how to have confidence and be sure of myself when i go to the gym?

i'm a male in my early forties with very bad anxiety disorders including ptsd, i go to the local gym a couple of times a week to keep my weight down and fitness levels up...but you see, ive had a difficult life and it knocked a lot of my self confidence and esteem.....and around other men, but more so younger guys i am not very confident and i feel i act very nervous, timid around them...can't make eye contact with them and if a young guy looks at me, i have quickly looked away..

this makes me feel quite angry with myself and others, frustrated too, as i want to be confident, hold anyone's gaze, especially some young snowflake guy and be ''in command'' in public situations.

but because of my blasted conditions, i often act nervously and afraid instead...and it makes me annoyed and frustrated.....because i feel like i'm being bullied by younger confident guys at the gym, because they cause me to look away when i look at them?

how can i battle and overcome this problem?

a couple of other facts about me; im bald, 6ft 1, have a moustache, have a personality disorder, and are a medieval enthusiast.....plus i'm a loner too and have never achieved any relationships in my life.

any help with this?

9 Answers

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  • Foofa
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    A lot of people avoid gyms for this very reason. But if you're not in the position to just walk, run, swim or some other solitary activity for fitness you're going to have to learn to deal with group situations. It helps to have a way to listen to music or podcasts while you're working out. But you should also accept that these other guys probably aren't even looking at you. You've built them up in your mind has having all these bad ulterior motives when in all reality they're probably just there to work out and couldn't care less what you do or don't do. It's kind of a form of narcissism to assume that everyone is constantly thinking about you, either for better or for worse.

  • 1 month ago

    There isn't the slightest need for you to be 'in command'. All you need is to behave like other people, and as you already go to the gym a couple of times a week, you already ARE being normal.

  • 1 month ago

    The thing about the gym where you and your issues should feel welcome and fit right is is that the sometimes violently yelled rule, not unspoken is that you mind your own business. Everyone is there for themselves. Some people make friends or come as a group but the base assumption is that everyone wants to be left alone. For simple concentration if nothing else. Would you want someone chatting you up about the weather while you're whacking off?

    Just don't look at people. Eyes on your own paper/machine. If you catch an eye in passing the rule is you look away to show you weren't intentionally engaging that person. Or else they'll ask "can I help you with something...?" Or try to beat you to death for being a creeper. You shouldn't know anyone i staring at you unless you were staring at them.

  • Jenna
    Lv 4
    1 month ago

    First off you need to remove the idea that the young guys are bullying you when they are not, that is creating a problem within its self and I know from firsthand experience how easy it is to slip into those kinds of thoughts. The guys at the gym are there to concentrate on themselves and what they are there to do, not focus on anyone else.

    Commit to one day the first week, and build up to more days when you feel comfortable, look for the offpeak times when it is not too busy and go there with an MP3 player and stick your headphones to listen to music to help distract you. Music for some reason helps as a calming technique.

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  • 1 month ago

    People go to gyms to work out, not to make acquaintances or even exchange friendly conversations. All those guys have issues of their own that they're working on. Sure, guys look at each other, even to judge how they stack up in comparison. But that's as far as it has to go. Really, they are not trying to embarrass or intimidate you.

    You have a good chance at making real friendships if you can join casual interest clubs, church groups, or neighborhood get-togethers. Your public library might be a good source for finding them.

  • 1 month ago

    As a starting point, it would be beneficial for you to seek professional help so you can better understand yourself and how/why you respond in the way you do. It is possible you are escalating your perceptions when at the gym and hence, why you feel the way you do.  It would seem you are assuming other dudes at the gym are judging you and bullying you, but there is no actual evidence for this, but rather your thoughts creating this framework.  Chances are the dudes at the gym are there for themselves, and not to belittle you or bring you down.  Be open to writing down your thoughts/feelings and see what patterns emerge.  Through this process you may be able to identify your triggers and work on those with professional help.  Your physical appearance does not need to dictate how you move through life, and understand it is essential you like yourself/love yourself.  How can others view you as lovable and likeable if you do not see yourself in this same way?

  • Pearl
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    maybe you should talk to your therapist about all this

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    I am a pale, average build and barely average looking woman approaching 50 wearing kmart gym clothes

    I am not a superfit, pretty 25 yr old in designer gym wear or superfit over 40 woman.

    I go to gym 3-4 times a week for fitness and to destress.

    Many times, it is me & young, fit attractive guys and girls, not plain middle aged nobodies like me, I have felt intimidated sure, but..you know what?

    They do not give a crap about me!

    They are there to work out, and some to take selfies too.

    I have had the odd “who is she??” look or stare, but I ignore them and do my thing!

    Ignore them and do your thing, forget about nerves, “looking” or talking to them, say hello & be polite if spoken to, do not intimidate or annoy people or hog equipment and forget them!

    99% people go to work out, not to look at others. they’ll ignore you.

    I’ve been going to gym 3+ years & noone has said hello.

    People do not care!

    If I can go to the weights area with young guys and girls or fit older people you can too.

  • Chanel
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    The guys that go to the gym are not thinking anything bad about you. You are stressing too much.

    Also you never know what problems they may have. These days you can talk about your mental health cos it is not a stigma anymore.

    But don't put off doing what you enjoy. You are just as entitled to use that gym as the rest of them.

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