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Can't eat, exercise, dance, be myself around a guy


jackie100
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I don't know if this should be in the dating section, because it isn't necessarily about dating per se (since I have no interest in dating anyone) but I guess it could be in here because one example that I have of my "self-consciousness" is that IF I wanted to date I would purposely turn down a guy that I liked A LOT (if he asked me out) because I would feel to uncomfortable to be in his presence.

 

FYI, I'm 31 btw so it's not like I will grow out of it.

Mainly it's not really about dating but just basic things...

 

For example I cannot EAT in front a guy, especially if I am attracted to him (even though I don't want to date). It has nothing to do with weight (I'm under 100lbs and a size 00) or appearing as a "pig". I am just phobic of looking unattractive while eating, smearing my lipgloss, having my lipgloss fade, getting food stuck into my teeth, getting something in my hair etc.

 

I don't date but the few times I have gone to eat with a guy (not dating) I just DONT EAT. I just drink water and LET THEM EAT. I don't order anything, I just say that I am full and already ate.

 

Next one is not dating related, but an another example is that I cannot work out in a gym like 24 hr fitness because I cannot exercise in front of guys. I would feel self conscious. I know that there are gyms for women but I don't like those either. I just tough it out at home.

 

I could NEVER take a dance class because I can't dance in front of a male. Also, I can't handle having a MALE TEACHER for a dance class, aerobics class, fitness class, etc I cannot do anything in front of a male teacher, ESPECIALLY IF I AM ATTRACTED TO THEM. If it's a 50 year old unattractive guy I wouldn't care. School is different, when I was in school I didn't care if I had a male math teacher etc but I'm talking about things like fitness, dance etc. I cannot perform in front of a male.

 

I already know about techniques which tell you to FOCUS ON OTHERS and on what they are saying and doing instead of focusing on yourself etc but it doesn't help much.

 

A long time ago I had a HUGE crush on this guy but I was so afraid of him because he was too good looking and I was too anxious to be around him for an extended amount of time and be judged, to have to converse with him etc... So I ended up canceling last minute.

 

If I took a fitness class and the teacher turned out to be a good looking male I would probably feel SO UNCOMFORTABLE that I would just quit even if I already paid...

 

Is anyone else like this?

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oh im not like this at all. haha and ita crazy to think that there is someone out there is like this. but its not a bad thing.. if you prefer things this way then so be it. letting others judge u would prevent you from growing stronger for yourself if you let it get to u. who cares besides yourself if you might look like a pig when you eat.. ever consider someone who wouldnt care if u did or did the same thing.. would it make you feel better?

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who cares besides yourself if you might look like a pig when you eat.. ever consider someone who wouldnt care if u did or did the same thing.. would it make you feel better?

 

The other person I am with might care. They might not but they might care as well. Of course it would make me feel better if they other person didn't care but how would I know that? There's a possibility they would care.

 

And another thing I forgot to wrote, I can't TALK in front of guys either. Sometimes I can, I actually do good and can talk... but there are times when I can't even talk or say anything because of extreme self-consciousness or fear of being judged or fear of saying the same things. And then I become a mute.

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the fear of being judge.. ha i got over that some how... i think i told myself something like you know what no body cares forreal.. its up to you what you want to listen to or not.. and also.. the only way you would know if he cares or not is to do it. do get to hurt over if he cares... i mean there are plenty of other people out there.. yes it takes time too to find them but i mean i think its worth the trouble just to be comfortable and not alone and loved with honesty and respect from your other SO.

P.s its ok to be shy and not talk much you know but i mean hopefully later down the line you learn a couple of things about the person and talk about those things or talk about things you like. colors animals hobbie etc

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Ever been diagnosed or treated for any sort of mental illness? Anxiety, OCD, phobia, depression, etc?

 

Have you always had this sort of hypersensitivity and flashpoint-self-consciousness or did it begin to develop at a certain point in your life or after something specific you can recall?

