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Quotations for Sufferers
Welcome to my page of quotations about social anxiety, other anxieties, introverts, highly sensitive people, etc. I've struggled with social anxiety since I was a little girl, and I can finally admit that — as well, I've managed to develop enough courage through the years to finally be open about being an HSP so I've decided I need to put some quotes out there to help others troubled by such things. This page also covers worrywarts, just plain shyness, and the like. Note: I've tagged some of the quotes #infj and #hsp, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the author is classified as such, only that I think the quote applies particularly well to those personality types, in my own experience anyway. If you fall into these categories of people, I sincerely hope you get some comfort from these quotes; I know how truly excruciating it can be to be knocked around in life by those who don't understand.
Oh the nerves, the nerves; the mysteries of this machine called man! Oh the little that unhinges it, poor creatures that we are! ~Charles Dickens #hsp #infj
Nothing so much prevents our being natural as the desire to seem so. ~François VI de la Rochefoucault, Maxims
Thy heart so sweetly sensitive,
Is like an April sky;
One moment sunshine, and the next
Dark shadows o'er it fly.
One little ray lights up thy soul
To gladness, joy and mirth;
One little cloud o'ershades the whole,
And bows it down to earth.
~Simeon Carter (1824–1911), "Sensibility," Poems and Aphorisms: A Woodman's Musings, 1893 #hsp #infj [Carter's pseudonym was Bard of Souhegan. He was a nature-loving Emerson-fan Scorpio who lived in the woods. My kind of guy!
People become attached to their burdens sometimes more than the burdens are attached to them. ~George Bernard Shaw
[Y]ou don't know me—you don't understand me. There are little bits of my soul, little dark corners that you know nothing of. It's not good, it's not right that I should go about with them shut up in me. ~Anita Vivanti Chartres (1866–1942), The Hunt for Happiness, 1896
...the storm-winds of the soul... ~Ebenezer Elliott, "Elegy on William Cobbett," 1835
I am the self-accused, I moan in my sleep,
My restless couch is the broken bits of the sharp edge of the day.
I moan when the moon falls across my pillow,
It is my heart that breaks, that weeps when the birds spill their songs over the world, and sobs in the roses.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Red Threads of My Heart: XXVI," At the Roots of Grasses, 1923
I am every struggler there is. I am every heart that breaks. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Songs of Longing," At the Roots of Grasses, 1923
If I had my life to live over, I would perhaps have more actual troubles but I'd have fewer imaginary ones. ~Don Herold
Some patients I see are actually draining into their bodies the diseased thoughts of their minds. ~Zacharty Bercovitz
If you treat every situation as a life and death matter, you'll die a lot of times. ~Dean Smith
Many things pain me that only vex other people. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), "The Character of a Person of my Acquaintance" [Lichtenberg's unfinished "autopsychography" (Norman Alliston, 1908).
Introverts are not failed extroverts. ~Sophia Dembling, The Introvert's Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World, 2012
Introversion is often treated as the space where extroversion is not. It's treated as a vacuum. An absence rather than a presence. ~Sophia Dembling, The Introvert's Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World, 2012
Introverts are no more or less open with our feelings than extroverts, as long as we're with people who take the time to listen. ~Sophia Dembling, The Introvert's Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World, 2012
There is nothing wrong with introversion, yet living in an extrovert-dominated culture can make you question your strengths as an introvert. You may find yourself out of balance trying to keep up with the extroverted pace of life. You may have lost touch with your values of quiet, solitude, and depth.... The time has come for this culture to embrace the quiet strengths of introverts. ~Arnie Kozak, The Awakened Introvert, 2015
A day of worry is more exhausting than a day of work. ~John Lubbock
Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained. ~Arthur Somers Roche
If all a bird knows is flying
But one day on the edge of a rooftop
Realizes he's afraid of heights
Do his wings feel heavier
Does his brain swirl around
With the vertigo of fear—
And if all I've ever known
When I find inner peace
Will my soul grow wings?
