Welcome back to our series on men and social anxiety. In our previous post, we discussed what social anxiety is and the signs and symptoms of men who experience difficulties in social situations. Social anxiety disorder can make it difficult to function at work, maintain or make friends, and can even interfere with your interactions with family members. Dating with social anxiety disorder can be a challenge. Guys with social anxiety disorder still crave companionship and want to be involved in relationships. Unfortunately, their anxiety makes it difficult to meet potential partners and date.
Overcoming your social anxiety will make it easier to connect with other people. Here are some tips to help you navigate the dating scene when you struggle with social anxiety. If you're searching for a mental health therapist in Raleigh, NC, call Legacy.
- Start Small - Avoiding the usual places to meet people, like bars or nightclubs, where there are typically lots of people can help you focus on the social interactions rather than feeling overwhelmed by the amount of social behavior. Environments where there are lots of people and noise provide additional stressors for those with social anxiety. Instead, try smaller, more intimate, ways of meeting people. Meet-up groups with a common interest, book clubs, painting classes, small music venues, or just going and sitting at your favorite coffee shop are low-stress, low-pressure ways to make connections that could turn into romantic possibilities.
- Own Your Anxiety - Some men find it helpful to acknowledge their anxiety, rather than hide it. Simply communicating to your date or someone you are interested in that you have an anxiety disorder lets you clear the air and establish a stream of open and honest communication with this person. Feeling ashamed of your anxiety is a normal feeling for those who struggle with social anxiety, however, owning your struggle can actually be empowering. When looking for the words to communicate this to the other person try something like, "I suffer from social anxiety, and while I am enjoying our time together, my anxiety is making it difficult for me to concentrate. I apologize if I seem distracted. I am working to overcome this." Many people will appreciate your openness and honesty.
- Expect the Panic - Know that before you go out into a social situation that you will have to deal with your panic or anxiety while you are out. Anticipating the event and remembering your coping skills will help you meet the panic, ride it out and move on. Don't let anxiety catch you off guard. Prepare for it so you can manage your anxiety and return to enjoying yourself.
- Bring a Friend - Don't try to go it alone. Take a trusted friend with you to help break the ice and encourage you in social situations. Knowing that you have an ally with you can make meeting and approaching new people easier and more fun. Having someone to split the focus of the conversation up takes the pressure off you.
- Don't Over Think It - Anxiety makes you pick apart every interaction that you've had, looking for places where you may have said the wrong thing or acted awkwardly. After a date, keep your mind busy so that you don't focus on the minute details of the interaction. Focus on the larger feelings. Did you have a good time? Do you like this person? Would you like to see them again? Connecting with a friend after the date to chat, catching a movie, or exercising are all great ways to help keep the post-date anxieties away.
Holistic Mental Health Therapist in Raleigh, NC
If your social anxiety disorder is unmanaged, Legacy Freedom of Raleigh can help. Our highly trained staff specializes in dealing with all types of anxiety disorders. Stop letting your anxiety control your life. Take back control and call Legacy Freedom today to speak with a mental health therapist in Raleigh, NC!