 

May you be perhaps one who has suffered abuse or emotional trauma early-on in life that has gone untreated and may be re-manifesting itself now jolted and inflamed by other anxieties in your life?

 

Just a starting point, anyway. Whatever your case, it doesn't sound like something that's healthy. The good thing is that it bears a great deal of key resemblances to anxiety-based cognition disorders, of which are easily treated with a little Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and/or SSRI medications.

 

Addit:

And another thing I forgot to wrote, I can't TALK in front of guys either. Sometimes I can, I actually do good and can talk... but there are times when I can't even talk or say anything because of extreme self-consciousness or fear of being judged or fear of saying the same things. And then I become a mute.

 

You just keep the symptoms coming, they just keep fitting the picture better and better. When did this self-consciousness thing start, exactly?

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It sounds like it could be a bit of social anxiety that you're dealing with (this is actually one of the common behaviours, too - fear of eating in front of others). I remember you had also made a thread about fearing what others would think about you if they saw you eating alone at a restaurant.

I recognize the anxiety often also because i deal with it as well. I can eat infront of others, but i feel a bit shy about it too sometimes. Realize that everyone can be a bit messy when they eat, no one is expecting you to be perfect. I don't think you want to continue on feeling like this; after a while it just leaves you feeling drained.

Have you considered some therapy? It might just be a bit of CBT that could help you feel more comfortable around others. I sense a strong anxiety in your posts overall, so i think it is something to work on for sure. I deal with some of these feelings myself, and i'm not meaning in a negative way or anything. I just know that it is really exhausting to experience.

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How's your self-confidence?

 

Do you not have a lot of experience in dating?

 

I have never dated but I actually don't want to date! I have no interest in dating. I don't want to be in a relationship. I actually prefer being alone.

 

I am sexually attracted to men (I have FWB) but I don't want to date.

 

I just want to be able to take a class (like dance or fitness or anything) and not die if the teacher is male and attractive and quit.

 

Also, I would like to add that my mother never let me date as a teen... even at the age of 18... I left home at around 18-19 though. Is this another thing I can blame on my mother? She gave me bad social skills and confidence by not allowing me to date?? Sounds plausible to me.

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I have been self conscious all my life! Even in high school I had no friends and was extremely shy. I think the thing that traumatized me was that I liked a guy in high school and I think some people told him (against my wishes). He never rejected me or was mean but I think I got traumatized by the fact that he didn't like me back and that the other people told him. I should be over it now, its been like over 10 years now!

 

As a child in elementary school I was already SUPER SHY. I always was SUPER SHY, I was born that way.

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May you be perhaps one who has suffered abuse or emotional trauma early-on in life that has gone untreated and may be re-manifesting itself now jolted and inflamed by other anxieties in your life?

 

 

The traumas were that I was "uncool" in high school and my mom didn't take me out shopping so I wore real ugly clothes and never "fit in". Also never received a proper haircut and I ended up cutting my own hair. As a young child my mother gave me a "bowl haircut" (I'm a FEMALE) and she cut my hair like this link removed

 

so obviously I wasn't that hot chick that all the guys wanted. Even in sixth grade there were already "hot" girls... There was this blonde girl with gorgeous flowing blonde hair that a lot of young boys liked. As for me I practically looked like a boy myself with my bowl haircut.

 

Once I turned 13 I was able to grow my hair out but I never had the right clothes to fit in etc. I actually blame that on my mother...

 

I always wanted to be popular and fit in when I was in high school... I was always a loner though.

 

Not having the right clothes and being "popular" etc was very traumatizing. I was never in style back then.

 

Now I only buy stylish clothes btw. I have money to buy whatever clothes and makeup I want. I still feel self-conscious though.

 

Since this is the dating section I should say something about my interaction with the opposite sex so this topic doesnt get moved.

