How to reduce tension, or relax, in challenging social situations?
PLEASE DON'T ANSWER IF YOU DON'T WANT TO READ THE DETAILS. Answers like be yourself and take a deep breath aren't too helpful to me, unless they're backed with other information that makes them useful in my case.
So I'm a shy person, a recovering shy actually; I have been trying to tone down my shyness for the past few years and I have improved dramatically. I have changed my dysfunctional shy thoughts like "this person won't like me", "if I say this I will make a fool out of myself" etc. to functional normal thoughts. Previously I used to sometimes go blank and not be able to say anything because of shyness, but now I can talk and socialize with people like a normal person.
However, in many situations, like when talking to new people or attractive men, I am still very aware of what I say and how I appear, like I am constantly evaluating what I say before saying it. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is like an effort for me to talk and socialize. It also seems that no matter how hard I try, people still ask why I didn't talk too much, or why I stayed quiet, even though I felt like I talked a lot. I do talk and socialize a lot more (like I mentioned with new or intimidating people, I'm actually very talkative with my family or people I'm used to), but I still feel tense, and I think people sense my tension one way or the other. I do not fidget or do any nervous moves but tension still shows in my body language. It gets embarrassing when, for example, someone I'm attracted to can sense my anxiety when I've been trying to hide it for the whole time; it's like I'm anxious because I don't want them to know that I like them but then my anxiety works against me and shows them that I do.
I have mostly taken care of the thoughts that make me shy or anxious, but how do I deal with the tension that arises in these social situations? How do I relax? Alcohol works, but it's of course not practical; I can't be drunk every time I face a challenging social situation. I wish I could get my hands on beta blockers, but I saw a psychiatrist and he didn't recommend I take any medication. Heck, do you know where I can get them without prescription? All joking aside, my main question is how do I reduce tension in challenging social situations?
Joe, thanks, but no this doesn't help me much, since I said in the details that I can talk fairly easily, small talk isn't the problem, it's the tension! thanks anyways
- Anonymous10 years agoFavorite Answer
Just in my opinion, you can work on yourself as a person. Develop yourself more. You are definitely insecure about yourself and lack self-esteem (at least I sense it.) I used to be like that to an extent, but I found that doing what interests me most and striving for excellence in earning my self-respect has been working for me -- to the point where I almost never, ever mind being alone in social environments. I am relatively secure with myself because I'm confident, because I've worked on myself say for example through practicing my art work, researching artists, practicing music, researching and (to myself) criticizing art and music, reading things, watching movies (particularly thought-provoking ones) and criticizing them too alongside admiring them. Doing things like these in my own leisure time broadens the content of the conversations I am capable of carrying on. In fact, it's not just the things *i* do my research and work towards mastery on (art and music), but it could be anything -- nothing in this world is boring, there are only boring people. I mean, it's not so much about the CONTENT of what you talk about as much as your APPROACH to them, which may or may not be interesting. I just think that putting yourself through practicing, researching and so on will put you through building your character and judgment and so on. Read other people's opinions on things -- do they have merit? why or why not? Gain confidence in your own opinion to the point where you wouldn't hesitate to say them and go on and on about them. If other people are bored or uninterested with you, that's their problem. If they disagree, then I think there's potential for a good conversation -- don't be embarrassed.
You seem very thoughtful, but perhaps too much so on your fears -- thus you seem too pessimistic to be progressive, at least for now. There is no shame in being honest -- though there is such thing as being excessive, like telling someone they are fat or something when your remark bears nothing constructive.
I think you need to ask yourself what there is to be afraid of. Is it rejection? I think you should be aware that you can't please everyone and besides... in my opinion, good-looking guys tend to be corrupted in character and totally not worth it -- just based on experience anyway. I know that reason won't dictate your feelings in the end, but don't let a guy, just because they're good-looking, make you compromise your true self. Do you care more about good-looks or good character?
That's the other thing. Build your character -- in the most conflicting situations, what do you end up choosing to do? In situations where you meet a good-looking guy, why should you be so tense? Besides, you're the only one in that much control of yourself -- tell yourself to relax. Realize that tension, or any sort of stress, is completely unnecessary, and in the end, can be labeled as "over-reaction," especially when it compromises your health. Chill out. If you're still young and you get stressed that easily, that's bad because as you get older you are much more likely to end up bearing more responsibilities and your stress levels will only get worse -- so just try to be chill at all times, and save your stress (if you must) only at point-blank zones -- and honestly, I don't think a good-looking man (who may OR may not be worth it in the first place) is qualified as a point-blank zone. Neither of you deserve that.
So if what you said makes you want to take it back... well ask yourself why. Did it have merit in the first place? Did your statement/response or whatever you said have no grounds to the point where you deserve to be embarrassed? I mean, for me, if someone proves me wrong, I laugh it off and go "hah I guess you're right." well.. . of course you be the judge.
What I just told you is mostly long-term, but if you really want to cure your anxiety disorder, isn't it worth the hard work? You are going to be around for a while, so in my opinion, you might as well work up to something I think is worthy -- self-respect, and a better relationship with yourself. Know that you don't need to be stressed, that everything is okay and nothing can hurt you. It's not like you're answering to someone who would slit your throat if you admitted you're disloyal to them -- not to be insensitive, but keep in mind, there are other nervous people in the world who get it much worse.
*shrug* just my input.
- 10 years ago
just make small talk and let THEM start talking about things. then just go with their flow. for example: "hey" "how are you" "what's been going on?" learn what they do if you like the way they start talking about new things. i hope this helped.
- KaraLv 44 years ago
imagine everyone naked