Dear Drink Guy:
My girlfriend of several years and I have recently broken up. I have found myself having great difficulty getting back into the social “swing” of things. So much so that the last several events that I have been invited to I have either not gone at all, even though I was bored and lonely, or I go only to leave before even going inside. Not being able to cope with these social situations sucks. The anxiety that I am experiencing is scary, but I don’t want to live my life like this. Please help!
Lonely but full of Anxiety
Lynn’s Two Cents…
Thank you for your question…even asking it is a step in the right direction. I understand how difficult it can be when you are accustomed to having a significant other by your side, only to lose that “safety net”. Venturing out on your own can be scary, and obviously the level of anxiety you indicate is causing you frustration. In my experience, the frustration you are feeling demonstrates that you are ready to move on.
I think the first thing to recognize is that anxiety comes in many forms, and with a wide range in severity. Everyone experiences anxiety at some point in their lives. A traumatic event (such as a break up) can certainly be a trigger. When anxiety disrupts your daily life and your ability to cope, it needs to be taken seriously. Obviously I cannot say for certain what level of anxiety you are dealing with, but I can suggest some potential coping techniques.
The first thing I would suggest is going right back to what I consider to be the most basic of basics, knowledge. I believe knowledge creates confidence, and if you can boost your “social” confidence it may be just what you need to get back in the social “swing”. I would recommend picking up a copy of Dale Carnegie’s “How To Win Friends and Influence People”. The tips contained in this book are a veritable gold mine for someone looking to be successful in a social setting.
The second suggestion is to journal your feelings. Often the act of putting pen to paper and recording our feelings allows us to better understand and deal with difficult emotions and anxiety. And the third suggestion I have is to confide in a close friend or relative how you are feeling, and ask their assistance. If they would be willing to accompany you to a few of these events, it may be the support you need to break this cycle.
If you find that these suggestions do not help, or that you find the anxiety too overwhelming to even attempt them, then please seek the help of a medical professional. Severe anxiety is not to be taken lightly, can cause many other health issues, and needs to be dealt with appropriately.
Stay tuned for…
Glenn’s Two Cents…
Dude, seriously, suck it up and get your ass back in the game. Unless this is some lame attempt cause you heard that women go for the sensitive type. Trust me it doesn’t always work. There is a saying that women like bad boys. We’ll let you all debate that one on your own. I’ve just heard it, and won’t say if it’s true or not, or discuss through personal experience whether it’s true or not. Each to his own, but if you’re too scared to go out and try you’ll never know. Whining about it won’t get you anywhere, try some dating sites, call some friends, but for heavens sake get out there. Play the field, you are single after all.
The Drink Guy