When I like a guy I will ALWAYS ignore him and never ever look at him, NEVER show ANY sign of interest. If someone were to tell the guy that I like that I liked him I would probably kill myself out of mortification. I would take it EXTREMELY hard and probably start crying and hyperventilating. I would never leave my house ever again. My biggest fear is to be rejected.

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I've struggled with anxiety, and some of those forms have been the self consciousness that can come with it. I was a text book copy of what Sparchitecht's post describes; and yes, CBT is awesome and helped me a lot.

 

But before that was a lot of time and life spent basically going in and out as a nervous wreck. And yet somehow I still plowed ahead and dated, had relationships, went in front of classes, even let a very attractive male doctor in on a very vulnerable examination. lol. Girl, I could tell you some stories of 'stupid things' I did because of my anxiety, I've made a complete ass of myself on several occasions, but you always live through it and learn something.

 

Humour goes a long, long way. A lot of people can empathize, and if not, at least sympathize with the sort of feelings you are talking about. Maybe not everyone feels it as extremely, but even very confident and non-self conscious folks get nervous before dates and in different situations.

 

Sometimes therapy involves something called exposure therapy. It's gradually introducing yourself to the situations that freak you out, starting with the ones that least upset you to the more difficult, and carrying it through so you can learn from experience that you can handle it - even when things are rough. Along with what you learn in CBT (different ways to think), it's great.

 

Even if you aren't keen on seeing a professional, you can learn some things by books and working on your own. One I suggest is Googling David Burns. You can pick up a workbook in the "feeling good" line at any major book store, and it can go a long way to helping build a plan to moving past this.

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I have books about this already... I swear I do... I already techniques about gradual exposure.. another technique is "sudden exposure"... in the book(s) I have it also had written exercises where you had to write down your bad thoughts "what you expect to happen" and then rate how likely it was to happen etc and other exercises about "realistic thinking" etc...

 

I have the books. I never seriously did the exercises though to be honest.

 

A long time ago I did have to do a speech in front of a class (many years ago). I felt literally ill afterwards and had to lie down because I had extreme aches and pains in my stomach from having to do that short speech... (in front of 15 people max).

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A women with an appettite is very attractive.

 

Just be yourself, who cares what others think?

 

I am not afraid of eating, I am not afraid of eating a lot! I love to eat! I have a very healthy appetite!

 

I am afraid of messing up my ligploss, getting food stuck in my teeth, getting food stuck in my hair. Accidentally having something drop out of my mouth. Accidentally spilling something.

 

I feel more "attractive" when I'm not eating because I look better and my lipgloss isn't getting ruined/smeared... I always like to look "my best" and I'm afraid of "LOOKING AWKWARD" when eating; I have to open my mouth etc I'm afraid of looking unattractive. Afraid of MESSING UP. Accidentally spilling something, what if food accidentally spills out of my mouth etc. What if I cut the steak and it flies off my plate... ? Things like this...

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I am not afraid of eating, I am not afraid of eating a lot! I love to eat! I have a very healthy appetite!

 

I am afraid of messing up my ligploss, getting food stuck in my teeth, getting food stuck in my hair. Accidentally having something drop out of my mouth. Accidentally spilling something.

 

I feel more "attractive" when I'm not eating because I look better and my lipgloss isn't getting ruined/smeared...

 

Meh, If I was on a date with a women and she smeared her lipgloss or whatever I wouldnt care at all. I'd probably find it cute in fact.

 

You should see me eating, more food ends up on the table rather than in my mouth haha.

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I have books about this already... I swear I do... I already techniques about gradual exposure.. another technique is "sudden exposure"... in the book(s) I have it also had written exercises where you had to write down your bad thoughts "what you expect to happen" and then rate how likely it was to happen etc and other exercises about "realistic thinking" etc...

 

I have the books. I never seriously did the exercises though to be honest.

 

A long time ago I did have to do a speech in front of a class (many years ago). I felt literally ill afterwards and had to lie down because I had extreme aches and pains in my stomach from having to do that short speech... (in front of 15 people max).

