Almost nothing seems to impact a person’s love life more than anxiety. When that negative emotion is at play over social environments and mingling, the effects of dread, jitters, or just an overall disquiet may be crippling to some. The National Institute of Mental Health defines anxiety as far more than simple shyness. While more severe and inhibiting than ordinary butterflies and bashfulness, social anxiety disorder is actually quite common. Researchers suggest that 7 percent of America deals with the emotional hiccup. So if you’re suffering from this, don’t worry, numerous other people feel the same. Maybe even the person you’re crushing on. Not even celebrities are immune to social anxiety.
Perez Hilton once wrote about Khloe Kardashian speaking out in 2015 about her brother, Rob Kardashian, suffering from what was, in her opinion, social anxiety. The reality star had gone into an exclusion from the spotlight at the time and was struggling with weight gain and a big dose of introversion. As to if the reasoning was in fact as Khloe posted to her Instagram at the time is truly Rob’s business.
Too many men and women worry so much over being judged or humiliated that they avoid dating altogether. The inner conflict of wanting to date but being entirely afraid of some possibility being overblown in one’s own head becomes quite a lot to deal with. In an effort to ease some of the stresses from trying to get a handle on your nerves, here are some tips and strategies that might help with avoiding social isolation.
1. Pat yourself on the back for dating while dealing with anxiety
First and foremost, go ahead and congratulate yourself for standing up to the anxiety that’s attempting to bully you into staying out of the dating scene. Consider not giving up on your goals a huge victory. Don’t overlook this. Acknowledgment alone can boost your confidence in yourself. Even if you’re still single, there is a lot to be proud of just for putting yourself out there. Love lives are kind of like swimming through waves on a boogie board; sometimes you have a fun ride and come out smiling, and other times you crash into the person splashing around near you while salt stings your eyes. Going through that while dealing with all the not so great symptoms of anxiety as an added weight is tough, so stand tall knowing that you’re tackling step one.
2. Set up planned dates or any interactions in comfortable environments
Socializing helps with anxiety and keeps anyone from hermit status. By nature, humans are social creatures, even when we’re nervous. Just read Edge for more information on the social need and behaviors of people. If crowds and loud noises are not doing much to calm the storm inside your head, perhaps going to quieter locations will allow you to focus less on anxiety and more on the person you’re spending time with. Sometimes merely going alone is the cause of panic to some. Falling into that category is not hopeless. In fact, smaller group settings or double dates may not be a bad idea at all.
3. Understand that anxiety will be there sometimes, and that’s okay because you’re not alone
Beating yourself up over feeling the bouts of anxiety and all that comes with it isn’t helpful. Instead of putting yourself down, try some self-acceptance and self-love. Once you can accept that anxiety disorders are not so easy to banish and that they are in fact common, moving forward and not allowing the issues to hold you back from achieving everything you want out of life becomes possible. Having anxiety feel tolerable gives a person power over their emotions, rather than it being the other way around.
Remember, being socially anxious can make dating a bit more difficult, but it does not have to make it impossible. Not allowing your social anxiety to overcome you, and instead to go for your goals — whatever they may be — anyway, will surely increase the probability of success. If you believe you or someone you know may have social anxiety, the National Institute of Mental Health also provides details on the symptoms, causes, and treatment of the disorder. Some of the symptoms listed on their website include rapid heart rate, trembling, avoidance, and nausea.