Love looks forward, hate looks back, anxiety has eyes all over its head. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960
Worry, doubt, fear and despair are the enemies which slowly bring us down to the ground and turn us to dust before we die. ~Attributed to Douglas MacArthur
Do not be afraid of tomorrow, for God is already there. ~Author Unknown
We are, perhaps, uniquely among the earth's creatures, the worrying animal. We worry away our lives. ~Lewis Thomas
When the superficial wearies me, it wearies me so much that I need an abyss in order to rest. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin #infj
They need to worry and betray time with urgencies false and otherwise, purely anxious and whiny, their souls really won't be at peace unless they can latch on to an established and proven worry and having once found it they assume facial expressions to fit and go with it, which is, you see, unhappiness, and all the time it all flies by them and they know it and that too worries them no end. ~Jack Kerouac
Today is the tomorrow we worried about yesterday. ~Author Unknown
We experience moments absolutely free from worry. These brief respites are called panic. ~Cullen Hightower
Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy. ~Leo Buscaglia
Worry is a complete cycle of inefficient thought revolving about a pivot of fear. ~Author Unknown
My hypochondria is in the last resort a knack of extracting, for personal application, the greatest possible amount of venom from any and every incident of life, no matter what it may be. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), "The Character of a Person of my Acquaintance" [Lichtenberg's unfinished "autopsychography" (Norman Alliston, 1908).
I love mankind… it's people I can't stand!! ~Charles M. Schulz, "Peanuts," 1959 #infj
I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers. ~Henry David Thoreau, "Solitude," Walden, 1854 #infj
The conversation at dinner had been so heated that by the end of it Mrs. Miniver had developed mental, moral, and physical indigestion..... [F]rom that moment on she resigned herself to a headache, and got it. ~Jan Struther, Mrs. Miniver, 1930s
Some men storm imaginary Alps all their lives, and die in the foothills cursing difficulties which do not exist. ~Edgar Watson Howe
Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action. ~Walter Anderson, The Confidence Course, 1997
Blessed is the person who is too busy to worry in the daytime and too sleepy to worry at night. ~Author Unknown
The peril for you is that you live too much in the world of your own dreams. You're not enough in contact with reality—with the toiling, striving, suffering, I may even say sinning, world that surrounds you. You're too fastidious; you've too many graceful illusions....
[Y]ou think you can lead a romantic life, that you can live by pleasing yourself and pleasing others. You'll find you're mistaken. Whatever life you lead you must put your soul in it — to make any sort of success of it; and from the moment you do that it ceases to be a romance, I assure you; it becomes grim reality! And you can't always please yourself; you must sometimes please other people. That, I admit, you're very ready to do; but there's another thing that's still more important — you must often displease others. You must always be ready for that — you must never shrink from it. That doesn't suit you at all — you're too fond of admiration, you like to be thought well of. You think we can escape disagreeable duties by taking romantic views — that's your great illusion, my dear. But we can't. You must be prepared on many occasions in life to please no one at all — not even yourself. ~Henry James (1843–1916), The Portrait of a Lady [Originally published 1880, quoted from the 1908 revised edition. Henrietta Stackpole to Isabel Archer.
To fear is one thing. To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is another. ~Katherine Paterson, Jacob Have I Loved
There are very few monsters who warrant the fear we have of them. ~Andre Gide
No one is moved to act, or resolves to speak a single word, who does not hope by means of this action or word to release anxiety from his spirit. ~Ali ibn-Hazm
I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion. I would rather ride on earth in an ox cart, with a free circulation, than go to heaven in the fancy car of an excursion train and breathe a malaria all the way. ~Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods, "Economy" #infj
I like people. I just prefer it when they're not around. ~Zoo, "First Blood" (season 1, episode 1), original airdate 2015 June 30th, spoken by Mitch Morgan [writing credits: Appelbaum, Nemec, Pinkner, Rosenberg, Patterson, Ledwidge]
When one has too great a dread of what is impending, one feels some relief when the trouble has come. ~Joseph Joubert
A very sensitive person in this stupid world is bound to become mad.... Only meditation can save him from becoming mad. ~Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh #hsp
One of my sensory problems was hearing sensitivity, where certain loud noises, such as a school bell, hurt my ears. It sounded like a dentist drill going through my ears. ~Temple Grandin #hsp
You're a little upset by your troubles, and that's natural enough, but don't let your mind run on them any more than you can help; drag your thoughts away from your troubles—by the ears, by the heels, or any other way, so you manage it; it's the healthiest thing a body can do; dwelling on troubles is deadly, just deadly—and that's the softest name there is for it. You must keep your mind amused—you must, indeed. ~Mark Twain, The American Claimant, 1891
One of the most remarkable traits of my character is without doubt the extraordinary superstition which makes me see signs in every conceivable affair, and in a single day turn hundreds of things into an oracle.... Every crawling insect provides me with an answer to some question or other concerning my fate.... But the tendency is perhaps rooted in human nature, and has only in my case taken a monstrous form... ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), "The Character of a Person of my Acquaintance" [Lichtenberg's unfinished "autopsychography" (Norman Alliston, 1908).
