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Old 06-29-2008, 11:02 AM   #21
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Bit of a thread hijack, ladelfina? :confused:

I'm sorry to hear of all your frustrations. My sister has lived as a foreigner in Italy for more than half her life. She likes it, but it's not for me ("Nice place to visit, etc.").

Presumably there are compensations? If not, why are you torturing yourself; move back to North America without delay.
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Old 06-29-2008, 11:04 AM   #22
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self help books are mostly for people who don't need them because they can help themselves.

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Originally Posted by ladelfina View Post
"no, I would like two of those rolls behind you" and she reaches under the counter in a different place and says "two of these?" (some other kind of who knows the hell what) and I say, pointing, no! those right there.. OOHH you don't want "rolls" you want "little squashed breads".
often we delude ourselves into thinking that everyone is on the same page, even those from the same culture, country, region, same family. iíve engaged in what i thought was intimate conversation with the very same people for decades before realizing they hadn't a clue as to what i've been saying. at least the illusion was fun while it lasted.

on the other hand, communicating with another person of even a different language whereby you both express just what you need & get precisely what you want? thatís not an intimate afternoon at the bakery; that just shopping for anonymous sex. no, not that. iíll have one of those. clarity can be a wonderful thing but sometimes you have to work at it.
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Old 06-29-2008, 12:21 PM   #23
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Bit of a thread hijack, ladelfina? :confused:
I specifically asked her for more details on the comment she'd made, so she was responding to that. If the mods want to move this to another thread, that's fine, but I think it's great information.
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Old 06-29-2008, 12:53 PM   #24
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Hey Trek -

You didn't specify how much of a "problem" or crisis your friend is in? I only ask because it does help us know whether a book can put a dent in ones' perspective or if they should high tail it to the counselor.

I have found lots of books tremendously helpful for myself - which of course can be complemented by counseling. But counseling can also be stressful, annoying and expensive as you try to find a good counselor who meets your needs.

Anyhow - I've recommended this one before - "teachings on love" by thich naht hanh is tremendous.

It helps one develop compassion for yourself and for others - like parents who sucked, or a bad childhood. He helps you look back with a tender heart at your young self who was in pain and think about ways to move on. It's not dogmatic buddhism and he always encourages people to use whatever faith they've grown up with as a source of strength. I also recommend to skip the first chapter (which is more about basic buddhist concepts) and read the rest of the book and go back to that chapter if they are interested. Another good one by same author is "anger" - which i've seen transform the most stubborn, bad upbringing type of people, particularly men folk.

It's hard to overcome 15-20 years of bad mental thoughts or habits, but Thich makes it a very simple process - which more western self helpers would call "affirmations" while he calls them meditations. Call them what you want, they work!

It also helps to have good friends like you Trek! rather than friends who reinforce negative ideas and thought patterns...
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Old 06-29-2008, 05:18 PM   #25
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What really seemed to help me personally is getting out into life, winning a few, losing a few, and learning the hard way to set goals that are achievable - - and then achieving them. My self confidence comes from within. Once someone has proven to himself that it is rational for him to be pretty confident that he can achieve certain goals, then he will become more self-confident about venturing into the unknown as well... little by little.

Nothing builds self-confidence like success.
I was waiting for somebody to say this...maybe even a discussion of discipline is warranted...although, that is harder to teach somebody after childhood...
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Old 06-30-2008, 07:56 AM   #26
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I've never found any books that would instill self-confidence (trust me, I've looked quite earnestly for one over the years). Want2retire said it best -- success builds confidence. The key at the beginning is to set small, achievable goals that force you to exercise discipline in whatever you choose to do.

Confidence is what you get when you've done something. Arrogance is what you get when you haven't (but think you can).
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Old 06-30-2008, 08:06 AM   #27
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If the mods want to move this to another thread, that's fine
Unnecessary, IMHO.
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Old 06-30-2008, 12:16 PM   #28
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What really seemed to help me personally is getting out into life, winning a few, losing a few, and learning the hard way to set goals that are achievable - - and then achieving them. My self confidence comes from within. Once someone has proven to himself that it is rational for him to be pretty confident that he can achieve certain goals, then he will become more self-confident about venturing into the unknown as well... little by little.

