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I am very shy around girls

I am very shy around girls
Highlights

In our society, we often see that youth from both genders are shy to interact with one and other.

In our society, we often see that youth from both genders are shy to interact with one and other. And this brings about unnecessary confusion during adolescence leading to nervousness and timidity in any interaction. This happens due to various factors. Vasuprada Kartic, Psychologist and Dr Purnima Nagaraja, Psychiatrist discuss the issue at length.

Q: I am a 21-year-old student. My problem is I am very shy around girls. My parents are very orthodox and traditional. I was never allowed to mingle with my cousins who were girls. Even in school, my father belted me because I was talking to a girl. Now I am in a professional college. Everyone teases me and says I am gay. I have no friends. I sort of developed a liking for a classmate. The very thought of talking to her or approaching her makes me shiver. I stutter when I try talking to her. Please help me develop the confidence and guts to mingle socially with the opposite sex and to approach the person I like.

Ans:

Hi! Growing up in a very orthodox environment, which does not allow normal interaction between boys and girls during growing up years, leads to many doubts about what is right and what is not right. This brings about unnecessary sexual awareness during adolescence leading to nervousness and timidity in any interaction. Since the memory of an interaction with any girl is very painful as you start associating with the belting by your father, the concept that it is 'Wrong' and that it is a taboo behaviour will imprint itself in your consciousness, which needs to be worked with gently.

Let us start by dealing with the present three different issues.

1. To be not nervous around girls and also to be able to make friends with girls.

2. To deal with the teasing about being gay.

3. To reach out to the girl who you believe you like.

The top priority for us here is actually learning to first socially interact with girls.

For this, you need to have the confidence that you are a smart and interesting person. DO NOT talk to girls with the intention to land a girlfriend or only to get rid of this teasing by others about your sexual preference. Being little more aware of some girls than others is natural. Do not assume that it is of anything of great significance. Making friends with a couple of boys who understand your shyness and then you can just enter the other groups to just observe and learn how boys and girls hang out and learn to have not complicated relationships. Only if you venture and be around people will you be able to understand your personal qualities. It is possible that you are academically good, so reach out and try to help students who require that help. Find the relevant clubs in your college to suit your interests and talents and join them. Initially, it may seem difficult but over a period of time your comfort zone will increase, and you will find that you have already made friends.

Do not be over conscious. Most of the seemingly confident students are very happy to have sincere and trustworthy friends. Be that and you will be successful in not just making friends but creating an enjoyable space for yourself in this important phase. All the best!

- Vasuprada Kartic, Anthroposophic Counsellor and Psychotherapist.

Ans:

Dear friend, the pain of being teased, called names and your angst at not being able to talk to girls is palpable in your letter.

In this day and age when an outgoing personality is everything...and expectations are sky high. To be shy and have interactional problems can be difficult particularly in a work situation.

Being introvert or shy isn't a problem unless it interferes with normal life and functionality, also if you are uncomfortable with who you are.

Having authoritarian, strict, orthodox, and punitive parenting can have lasting effects on our personalities. Therefore, your difficulties in communicating with the opposite sex are completely justified and understandable. Children traumas and adverse life events can cause post-traumatic stress, anxiety, depression and extreme panic.

The good part is that all these conditions can be managed. Take a sheet of paper and write down your positives and negatives. Focus on the positives and try and build on your negatives.

Do things that build your self-esteem.

Befriend your bullies in the office.

Concentrate on your performance at work so that people look up to you and soon you will occupy a niche position in your office.

That should give your self-esteem and self-confidence a good boost.

Tell your friends that shyness and sexuality are two different things and that while being gay isn't wrong…you don't identify as gay and that you are heterosexual.

Practice breathing exercises. Pranayama guided relaxation and listening to soothing music and nature sounds are very good for anxiety.

The fact that you stutter and get anxious are signs of a minor panic attack and deep breathing will help.

Practice positive affirmations daily.

Start the day with a positive thought. Something like 'Today I'm going to try not to get anxious'. Or 'talking to girls is such a fearsome thing'. Or 'it's ok I'm alright'.

Try talking to the women in the office. Keep it about work first.

Make sure you make eye contact so that over time your fear fades.

You can tell some of the more empathic ladies that you are shy and take their help in starting a conversation.

Every day make a list of things you are grateful for...your flaws will seem less important and less insurmountable.

Don't harbour ill feelings for your father...hard feelings weigh you down. Practice forgiveness and you will see that some circumstances are genuinely beyond our control.

If all these measures don't seem to help, seek professional help for anxiety and to deal with your childhood trauma.

Good luck.

- Dr Purnima Nagaraja, Consultant Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist.

- Do you have any relationship related queries or issues with your friends, loved ones or family? For informed advice by professionals, send in your questions to [email protected]

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