“Social Anxiety Disorder,” sounds scary…
There’s no question that the name is intimidating, but what exactly is it? How do you know if you have it? And, possibly most importantly of all, how can you get OVER it?
It’s hard to score as a PUA if you can’t get past the A-Phase!
While I am not a psychologist or psychiatrist, I have plenty of personal and anecdotal experience regarding overcoming this disorder. I once had severe, crippling anxiety. Today, I’d like to share the most helpful tricks and techniques which allowed me to overcome social anxiety disorder.
Entering the B-Phase is difficult if your palms are sweating and your heart palpitating.
Be forewarned: Overcoming social anxiety (not to mention a social anxiety DISORDER) absolutely necessitates making yourself uncomfortable. Facing one’s fears is never a comfortable experience, but it’s a necessary step in overcoming this crippling condition.
The C-Phase takes self-assurance to implement effectively!
While it is said that, in any area of life, it is impossible to grow without pushing your comfort zone, this is ESPECIALLY true in the case of social anxiety. So, just TRUST me when I tell you: You won’t die, you won’t get hurt, and NOTHING BAD will happen. Sure you’ll probably say some stupid things along the way (hell, I still do!) but that is completely NORMAL and nothing to be ashamed of or worried about.
So enough with the coddling. Lets get your anxious ass in gear with today’s steps on overcoming Social Anxiety Disorder!
OH NO DO I HAVE IT?!?! *Heavy Breathing*
Believe it or not, there is a definition for Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). It is contained in the DSM, or the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (say that five times fast!)
Check out what Mr. DSM has to say about it. If any of the following are true, you may be struggling with SAD:
- You have a “Persistent fear of one or more social performance situations in which [you are] exposed to unfamiliar people or to possible scrutiny by others.”
- “The feared situations are avoided or else are endured with intense anxiety and distress.”
- “The fear or avoidance is not due to direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., drugs, medications) or a general medical condition not better accounted for by another mental disorder.”
These are the three most important guidelines that a healthcare professional such as a psychiatrist or psychologist would use to determine whether or not you might be suffering with an anxiety disorder, but there are MORE criteria. Check out a more complete excerpt from the DSM from the Social Anxiety Institute here:http://www.socialanxietyinstitute.org/dsm.html
It is important that you don’t label or pigeon-hole yourself, but use these definitions as a guideline to determine whether or not you have social phobias, because – believe it or not – social phobias can and should be FIXED. In fact, the DSM says that the prognosis for SAD is “Very good if treated effectively.”
The D-Phase is nearly impossible to reach for someone with untreated or unrecognized SAD.
Since I’m not a healthcare professional, I can’t tell you how to treat social anxiety disorder, but what I CAN do is tell you what worked for me.
Overcoming Social Anxiety
Before you read this section, I need your word on something. I need you to give me the firm commitment that you are going to PUSH yourself to actually APPLY AT LEAST 3 of the following techniques (and I mean REALLY apply them, not some half-assed BS. Use your whole ass.)
Overcoming SAD can help you reach the E-Phase.
If you do this, you WILL see an improvement in your social anxiety. If you DON’T see that improvement, I hereby give you personal permission to write me a nasty letter.
- See a psychiatrist– This can be a weekly session, or just a one-time visit, but if you feel like your anxiety is bad enough that you may even have an anxiety disorder, this is a good place to start. Seeing a psychiatrist will not FIX your problem, but it can help, and it will certainly act as a marker for where you really are. A lot of people seem to think that going to a psychiatrist is a sign weakness or failure… This is NOT the case. A psychiatrist is just another doctor, and, like the common cold, SAD can be treated. Do this for yourself, just to see where you are at.
Meditate – Meditation can bring down your anxiety level a WHOLE LOT. Meditation is all about gaining CONTROL over your mind. When you are anxious about something, your mind is controlling you. Take a leaf out of Zen’s book and learn the breathing and relaxation patterns that will allow you to enter deeper, more relaxed states of consciousness – not only when you are meditating, but all the time.
- Work out – Working out has a similar effect to meditation – it is stress-reducing and can certainly help with your anxiety. I personally recommend working out via some sort of martial arts, because it’ll be a double-whammy: Not only will you get the physiological benefits of working out such as less stress, but you will also feel more confident and alpha knowing that you have the ability to protect yourself and your loved ones.
- Push your comfort zone (general) – Do this. Do this, do this, do this. This can be as simple as going to a wine-tasting just to have a new experience, or as complex as learning a new instrument. Pushing your comfort zone will not only help you overcome anxiety and improve self-confidence, but also give you new skill-sets and new things to talk about when conversing with beautiful women. You absolutely must do this.
- Push your comfort zone (social/sexual) – This is where pick-up comes in. And yes, pick-up is EXTREMELY BENEFICIAL in overcoming social anxiety. This is what helped me the most: Simply getting MORE EXPERIENCE in social situations. So go out. Cold approach. Social circle game. Meet hot girls. Flirt with them. Sexually escalate. This will do wonders for any fear you might have. As you see what is really possible in the realm of dating, your limiting beliefs will melt away and, as a result, so will your fears.
So there you have it. Five easy steps to getting over social anxiety. The more of these that you do, the faster you will see improvement, and the more being comfortable in any situation will become a part of your identity.
Enjoying the F-Phase makes all the hard work worthwhile!
If you want that Bruce Lee confidence, you gotta go get it. Simple as that.