 

Maybe you should try the exercises.

 

Hey, I relate to what you say...to feel literally ill. That is something that you don't have to keep living with. Seriously. You can work through it.

 

And if you are super serious, you can go see a professional to help guide you through and support you. Best thing I ever did. Truly. You don't have to do it alone. And the money spent is well spent; if you buy fine clothes and the like, why not invest in feeling good from the inside out too.

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If something goes flying off the table, or whatever it may be, you can try to smile/laugh at it in the moment lol. Even if you're embarrassed, laughing can help a lot.

I know that it can be a lot easier said than done, though, at times.

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CBT would be a big help, but I'd say you're more than a little at the point where talking to your GP about this seriously is going to be your best bet. Some refer directly to psychiatrists, others will treat it themselves and see if they can't get it under control without referral, depends on the doctor. I'm a big fan of SSRI treatments and their success rates with this sort of thing are fantastic (been there, done that, Venelafaxine 300 mg daily solution granted anxieties, phobias and OCD gone thank you very much! )

 

This doesn't seem like it's something you will handle on your own anymore. The upside is that it's very treatable. Not having any major past traumas (of which you can recall, anyway) also means that dealing with this should be very straight-forward for you (as opposed to those tied up in the throes of past problems they've yet to counter). Though your curious decision to avoid dating and the entire relationship archetype puzzles me some, we'd best leave that to see how it pans once you're living your life in a more logical frame of mind.

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Do you think it's THAT bad? It won't kill me if I don't dance or eat around guys... Other than this I actually function well. I mean I'm successful and I make good money and I can provide for myself. It only interferes with small things like eating in front of guys (which is not a necessity in life and not something that is required anyway).

 

Why would you be puzzled if someone didn't want to date? Some people just prefer being alone (and don't have anxiety). I don't see what's so curious about it.

 

I have to stress though that I function better than some people who don't have anxiety in terms of taking care of myself and making a good living... It doesn't affect with my basic needs and functioning. Only in small unimportant areas which are not "necessities" (it's not necessary to eat in front of a guy for survival), you know what I mean? These are just small things that would be "nice" if I overcame them but I don't see them as extremely vital. It's not integral to me functioning or getting by in life. It's not like it's something life-threatening or so urgent that it requires going to the doctor as you suggested.

 

I would go to the doctor or GP if I had cancer or bleeding bowels or even a really bad persistent cough... These are things that are crucial and could lead to death etc... but not being able to dance to eat or dance in front of a guy... is it really necessary? It's not like I will die just because I'm shy.

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This doesn't seem like it's something you will handle on your own anymore. The upside is that it's very treatable. Not having any major past traumas (of which you can recall, anyway) also means that dealing with this should be very straight-forward for you (as opposed to those tied up in the throes of past problems they've yet to counter). Though your curious decision to avoid dating and the entire relationship archetype puzzles me some, we'd best leave that to see how it pans once you're living your life in a more logical frame of mind.

 

Actually having my hair cut like a boy's was very traumatizing as a child. I think I wrote about this before in some of my previous threads. I actually HATE my mother for it to this day. All the other girl's had long hair and wore dresses while my mother made me wear "boy's clothes" and I was a girl with a "boy's haircut" (and an ugly one at that too)...

 

It was VERY traumatizing for me to go to high school not fitting in. Some days I even wore clothes that didn't fit me properly, I just found what was lying around the house. As a result I never had friends, I used to hide in the bathroom during lunch or in the career center. I actually blame all of this on my mother.

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Do you think it's THAT bad? It won't kill me if I don't dance or eat around guys... Other than this I actually function well. I mean I'm successful and I make good money and I can provide for myself. It only interferes with small things like eating in front of guys (which is not a necessity in life and not something that is required anyway).