Every man, through fear, mugs his aspirations a dozen times a day. ~Brendan Francis
Many great ideas have been lost because the people who had them could not stand being laughed at. ~Author unknown
The fear of being laughed at makes cowards of us all. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960
As a rule, what is out of sight disturbs men's minds more seriously than what they see. ~Julius Caesar
When you suffer an attack of nerves you're being attacked by the nervous system. What chance has a man got against a system? ~Russell Hoban
I'm scared of it all, God's truth! so I am;
It's too big and brutal for me.
My nerve's on the raw and I don't give a damn
For all the "hoorah" that I see.
I'm pinned between the subway and overhead train,
Where automobiles swoop down:
Oh, I want to go back to the timber again —
I'm scared of the terrible town.
~Robert W. Service, "I'm Scared of It All," 1912
The knowledge of the world is only to be acquired in the world, and not in a closet. ~Lord Philip Dormer Stanhope Chesterfield
Prudence keeps life safe, but does not often make it happy. ~Samuel Johnson
Fear is static that prevents me from hearing myself. ~Samuel Butler
Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
People are crying up the rich and variegated plumage of the peacock, and he is himself blushing at the sight of his ugly feet. ~Sa'Di
Once you become self-conscious, there is no end to it; once you start to doubt, there is no room for anything else. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960
There are offences given and offences not given but taken. ~Izaak Walton
Shyness has a strange element of narcissism, a belief that how we look, how we perform, is truly important to other people. ~André Dubus
Writer. Recluse. Old Man. Little Kid. ~Adam Stanley, iamadamstanley.tumblr.com #oldsoul #innerchild #infj
I'm not a recluse — I'm just playing hard-to-get with society. ~Author Unknown #infj
I become daily more and more convinced that my nerve-trouble is to a great extent nurtured, if not entirely caused, by my solitary habits. I have practically no other pleasure now than through my own head, which is continually busy. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), "The Character of a Person of my Acquaintance" [Lichtenberg's unfinished "autopsychography" (Norman Alliston, 1908).
You probably wouldn't worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do. ~Olin Miller (1893–1981)
The shy and the extroverted have this in common — that they both fancy they are the center of attention. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Men are not against you; they are merely for themselves. ~Gene Fowler, Skyline, 1961
When I am anxious it is because I am living in the future. When I am depressed it is because I am living in the past. ~Author Unknown
Sometimes even to live is an act of courage. ~Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Letters to Lucilius
The only courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one moment to the next. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966
Deep in the greenwood of my heart
Is my abiding-place:
I cloak my soul at feast and mart;
I mask my face.
Outlawed, but not alone, for Truth
Is outlawed, too.
You cannot banish us, proud world:
We banish you.
~Alfred Noyes, "The Outlaw," The Century Magazine, January 1912
I'm a dandelion in a harsh wind. ~Terri Guillemets #infj
Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. What if they are a little course, and you may get your coat soiled or torn? What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice. Up again, you shall never be so afraid of a tumble. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Some days, we're just looking for a soft place to land. ~Dr. SunWolf, professorsunwolf.com #hsp #infj
Everything is too real, for an INFJ. Only fantasy — with its soft edges and magical healing creatures and sparkling beauty and plush hugs and golden-hour radiance and floral-everywheres and giddy, bouncing, perpetual youth of spirit — is tolerable. ~Terri Guillemets, "Muted glare," 2007
In solitude, where we are least alone. ~George Gordon, Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage #infj
When the phone rings, it's like an attack on my life. I get confused. ~Leonard Michaels, The Men's Club, 1981
I think like a genius, I write like a distinguished author, and I speak like a child.... My hemmings and hawings over the telephone cause long-distance callers to switch from their native English to pathetic French. At parties, if I attempt to entertain people with a good story, I have to go back to every other sentence for oral erasures and inserts.... In these circumstances nobody should ask me to submit to an interview if by "interview" a chat between two normal human beings is implied. ~Vladimir Nabokov, 1973, Foreword, Strong Opinions
For those uneasy with the world, solitude is the only guarantee of confidence. ~Terri Guillemets
My imagination shied, as horses do, and ran away with me. This best expresses my condition in the way of sentiment. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), "The Character of a Person of my Acquaintance" [Lichtenberg's unfinished "autopsychography" (Norman Alliston, 1908).
