteem I also hate using that word I rather say acquire my primal grounds

  4. I don't have social anxiety, but my face gets red when I talk in front of an unknown group (talking to unknowns at a lunch table, a group of girls/guys that I don't know, etc, but not class presentations since I've known everyone there since middle school). I'm perfectly fine in 1 on 1 convos or 1 on 2, but in larger groups it kind of depends

  5. My favorite lines:
    "It's not about becoming less afraid but more courageous."
    "There isn't a specific reason why you should just feel good about yourself… Observe courage in yourself."

  6. He says look outward (good advice) and in the next breath he says to focus on what is making you uncomfortable? "That's what you look at, that's what you look at." What am I missing here?
    My social anxiety decreased when I learned to stop fighting it: once I allowed myself to be uncomfortable (imperfect), I started feeling comfortable!
    I suppose what he's saying is not fleeing from uncomfortable emotions and they will reveal some truth to you…

  7. Brother this is a chemical released in the brain.. No amount of talk and counseling will work. I've been to many-many counselors all throughout my life who said the same way as you did. Still doesn't work for me. I think mine is hereditary.. It runs in my family, especially my great grandfather who i got this from..

  8. Im not socially anxious, I have always lived in judgemental society, I have too much self confidence but these people are really assholes so I protect myself. Hopefully I will be out of this society soon.

  9. Im 31 im a weedman before 10yrs ago until last month and i quit now i get many ilness feeling highblood pressure pain and needles i go to doctor test anything and its negative and still have pain and needles now im thinking about that so this is anxiety? Help me im always thinking about my pain and needles i want to stop this

  10. This guy is very well-spoken and makes a lot of sense. A lot of what he says are things I already thought of, but he articulates it well.

  11. I actually became depressed over social anxiety and then became more depressed because I thought about how stupid it was to be depressed over being socially inept. Many beers and life events later I found help through counseling, making YouTube videos, and Jordan Peterson.

  12. At 145 he talks on some people being socialized and knowing how to behave at a party . I see so much inappropriate behavior in hyper extroverted people with vulgarities , drugs , and hooligan behavior in groups . I have few in my life at this time , maybe not such a bad thing .

  13. Such a clever man. Seems simple but not so, when you suffer anxiety. When you have to go out and socialise, but would rather be at home with your dogs, you may be reasonably normal?? I don't feel at all normal with these emotions but alas this is how I feel. I would prefer to stay home. Jordan makes alot of sense but unfortunately doesn"t help me. Yeah sure I could fool myself into appearing confident and going out in the world and doing it all and I have done that with the help of alcohol,(was simply not possible without) but I am simply stressed out of my brain and unhappy till I can can get back to my life a my home with my 2 dogs. They love me unconditionally.

  14. I’m Autistic, and therefore have difficulty with reading and processing people even if I do pay attention, but all this still applies and this advice still helped me

  15. "What happens when you're socially anxious? You go to a party and you…" I'm going to have to stop you right there.

  16. he is from Toronto Canada.. that is ideal city for him to cure ppl who cant be cured. Idiot sewage, probably one of the worst cities in western world

  17. "The coward believes he will live forever
    If he holds back in the battle,
    But in old age he shall have no peace
    Though spears have spared his limbs."

    Hávamál, Stanza 16

  18. I cant even go to the gas station when its busy or call anyone on the phone, let alone ever go to a party or introduce myself to a stranger.

  19. I am a liberal who’s majoring in Communications with a minor sociology… and I fucking LOVE the brilliant articulation Peterson brings.

  20. The people that pick up the stressor voluntarily use a whole different psyc system to deal with it….they use the system thats associated with approach and challenge…..and not the system thats associated with defensive agression and withdrawal.,,………..and the challenge is much more associated with positive emotion. Its also MUCH LESS HARD ON YOU…….Theres nothing simple or trivial at all about BEING CALLED to move forthrightly forward…into the strange and unknown.

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