Workbook Recommendation for Interpersonal Skills

opened copybooks placed on school bench

I bought the Interpersonal Problem Workbook when I received my results back from the psychological testing I had done when applying for vocational rehabilitation. My scores were fine, but my people skills were a mess. Understandable considering, I have extreme social anxiety, I can’t even go to the movies or the fair without panicking. Though I understood if I wanted to move past my fears then I had to take the steps.

The first step was to target what was wrong. Turns out I had interpersonal problems to work through. Interpersonal problems are a repetitive pattern someone displays that keeps hindering relationships, whether it be friends, family, colleagues, partners, etc.

An example of my own destructive pattering:

Whenever I meet someone new and grow close to them, I start withdrawing and shying away from them. I would become distant and refuse to hang out due to fear. I did not want to grow close to someone and they just vanish, abandon me, or see how messed up I was and start being cruel towards me.

With those closest to me I would become defensive, angry, lashing out, overly critical, and would emotionally hurt all the time for taking things personally. Luckily my husband is patient with me and has known me since I was 14. He often reminds me when I’m being irrational or overthinking, which I am highly grateful for. He is my rock through everything, even on the bad days.

When I was growing up, I moved around A LOT. I went to 3 different schools in the third grade alone. When I was a teenager, my mother refused to give up drugs and she lost her rights to me and my two brothers. All three of us were split up from one another. To cope I would cut my arms to deal with the emotional pain, which my grandmother, who I was living with, found out and sent me to live in facilities for 5 years. Where people came and went all the time.

I learned from a young age abandonment sucked and losing friends at the speed of light was worse. This is where most of my interpersonal problems stem from. Also, from going through abuse from a young age.

One of the things I noticed is I become overwhelmed by thoughts of being betrayed, backstabbed, made a fool of, left for no reason, of the person hating me and just stringing me along so they don’t feel guilty, no one really wants me around, etc.

Even though I have experienced all of this firsthand it still did not ease the fear aspect. I know I can get through anything, I’m just tired of getting through those types of things on repeat.

So, to stop going in circles I had to take the next step, which was to start looking for self-help. This is where the interpersonal workbook came into the picture. I’ve done over half the book so far and have been able to pinpoint where I start to freak out, have a solid plan to keep my mind on track, and not assume the worst. I have been able to build better relationships with the people around me.

I’ve come to learn that it’s 20% about knowing what and how to overcome things and 80% actually doing it. If you don’t know how to change your behavior, then the first step is finding out how and then doing it with the full intention of it working. If you doubt before giving things a try, then you will remain in a cycle.

I am really happy I stumbled upon the interpersonal workbook, it helped me:

  • See where I was making mistakes in relationships
  • Why I was making those mistakes
  • Come up with healthier ways to deal with my fear
  • Start developing better relationships with the people around me
  • Easing the fear of being in public, though I still have a way to go with that one ha-ha.

The workbook is easy to follow along and understand. The only problem I have with it is there are a lot of paragraphs with italic writing. Though it’s just difficult for me to read chunks of italic writing because of dyslexia, it may or may not bother others. All in all, it was a great investment in helping me overcome relationship problems.

So, the third step was to learn and put what I learned into action. Anyone can learn all day long, but if they don’t put what they learned into some type of action then what good is it? I believe knowledge is the door to power, while actions are the key. With knowing and doing comes change. Though that’s my personal belief and a whole other tangent unrelated to this post, ha-ha.

By no means is this workbook a cure-all, and I, myself, still fall down and slip up from time to time. When negative reactions become a habit, it takes time to break. With time things get easier. Never feel bad for not having everything figured out, no one does. Just find where the areas you wish to improve on and figure out how to improve them. If you don’t like something, then it’s up to the person in the mirror to change what they don’t like.

Always remember, the workbook is there as a tool, that’s with any workbook or program designed to help others. You must put in your best effort to actually get results. Just answering the questions and not changing your behavior is not going to help.

If you are serious about your mental well-being then you have to give up old habits that do not benefit you, there is no getting around it. It’s not easy and there will be times when you slip up and react out of old habits, which is okay. It’s normal. Just get back up and keep on going forward. You are so much stronger than you believe.

This is not a sponsored or affiliated post, just a recommendation that I thought could help others who may be struggling with interpersonal problems.


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