 

Disorders are only considered disorders and in need of treatment when they interfere with one's life to a point where they'd no longer feel comfortable with the interference. There is no logical need for treatment if it does not impede you, and conversely there are legitimate grounds for treatment if you should choose that you no longer wish to have these issues in your life. Choice, and one only you are qualified to make.

 

Why would you be puzzled if someone didn't want to date? Some people just prefer being alone (and don't have anxiety). I don't see what's so curious about it.

 

Choosing to be without a mate and to discontinue the pursuit of one is not considered typical of our species. Granted, tapering hormones as one ages make this phenomena possible, and can always be added to by a colorful array of disenchanted mental states one can go through, but as a general rule humans are creatures of pair bonding, and loneliness is never something that staves far off.

 

(and don't have anxiety)

 

Perhaps not in the more traditional schemes, but what you describe in your original post is called anxiety. If your day to day life honestly isn't littered with an unusually acute degree of anxiety, then consider yourself all the better off and easier to treat should you choose to seek treatment.

 

I have to stress though that I function better than some people who don't have anxiety in terms of taking care of myself and making a good living... It doesn't affect with my basic needs and functioning. Only in small unimportant areas which are not "necessities" (it's not necessary to eat in front of a guy for survival), you know what I mean? These are just small things that would be "nice" if I overcame them but I don't see them as extremely vital. It's not integral to me functioning or getting by in life. It's not like it's something life-threatening or so urgent that it requires going to the doctor as you suggested.

 

Thank you for these justifications. Albeit I weigh them with consideration, it was you who came here with a problem and a request for help. I'm sorry if my manner and tone have frightened you and obviously put you on the defensive, but my primary focus is to shed light on dark corners. The stigma you've attached to the color of my light will be up to you to stare through or turn away from in disbelief.

 

I would go to the doctor or GP if I had cancer or bleeding bowels or even a really bad persistent cough... These are things that are crucial and could lead to death etc... but not being able to dance to eat or dance in front of a guy... is it really necessary? It's not like I will die just because I'm shy.

 

Again, you obviously weren't expecting what you're getting for answers. What I see in your problem's profile just keeps jumping up and down clapping and shouting "Cognition! Cognition! Cognition!"

 

The reason I suggest seeing a doctor is because, as I've said, one of the two best ways we treat cognitive disorders is via SSRIs. You don't get those at a health food store, Wal-Mart or shady place on Hastings St. I would have just come right out and said psychiatrist if there wasn't so flippin' much stigma the world has attached to the concept causing them to react all in exactly the same way you have thus far. Frustrating, but understandable given what the average person knows and has learned to feel about mental health. Yet you say you'd gladly go to the doctor if you suspected cancer. I feign to see the difference between a cellular malfunction in the body causing misproduction of healthy tissues vs. neurochemical malfunction in the brain causing misproduction of healthy fluids. Either way, we go to the GP when we have problems and ask that they guide us in a clinical frame, either by prescribing meds based on symptoms, prescribe therapies based on symptoms, or refer to a specialist who will then delineate such.

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Actually having my hair cut like a boy's was very traumatizing as a child. I think I wrote about this before in some of my previous threads. I actually HATE my mother for it to this day. All the other girl's had long hair and wore dresses while my mother made me wear "boy's clothes" and I was a girl with a "boy's haircut" (and an ugly one at that too)...

 

It was VERY traumatizing for me to go to high school not fitting in. Some days I even wore clothes that didn't fit me properly, I just found what was lying around the house. As a result I never had friends, I used to hide in the bathroom during lunch or in the career center. I actually blame all of this on my mother.

 

If this generated legitimate trauma to you then it's part of the problem and having it treated via a qualified therapist will likely help in bettering you in your day-to-day life.

 

Trauma is a subjective concept. When I say it, I'm looking for concepts severe enough to cause extreme neurosis. I was sexually abused. I lost my parents in a car crash and watched my parents die while they pried me out of the wreckage. I just got out of a long, violent relationship. My neighbor used to steal all of my barbies and cut the heads off and mail them to me one-by-one. And so on. True, though you are that anything can be traumatic as long as perception deems it so.

