Dear Dr. G.,
I really and truly need your help.
Here's what is going on:
I feel very nervous when I am near a girl. I am unable to say anything. I was rejected by a girl who said I am too decent for her. I felt very bad. I just want one girlfriend. But none accepts me. My family doesn't say anything if I have a girlfriend or not. It doesn't matter for them.
What should I do? I don't want to be alone forever.
A Rejected and Lonely young man.
Dear Honest Young Man,
First, let me say that I am delighted that you sought out my advice. It is so clear that young women make you nervous but there are some ways around that. Let me help.
1. Start to make some female friends so that you can begin to understand women.
2. Take the pressure off yourself by shedding the belief that you must and should have a girlfriend. There is no law that says that you must have a girlfriend.
3. Ask your friends and maybe even siblings if you are lucky enough to have siblings, what you might be contributing to the rejection process. I know that this is a tough suggestion but it is possible that the young women are seeing you as too needy, dependent, etc.
4. Work on building up your self-esteem by engaging in activities that you enjoy or feel passionate about. You will see that people are attracted to the confident and self-assured among us.
5. Please have a little self-compassion and take the pressure off yourself. There is nothing healthy about such self-disparaging behavior and self-talk. In life we tend to be guided by the scripts that run through our minds. True?
I am so sorry about your rejection from a young woman. This was likely very discouraging ad probably painful as well. There will be many more dating opportunities and simply being rejected by one young woman does not imply that there is something wrong with you. There are a myriad of reasons why this young woman said that you are too decent for her that do not support the theory that girls just simply do not like you.
Consider the following:
1. She may not be ready for a boyfriend.
2. She may not feel that the two of you have good chemistry or synergy.
3. She may be interested in someone else, for all we know.
4. She may not be allowed to date. Yes, some young adults have very strict parents and rules!
5. Perhaps one of her friends likes you and she doesn't want to upset her girlfriend. This may seem far-fetched but it may be true. A little warning here. Do NOT try to find out if any of her friends like you. This will make you seem needy and we don't want that, right?
If you have read all of the above, tried my advice and still experience immobilizing social anxiety, then please seek out a therapist. Social anxiety is a fabulous topic for therapy.
Make sure that your therapist has worked with social anxiety and has had some success in doing so. Meet with a few therapists and select the one who you feel most comfortable with.
Please get back to me with the outcome of your efforts. Also, keep in mind that relationships can be a source of joy as well as heartbreak.
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