The snake, crushed of the heel, crawls wearily, over to me.
The lark with the broken wing knows that I know why it cannot sing.
I hear the plaint of the shattered wheel, bemoaning the load it cannot bear.
I know what the gate is saying on its broken hinge.
I speak a common language with defeat and contumely —
The Mother Tongue of Pain.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "At the Roots of Grasses: XVII," At the Roots of Grasses, 1923
If one is forever cautious, can one remain a human being? ~Aleksander Solzhenitsyn
There are those who are so scrupulously afraid of doing wrong that they seldom venture to do anything. ~Vauvenargues
Only I am unstable. The sun does not hesitate in its shining, the dawn presents in assurance. Only I vacillate, am ill at ease.
Only I come forth in weakness, in unaccented action and performance, in the unfaith of life, in wavering unbelief and insecurity, doubting the time, the placement, and the reason for being.
Only I am unpoised. God is going His equable way, the great law of cosmos has not been disturbed, the universe remains serene, the stars have not missed a night in the sky. Day and night continue to alternate. They have not been confused.
All these are not perturbed — why then I?
It is only I who am shouting and waving my hands, only I who am shrieking to space, who disclaim my security, who have not peace. The stars are quiet, the moon is serene, the earth is rhythmic. Only I am out of harmony and ill at ease.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: LXXXVI," A Soul's Faring, 1921 #infj
If things go wrong, don't go with them. ~Roger Babson
If you can't sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying. It's the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep. ~Dale Carnegie
I've developed a new philosophy... I only dread one day at a time. ~Charles Schulz
Troubles are a lot like people — they grow bigger if you nurse them. ~Author Unknown
If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today. ~E. Joseph Cossman
Real difficulties can be overcome, it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable. ~Theodore N. Vail
Every evening I turn my worries over to God. He's going to be up all night anyway. ~Mary C. Crowley
It is only when we silent the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts. ~K.T. Jong
I keep the telephone of my mind open to peace, harmony, health, love and abundance. Then, whenever doubt, anxiety or fear try to call me, they keep getting a busy signal — and soon they'll forget my number. ~Edith Armstrong
Nerves provide me with energy. They work for me. It's when I don't have them, when I feel at ease, that I get worried. ~Mike Nichols
I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.... For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free. ~Wendell Berry, "The Peace of Wild Things"
People gather bundles of sticks to build bridges they never cross. ~Author Unknown
You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith. ~Mary Manin Morrissey
Fear is a darkroom where negatives develop. ~Usman B. Asif
Panic at the thought of doing a thing is a challenge to do it. ~Henry S. Haskins
Some people are so sensitive they feel snubbed if an epidemic overlooks them. ~Frank Hubbard
There are people who have an appetite for grief; pleasure is not strong enough and they crave pain. They have mithridatic stomachs which must be fed on poisoned bread, natures so doomed that no prosperity can sooth their ragged and dishevelled desolation. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
You can't wring your hands and roll up your sleeves at the same time. ~Pat Schroeder
The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one. ~Elbert Hubbard
Somehow our devils are never quite what we expect when we meet them face to face. ~Nelson DeMille
"I think he's lovely," said Anne reproachfully. "He is so very sympathetic. He didn't mind how much I talked — he seemed to like it. I felt that he was a kindred spirit as soon as ever I saw him."
"You're both queer enough, if that's what you mean by kindred spirits," said Marilla with a sniff.
~L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
From restless thoughts, that, like a deadly swarm
Of hornets arm'd, no sooner found alone,
But rush upon me thronging.
