How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Gina P Your Own Question

Gina P
Gina P, LCSW
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 175
Experience:  MSW, LCSW, PIP
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Gina P is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I recently tried to talk to a girl that I was interested in,

Resolved Question:

I recently tried to talk to a girl that I was interested in, and who I thought was interested in me, and I completely blew it with 2 awkward moments and made myself look like an idiot. It made me realize how pathetic I am when it comes to talking, not to even mention flirting with girls. In high school I was really uncomfortable in social situations because of my lack of self esteem and confidence, and though I've gotten better now, I feel like they've carried over. As a result of my "social problem" I barely have any friends, and feel really lonely and in need of social comfort outside of my family, who I should add, are also really affected by this because I treat them badly and don't tell them anything. I also get this feeling like everything that people say or do is cliche, or like I know exactly their motive behind whatever they say. Could the fact that my dad was never there at all, and that I am the only male in my family have something to do with my social problems now?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Gina P replied 4 years ago.

Hi,

Thank you for using Just Answer.

I am sorry you are having difficulty. It sounds as if you have symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder. This is a type of anxiety disorder that creates excessive fear of social situations. It may make you feel self conscious about being criticized or judged by others, and then results in making mistakes socially, feeling embarrassed, which only reinforces your internal beliefs about yourself as inadequate. This continues to create a cycle of fear in social situations, and you may avoid them completely or feel tremendous anxiety in social situations. Anticipating social events can also create undo stress. Although these may be distorted beliefs, they feel real to you. So it is the beliefs about one's self that must be changed. These beliefs can influence you not only socially, but occupationally, at school, etc. Anywhere there may be people.

You are doing a lot of the right things, practice helps. Consistency is the key to helping with this. Sticking with one thing for about 21 days helps the brain develop a habit. Habits become second nature and are easy to develop, just ensure it is a positive habit. For example, setting a goal to talk to one new person per day, even if it is stupid or cloche can help you develop more confidence in starting a conversation. Sometimes the new person may not be as receptive as you might want them to be, but do it anyway, because the goal is for you to feel comfortable, regardless of their response.

Ideally, to assist you with this, it would be recommended you start a medication for anxiety type of symptoms such as a beta blocker or benzodiazepine. Both of these medications can lower heart rate and make you feel calmer in social situations. This will assist you in developing more skills in social outings without feeling the physical symptoms that may accompany.

Getting some assistance through a professional counselor will help also, as he/she can give you specific exercises to practice and you have a support person to bounce things off.

As for the family up bringing, it could have something to do with the dynamics of the family and parent interaction. If your sister is more sociable, it may be that girls learn this trait a little earlier, as they are expected to carry on superficial chit chat with others at an early age, thus becoming more comfortable with it.

The whys don't necessarily matter right now. I think if you work to correct the symptoms you are having, you can then identify more of the cause at a latter date.

You can contact your regular MD to assist you in getting started on medications, and you can keep this confidential from your Mom and sister, if you want.

Please let me know if you have other questions. Thanks, Gina

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I also find difficulty speaking because of his, when I'm in a really stressful situation. I jumble my words and can't speak with a good tone of voice where people can hear me. Is this also linked to Social anxiety disorder? Would it help me, if I completely left my comfort zone and did things that I have never done or usually do?
Expert:  Gina P replied 4 years ago.

Hi,

Thank you for responding. Yes, these symptoms can be related to social anxiety disorder. Most of us live in a type of bubble where everything inside is comfortable. When we stretch our bubble a little our comfort zone gets bigger. This is true for many unknown situations. The more you practice, the easier it gets. So, the answer is yes, doing things outside of the comfort zone helps you to fit them into your comfort zone with enough practice. It may be better if you choose only one thing to do consistently for the three week period, that is outside of your comfort zone. Dependent upon the severity of your social anxiety, it could be something simple like making eye contact and smiling at people you don't know, or you could practice talking to one new person per day. Just pick a statement you may say to someone and use the same one everyday to someone new (this is why you hear people make comments about weather or other superficial topics).

Training your brain to listen to your voice develops some confidence, and you can practice the voice inflection as well.

This may sound a little stupid, but practicing aloud in front of the mirror helps you gain some confidence also. If you can involve several senses at one time, your brain is paying attention and you will feel more masterful.

Feeling self conscious about yourself and your socialization is what is causing these issues, so self acceptance, even laughing at yourself a little, eases the tension and pressure you put on yourself. Most people would never be so hard on you!Smile

 

I would contact the MD to get some type of medication to assist you. It can jump start you a little in the confidence department because the physical anxiety won't be as prevalent.

 

I hope this helps. Gina

Gina P, LCSW
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 175
Experience: MSW, LCSW, PIP
Gina P and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/Dr.Keane/2013-8-20_204325_drkeane.64x64.jpg Dr. Keane's Avatar

    Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5024
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC's Avatar

    Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3733
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrAkiraOlsen/2012-2-20_746_AkiraADpicmain.64x64.jpg Dr. Olsen's Avatar

    Dr. Olsen

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2336
    PsyD Psychologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg Norman M.'s Avatar

    Norman M.

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2193
    UK trained in hypnotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy and have been in private practice. ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), UKCP Registered and ECP.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PsychologyProf/2010-07-15_171248_logos060400409.jpg Dr. Michael's Avatar

    Dr. Michael

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2177
    Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KURTEMMERLING/2010-07-23_215531_just_ask_picture1.jpg Steven Olsen's Avatar

    Steven Olsen

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1727
    More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education
 
 
 

Related Mental Health Questions