Feeling anxious around the opposite sex

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Feeling anxious around the opposite sex

I got many requests from readers who asked me to write about the anxiety that is experienced around the opposite sex.

What puzzles those readers is that when it comes to dealing with friends of the same sex they act quite confident and they don't find any problems but when it comes to dealing with the opposite sex their mind goes blank and they feel anxious.

Whether you are a man who feels anxious around women or whether you are a woman who feels anxious around men this article will tell you how to stop feeling anxious around the opposite sex.

Your past and feeling anxious around the opposite sex

The most common reason for feeling anxious around the opposite sex is your past. We humans store all the events that happen to us then become anxious whenever we are about to face something that harmed us in the past.(see also Why do we remember certain things and forget others)

Some people develop phobias of certain animals just because they attacked them earlier in their lives.

The same goes for your relationships with people. If you never succeeded in dealing with the opposite sex especially during first time encounters then you are very likely to experience anxiety around them later on.

No past experience and anxiety around the opposite sex

At this point you might be saying something like "hey, i never had problems with the opposite sex yet i still feel anxious around them"

This brings us to the next common cause of anxiety which is the lack of trust in your skills. If you rarely approach strangers of the opposite sex then you wont develop your social skills and as a result you will feel anxious around them.

Yes your anxiety can be nothing more than an indication that your past experiences weren't rich enough to help you develop proper social skills!!

Self image concerns and dealing with the opposite sex

Some people feel anxious around the opposite sex because they have self image concerns. For example if a woman doesn't like her looks then she won't feel comfortable around men but might not find any problems in dealing with other women.

The same goes for any trait that you believe the opposite sex will be looking for. If you are not sure that you posses this trait then you will feel anxious around the opposite sex until you squire it.

How to stop being anxious around the opposite sex

In order to stop being anxious around the opposite sex you need to start developing your social skills by trial and error. See Developing your social skills)

You also need to understand that your bad past experiences will keep holding you back until you develop new good experiences. This means that if you succeeded in dealing with the opposite sex for few weeks you are going to forget about your failures in the past years. In short, you can always change your past by succeeding in the future.

Finally if you have any specific problem such as a self image issue then you must first understand it then deal with.

Follow these advice and you wont find that dealing with the opposite sex is hard.

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Want to know more?

Feeling anxious around people

What causes anxiety

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