~John Milton #infj
...her mind astir with pictures and emotions. ~Israel Zangwill, Dreamers of the Ghetto, "From a Mattress Grave," 1897 #infj
My heart is glass, daily shattered... ~Terri Guillemets #hsp
We undervalue, I think, the courage of simple, everyday civility. What do we know of another person's day, of their worries and anxieties, of how deep into their innermost resources they had to reach for that gracious smile, that pleasant hello. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe. ~Author Unknown #infj
Don't shoulder the burdens of others!...
Each man has his own special troubles,
His worries and problems and woes;
Give aid when you can to each mortal,
But try not to feel all his blows!
For you, too, have burdens to carry;
And, if you just wear yourself out
In agony over all others,
How can you, your own troubles, rout?
~Gertrude Buckingham, "Good Advice"
It only seems as if you are doing something when you're worrying. ~Lucy Maud Montgomery
A hundredload of worry will not pay an ounce of debt. ~George Herbert
The autopsy will find coloured flowers in my grey matter, still-beating poetry in my heart, unspent ink in every organ, blood saturated with love, bones mineral'd by life's rough days, muscles fibered by courage and fear intertwined, and a slightly crushed but glittering soul. ~Terri Guillemets, "INFj autopsy," 1995
Heavy thoughts bring on physical maladies; when the soul is oppressed so is the body. ~Martin Luther
Wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weights you down. ~Toni Morrison
As a cure for worrying, work is better than whiskey. ~Thomas A. Edison
Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow. ~Swedish Proverb
We live in a very tense society. We are pulled apart... and we all need to learn how to pull ourselves together.... I think that at least part of the answer lies in solitude. ~Helen Hayes #infj
When what I express to another isn't felt or wanted or understood, the feeling goes back into myself and stabs me. ~Olivia Dresher #infj
My generation is not strong. My grandfather fought in World War II. I had a panic attack during the series finale of Breaking Bad. ~Matt Donaher
For the INFJ, all of reality is surreal. ~Terri Guillemets
Yep, I'm an INFJ — an antisocial butterfly and the most hugging, loving people-hater you'll ever meet. ~Terri Guillemets, "Unsocial butterfly," 1992
eternally restless minds
lifelong soul searchers
~Terri Guillemets, "Internal wanderlust," 1993
i vomit confusion & butterflies
i sweat fear and i bleed dread
i fall deaf from society’s lies
i gag on metallic tastes of pain
i run from the reek of regret
i save my minutes & lose my hours
i dance on the minefield of mind
i freeze my worries for later...
All of our reasoning ends in surrender to feeling. ~Blaise Pascal #infj
Never bear more than one kind of trouble at a time. Some people bear three — all they have had, all they have now, and all they expect to have. ~Edward Everett Hale
We can easily manage if we will only take, each day, the burden appointed to it. But the load will be too heavy for us if we carry yesterday's burden over again today, and then add the burden of the morrow before we are required to bear it. ~John Newton
When I really worry about something, I don't just fool around. I even have to go to the bathroom when I worry about something. Only, I don't go. I'm too worried to go. I don't want to interrupt my worrying to go. ~J.D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye
[A]ny concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden. ~Corrie Ten Boom, Clippings from My Notebook
I am reminded of the advice of my neighbor. "Never worry about your heart till it stops beating." ~E.B. White
For sensitive human beings... a hole in the ego can be worse than a hole in the heart. ~Norman Mailer, address at Hopwood Awards, University of Michigan, April 1984 #criticism #hsp #infj
There are two days in the week about which and upon which I never worry... Yesterday and Tomorrow. ~Robert Jones Burdette
Worry is rust upon the blade. ~Henry Ward Hughes
Loneliness, insomnia, and change: the fear of these is even worse than the reality. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966
It is not the cares of today, but the cares of tomorrow, that weigh a man down. ~George MacDonald
Some of your hurts you have cured,
And the sharpest you still have survived,
But what torments of grief you endured
From the evil which never arrived.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
If you see ten troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you. ~Calvin Coolidge
Only man clogs his happiness with care, destroying what is with thoughts of what may be. ~John Dryden
Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due. ~William Ralph Inge
If any man or woman knows more about worrying than I do, that man or woman is sincerely to be pitied. To begin with, I come of honorable generations of worriers, all of whom seemed to be deeply sensible of their responsibility for the carrying on of a world which they did not create. My grandfather used to worry about the weather and crops. My mother worried with an elaboration and finish which really lent distinction to her performance. She could worry harder and longer on less provocation than anybody else I ever knew. When it became my turn to take up the burden of the universe I was quite as successful as she.
