Hey guys, this is Erik Johnson. So, today I want to talk about Autism Social Anxiety, and why Ozzy doesn’t have social anxiety. You can see in the background, I’m watching Ozzy and Jack’s World Detour which apparently was aired between 2016 and 2018, I don’t watch TV. I’m at my fiance’s sister’s house here in Texas.
I’m just blown away, I’m looking at Ozzy, and I’m looking at how he looks at people, when he takes his glasses off, and he looks them right in the eye and I’m just like, wow, you know, Ozzy was one of the biggest partiers in the world.
Autism Social Anxiety Tips
I grew up with Ozzy. I listened to his music by the time I was 13 I was listening to Ozzy, all the way through high school, you know pretty much my whole life. He was so crazy you know drinking and drugging and doing the most absolute craziest things in the world.
Like one time, I read a story that he was in Hollywood and he was hanging out with Tommy Lee from Motley Crue, and they’re going up to their hotel room and Ozzy was so high on drugs and alcohol that he basically took a dump on the elevator on the way up to their room, I mean just crazy stuff he didn’t care about anything.
But looking at him now and seeing him hang out with his son Jack going on trips, on this show, they’re going from Florida all the way up to Alaska in this crazy 1973 RV.
And I’m watching jack. See there’s Ozzy right there, and I’m watching him. They got glasses on now but Ozzy is not afraid of people. Okay. He’s not afraid of people and the gist of this video is that if you want to not be afraid of people, you have to get around people – and they call it exposure therapy, but you have to realize that people do not care that much about what you do.
Our whole thing with Asperger’s is that we are hyper self-conscious. We are constantly thinking about ourselves and the reason why we’re doing that is because we’re basically in fight or flight. We also use our prefrontal cortex in trying to communicate, so it’s an intellectual exercise for us to socialize whereas normal people use their amygdala part of the brain, and it’s very intuitive for normies to socialize whereas people with Asperger’s, we have to really intellectualize the conversation which wears us out.
Then we feel very self conscious about it. How did we look, how did we sound. Oh my gosh, I was embarrassed. They’re gonna think I’m weird. They’re gonna think I’m different, and it’s those kinds of thoughts that spiral us out of control, into the panic attack zone.
You have to realize that it’s your thoughts pretty much that make us spiral out of control. It’s not our surroundings. It’s not our environment. It’s not even hereditary, even though you might have the precursors of hereditary with your social anxiety and your Asperger’s, it really comes down to your thoughts, and it comes down to exposure.
So if you’re comfortable being at home, and you don’t like to go out, guess what, it’s going to get harder and harder – the anxiety is going to grow, because it’s like a virus.
There will come a time that your negative thinking will get to the point where you can’t even do things in your house, because your comfort circle is getting smaller and smaller because you’re not expanding it with getting out of your comfort zone, that comfort zone actually gets smaller and smaller to where you might not even feel safe going to the bathroom.
You might not feel safe turning off the lights at night. You might not feel safe doing things around the house. So, if you want to get away from social anxiety and start living a normal life, you’re going to have to stretch your comfort zone, and you’re going to have to take little risks. You’re going to have to feel a little bit of uncomfortableness.
Just remember that no one really cares what you do, because they’re too busy thinking about themselves. It’s very true. We are all pretty much self centered to some degree, but people with Asperger’s are very self conscious. And I was just tripping out because, you know, I thought it was guilt and shame that prevented me from looking people in the eyes. And yeah, that’s a little bit of it, you know I was a heavy drinker for 16 years; I watched porn, I smoked cigarettes, I ate sugar and I didn’t care about people. I was nasty.
So I thought that was just my guilt and shame preventing me from looking at people in the eyes and yeah that’s true. That’s a small part of it, but what it’s really about is how we think about ourselves.
The more negative you are, the more negativity you think, the more it gets etched into your neural network. Okay, so you have to rewire your brain. If you think more negatively, then you’re going to reinforce that social anxiety. So you have to really start looking at your thoughts when you get around someone really start looking at your thoughts, and if you have a negative thought come up, you can simply question it. Is that really true what I just thought? Is that really true that they’re thinking about me right now? Is that really true that they think I’m weird?
Because if you really look at other people, they’re thinking about themselves, they’re talking about themselves, they don’t even really care if you’re looking at the wall or into their eyes. Okay.
But the bottom line is you start stretching that comfort zone only out a little bit. If you’re scared to go to the supermarket, drive up to your mailbox the first day. Then the next day, drive a little bit further, and then you might want to take a day off and then try it again. You know, you don’t have to force yourself to do too much.
If you expand your comfort circle too fast, then you’re going to relapse and just say screw it all, I’m not going to do any of this. In fact, I’m going to go back into my addictions, I’m going to relapse and screw off.
You don’t want to get to that point so just small increments, in stretching your comfort zone, realize that every single thought you have you can trap it and harness it and make it your own thought, okay, and realize that every thought can be negative or it could be positive, it’s your choice.
It might seem really hard in the beginning to rewire your brain, but slowly but surely, you can rewire your brain and start thinking more positive about every situation because we do not have to be in fight or flight anymore. That’s an old prehistoric survival mechanism that doesn’t really need to be triggered now in modern times.
I mean when you hang out with people and have a panic attack that’s your body malfunctioning, your self defense mechanism is malfunctioning and it gets triggered, and it thinks that there’s literally a tiger in the room, but it’s a prehistoric outdated survival instinct that’s in our nervous system.
All we have to realize is that those thoughts are not true 99% of the time. Those thoughts never play out – and a lot of people are destroying themselves by thinking this way, and it really does come down to the way you think, like Ozzy.
He can look people in the eyes because he lives around so many people. I mean he’s around people constantly. I mean he’s a rock and roller. He’s a rock musician, he’s famous. He’s not hiding in his room, you know, scared of people, because his whole life is around people.
So if you want to stop social anxiety, start trying to get around people again. They don’t care what you look like or talk like, you know, find some social anxiety groups to join, read some social anxiety groups, we’ll talk to you soon. Thanks for reading Autism Social Anxiety.
Here’s more Resources for Asperger’s and Addiction
Erik C Johnson