8 Tips: Approaching Romantic Interests With Social Anxiety
Objective: Approaching People you’re interested in, with social anxiety.
Having social anxiety may limit you in going for that person you’re interested in. This could lead to you feeling unfulfilled in your social life. Anxiety may make it difficult for you to get out of your own way.
Sometimes a comfortable nudge in the right direction is all people need to improve their romantic life.
People that are anxious tend to be hyper-critical of themselves and all their mistakes. Often coming from unapproving or neglectful childhood or many other things.
1.) No need to be perfect
You are allowed, if not encouraged to make mistakes. People (I included) often go over the things they said wrong, etc. However, you can make mistakes socially just as much you can make academically.
Seeing things logically helps. When you get a question wrong on a math test, do you automatically get a 0? Of course not, you can even get a few questions wrong and still get an A.
Try to think about what you do ina convo overall. If you’re being a positive person throughout the conversation, nobody is going to think of the dumb/rude thing you said. Most of the time, you think you said something wrong, but it really wasn’t.
I realize that many people assume that if others do not show a positive response to what they say, then they substitute that feeling for disapproval;/hostility. When they might have just been indifferent.
2.) Focus on positives:
I mentioned this before. We constantly tell others, DONT:
- Consume Illegal substances(narcotics)
- Sell Illegal Substances(narcotics/drugs)
Yet prisons are overcrowded. Obviously, there are political reasons why, but I’ll let you digest that yourself.
However, the point here is that people still do things that carry heavy punishments.
Why? Because we do not make our decisions based on what we don’t want to happen, but the opposite.
Think of what relationships/fun you will have if he/she does say yes.
3.) See yourself as a dish
I like to coach people to see themselves as the main dish at a restaurant. I’ll use poutine for example (yes, I’m Canadian): fries and gravy, topped with cheese curds.
I was in a cafeteria, I suggested “x poutine store” because I love poutine with chicken shawarma, my brother just likes regular poutine, and my friend (Bill) is put off by any type of poutine.
Even though Bill was offered all types of poutine: Jerk chicken, shawarma chicken, chili. However, no matter how it was prepared he disliked it.
Does that mean that poutine isn’t one of the most delicious meals/snacks of all time? Of course not! Just means Bill isn’t Canadian *just kidding*
What the point of that story is, no matter how well you’re prepared, and what you do. People might just not be relationship-wise/sexually attracted to you, and you must be able to accept that. It’s okay if it hurts, which it will. Just remember, that.
There is a positive to this. Do you really want to be with somebody that does not think really-fondly with you?
In the age of social media, we are told that you’re supposed to relate to everybody like the wolf of wall street.
The average person only has 3-5 friends. Think about it… Do most people click with your best-friends nearly as much as you do?
If a girl that isn’t too interested in you does give you a chance, you’re just going to be left worse off. I used to hate getting rejected, now I thank women that are brave enough to outright reject me.
Why are you “happy with rejection?
Because it saves time, there is always going to be another woman.
4.) See yourself as a TV Show: People might like you but not even know it
- My brother is learning Spanish and loves Latin American culture.
*Not associating Latin’s with drugs. I generally mean music, art, beautiful landscapes*
Well, he practices Spanish on Duolingo: which is the next best thing😉
I recommended the show Narcos from Netflix many times to him. I don’t like doing free advertisement, but I genuinely enjoy it. Yet, he just won’t watch it, even though he watches way more boring shows. Will he watch it one day, I honestly do not know.
The point of this parable is: people may think that they do not like you when they would enjoy you. You can not learn about who somebody is, based off a 5-minute conversation.
Job interviewers have 30-minute interviews with potential employees to find out if they are a good worker for a SPECIFIC job/duty. Yet Interviewers still struggle to find out which employees are a good fit. To assume that somebody will know all the great things about you lacks logic.
They might just not give you a chance. Think of your closest friends right now. I bet you have a few that you could’ve never seen yourself enjoying, as much as you currently do.
5.) Become a North Star
If you reached your top 3 goals, e.g. owning a successful business, talented musician, well-respected app developer, would you still be nervous to approach?
Guess what? You would be less nervous, even if you’re striving for those things. The higher we think of ourselves the more we allow ourselves to achieve. The highest-paid/more successful ones are not always the best. They just decided to apply to that job or chase a better opportunity.