As a child, I worried about the end of the world, and the Unpardonable Sin, which I knew I had committed, if I could only find out what it was. I worried my way through school and into college, where my course in worry was so complete that I came out with nervous prostration and two deep furrows between my eyebrows which I shall wear, like the scars of battle they really are, to my dying day. And then I worried about the furrows!
I began to see the light through reading Menticulture by Horace Fletcher which put a vague old Buddhist doctrine into a modern, concrete formula — "Anger and worry are bad habits of the mind. They are not necessary ingredients." Worry not necessary! I had always supposed it was as much my business to worry as it was to breathe, and I looked upon people who did not worry as the shirks and cowards of creation, who were easy in their minds simply because they were criminally indifferent to their duties.
~Mary Boardman Page, "The Confessions of a Worrier," 1899 [a little altered
There are more things, Lucilius, that frighten us than injure us, and we suffer more in imagination than in reality. ~Seneca
We are more disturbed by a calamity which threatens us than by one which has befallen us. ~John Lancaster Spalding
Grief has limits, whereas apprehension has none. For we grieve only for what we know has happened, but we fear all that possibly may happen. ~Pliny the Younger
He who fears he shall suffer, already suffers what he fears. ~Montaigne
If the scary things scare you
And you're just scared
the happy things
will get taken away
And if a life of fear
is all you know
it's under your skin
and in your bones
Then you look away
for a kiss, for love,
for momentary glory
And the fear melts away
or is forgotten
When it rushes back
or creeps in again,
How much life have
you lost, or gained?
~Terri Guillemets, "Magnificent beauty ebbs the flow of time and fear is a dirty thief," 2015
No human thing is of serious importance. ~Plato
Fear can keep us up all night long, but faith makes one fine pillow. ~Philip Gulley
Don't fight with the pillow, but lay down your head
And kick every worriment out of the bed.
~Edmund Vance Cooke
There is a time to take counsel of your fears, and there is a time to never listen to any fear. ~George S. Patton
Many of our fears are tissue-paper-thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them. ~Brendan Francis
There is much in the world to make us afraid. There is much more in our faith to make us unafraid. ~Frederick W. Cropp
Fear is faith that it won't work out. ~Sister Mary Tricky
Fear is the lengthened shadow of ignorance. ~Arnold Glasow
Fear is the highest fence. ~Dudley Nichols
Fear has a large shadow, but he himself is small. ~Ruth Gendler
Fear makes strangers of people who would be friends. ~Shirley Maclaine
I have accepted fear as a part of life — specifically the fear of change.... I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: turn back. ~Erica Jong
If a man harbors any sort of fear, it percolates through all thinking, damages his personality and makes him a landlord to a ghost. ~Lloyd Douglas
Fear: False Evidence Appearing Real. ~Author Unknown
He who fears something gives it power over him. ~Moorish Proverb
Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death. ~Author Unknown
Fear can be headier than whiskey, once man has acquired a taste for it. ~Donald Dowes
The way you overcome shyness is to become so wrapped up in something that you forget to be afraid. ~Lady Bird Johnson
Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is. ~German Proverb
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. ~Eleanor Roosevelt
It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else's eyes. ~Sally Field
It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not. ~Attributed to Hanoch McCarty
We have to learn to be our own best friends because we fall too easily into the trap of being our own worst enemies. ~Roderick Thorp, Rainbow Drive
Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right. ~Virgil, et al. See: quoteinvestigator.com/2015/02/03/you-can
If you really put a small value upon yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise your price. ~Author Unknown
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. ~Anaïs Nin
Argue for your limitations and, sure enough, they're yours. ~Richard Bach, Illusions
It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves. ~Edmund Hillary
It's hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head. ~Sally Kempton, Esquire, 1970
When the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, it may be that they take better care of it there. ~Cecil Selig
Other people's opinion of you does not have to become your reality. ~Les Brown
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
You're on your own.
And you know what you know.
You are the guy who'll decide where to go.