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I have never dated but I actually don't want to date! I have no interest in dating. I don't want to be in a relationship. I actually prefer being alone.

I'm rather intrigued by this. In literally every single thread you have made here on ENA, you stress the fact over and over again that you don't date, are not interested and you prefer being alone, and if that's the case, then why worry about "can't eat, exercise, dance, be myself around a guy" ??

 

"I am sexually attracted to men (I have FWB) but I don't want to date..

This also has me very very curious. If you "can't eat, exercise, dance, be myself around a guy", then how do you manage to have sex with a guy?? Wouldn't that be far more scarey getting all naked in front of a man??

(I am assuming that FWB means you are having sex with a friend).

 

That said, I think Sparchitecht is right on the money in ALL of his posts in this thread. I too agree with him that you have a serious anxiety disorder, which can be tracked easily in all of your threads. I think it would be very beneficial to you to seek some professional counselling.

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Yea I'm having sex with someone (not even a friend actually, but someone I met on-line) but strangely I have no anxiety at all having sex with him! I would have 100x more anxiety having to go on a date with someone I am attracted to or being forced to have a conversation with a guy I am attracted to.

 

Whenever he comes over and he first walks in the door I always get flustered and anxious in the beginning (sometimes very much, sometimes I feel rather calm) but we don't talk a lot, we just get down to business and when we do all the anxiety melts away and there's none at all. It just feels natural and very comfortable and I feel great... we have great chemistry together so everything just flows very naturally. When it's over sometimes it's a bit awkward but while we are messing around.... never. It feels like second nature and I always feel confident and secure, never anxious.

 

Perhaps it could be because when I first met this guy I wasn't that attracted to him physically so I didn't have that much anxiety. And now that I'm used to him (we've been seeing each other for 8 months now) I feel comfortable with him...

 

I am weird, I have anxiety when I have to talk to guys or because I'm self-conscious but for some reason I don't feel self-conscious during sex with my fwb. It could be because I'm either really sexual or it could be because me and this guy have good sexual chemistry... Perhaps I would feel anxiety with another guy. I don't really know.

 

Perhaps it could be because I think I look good and I know I am skilled in bed...and he tells me both often. I don't feel I have anything to be anxious about.

 

Eating is different for some reason, I am just not comfortable eating in front of an attractive guy. I just find eating unattractive (meaning I look unattractive while doing it) and sex is attractive (I look attractive doing it)...

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If this generated legitimate trauma to you then it's part of the problem and having it treated via a qualified therapist will likely help in bettering you in your day-to-day life.

 

Trauma is a subjective concept. When I say it, I'm looking for concepts severe enough to cause extreme neurosis. I was sexually abused. I lost my parents in a car crash and watched my parents die while they pried me out of the wreckage. I just got out of a long, violent relationship. My neighbor used to steal all of my barbies and cut the heads off and mail them to me one-by-one. And so on. True, though you are that anything can be traumatic as long as perception deems it so.

 

I never had any traumas like the one you described... Not having friends in high school was really traumatic for me and I think it was fueled by me not fitting in due to clothes and such...

 

Also, I don't think my neighbor stealing barbies and cutting off their heads and mailing them to me is as traumatic as going to school with a bowl hair cut or clothes that I had to find around the house which belonged to my mom and grandma (which don't fit me)... I basically wore old people's cloths to school in the wrong size.

 

As a female teenager back then, image was extremely important. There was nothing worse back then in life but to be scorned by your peers and to not be accepted.

 

I remember there was a guy in my English class who used to make fun of my boots. I don't know why I did this but I wore some of my mom's really funky (in a bad way) boots to school, they weren't boots but like shoe boots and he made fun of them and I remember going home and crying and never wanting to go back to school again. This was in my freshman year.

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