Dating Advice for Someone With a Social Phobia

social phobia

Are there ways to deal with social phobia when dating? Get advice on three different tips that you can try to decrease your social phobia from our dating coach.

Social Phobia Dating Problems

Reader Question

Mrs. Lori, I have a situation with a girl in my Tae Kwon Doe class. I think she is attractive but I have a minor case of social phobia. I seem to turn red every time I talk to a girl and it not only stops me from making a move but also lowers my confidence. I see that she must be interested in me too due to the fact that she seems to check me out. Can you give advice on how I can control my social phobia?-- Contributed by: Raymond Jordan

Expert Reply

Dear Raymond,

Believe it or not, most people under the right circumstances blush or get flushed in public situations. Some experience this when they get angry, others when they speak before groups and a few people like yourself blush when talking with someone new. The difference between most people and you is the level of embarrassment felt.

One contributing factor to your experience may be the anxiety you feel prior to talking to another person. This 'pre' event is contributing to your situation and may actually make things worse as your body begins to respond to your fear of "wearing your heart on your sleeve." This involuntary response system sets into motion a here we go again, action. You can do a few things.

One is a cognitive/behavioral approach. All great athletes visualize making the play prior to the actual event. This ability to see success in your mind's eye is what helps athletes perform at their best. You could visualize successfully saying "hi" to this girl. Imagine that you feel confident and her warm response to you. Once you can see yourself doing this successfully, then it's time to do it in real time. Next, visualize successfully saying "hi, how are you?" Continue visualizing increasing the communication each time you have a successful attempt. If you find practicing visualization on your own difficult, consider working with a counselor or coach.

Another approach you could try is hypnosis. Many people have success with this technique. This is because hypnosis works at the unconscious level where counseling works at the conscious level. Not all people are open to hypnosis. A third consideration is to talk with a medical professional about the involuntary reaction your body does during social situations. You and the medical professional can explore what medications might be available to assist in reducing the symptoms.

Whatever method you decide to explore, don't wait too long. This woman is showing signs of interest and if you don't respond, she is likely to think it's because you're not interested.


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Dating Advice for Someone With a Social Phobia