If you doubt yourself, then indeed you stand on shaky ground. ~Henrik Ibsen
To lead by example is difficult when you're a follower of fear. ~Terri Guillemets
If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves. ~Thomas Alva Edison
Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt. ~William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure
Just as much as we see in others we have in ourselves. ~William Hazlitt
Your problem is you're... too busy holding onto your unworthiness. ~Ram Dass
Learning too soon our limitations, we never learn our powers. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960
It's me who is my enemy
Me who beats me up
Me who makes the monsters
Me who strips my confidence.
~Paula Cole, "Me," This Fire
There are more than 7 billion people on Earth. Of those, 20% are born with highly refined nervous systems that influence many aspects of their personality and worldview. 62 million Americans — 1.4 billion people worldwide — process things more deeply.... I believe our nervous systems have been wired for us to bring forth a different kind of leading, and a different kind of living — a radical departure from the rude, crude, violent, mind-numbing ways that have dominated our norms, despite them being so ecologically and psychologically destructive. I believe highly sensitive people are neurologically wired to respond to our planet's call — from business to biosphere — to step forward and bring forth many missing virtues from our culture... tenderness, compassion, empathy, benevolence, collaboration, inspiration, joy... virtues that have been confused for weakness, but are actually needed in every realm of our lives. ~Erika Harris, empathicwriter.com #hsp
No one understands yet there's hope, then finally one day you find one who does and no matter what, life will always be good thereafter. ~Terri Guillemets #infj
Don't let anyone steal your dream. It's your dream, not theirs. ~Dan Zadra
If you must love your neighbor as yourself, it is at least as fair to love yourself as your neighbor. ~Sébastien-Roch Nicolas (Chamfort)
I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship. ~Louisa May Alcott
When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you. ~African Proverb
The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others. ~Sonya Friedman
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. ~Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles," 1992 (commonly misattributed to Nelson Mandela)
The neurotic longs to touch bottom, so at least he won't have that to worry about anymore. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960
The neurotic is always half-drowning in anxiety, and always being half-rescued. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960 #infj
Sadness is almost never anything but a form of fatigue. ~Andre Gide
It is some relief to weep; grief is satisfied and carried off by tears. ~Ovid
Tears are the safety valve of the heart when too much pressure is laid on it. ~Albert Smith
Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by [@$$höles]. ~Notorious d.e.b., @debihope
People who do not understand themselves have a craving for understanding. ~Wilhelm Stekel #infj
I was seized by the stern hand of Compulsion, that dark, unseasonable Urge that impels women to clean house in the middle of the night. ~James Thurber
If my devils are to leave me, I am afraid my angels will take flight as well. ~Rainer Maria Rilke, on leaving psychotherapy
A neurotic is a man who builds a castle in the air. A psychotic is the man who lives in it. A psychiatrist is the man who collects the rent. ~Jerome Lawrence
The two main hazards of psychoanalysis: that it might fail, and that if it succeeds, you'll never be able to forgive yourself for all those wasted years. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966
Mental health problems do not affect three or four out of every five persons but one out of one. ~William Menninger
A lot of what passes for depression these days is nothing more than a body saying that it needs work. ~Geoffrey Norman
We are always getting ready to live but never living. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
We crucify ourselves between two thieves: regret for yesterday and fear of tomorrow. ~Fulton Oursler
The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness. ~Abraham Maslow
I got the blues thinking of the future, so I left off and made some marmalade. It's amazing how it cheers one up to shred oranges and scrub the floor. ~D.H. Lawrence
One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon — instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today. ~Dale Carnegie
Pile up too many tomorrows and you'll find that you've collected nothing but a bunch of empty yesterdays. ~The Music Man
Every man has his own courage, and is betrayed because he seeks in himself the courage of other persons. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow. ~Mary Anne Radmacher
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear — not absence of fear. ~Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar, 1894
Courage is being afraid but going on anyhow. ~Dan Rather
Sometimes the biggest act of courage is a small one. ~Lauren Raffo
Courage is the power to let go of the familiar. ~Raymond Lindquist
When we are afraid we ought not to occupy ourselves with endeavoring to prove that there is no danger, but in strengthening ourselves to go on in spite of the danger. ~Mark Rutherford
No one has yet computed how many imaginary triumphs are silently celebrated by people each year to keep up their courage. ~Henry S. Haskins
Courage is fear holding on a minute longer. ~George Smith Patton
Courage is to feel the daily daggers of relentless steel and keep on living. ~Douglas Malloch
Her wide, vacant eyes saw nothing, but her mental vision, grown suddenly acute, was confronted by a thronging array of images.... She went over mentally almost every incident in her intercourse with Reuben.... The conventions, the disguises, which she had been taught to regard as the only realities, fell down suddenly before the living reality....