Nothing builds self-confidence like success.
But isn't that the essential missing ingredient for someone who lacks self confidence? Trek said his friend is intelligent but lacks self confidence - so probably capable and has already achieved things - but their view of themselves and/or the world has skewed their perceptions to be negative or not crediting themselves for their accomplishments?
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Old 06-30-2008, 12:26 PM   #29
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Trek said his friend is intelligent but lacks self confidence - so probably capable and has already achieved things
Not necessarily. Trek said his friend is not "growing in their education, career and personal relationships" ... no obvious signs of success or achievement there.
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Old 06-30-2008, 12:27 PM   #30
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Lot's of good comments, I'll throw out a slightly different angle:

Assuming this isn't a 'crisis level' problem (counseling may indeed be in order in that case), just that you think the person could do better with more self confidence, maybe it would be better to attack the problem more indirectly? Rater than going directly to self-help style books, why not browse the library for interesting biographies of people who overcame self confidence issues to go on to do great things in life? Just suggest they might be interesting reading. That way, you don't point out the 'problem', but they may get inspiration from the stories - maybe even all subconsciously?

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Old 06-30-2008, 01:09 PM   #31
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Heh, that's funny. There really is a Dummies book: Amazon.com: Building Self-confidence for Dummies (For Dummies): Kate Burton, Brinley Platts: Books. Nothing like being a dummy to boost that ol' self-esteem.
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Old 06-30-2008, 01:22 PM   #32
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What's the old joke? 'My analyst does not think I have an inferiority complex, I'm simply inferior.'

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Old 07-03-2008, 09:32 AM   #33
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Trek, this article might be helpful: How to Wake Up and Smell the Roses.
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Old 07-03-2008, 04:10 PM   #34
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[quote=lazygood4nothinbum;675753]only i'd stay so far away from anything religious or spiritual that it couldn't even be seen on the horizon. scientology, for instance? great confidence builder. how about new age? you can think you are god. how's that for confidence? standard, established run of the mill, world religions, all claiming truth and way? [quote]
That's a good and interesting point, LG4NB.

Directly to the topic:
Most basic military training includes some sort of confidence course – usually a very fun thing. I suppose most people think they are about physical confidence for people who are afraid of heights and such. But maybe physical confidence transfers. Here’s some words about one: http://usmilitary.about.com/od/marinejoin/a/confidencecours.htm .

Dependent on the person’s physical health, if they are not exercising, maybe physical activity would help – outdoor adventure, overcoming physical obstacles, that sort of thing - Hike up and down the mountain, canoe across the lake - swim a mile or a few miles if a mile is already a normal swim – if it’s a new activity, they should be sure it is within their capability and be sure to do due diligence and learn about any hazards involved and how to mitigate them before you jump in.

Experience builds confidence – although I suppose experiences of unremitting failure may not.
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Old 07-03-2008, 05:09 PM   #35
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no doubt experience is the best teacher, but when, as you say, even that fails; when books fail; when religions fail; when therapy fails; when you've run out of all other options, there's always shrooms....

Study finds long benefit in illegal mushroom drug - Yahoo! News

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"I feel more centered in who I am and what I'm doing," said Osborn, now 66, of Providence, R.I. "I don't seem to have those self-doubts like I used to have. I feel much more grounded (and feel that) we are all connected."
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Old 07-03-2008, 05:17 PM   #36
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Read "Psyco Cybernetics" written by Maxwell Maltz in 1960.

It is about people who thought they would feel better about themselves if only they had plastic surgery. Truth be known, they really only needed a boost in self confidence. It is also a good book about how what you think controls how you act.
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Old 07-03-2008, 05:57 PM   #37
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no doubt experience is the best teacher, but when, as you say, even that fails; when books fail; when religions fail; when therapy fails; when you've run out of all other options, there's always shrooms....

Study finds long benefit in illegal mushroom drug - Yahoo! News
"Yes acid is usually dangerous
The mild-mannered can quickly turn mean
LSD can surely derange us
Unless you possess Thorazine

So next time you wanna go out there
When you feel like feeding your head
Think twice before dropping acid
Hold out for mushrooms instead!"

Loudin Wainwright III, The Acid song
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Old 07-07-2008, 04:21 PM   #38
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Can anyone recommend a good book for someone that is smart as a whip, but lacks self confidence?
Perhaps: Larry Winget, Shut Up, Stop Whining, and Get a Life (2004).
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Old 07-08-2008, 07:39 PM   #39
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Can anyone recommend a good book for someone that is smart as a whip, but lacks self confidence? The lack of self-confidence seems to stem from crappy parents always criticizing them growing up and giving them a feeling of low self worth. This lack of confidence is keeping them from growing in their education, career and personal relationships.

Just something to read that might trigger something positive in them. Not asking for miracles.
"When I Say No I Feel Guilty." by Manuel Smith. Best assertiveness training on the planet.
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Old 07-09-2008, 09:34 AM   #40
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Trek, a favorite aunt gave me this as a good starting place: That life is worth living is the most necessary of assumptions, and, were it not assumed, the most impossible of conclusions. Santayana
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