Dear Dance Diva,
I need your advice. I’m in my early thirties and have never been in a serious romantic relationship because of extreme social anxiety. I’m a fit guy, not bad-looking, well groomed and have a great job so I think it’s fair to say I’m a decent catch, but I’m so shy even just thinking about asking a girl out makes me physically sick.
I’m really interested in a girl I’ve known since college. We are good friends, but I’m certain she has no idea how I feel because I can’t bring myself to make a move. I am literally paralyzed by the possibility she’ll reject me. A friend of mine suggested I take dance lessons at a local studio to help build my confidence in social situations, especially around women. It seemed like a good idea, but even that was hard for me. It took me weeks to muster up the courage to finally sign up for some lessons, but I did it and it’s been going surprisingly well. I have been taking group classes three times a week for about four months and I really enjoy it. I’ve met some really nice people too. The studio hosts parties for students about twice a month, but even though I want to join the fun, my anxiety continues to plague me so I rarely ask a lady to dance. I’m afraid of getting turned down and my ego is so fragile that I can’t handle rejection. Any advice on how to overcome this?
Dear Shy Guy,
You seem like a nice guy so I hope you don’t take this the wrong way… who do do you think you are that no one should say no to you? Have you considered the possibility that a young lady may have her own reasons for declining an invitation for a date or to dance with you? Perhaps a reason that has absolutely nothing to do with you? Being rejected is part of life. You need to figure out how to handle it and move on because by refusing to risk rejection, you are depriving yourself of much joy and fun! Has it occurred to you there’s at least a 50% chance the answer will be yes? My advice to you is to start seeing the glass as half full instead of half empty. Commit to asking as many ladies as possible to dance at the next studio party. Some may say no thank you, but don’t let that stop you from moving onto the next eligible young lady. You might be surprised. And for heavens sake, ask out your college friend. My bet is if she’s been hanging around since your college days, she’s interested. The poor girl is probably waiting for you to make a move. Go for it. What have you go to lose?
Finally, on another note, there are some great techniques for managing stress and anxiety that you can apply with just a little practice. Check out “Tapping Your Way to Peace of Mind.”
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