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Does Social Anxiety Keep You from Jumping into the Dating Pool?

Relationships are the most challenging aspect of life with Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). Typically, these individuals are hesitant to interact with others, have difficulty speaking in public, are frequently self-conscious, and worry about what other people think of them. It's important to understand that Social Anxiety Disorder is not the same as being simply shy; those who are afflicted worry about being rejected or embarrassed in social situations. In addition to feeling hesitant when trying new relationships, those with mental health issues struggle internally due to self-consciousness and negative thoughts. This disorder can negatively affect people by making them feel lonely, having fewer friends, and preventing them from meeting other people who share their interests and hobbies.

Know that you are not alone!

Approximately 19.2 million people in the United States alone have been diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder, an anxiety disorder that is characterized by an intense fear of social situations.

Men have a more difficult time in a dating scenario. Men are typically expected to take the lead in dating situations by society. A man with this condition is frequently concerned about what they will say during their date. They are afraid of looking foolish or unintelligent. In some cases, individuals suffering from social anxiety disorder may be unable to interact with others or appear "stuck up" or impolite because they don't say much in social gatherings.

Women, in general, are more concerned about what others may think of them. Their appearance, in particular, is cause for anxiety. They frequently believe that everything from their nails to their shoes provides someone the chance to make a critical remark on them.

What about online dating?

Online connection and communication may appear to be more appealing when you have social anxiety but proceed with caution. People who suffer from SAD are prone to perceiving internet connections as simpler, safer, and better-controlled than face-to-face interactions, according to recent research. As a result of this mentality, people who suffer from Social Anxiety often develop an overabundance of internet usage and a tendency to avoid face-to-face situations, which, if you have Social Anxiety Dating, you already know are challenging. Online dating, on the other hand, might also be a wonderful method to meet individuals and get to know them before actually meeting them in person.

Here are some suggestions to ease your dating anxiety:

Although this is probably the last thing you want to do, understanding and knowing each other are required for genuine intimacy. You can't have one without the other. This doesn't imply you should spend the entire conversation telling your life story; instead, think about sharing something or someone significant to you or what you think about other topics.

Consider how you're feeling right now and what you're doing or eating. Don't worry about the past or the future; instead, try to focus on the present.

With your unique insights, experiences, and personality, you are a valuable individual. Take charge of who you are and what you can offer someone in a relationship by embracing that.

Your date might have some thoughts about you, but don't leap to conclusions. It is easy for anxiety to dominate us when we make assumptions about what others think or feel, but assuming is not only unfair to you but them as well.

You can try to identify and disrupt distorted thoughts ahead of time as well. Whenever you hear that voice in your head telling you that someone isn't into you or that you're weird, ask yourself questions like, "Is it possible I misunderstood their text?", "Am I listening to my friend or trying to read their mind?” You can stop distorted thoughts from happening by identifying and disrupting them.

It is important to seek help if you or someone you know has Social Anxiety Disorder. Contact our office today at 770-817-9200 today to learn about your options for enjoying life to the fullest and getting back into that dating pool.

Angelo Sambunaris, M.D.

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