Article Reveals How Internet Support Groups Benefit Shy People

If you need support with targeting or support in general please join us online every Sunday @ 2pm pst for Conversation and Support for targeted individuals.  You may call in or join via computer, you may also listen to the archives. 

Phone Number: (724) 444-7444  Call ID: 114616


By: M. E. Peychers, M.A.

Looking online for support groups is especially helpful for people who feel isolated and alone with their troubles. Out in Cyberspace, there is always someone awake, someone sitting at their computer, someone willing to chat, comfort and console. We all know that there should be no shame attached to any illness, physical or mental. Despite this, some people are too embarrassed to share their anxieties even with family and friends. This may be so whether the problem is immense or trivial. Whether it seems too terrible to mention or too foolish, the sufferer feels overwhelmed by fear of condemnation and of rejection. Because of these deeply-rooted fears, many people who would benefit from seeing a therapist will never make that first appointment.

To think of raising those same issues face-to-face with strangers in a traditional support group would be even more impossible. Yet in the anonymity of the chat room, email list, or bulletin board, and posting under a pseudonym, sometimes even the shyest person will open up and talk remarkably frankly. This will rarely happen until he or she has been in the group long enough to be sure that other members won’t pass judgment on what they hear. If a declaration of “how I really feel” is accepted and brings similar statements, the ‘confessor’ feels heartened by the openness of the replies. He or she might even go further, exploring how the trouble began, and encouraging other members to do the same for themselves. When the darkest feelings are shared, and others reveal that they feel exactly the same way, people begin to realize that they aren’t freaks. They are just a little further along the scale of normality than Mr. or Ms. Average.

Support Groups Bring Hope

People who joined a group feeling crushed by the weight of their anxieties can see new hope. They may even be inspired to look outside the group for help in taking the giant step of sharing their anxieties with people in their daily lives. When people are scared and ashamed of any aspect of themselves, whether it’s a phobia, an obsession, or even a physical response like sweating heavily or blushing (Berent & Lemley, 1994; Markway, Pollard, & Flynn, 1992), “coming out” about their problems can be just as traumatic and just as freeing as it is over sexual issues. Being with people who apparently understand you, can create very strong ties of friendship and of loyalty. Even if you learn that they haven’t been completely truthful about themselves, even if they are not people you would previously have considered developing a friendship with in the real world, these factors may no longer seem to matter. Regardless of their circumstances, or where they are on the planet, what counts most is that they help you feel safe enough to connect with your pain like no one else can.

Compared with that rush of warmth, of trust, and perhaps of optimism, the fact that you only know these people through online support groups may be immaterial. References: Berent, J., Lemley, A., (1994) Beyond Shyness: How to Conquer Social Anxieties. New York, Fireside Markway, B., Pollard, C.A., Flynn, T. (1992) Dying of Embarrassment: Help for Social Anxiety & Phobia. Oakland, New Harbinger Rich, P., (1999) Self Help and Psychotherapy: A Layman’s Guide Social Phobics Anonymous– Support Groups For Social Anxiety or Social Phobia

Originally published 7/02/09
Revised 3/7/10 by Marlene M. Maheu, Ph.D.

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One thought on “Article Reveals How Internet Support Groups Benefit Shy People

  1. “Conversation and support for TIs’ is invaluable for the targeted individual.
    Since the local media (for ads in local papers) and governments are infiltrated getting an in-person support group going in your city is next to impossible, especially when the perps/government nearly flawlessly keeps TIs separated from each other believing that they’re the only ones going through this insane sadism.

    For any TI that may read this, please call Renata’s show and give her archives a listen also-Outstanding, invaluable material and inspiration-This is not your “aliens” “demons” and “ghosts” type of call-Its non-judgmental and down to earth, covering physical stalking to directed energy weapons;You’ll be happily surprised.

    Also if you’re going to look for other TI support group shows to listen to on Talkshoe, check out Fight For Our Freedom and Alda’s call, both the live shows and their archives.

    The perps want to keep us isolated, feeling hopeless, helpless and in general, living our lives in a cage of our own making;The perps give us just enough physical stalking and directed energy attacks leaving the rest to our own conditioned, brainwashed traumatized imaginations;The targeted individual does nearly all of the work.

    Online shows like “Conversation And Support For TIs” take away a LOT of the isolation these cowardly, disgusting mother—-ers try to convince us is our life.


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