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Trying to understand friend with social anxiety problems

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Old 04-16-2009, 02:34 PM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Posts: 53
Murph77 HB User
Trying to understand friend with social anxiety problems

Please take a few minutes to read my story. I'm hoping you can help me understand my friend.

I have been on this board before due to multiply foot surgeries, a knee surgeries, and IBS. But this time it is different. I met this guy a week ago at a singles event. The place is dimly lit and we sort of talk to each other at the same time. Before I know it, he has brought me over to another coach on the other side of this small room and we are talking. It doesn't take long before we are teasing each other and having fun. Knowing what he does for profession, I know he is smart. He is funny and sweet. The party ends too early and I take a walk around the block with him and his two buddies. At the end of the night, he goes to shake my hand and we end up holding each others hand longer than necessary, squeezing it a few times.

I email him the next day, mentioning the singles event he said he was planning on going to that night. I end up meeting him there. He hugs me when we finally says hello. We spend the night in a small group of friends talking. He doesn't seem to be shy around people, talking to a lot of people that night. He pays attention to me, touches my waist a few time teasingly.

That night he walks me to my car. He had another friend with him who is waiting in his car. We could easily have just said good night after standing there for a few minutes in the rain. Instead he says, what no hug! I willingly go into his arms and we hug. He is taller than me and we are holding each other and it takes him a few minutes just standing there before he finally kisses me.

We separate and I'm the one apologizing, because even though I'm 35yrs old, I'm very inexperienced when it comes to men. i apologize that I don't know how to kiss well. He says he gives me an A+ for trying.

We part and a weekend goes by. I then email him Sunday night and he doesn't respond. I'm thinking that I have lost this one also but please no, I really like this one. I leave him sort of a 'I'm clueless on all this guy stuff' in a voice message on his cell phone. I told him to call me so I can explain myself to him.

He emails me back on Tuesday saying he wasn't looking for a relationship and sorry for how he acted the other night.

At first I thought that myself being inexperienced maybe scared him away. Either that or he was just playing with me.

Today I emailed him asking him if I scared him away due to my inexperience. I gave him my whole life story in an email, asking for advice that maybe I could learn from. He emailed back telling me he will email me back when he has a chance.

After his email I'm looking through his singles profile. Someone leaves him a message saying welcome to our club. I press one button, then another, and another until I found out what club he has just signed up for. Yesterday he has signed up for a Social Anxiety club. I never would have guessed. I'm wondering maybe not my lack of experience that has scared this guy away, but maybe I literally scared him away.

Normally when a guy tells me to get lost, I do. I never done this before but right now we are still friends. This guy is so wonderful, I will admit I wish for more. I don't know anything really about social anxiety. I'm wondering maybe somehow I can understand what he might be going through and try to figure him out yet.

Would someone please explain to me what a personal relationship is like to someone who has social anxiety. What may scare them or what can be done to help make them feel comfortable? Even if it takes time, help to win him over. Right now we are just friends but since the guy did kiss me, I know he does like me. If what I did is scare him, I'm wondering if I can help him get through that fear, maybe enough so I can reach out to him and have something more.

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Old 04-22-2009, 06:26 PM   #2
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Chicago suburbs
Posts: 2
painfulfeet HB User
Re: Trying to understand friend with social anxiety problems

I think you should just chalk this one up to experience and move on. People with social anxiety are very shy and this guy does not sound like he has any problems in that area.

Old 04-23-2009, 01:04 PM   #3
light the world
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 778
light the world HB User
Re: Trying to understand friend with social anxiety problems

Just to get one thing clear here first people who have social anxiety can be very outgoing sometimes. It all depends who there with. If there around someone who they know there usually fine. But if there around complete strangers it can be a total nightmare sometimes to them. Also its the anxiety that they experience that would make them appear to be shy. People with social anxiety still want to be around people its just there anxiety that prevents that from happening sometimes.

There could be several reasons why your boyfriend made the e-mail and apologized for the way he acted. He could have felt sorry for getting into a relationship while he is experiencing his social anxiety and he didn't want you to get disappointed of him if he starts to get anxious around you.

A personal relationship can be frightening to someone with social anxiety. They may be afraid that they might do something wrong in it. They may be afraid that they might receive ridicule from in this case girlfriend. But you and your boyfriend seemed to be getting along very well so I don't think that that would be an issue. They might be afraid that they will recieve ridicule from others because of the relationship itself due to feelings of inadequacy. They may be afraid of going into public places like a restaurant because eating infront of others can cause stress and anxiety.

If you want to win your boyfriend back I would tell him that its ok to have social anxiety. And that there are lots of ways to help treat it, like therapy and medications. At first it may seem hopeless and that the anxiety will never go away but eventually when treatment start to come into effect the person will become more confindent about themselves and learn how to cope with the anxiety that they experience.
Diagnosis: social anxiety disorder,PTSD, schizoaffective disorder, avoidant personality disorder, panic disorder

Meds: Clonazepam 4mg, Seroquel 200mg

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