When striving towards meaningful goals, people are much smaller in comparison.
I had, and still, deal with social anxiety. The main reason I write these articles. However, I have come a super long way. I owe that to me doing open mics/ stand-u comedy.
After going on stage and speaking in front of people, persevering lead me to go to finals while I was still in University. Knowing that I’m on the path to success made every social situation so underwhelming.
I highly recommend doing any kind of presentations: open mic, presentation, going out in large groups, poetry recital.
You can read/learn more about speaking with social anxiety this on my blog article: public speaking with social anxiety.
End of the side note:
6.) Why Becoming a NorthStar is so important
Making friends is much easier when you are a winner and have hobbies/activities to do. People are attracted to winners, and others they deem important.
Being younger, I would always try to say the right things, and be friendlier/outgoing etc. This helped my social-life very much; On the contrary, I was not reaching the results I wanted in my relationships. I would think, it might be the way I acted and spoke, which may have been slightly true. Nobody is perfect of course
When I started chasing my goals and improving myself I realized one thing. The more successful you are, the easier it is to make friends.
Heck, Pablo Escobar, one of the most brutal and merciless psychopaths and drug dealers was popular among his peers.
*Not encouraging engaging in criminal activities*
One thing I realized about anxious people is that they are hard on themselves when they try to improve;
While the guy not putting any effort to make a positive change in his life does not even stress about improvement. See yourself as a stock. The specific level you are at is not what matters, but the amount of change relative(based-off) to yourself.
7.) Remember that people are people
There are many social constructs: “social media, religion, politics, Television”.
Surprisingly, the common advice: “treat others the way you’d like to be treated”.
Is great advice for social anxiety. Growing up in an emotionally/verbally abusive childhood made me much more passive, and Meek (like the word “shy”), to other people.
When I would disagree with my parents it would result in them putting me down, calling me names, and/or yelling at me etc.
This caused me to be nervous to be my self. Why? Subconsciously I would always still a victim. How? I felt that if I ever told my opinion. People would get pissed off, yell and put me down just like my parents would.
Side note: (ended)
Took a while to realize that, this was not the norm. Life became easier when I thought to myself, how would I react to this?
*This applies to all sexual orientations. However, I will assume heterosexuality, for the sake of being clear*
For examples, somebody of the opposite sex approached me, and I was not interested I’d simply say, “no thanks”.
I would not judge them or look down on them, I hope you would not either. I would be thankful towards them and feel grateful. If somebody tried to make a joke, but accidentally said something offensive, but was trying to be funny., since I’m of darker color skin this happens a lot:
*lights turn off*
Anxious Person: “Wow It’s so dark in here I can’t even see you”
Anxious Person’s thoughts: “Damn, I shouldn’t have said that. He probably thinks I’m such an asshole blah blah blah negative self-talk blah blah blah”
Example 1 Discussion:
Would I find this funny? Nope, I think it is unoriginal, and not smart/creative.
Is that joke insensitive? Of course, and it’s hacky if you ask me. However, if this is just a one-off thing, and the person is otherwise respectful to me, then there is no way I would be upset.
Yet, most people reading the thing (my old-self included) might beat themselves up about this.
I’ve had friends even make wild jokes about my family members, that they themselves realized kind of crossed the line. Despite this, we are generally positive towards each other, so we are both comfortable crossing the line(violating). Why? Because we both know we do not mean any harm.
*I am not condemning these things, just noting that they can contribute to negativity if abused, just like any other philosophy and ideologies*
Help I’m still Nervous to do anything?
Sounds like you have procrastination anxiety. Learn to break down any tasks that cause you to worry by using the 5 Step Anxiety Process. That can be found in my article on Managing Procrastination Anxiety.
- Catch a glance? Smile at them, if they smile back, you’re in the clear
- If you catch them looking at you twice, go ahead: I realized that most women tend not to check out anything that walks by like most men do. A reason being that they do not want to get approached by the wrong dude: a guy they’re not interested in. They’re also less physically oriented as men are.
- Give yourself a break: Are you better than you were 6 months ago? Then lay off yourself when you mess up, or still can’t do certain things.
Reading and learning is nothing without action. You do not need to know every pick-up line or dating-tip. Just push your comfort zone, once a day. Action leads to progress.
For some, that means smiling, for others that means saying hello, and for others, it means asking that guy/gal you’re interested in out for lunch.