social self care: part 1

prt-one

I think the idea for the series is super important, because as a young adult you are thrown into a lot of social situations (be it work, study, friend related) which are often pretty daunting. And it can be hard to adapt to the different social requirements of various gatherings, especially if you have anxiety. Group contexts are hard, particularly if you are going by yourself and are not sure of how to ‘insert’ yourself into the situation.

I totally agree that social skills are not innate and something that you can nurture and develop! Obviously some people have more outgoing personalities, but it is definitely possible to learn and grow from each new social experience, and confidence is an ongoing process.

Advice-wise, the first thing is to acknowledge your own limitations. For example, I recognise that I find group events (e.g. private views) intimidating, so my coping mechanisms are:

  • Get in contact with a friend or acquaintance who I know might be going to the event and arrange to meet them there or beforehand
  • Try to rationalise my anxiety by thinking ‘what is the worst that could happen?’
  • Make sure I have a plan for going home afterwards
  • Phone my mum or close friend if I am feeling especially nervous about going into a room with a large group of people in it

For advice about replying to people through text or email:

  • Don’t pressurise yourself- take your time to reply if you are feeling nervous about reading or replying to a message
  • Perhaps write down what you want to text beforehand to clarify it in your head
  • Remember that the person you are texting will probably not analyse your reply in as much depth as you have analysed it whilst writing it

For advice on talking to people one on one, friend-wise and in a professional context:

  •  Generally, I’ve learned that most people are not as intimidating as they look. If you are nervous and this shows when you talk to someone, the other person will understand!
  • It’s a bit cliché, but just try and keep calm and be yourself. Remind yourself: WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY IS VALID and just as interesting as the other person
  • Remember that everyone has their own shit going on, so if you sense that someone is a bit ‘off’ with you, don’t automatically blame yourself!

Finally, if you find you can’t go to a meet up or are taking a while to reply to people because you are feeling really anxious, remember it isn’t your fault. Think of a close friend who you could confide in, and perhaps talk through things with them- or if you feel safe doing so, let the people you were going to meet, or need to reply to, know that you are finding things a bit hard. A lot of people find various social situations intimidating, some people are just better at hiding it than others.

by Lizzie

you can contribute to the series too, please get in touch with your tips!

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call out: A to Z of social self-care

atoz

A to Z of social self-care

hello collective girl love brain, i need your ideas again!

i’m making an article/collage series for this blog on social self care and i’d like your tips and contributions.
this is a good space to share what you wish people would understand about your needs in a more general and anonymous sense, as well as share advice.

by SOCIAL SELF CARE, i specifically mean how to sustain good relationships and communication with people in friend contexts and more profesh contexts. this includes: how to be better at replying to things, navigating anxieties around talking to people, practical advice and reassurances, etc.

the premise of this is that is that social skills are SKILLS that can be developed rather than natural instincts that everyone else has. communication skills are incredibly important but also seem to be where a lot of our anxieties, insecurities and misunderstandings emerge. i hope we can destigmatise the stress of communication, make allowances for each other and learn ways to improve.

you can comment if you feel confident, or message me privately/us on the official gl fb page, or email xxx

rubyetc
credit to Rubyetc

rad women’s strikes

We don’t learn loads about women + strikes and when we do, it’s often women within their workplaces fighting for rights and recognition, such as the Ford sewing machinists strike, 1968 which inspired the film Made in Dagenham.

When Girl Love #5 comes out later this year, you can read about the Matchgirls strike, 1888. Clearly this is crucial, overlooked history that we need to know, but there is something different about women striking as a class of people, across sectors and regions.

Iceland, 1975

The UN declared 1975 to be the International Women’s Year and it was in this year that a feminist group, Redstockings staged a 24 hour strike, renamed as a “Women’s Day Off” to make it harder for employers to penalise those who took part and to make it more likely to secure support.

October 24th saw 90% of women in Iceland refuse to attend work, cook or look after kids and the country was brought to a standstill.

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It’s so funny to imagine what the chaos looked like for men, who had to take their children to work, feed and entertain them – as well as compensate for the work that was usually done by women. Accounts from women are more inspiring: many attended rallies. It must have been empowering to fully comprehend the contribution that women make, and see it vindicated.

It is the crossover of interpersonal relations and political ones that makes it so radical. Not only were women shown to prop up the country economically but men in families were forced to acknowledge the unpaid labour that women do in the home.

 

Barcelona, 2014

Vaga de Totes is a feminist collective, who curated a day of protest on the 22nd October with 600 different organisations taking part. Their broad manifesto defends a woman’s right to abortion and economic freedom and is absolutely pro-migrant and anti-austerity. Women’s work is so consistently devalued, so it isn’t surprising that women bear the brunt of the economic crisis.

It’s amazing to see so many different groups come together under such a wide range of ideas, especially when you’reused to seeing in-fighting over the smallest of issues. The nature of a strike means that it simply can’t happen if there aren’t enough people willing to set aside differences for a common goal.

 

Poland, 2016

On Monday 3rd October,  women across cities in Poland attended rallies rather than go to work or university. A proposed law would inflict a total ban on abortion, so women responded by demonstrating how effectively they can mobilise. Reportedly up to 6 million women took part in the strike, many dressing in black to mourn the loss of their reproductive rights.

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This morning’s good news was that the government will remove its support for the law, with one minister quoted as saying that the women have “caused us to think and taught us humility”. We can pray for a day when women are no longer required to teach basic manners and common sense to grown men, but in today’s context, this is an excellent win for women’s movements. After seeing how quickly the government U-turned, it will hopefully inspire further action in Poland and similar demonstrations in other countries.

 

Solidarity forever xoxo