Dating is difficult for everyone, but it can be especially tricky with social anxiety. Taking the plunge and starting a conversation with someone you’re interested in can make you feel incredibly vulnerable. It may even lead to feelings of worry that they won’t like you or that you’ll say something embarrassing. This blog will offer five tips for dating with social anxiety from the perspective of an anxiety therapist at Care Therapy Online.
Reluctance to Put Yourself Out There Due to Social Anxiety
You may find yourself feeling like you don’t want to put yourself out there. That it would be easier to stay home in your comfort zone. It’s hard to let your guard down when your body and mind are telling you to protect yourself. However, there are steps that you can take to make the process less daunting and more enjoyable. In this blog, we’ll provide 5 tips to help you navigate dating with social anxiety:
Take the Focus Off Yourself
Social anxiety can make you feel overwhelmed with a sense of self-doubt and dread, so it’s important to take the focus off of yourself. Shift your thoughts away from you and what the person you’re interested in may think of you. Instead, focus on the other person and what you’re curious about. This can help you break the ice by thinking of questions you want to ask them.
Think of Questions to Ask
By thinking of questions you want to learn about this person such as their interests, beliefs, and values you will be more focused on them and less worried about yourself. For instance, if you’re worried they find you boring, start a conversation by asking what music they like. Or, ask them about their favorite hobby. Not only will this help to take the pressure off of yourself, but you may find out some new things about your date that you never knew before.
Put Yourself Out There
I’m sure you have heard this one before but it holds some truth to it. Most people with social anxiety have a fear of the unknown and taking risks, so it can be hard to put yourself out there. But, when you put yourself out there, you give yourself a chance to discover that nothing bad is going to happen — or if something doesn’t go well, it’s usually not as bad as you think. But also, that you can handle it.
You Are More Than Your Social Anxiety
You are capable of more than your anxiety tells you, so don’t be afraid to take a chance and go for it. When going on dates or reaching out to someone you’re interested in, remember to try taking a chance to discover where it may lead. It could lead to something amazing and a great connection.
Challenge Negative Thoughts
Negative thoughts are common with social anxiety as it makes you think that you will say something wrong or that the other person won’t be interested in you. As hard as this may seem, challenge these thoughts. A way to do this is by reframing these thoughts or by asking the questions such as the “Friend Technique.”
The Friend Technique
The Friend Technique is when you ask yourself, “If a friend was in this situation, what would I say to them?” You can use this technique to talk to yourself in a more compassionate and supportive way rather than beating yourself up or having negative thoughts. The thoughts you are having are usually the same story playing over and over on the same record in your head.
The one that tells you that the other person isn’t interested, you will say something stupid, or someone else is better than you. However, these stories and the record are not true. So challenge these thoughts and change the tune to something more positive. For example, “If I say something “stupid,” that’s okay. Not everyone always say the perfect things either.” or “No matter how things go, I’ll be proud of myself for putting myself out there. I’ll get better with practice.”
Take Things Slowly
Your social anxiety will try to tell you to rush into the date or the conversation, but try to take things slowly. Connections worth your time and energy will form over time. You don’t have to rush into things, but rather take your time with getting to know each other. For example, if you want to ask someone out on a date, start with a simple “hello.” Then, once you feel comfortable meeting that person, move on to asking for a cup of coffee or something else you both enjoy.
You Can Be Comfortable Talking Despite Your Social Anxiety
Taking things slowly gives you the chance to get used to the idea of talking to this person and spending time with them. It will also relieve you of the pressure of having to talk to them or converse with them immediately. Plus, if someone does not share your same interests, take it as a learning experience and move on. Or, if they aren’t interested, that’s okay too. It’s not personal, it’s just a sign that you are not compatible. You will find someone who is the right fit.
Validate Your Feelings
Dating with social anxiety can make you feel like there is something wrong with you because you’re hesitant to be open and vulnerable in front of someone else. But, it’s important to remember that there is nothing wrong with you. Your feelings are valid, and you should not be ashamed of them. In any instance, it takes courage to put yourself out there and it’s okay if you need time to develop trust with someone.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, take a break and give yourself the opportunity to ground yourself in the moment. Try some breathing exercises or mindful practices to help you relax your body and mind. Another way to deal with anxiety is by finding someone who understands and listens to what you are going through. It could be a friend, a family member, or even a therapist.
Therapy for Social Anxiety Can Offer Support
Having people who can help you validate your feelings, catch you when you’re about to fall, and cheer you on as you move forward will help make the journey of dating with social anxiety more manageable. For instance, a therapist for social anxiety will be able to support you, cheer you on, and give you strategies to help you cope with feelings of anxiety.
Be Gentle and Kind to Yourself
Above all, be gentle and kind to yourself when it comes to dating with social anxiety. You are taking a step that requires a lot of courage, so be proud of how far you’ve come. Take these tips and use them to help you navigate your relationships with confidence and courage.
Interested in Therapy for Social Anxiety in Orange County, CA?
You deserve to have healthy relationships without your social anxiety getting in the way. At Care Therapy I specialize in working with women who have social anxiety. Together, we work on current problems, develop your life toolbox, and live the life you truly want for yourself. You don’t have to suffer another minute listening to that negative record in your head. We will work together to process your emotions and help you to enjoy dating, socializing, and life as a whole. You can overcome your social anxiety and find lasting relationships. If you are interested in starting Therapy for Social Anxiety, follow the steps below to begin your journey to healing.
One: Schedule a Free 30-minute Consultation
Two: Get to know more about me and my Services
Three: Reach out to me via email @firstname.lastname@example.org or call 949-441-CARE
Four: Start feeling more confident and happy in your relationships!
Other Therapy Services Offered by Care Therapy ONLINE
In addition to Therapy for Anxiety, I also work with women who are struggling with depression and women who are in the midst of kidney failure and dialysis. We will work together to help you create a strong support system and find the resources necessary to help you live your best life.