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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Paralyzed by shyness

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Author Topic: Paralyzed by shyness
bumbles123
Neophyte
Member # 32611

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Hi there,

I'm looking for some suggestions/feedback on something I've sort of been wrestling with for, oh, maybe the past two years. I've been thinking maybe I should see a counselor about it, but I'm not sure.

So to start off, I'm 21 and have never been in a romantic relationship or kissed anyone. I do not see this to be a problem in and of itself (everyone moves at their own pace, etc). And so until maybe two years ago, I was completely okay with this. But I'm not so much anymore, because it almost seems that I am incapable of it... let me expand if I can figure out where to start.

I have this horrible problem of being both attracted to men and terrified of them. For as long as I can remember, I've been able to flirt with a guy, etc., but the moment I have even the slightest idea that he might be responding, I freak out. The first really bad example of this was when I was 16, and a guy who I was in LOVE with finally started flirting back-- and I panicked. Whenever I saw him, I would avert my eyes, run away, feel nauseated and think he was the most disgusting thing on Earth. I stopped talking to him. Ok, so this could technically be just regular nerves-- everyone gets that-- but I can't seem to get over it. Since then, I've even tried to use alcohol to get over my nervousness (social lubricant effect), which has also failed (One time while pretty drunk, I nearly had a panic attack while dancing with someone I was interested in. We had talked about heading off to another bar together, but I quickly freaked out and ran off without saying goodbye).

I don't know, sometimes I think I am afraid of men or something. After grade school, I never had any male friends, unless they were gay-- I just feel really threatened by straight men (apart from my family). If I think a guy likes me, I cannot talk to him or look him straight in the eye. If I like him, as soon as I actually start to get "somewhere," the same happens. Any kind of close physical or emotional proximity and I become extremely anxious. I'm even uncomfortable hugging or dancing with men who I know have no interest in me. The thought of kissing someone horrifies me. I can't do it. And I think sex sounds pretty much the most awful thing ever. So while I still wish I had a boyfriend, etc, basically I wish everyone could have awesome platonic relationships, and babies were conceived in test tubes. Romance and sex just are too frightening to fathom.

I used to think I was maybe gay, because I am so much more comfortable around women. Frankly, I wish I WERE atttracted to women, it would make things a lot easier. But I know I'm not.

I don't really know what to do because at this point I don't even try anymore. I sort of gave up-- I flirt and then I abandon ship as soon as it starts going anywhere. And then, to use one example last year, I spend the next month feeling completely depressed and dysfunctional with my inability to just "get over" my shyness.

SOOO, I guess I'm wondering what you think? I sometimes think I should go talk to someone about this, but first off, I'm really embarassed. I don't want to admit that this bothers me, because one should be able to be happy without all this kind of thing. And anyway, I kind of figure I'll just be told I get nervous sometimes and so does everyone, so "buck up." But I don't know what else to do or how to get around this. I don't seem to be able to just "get over it." Should I try seeing someone? Or what else?

SOrry for the long rant. Please tell me if I'm nuts and overanalyzing it. Sorry.

Thank you

Posts: 1 | From: USA | Registered: Feb 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
muisy
Activist
Member # 31745

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first of all, you shouldn't try to use alcohol to make anything better. Secondly, do you feel comfortable flirting with the guys? like 100% Because it could be that you're not very comfortable flirting with them in the first place, which makes it more uncomfortable when they flirt back ..?

I don't know what to advise you on talking to someone, they might be able to find something out but I don't know. They're generally not my cup of tea.

Posts: 40 | From: US | Registered: Dec 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Leabug
Activist
Member # 27966

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If you feel like your shyness is truly impeding your ability to live life (and it sounds like it just might be), then perhaps counselling wouldn't be a bad idea. Social anxiety can be a tough thing to deal with, and you may benefit from talking to someone who can help, beyond just saying "get over it". [Smile]

--------------------
Lea

Posts: 2332 | From: Canada | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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