Opposite was a mirror... and suddenly Judith caught sight of her own reflected face with its wild eyes and flushed cheeks; her face was usually so calm. Calm? Had she ever been calm, save with the false calmness which narcotic drugs bestow? She was frightened of herself, of her own daring, of the wild, strange thoughts and feelings which struggled for mastery within her. There is nothing more terrible, more tragic than this ignorance of a woman of her own nature, her own possibilities, her own passions.
She covered her face with her hands, and in the darkness the thoughts came crowding (was it thought, or vision, or feeling?). The inexorable realities of her world, those realities of which she had so rarely allowed herself to lose sight, came pressing back upon her with renewed insistence. That momentary glow of exultation, of self-vindication faded before the hard daylight which rushed in upon her soul. She saw not only how it had all been, but how it would all be to the end....
[S]he lived over again that near, far-off, wonderful moment.... Baffled, vanquished, she lay there, crushing out the sound of unresisted sobs....
Nothing had happened; everything had happened. Judith felt that she had grown older in the night.... That brief moment of clear vision, of courage, had faded, as we know, even as it came....
Before the great mysteries of life her soul grew frozen and appalled. It seemed to her, as she sat there in the fading light, that this is the bitter lesson of existence: that the sacred serves only to teach the full meaning of sacrilege; the beautiful of the hideous; modesty of outrage; joy of sorrow; life of death.
~Amy Levy (1861–1889), Reuben Sachs: A Sketch, 1888 [Though I don't typically post such long excerpts, this series of passages struck me as an amazingly accurate descriptive account of the sudden and quick yet lingering, ceaseless ebb and flow of the emotions and thoughts, the ever-fluctuating self-confidence and humiliation, neverending war amongst doubt and tenacity, fear and nerve, of an INFJ personality.
The future is called "perhaps," which is the only possible thing to call the future. And the only important thing is not to allow that to scare you. ~Tennessee Williams, Orpheus Descending
What great thing would you attempt if you knew you could not fail? ~Robert H. Schuller
If you surrender to the wind, you can ride it. ~Toni Morrison
Face what you think you believe and you will be surprised. ~William Hale White
The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs. ~Charles de Gaulle #infj
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. ~Henry Stanley Haskins, Meditations in Wall Street, 1940, originally published anonymously; commonly misattributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson (Thanks, Garson O'Toole and walden.org!)
Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
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[And then we have one of my tints of social anxiety: Very British Problems...
Shutting yourself in the wardrobe until the window cleaner has finished and left. ~Rob Temple, @SoVeryBritish (Very British Problems: Making Life Awkward for Ourselves, One Rainy Day at a Time, 2013)
Panicking in a sandwich shop and allowing a distressingly bizarre combination of fillings to occur. ~Rob Temple, @SoVeryBritish (Very British Problems: Making Life Awkward for Ourselves, One Rainy Day at a Time, 2013)
Saying your meal was lovely, despite a slight fear it might kill you in the night. ~Rob Temple, @SoVeryBritish (Very British Problems: Making Life Awkward for Ourselves, One Rainy Day at a Time, 2013)
Suspecting you've been overcharged, so making sure to frown as you insert your debit card and pay in full. ~Rob Temple, @SoVeryBritish (Very British Problems: Making Life Awkward for Ourselves, One Rainy Day at a Time, 2013)
Concentrating to within an inch of your life on the pre-flight safety briefing, to compensate for those ignoring it. ~Rob Temple, @SoVeryBritish (Very British Problems: Making Life Awkward for Ourselves, One Rainy Day at a Time, 2013)
[And so, my dear readers....]
Spare a thought for those poor VBP sufferers living abroad, surrounded by relaxed, uninhibited extroverts, going about their daily life with barely a single unnecessary apology passing their lips. ~Rob Temple, @SoVeryBritish (Very British Problems: Making Life Awkward for Ourselves, One Rainy Day at a Time, 2013) #introvert #infj