This is a review of Social Strategies, a product developed by Jon Mercer. Jon is a successful, happy introvert who started with a tough childhood. That childhood caused him to have pretty severe social problems, shyness and anxiety, by the time he was a teenager. First he tried hiding his problem, then later many different therapists, and even medication. He was on antidepressants for six years, but they didn’t solve the problems he was having and he finally got off of the drugs. He’d majored in psychology in college trying to find an answer to his problem, and over the years he collected a huge library of references and ideas about anxiety problems. Finally he realized for himself what would “starve” the anxiety and panic and designed a program for himself which conquered the anxiety and panic for good! His symptoms quickly disappeared.
The Social Strategies are a set of mental games which will start to teach your mind to take a more constructive approach in social situations and not short-circuit itself into anxiety and panic. They are enjoyable to do, and you can do them any time you’re around people. Jon gave me the Social Strategies product for review. It’s an instant download of .mp3 files, plus right now there are a couple of bonuses.
I’m usually one who prefers my self-help items to be books, so that I can look in the index and see quickly, “Here is your answer – top of page 53.” 🙂 I tend to be impatient, so I didn’t know if I’d like a set of eight .mp3s to play. I created a CD and decided to keep it in my car. I have a half hour commute each way to work, so I was able to listen to the CD on my way to and from work for a couple of days, repeating some of the games in order to catch fine points.
The experience was enjoyable, and I can certainly see how playing these games would help if someone had a real social anxiety problem. In my case, I usually just don’t go to events because I want as much “me-time” as I can get; I don’t have social anxiety. On the other hand, a game really did help one day when I was about to go meet some people for lunch – people I hadn’t seen in several years! At first I was doing my usual, “Is this what I want to wear? Have I gained weight? Does my hair look good?” etc., as if seeing these people after years would be a make-or-break event where my image would be burned into their memories forever. Instead, I tried one of the games. I listened to it on my way over there, and consciously told myself I’d be playing the game for the next hour. I did remember to do that, and I was very relaxed and able to pay attention to the people around me instead of to myself. And best of all, when I got back to my own office, I found that one of the women had posted on her Facebook page that she’d just had lunch with ME and really enjoyed the conversation!
Will Social Strategies work for you? I wish I could tell you that, but of course I have no way to know. I do think that a change in our thought process would surely be necessary in order to beat problems like this forever and not just cover them up temporarily. Check it out, and let me know what you think!